Blazers on the top, pajama pants on the bottom – the show must go one. While working remotely was an entirely new reality for many organizations, we have now adapted to the unfamiliar territory of living and working. At this point, you’ve probably experienced countless video conferencing faux pas, right? From ‘Hey Zack, you’re still on mute,’ and ‘can everyone see my screen?’ to significant others visibly crawling behind your workspace and somehow always getting off-topic, we’ve been there. We’ve done that. We relate.
When held properly, remote team meetings allow us to stay connected and can boost efficiency. But how do we navigate the balance of ‘catching up,’ while still remaining productive and getting sh*t done? Quit wasting precious time and read on for our guide to more effective remote meetings.
Establish meeting goals.
Don’t hold a meeting that could have been an email. We’re begging you. Before you send the meeting invite always hone-in on what you intend to accomplish and take away from the meeting. Is it to delegate responsibilities? Brainstorm an upcoming project? Always define the meeting purpose and share it with your team so they can prepare and digest the information.
Don’t meet without an agenda.
Sure, it’s not always necessary to have an official meeting agenda prepared. However, it’s always necessary to outline each meeting topic even if that’s only for yourself. Not only does this maximize time and efficiency, but it also minimizes follow up questions and direct messages from team members who may need additional clarity. This step helps keep your team engaged, on track and on the path toward your intended goal.
Roll call: Who’s on?
While we may be in the same clothes from yesterday, we are still busy completing all the work things. Be mindful of your team’s time and who should be in attendance. If it would be beneficial to have specific input from someone, but they aren’t directly involved in a project, respect their time and pick their brain offline. This courtesy allows them to focus on their workload, rather than devoting time to a meeting that isn’t necessary for them to be involved in.
Dedicate (some) time for banter.
This article we found states that 56% of employees spend more time with their ‘work-family’ than their real family. Yikes. So yes, bonds and friendships are inevitable. Although this dynamic has changed recently, it’s still important to continue nurturing a strong workplace culture and maintain those working relationships by designating time to catch up and stay connected. Make it a priority. Set that time aside and avoid unrelated sidebar conversations that disrupt the actual meeting.
Don’t forget the next steps.
While action items and meeting takeaways may be clear to the meeting leader, always ensure the rest of the team is clear on their expectations. It may seem counterintuitive to send a meeting follow-up, but don’t discount this step. This keeps everyone accountable and mitigates any confusion on assignments, deliverables and deadlines. Avoid the common ‘when do you need this by?’ and ‘who’s responsible for this?’ challenges and send out those next steps!
What’s the phrase? We’re all in this together? We are. We always have been. These remote meeting principles have helped our team remain successful and we hope they help guide your team to increased productivity.