Employees who work virtually or remotely are often happier and more productive than those who operate in traditional office environments. Managing a virtual team, on the other hand, isn’t all fun and games. Particularly when holding meetings and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
The hosting of a meeting in a virtual setting rather than face-to-face is known as virtual meetings or virtual conferencing. You may host a virtual reality meeting with folks from across the country or the world. When opposed to flying or driving staff to meet for a few hours, using a virtual meeting room is typically considered a cost-cutting measure. Schedules and in-office work are less disrupted.
As your team changes and your project evolves, it is important that your approach to virtual meetings improves. There are many steps you can take to make your virtual team meeting more productive and enjoyable for yourself and your team. If you keep these best practices in mind, you will find it easier to employ people and ensure your virtual team meetings are worthwhile.
How to Prepare
When you organize a meeting at a physical venue, you can be more relaxed about the agenda and resources you provide. A successful virtual meeting, on the other hand, necessitates a lot more planning ahead of time. Send the agenda ahead of time, create visuals to emphasize your message and distribute them to everyone before the meeting, and invite the team members that need to be part. Also, give log-in information (access codes, URLs, and phone numbers) at least a day ahead of time so that participants can test any required software downloads.
Test the Technology Ahead of Time
Nothing is more stressful than having to troubleshoot software during a virtual meeting. While you won’t be able to totally eliminate technical issues, you can minimize meeting delays by thoroughly testing the tools ahead of time. All participants should test the technology before a virtual meeting to ensure they are comfortable with the primary features.
Use Virtual Meeting Tools to Increase Engagement
Technologies such as Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting can help personalize the conversation and keep attendees engaged. Video conferencing instead of traditional conference dial-up means to make people feel like they are in the same meeting. Virtual meetings, even spontaneous ones that could fuel contagion fears, can run smoothly using basic best practices and simple-to-use low-cost technology.
Avoid Technical and Time-Zone Scheduling Snafus
Expect technical issues and have a Plan B or a means to prevent slipping into the pit of technical despair when the meeting gets derailed because of one person’s technical difficulty or you try out a new tool and it doesn’t work out as anticipated. First, if at all possible, have everyone troubleshoot their technical concerns before the meeting. Many platforms provide a technical testing page and excellent technical assistance; include those links in your meeting preparation. If not, here’s a handy infographic with the most frequent virtual meeting technical concerns and solutions.
Set a Clear Goal and Invite the Right People
Your objective should be well-defined and achievable. Set many sessions and break the goal into sections if you have one clear aim that can’t be completed in a single meeting. You must have the correct stakeholders in order to achieve a goal. Participants will be able to detect whether somebody is missing from the invite list and forward the invitation if they receive an agenda with the aim specified ahead of time.
Virtual Meeting Etiquettes
Virtual meeting etiquette is important to ensure you maintain a healthy team dynamic remotely. Prepare to spend your time in a courteous and professional manner and to participate productively in your online meetings. Avoid being distracted by email, surfing the web, or texting. Try not to eat or drink anything so that you can be ready if you are asked a question. Participants should also look into the camera to make eye contact. Conversation among the participants will become more natural as a result.
Respect the Set Meeting Length
One of the best things about virtual meetings is that “punctuality is perfect.” Virtual meetings, more than in-person meetings, start and end on time. When blocking time off on the calendar for a virtual meeting, try to be as exact as possible. It’s usually preferable to overestimate than underestimate how much time you’ll require.
Send Meeting Notes that People Actually Read
The majority of people rely on what was said in a meeting vocally, which might lead to miscommunication. Meeting minutes are much less successful than a brief, concise follow-up email that outlines who is working on what. Make a list of the persons who will be responsible for particular actions in the future, as well as how you plan to follow up with them, for your own records.
Capture Real-Time Feedback
It can be difficult to gather and digest high-quality data during a virtual conference, especially since visual cues are more difficult to read. To obtain on-demand input from participants on specific themes in real-time, use a phone-based survey service like Poll Everywhere. To avoid disturbing the videoconference, keep the polling open separately from the videoconference.
Set Your Virtual Meetings Up for Success
If you’re holding your meetings with a small team, you’ll need remote collaboration software that’s easy to navigate, makes it easy to share screens, and sets up notifications, notifications, and reminders as above mentioned. Virtual meeting best practices create not only an atmosphere of personal interaction, but also enable managers and employees to inform themselves and provide feedback on processes, strategies, priorities, topics, and the conduct of work. The better you understand these best practices the better you can ensure the work is completed on time.