The world of remote work has proven itself to hold many benefits for both the employer and the employee. But just because your workforce is out of sight it doesn’t mean they should be out of mind. It’s still necessary to remain in contact with your staff regularly to monitor performance and discuss any necessary talking points. And one of the best ways to do this is to host virtual meetings.
Online meetings have been a useful tool for many businesses for the last 30 years. But it wasn’t until the recent pandemic that home working became the norm for many offices. And long-distance conference calls started to infiltrate our everyday working lives.
However, just because remote meetings are now an everyday occurrence, it doesn’t mean that they are always 100% effective. So today, we are going to share with you a number of useful hacks to help get the most out of yours.
Most workers have a lot on their plate. And just because they are working from home doesn’t mean that their work lives are necessarily quieter and less stressful. In-person meetings are much easier to arrange at the last minute. Finding a little downtime that coincides for all attendees is often possible given that everyone is physically in the same location.
When your staff is dotted around the country and possibly even overseas, it’s impossible for you to know exactly how pushed for time they are at any given moment. Therefore, it pays to start the ball rolling as early as possible when arranging a remote meeting. Give everybody a chance to find a time and date that doesn’t eat into other important tasks. That way, you’re more likely to get the most out of a meeting.
Release the agenda ahead of time
Springing a subject on your employees without prior warning can add extra stress to their already busy day. They need to be prepared and the best way to do this is to tell them exactly what you expect of them. In the days or weeks leading up to an important meeting, distribute a detailed agenda of the things that you wish to discuss.
Allow participants the chance to add their own thoughts to the plan and see where an agenda can possibly be slimmed down in some cases. This way, as soon as the meeting commences, you’ll be able to get straight down to business. This will make for a far more productive session with your team.
Avoid unnecessary conference chats
Meeting with your team should be done for a very specific reason. If your employees feel that you’re constantly checking up on them, then this can lead to a very negative impact. Meetings that are scheduled once a week, for example, can become a drag on the team’s timetable. They may begin to loathe the remote gatherings and even start to make excuses for why they cannot attend. Make sure that every time you meet, all of the attendees are fully focused and are looking forward to touching base for a specific reason that benefits the whole group.
Get everyone warmed up
Remote meetings, in some ways, are quite similar to social gatherings. Just because you are in an office or work environment, doesn’t mean that it is easy to converse and feel relaxed around other people. When groups meet in a social setting, for example, it can take a while for everybody to ease into the situation. So you should prepare for the same when meeting remotely with your work colleagues.
One way to break the ice and get everyone feeling relaxed is to start the meeting with a team-building game. Online games, board games, social games, video games and slot games are all valid suggestions. It could be a great idea to check out the best new slots for your next meeting and prepare a few titles that may interest everyone.
Keep it inclusive
Some workers naturally contribute more to a meeting than others. But it isn’t necessarily the case that quieter members of the team don’t have anything to say. They may just find it very difficult to find the right moment to engage with other attendees. As the organiser of a meeting, it’s important to consider how you can bring everybody into the conversation. By having specific points that relate to each employee or an opportunity to ask individual questions, you’ll be opening the conversation up to the entire group and should find some great results come your way.
Make the meeting actionable
Every meeting should have a purpose. And while that should go without saying, it’s easy to lose track of how to monitor the success of a meeting. The best way is to introduce certain actions as an outcome of your discussion. Give responsibility to various members of the team to carry out specific tasks and report back in a timely manner.
Never end a remote session with your staff wondering why they came in the first place. Make everybody feel like they had a purpose and a reason for being in that meeting. Moreover, they now have something important to go ahead and complete before you get together the next time. The following meetings can begin with reports of the actionable tasks from previous chats. This again feeds into the idea of allowing everyone to feel comfortable making a contribution.
Always follow up
Staying in touch with your team after a meeting is vital. If you have a member of staff taking minutes, then have them typed up and prepared to distribute to everybody. Thank everyone for attending and go over the key actionable tasks as mentioned above. This also gives you a fantastic opportunity to keep the door open for further contributions from the team after the meeting has ended.