While the world is socially distanced, work doesn’t have to be the same. Having face-to-face interaction while making a big announcement, resolving issues, or asking for feedback changes the “talking to a bot” experience to a complete human interaction, just like when “work from home” was not a norm.
More such factors make it even more important to structure a productive virtual meeting.
- The number of members involved –
The number of members in a meeting exceeds a minimum can cause upheaval with a tool that is not made to handle a large number of participants. It could further make it a bit difficult to catch up on everyone’s input.
If your team’s strength exceeds substantially, then the tools that work for a handful of members might not suit your team.
Some tools can withstand webinars and hence can prove beneficial for companies that have more team members.
- How technology makes things easier for everyone-
With the current given scenario, it’s evident that technology has changed the face of meetings. You don’t have to travel to another part of the world to collaborate or scale your business venture. It all happens with the touch of a button. A person sitting in a remote corner of the world can still talk to a person sitting in Manhattan while also having a common time zone while talking.
The tools, resources, and information should be accessible to everyone in the team to work on the common ground.
- Set a plan before the meeting –
An outline is just as important as the content. Keep a list of all the questions that need to be answered, key points to be discussed, guidelines clarified, and have regular reviews.
The subjective traits, documents/files, and expectations from each team member should also be spelled out ahead of time.
Make a brief outline of who is responsible for which task so that accountability doesn’t go for a toss. This allows everyone to come prepared for the discussion.
- Virtual meeting etiquettes –
Since virtual meetings are nothing like conversations you have in an actual workspace, all the team members must contribute to the meeting.
Team members need to be familiarised with each other before they are a part of virtual meetings. Since the meetings and communications are not direct, virtual meetings with new interns could be awkward without being introduced before.
Along with making everyone acquainted, another key factor to be considered is the multiple time zones. Employees could be based worldwide, so managers also need to regard the timezones employees could be working from. To avoid clashes and conflicts, the meetings can be scheduled in advance for everyone to note.
Since the watercooler chats are gone now, too, it’s suggested to take some time apart for casual conversations to maintain harmony.
- How to make virtual productive meetings happen –
Keep a plan prepared for the meeting and inform the members about the plan and the details beforehand. There is a need for everyone to know what they need to be ready for in the meeting so that the discussions are not dragged, and neither does anyone has to wait for their fellow teammate to catchup hence wasting more time.
By the end of the meeting, everyone needs to be notified about their job and deliverables.
Keeping everyone engaged by making room for casual conversations gives a feeling of belonging and maintains rapport. Members who are on casual terms with each other tend to communicate well while working in unison.
As much as the abstract traits hold a primary position, it is equally crucial to have the right tools and technology to make productive virtual meetings happen.
- Follow-ups –
Follow-ups ensure that everyone has followed up with the meeting agenda and is on the same page regarding understanding the process. Follow-ups further enable keeping the bandwidth and pace in check.
Keeping in constant touch will also enable the executives to conclude if the tools they are using serve their purpose.
- Choosing the right tools –
Working can turn out to be a mess or entirely fruitful. It all depends on picking the right tools.
Virtual meeting tools with additional features like screen sharing, recording the video sessions, sharing documents, and putting up lengthy online presentations. All the tools being built-in on the same platform makes it easy for the members to concentrate and focus on the ongoing meeting rather than waver their attention to redundant tasks like taking notes and moving to emails to share documents.
Tools that are integrated spare you the time looking high and low
To be connected more often, the team must connect frequently.
The going gets easier when you are working with the right tools. With google meet and Jitsi integrations with Flujo, being always connected is just a click away!