The shift towards remote work isn’t novel, it’s one of the determining trends of the future of work since the last decade. From small firms to large corporations, these businesses are fully embracing remote meetings. It’s now a common sight to see remote meetings between teams separated by thousands of miles and even different time zones.
In the early days of remote meetings, the concern of managers has always been how to stay productive over teleconference. Quite an understandable reason for their hesitation to embrace remote work. This opinion now lives in the past as business managers have learn to adapt to the future of work. The first approach of managers is to understand that different rules have to guide virtual and face to face meetings.
Nonetheless, there are still concerns surrounding remote meetings despite the inevitable and viral adoption. What many businesses managers are not able to process is that lack of enmity between virtual and physical, especially if processes are maintained and rules respected. This is why we’ve come up with practicable strategies to run productive and effective remote meetings. This is not a one-size fits all approach, these strategies have to domesticated for the needs of different businesses;
Humanize The Room By Turning on The Video
In remote meetings, the dead silence experienced is due to the lack of facial connection between the participants. In teleconferencing, facial expressions plays a huge role. You’ll be aware of who is paying attention through the look on their face and body language.
It’s too much stress on the human mind already that they are about to discuss and make decisions with people are thousands of mile away. To cut out these stress, make use of s teleconferencing platform that shows everyone on the screen to every other person. This will allow the team view the reaction and emotions of others.
Send Out Reports Before The Virtual Meetings
If you don’t want your remote meetings to appear as a book club where one person is reading to others, send out reports early before the meetings. The only issue surrounding this will be if everyone will read the reports ahead. Without putting this in place, a lot of valuable time would be lost to reading and understanding the reports.
By the time everyone is on the same page with the reports, the team might have been sapped of energy rendering the meeting ineffective. Help your team to prepare and articulate their thoughts ahead of the meeting.
Create a Human Connection
It is assumed that most people in a remote meeting have never met physically and might never meet. Despite our gregarious nature as humans, we still struggle to connect with others especially virtually in a professional environment. This is why it is considered important that you initiate a professional check-in at the beginning of the meeting.
As the leader, give out one minute each to the participants to introduce themselves to others. to set the tune, start on a lighter note as the leader. This will help every other team member to lose guard a bit and talk about themselves.
Everyone Should Feature on The Agenda
A key to greater collaboration even in physical meeting is to seek input from each member of the team, this also works with virtual meetings. By seeking input from the team, you are steering away from making your meetings a one man show.
This has to be initiated in advance; in the report ask everyone to pen down their thoughts and challenges for presentation in the meeting. Make this a mandatory part of the remote meeting, this might look bumpy at the start but will take shape with time.
Give No Room For Multitasking
In the minds of many of the team members, they will look for any other activities to take on during the remote meeting. If this is allowed, you just reduced the change of getting any result from the meeting. This is why it’s important to make video conferencing an important requirement for remote meetings.
Another way is to call on people to make their thoughts known in an impromptu manner. No one would want to be caught off guard. Lastly, assign tasks to members of the team, this can be rotated regularly to bring everyone on board.
To be effective during remote meetings, ensure team members are able to build trust and respect. Most importantly, that they coordinate themselves in a manner that showcase their professionalism.
Originally published at https://nextplane.net on March 20, 2020.