With so much uncertainty in the world right now, connecting to the people in our lives is more important than ever. For those who are working from home, keeping weekly team meetings with coworkers can be a catalyst for productivity and smooth sailing on choppy waters.
There are plenty of benefits of remote meetings and there are so many ways to make them enjoyable, efficient, and perhaps even more productive than the in-person meetings you’re used to! Here are some tips and team meeting ideas that can help you do just that.
1 | Maintain Etiquette
It’s important to maintain business meeting etiquette, even in remote meetings. Before your first one starts, for example, you have to prepare yourself and your environment for the occasion.
The first step is to find a quiet place in your home for your call to keep partners, dogs, or children out of your background. Test your camera beforehand and make sure that nothing inappropriate (like a bottle of wine) is visible in the frame.
Next, make sure your computer is ready to go. There’s nothing more distracting in a video chat meeting than having to figure out why your microphone won’t connect while everyone watches you fumble.
The last thing to do is get dressed. Yes, everyone is probably working in their pajamas, but that doesn’t mean you can show up to a meeting wearing them. Do your best to present yourself the same way you would in person, look at the camera (it’s as close as you can get to eye contact) and be respectful of others when they are speaking.
2 | Plan Ahead of Time
One of the best ways to keep your team engaged is to come prepared. If you’re leading the meeting, ask yourself: “What am I trying to achieve here and what’s the most efficient way to do it?”
Establish goals, key talking points, and questions for other team members. With those in mind, estimate the total amount of time the meeting will take and break it down into topic-based sections to create a schedule. This will keep everyone on track—there’s nothing worse than sitting in a meeting that seems to stretch on aimlessly with no end in sight.
Once you’ve put together a schedule and agenda, share it with your team at least a day before the meeting begins so they can come prepared as well. This will create an environment where collaboration is easy and communication is as smooth as possible.
3 | Embrace the Small Talk
Give everyone a chance to introduce themselves or check in at the beginning of the call, especially if any unfamiliar people are being brought together. Allow a little bit of small talk while people are trickling in.
4 | Be Inclusive
Make sure to have lots of pertinent questions ready to go throughout each section of the meeting, and consider keeping a working document open so people have context throughout the meeting. When people anticipate being asked questions and have a document to work with and follow along, they’re more likely to stay engaged.
5 | Follow Up
The last thing to keep in mind with these virtual meetings is following up. Share your meeting notes to everyone who participated. These notes should include next steps, deadlines, and a date for the next meeting. If this is one of the first of many virtual meetings you’ll be holding while social distancing, it could be useful to follow up with an anonymous feedback survey to find places for improvement.
Taking your meetings to the virtual world doesn’t mean they have to be any less interesting or productive and making the most out of working from home doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these tips, stay connected with your coworkers, and know that everyone is in this together. When we are all able to meet in-person again we will be familiar with the tools that can keep our coworkers and clients connected around the globe. Our conference rooms have AV capabilities and bandwidth to be able to host a call across the globe. You can learn more about our North County meeting spaces here.