Meetings have always had a bad reputation for a variety of reasons. They rarely start on time, and when they do, it isn’t uncommon to notice that the entire conversation could have been successfully communicated via email. Someone almost always ends up dominating the conversation, with little to no time left for other voices to be heard. Discussions also often get off course, and in due time, the team loses focus and begins to scribble with abandon on their respective notebooks.
In a remote meeting, things can be ten times worse. You’re less likely to be caught doodling in your notes, or just drifting off with a blank expression on your face. This makes the chances of having an ineffective meeting higher, mainly because people are craving for social interaction after being quarantined for so long.
Running remote meetings is the next big business challenge, but one that requires immediate attention. Luckily, success only entails better etiquette and rules. With a few structures in place, you’ll be well on your way to running a productive meeting, ensuring that your team remains less peckish throughout the day. Here’s how:
Step 1: Weigh your options—is the meeting essential?
Working remote robs you of the chance to socialise—this makes hosting frequent meetings all the more tempting, especially since it’s only human to crave some sort of human interaction. Too much time on the computer screen and talking to yourself may compel you to hold meetings how many times a week, but understand that it isn’t always the answer.
Remember that only important issues should warrant meetings. Brainstorming sessions will require some face-to-face time, but other matters like firm announcements should remain as emails. If you wish to spend more time with your co-workers, set up a different event for that—meetings were not designed for socialising!
Step 2: Use tools to make meetings run more smoothly
Seeing as you’re only running meetings virtually, understand that your meeting can only be successful if you use practical tools. Your choice of communication channel will significantly affect your sessions, so make sure to find one that everyone is familiar with. Also ensure that your platform allows extra features such as screen sharing, as this makes it easier for members to stay on track.
Zoom, for instance, has now become the most popular form of the communication platform. It allows up to 100 participants, making it easier for large groups to convene. It also allows you to share your screen, enabling you to show presentations as you would during a typical meeting.
Word of caution: Seeing as devices and resources vary, understand that disconnections and low-quality videos and audios can happen. This is the nature of remote work.
You will also want something to help you facilitate tracking your agenda’s, discussion items, and the artifacts that are created from meetings such as action items. Our Thena meeting tool is designed exactly for this purpose. We make it easy to collaborate with your team in meetings.
Step 3: Stay on track
Conversations can be challenging to keep track of, even in a traditional meeting. A remote meeting can be even more so, and even with a clear plan, there’s bound to remain a voice unheard or eyes turning glassy. To ensure that people stay on track, circulate the agenda prior to the meeting. Make each topic to be discussed clear and concise, as well the intended outcomes of the meeting.
During the meeting, make sure to ask for questions. You may not be privy to dazed and confused looks, but that doesn’t there won’t be any questions. It will be challenging to interrupt you for clarifications, so make sure you do your best to accommodate them. Using slides will also help you stay organised, making sure that people remain focused. Send the slides out after the meeting to ensure everyone stays on track!
The Bottom Line
Although remote meetings are incredibly challenging to deal with, remember that there’s always a solution to each problem. While the idea of virtual work can be difficult to discern and adapt to at the moment, a little patience and strategy will help set your team up for success. In time, those glazed looks and confused faces will be long gone—so long as you know when to stick to emails and when to hold meetings!
If you want to run effective meetings, Thena can help! We offer you an application that helps you keep your business on track, ensuring that meetings run smoothly. Our structured processes also help keep accountability intact, ensuring that your business flows in the best possible way. Download Thena today!