A Guide to a Productive Virtual Meeting
With remote working normalized, virtual meetings have quickly become the default way teams huddle together to collaborate and make work happen.
But it’s not uncommon for productivity to suffer once employees connect to their virtual boardrooms. From people not showing up, speaking over each other, missing meetings due to timeline clashes, many factors can impede the efficiency of virtual meetings.
This article will explore 6 actionable tips to cement any virtual meeting as a productive haven, according to Jonathan Osler.
Have a clear set of ground rules: Ground rules set expectations and prevent confusion among attendees. Pre-planning things like how long each participant will speak, order of participation, having video on throughout the meeting, muting when it’s not one’s turn to talk can help keep meetings focused.
Have breakout rooms available: Breakout rooms are a fantastic way to allow your team to brainstorm in mini-groups or one-on-one with each other. The co-host has access to each breakroom to monitor the progress of mini-teams, which can be closed when the time comes for everyone to rejoin in the main room.
Distribute the meeting agenda: An agenda shows the key points that will be covered during the meeting. It prevents the likelihood of participants taking up minutes going off tangent during conversations. Also, ensure that the agenda gets distributed to all attendees at least 24 hours before the meeting and have a time-keeper available to keep the discussion on track.
Mind the appearance: It’s important that attendees dress up for the meeting regardless of where they are. This doesn’t mean suiting up or wearing a dress but refrain from wearing outfits that wouldn’t typically be worn to an office. It adds to the seriousness of the event. It’s also necessary to look at the camera when speaking; reimagine them as a pair of eyes. Keeping the gaze towards came while one speaks emulates maintaining eye contact when having a face-to-face conversation.
Prohibit multitasking: Sitting in front of a screen, with the limitless possibility of numerous tabs, it can be very tempting to check emails, read the news, scroll Twitter while the meeting is going on. The best way to prevent attendees from multitasking, according to Jonathan Osler, is to use video, give each member a separate task, and randomly call on individuals to share their inputs through the meeting.
Follow up with everyone: Typically, at the end of a physical meeting, members come together outside the office to have an informal chit-chat about what happened in the meeting. These little sessions can provide valuable insights into the quality of meetings. To take advantage of this, leave five to 10 minutes at the end of the meeting to give everyone a chance to share how they’d make the meeting better. Their feedback can be used to enhance the future meeting experience.
Determining meeting objectives and rules, having breakout rooms, distributing agenda, dressing the part, and seeking feedback from attendees are some of the most powerful ways to boost the productivity of a virtual meeting. With these tips, remote meetings can hold their role as a strong value provider instead of a chore.