The pandemic has already changed the way we do business, and we’ve gotten used to hearing about new COVID cases all over the world. Most companies have allowed their employees to continue working from home. Virtual meetings have become the need of the hour and with the help of virtual meetings and conference calls, it is possible to manage business operations and ensure customer satisfaction.
As millions of employees are working from their homes, productivity has become one of the biggest concern for businesses. Virtual meetings are now no more just the "wave of the future" but an indispensable part of business operations. Considering certain factors are crucial to making sure that the virtual meetings are effective and secured.
Here are five tips for holding effective virtual meetings:
Set A Meeting Schedule: With the help of technology and reliable virtual meeting apps and software, such as Microsoft Teams, it is possible to have an online meeting remotely. People are conducting online business meetings but it is important to set a flexible meeting schedule to avoid predictive delays.
Experts say you should say “No” to the same-day meeting unless it is absolutely important. To avoid a productive time, it is recommended to invite each member needed and ahead of time. That way, everyone will get the chance to prepare before the meeting. You can schedule meetings early in the morning or early in the evening as they are considered the most focused time-frames. Flexibility of the remote workplace has opened new scheduling options also.
Define Codes of Conduct: When it comes to conducting or hosting virtual meetings, you should always keep your working hours and time zones in mind. Always share the meeting agenda ahead of the time and track the time spent in the meetings so that team members are aware of where they are and adjust their time wherever needed. Look for more techniques and tools in order to increase engagement during virtual meetings.
As every team member will be connected remotely via video conferring software or app, ensure that all of them honor professional dress code. Dressing appropriately for virtual meetings is one of the basic etiquette's everybody must-have. Find a few minutes to wear a clean shirt and brush your hair that also put yourself in the right headspace while being productive. Also, you must plan for managing during the meeting.
Start Meeting 5 Minutes Early: If you want to have stress-free virtual meetings, it is advised to start meeting at least 5 minutes early. This will help you save a lot of productive time instead of wasting it over testing connectivity, preparing key points to discuss, sharing ideas, and so on. If you start your meeting late from the set time, it may disturb the schedule of other team members who might be waiting for their client calls or busy with other prior tasks. Give yourself and your meeting participants time to work out any technical issues they may encounter.
If some of the team members join virtual meetings late, don't coddle them. It is important to shape their behavior unless there is any valid reason so they impact the rest team members. One of the subtle ways to encourage team members to attend the virtual meeting on time is to provide rewards or positive feedback to those who show up promptly.
Assign a Rotating Scribe for Note Taking: If you have many meetings scheduled this month, it is the time to make your meetings more effective while improving your virtual meeting skills. You can assign a rotation scribe for note-taking in order to keep all the things fresh, and everyone participating. Taking summary notes of the entire meeting session and sharing them on the board would make things easier for team members who have not attended the meeting to review any ideas, share their feedback and outcomes later.
Honor the Meeting Purpose: Apart from starting on time and considering code of conduct in a virtual meeting, it is important for every team member to honor the meeting purpose and keep tangents on point. Accountability and communication are key to holding successful virtual meetings.
The Bottom line
Remote working and virtual meetings are here to stay. However, they are by no means the perfect solutions to all the issues businesses are facing today due to the COVID-19 outbreak but are vital for moving complex business projects and operations.
Read more about COVID-19 Pandemic: 7 Pro Tips for Working from Home
If you often host virtual meetings for teamwork and collaboration through various video conferring apps such as Zoom or Skype, considering the aforementioned points will help you reap the advantages of effective virtual meetings.