The number of people working from home has risen dramatically in the last few years. A recent survey found that 12% of workers worked at home full-time, and 28% did a mix of at-home and at-office work. Most people prefer working from home, but by necessity, it has changed the way we interact with colleagues, clients, and managers.
The rise of remote work has completely transformed the way we approach team meetings. Rather than gathering together in a conference room, as was previously the case, employees can join meetings from their homes or other remote locations. While this shift has brought about many benefits, it has also presented new challenges to teams who are trying to stay connected and productive.
Aside from issues related to technology, one of the biggest changes to team meetings in a remote work environment is the need to create structure and clear communication channels. Without these elements, meetings can quickly become disorganized and unproductive. The more people you have logging into a Zoom call, the harder it is to control the meeting. To help your team succeed in this new environment, here are some best practices for running effective remote team meetings.
Set An Agenda In Advance
Meeting agendas are vital. One of the keys to a successful remote team meeting is setting an agenda in advance. This allows everyone to come prepared with any necessary materials or talking points and ensures that the meeting stays on track. It gives people a framework for what will be discussed, so they don’t have to stick around for the entire meeting if not all of it is relevant to them.
Be sure to send the agenda out at least a few days before the meeting, so that everyone has time to review it and make any necessary preparations.
Use Video Conferencing Software
Video conferencing software is essential for remote meetings. This technology allows everyone to see each other and pick up on non-verbal cues, which is important for building rapport and creating a sense of connection among team members. Some popular video conferencing tools include Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet. Try a few out to see which one you prefer.
It can be easy for team members to disengage during remote meetings, especially if they are distracted by other tasks or working from a less-than-ideal location. To combat this, make sure to encourage participation from everyone on the call. This might include asking for feedback, soliciting ideas, or simply checking in with each person to make sure they are engaged.
Keep It Short And Focused
Remote meetings can quickly become draining if they go on for too long or fail to stay focused on the topic at hand. To keep your team engaged and productive, try to limit meetings to 60 minutes or less, and make sure that everyone stays on topic. If multiple items need to be discussed, consider scheduling separate meetings to address each one.
Use the Chat Function For Side Conversations
It can be difficult for team members to have side conversations without disrupting the flow of the meeting when it is held remotely. To solve this problem, encourage everyone to use the chat function within the video conferencing software. This allows people to ask questions, share links, and have side conversations without interrupting the main discussion.
Record the Meeting
One of the benefits of remote meetings is that they can easily be recorded for future reference. This is especially helpful for team members who were unable to attend the meeting, or who need to review the content at a later time. Not everyone takes information on board in the same way, and some people find it easier to digest information in a written format. Be sure to let everyone know that the meeting will be recorded in advance, and make sure that the recording is stored in a secure location.
Organize In-Person Meetings Sometimes
It is important to organize some meetings in person, so you can build a rapport with your team or clients. While remote meetings are useful, it isn’t the same as talking in person. If everyone lives in different places, book a meeting room in a central location, such as the meeting spaces at https://www.discoverspace.org/events/book-the-space/. Provide food so it’s a more productive time. In conclusion, remote work has transformed the way we approach team meetings, but with the right strategies in place, it’s still possible to stay connected and productive. With a little bit of practice, your team will be able to navigate remote meetings with confidence and success.