When everyone works virtually, it’s not easy to spend most of the time as a team virtually. Here are some best practices on how to improve them. Following are eight principles that you can prefer to improve the virtual meeting.
- Providing time for socializing and catching up – Team members who are used to being together should be allowed to catch up before a formal meeting begin. Place it on the agenda and ensure that whoever chairs the meeting draws a line under the chat when it’s time to move forward. We would also propose conducting some precise social sessions for your team
- Opt for video calls whenever it is possible – There are several reasons why video calls are preferred over audio calls in the virtual meeting. In terms of team bonding and natural conversation, it is working as a real thing. The advantage of this is that you can pick up on non-verbal cues that you would notice in person, and people won’t talk over each other. And practically, it helps to trigger the work mode of a person, both mentally and physically.
- Find a platform that fits you – and can educate everyone up – There are several platforms you can refer to (predictably, these platforms are experiencing a boom right now.) At our workplace, we tend to use Skype; you can opt for other options also including Skype, WebEx, Google Hangouts, and GoTo Meeting. To avoid wasting half your time fiddling with the tech, train your team before you meet, no matter which solution you choose.
- Set clear ground rules before initiating a meeting.- To create their best impression in the meeting, be very clear about what you will expect from the meeting – as they will treat it as seriously as a face-to-face one. For example, you may want to agree that laptops or phones should not be used for unrelated messaging or that headphones should be used for call clarity. You can also need to take into account a few wider principles, which include that everybody has to contribute, or that staying silent approach you consider what has been concluded in meetings.
- Come up with a clear agenda – and hold it – It’s very easy for a virtual meeting to glide if a person isn’t maintaining them on track. Having a clear structure in place, to keep discussions on track, and assigning someone to chair the meeting is important. As a guide, we’d recommend around 40-45 minutes for a significant session, including time for the wrap-up in a virtual meeting. There is no need to include any social time you considered including to kick things off.
- Try to give the opportunity to everyone to speak up their views – Face-to-face meetings can be challenging enough to get people to take turns, and virtual meetings are definitely more challenging. You’ll need to come up with a strategy to facilitate this, otherwise, the meeting will become a discordance of opinions. Most of the platforms will have options to support you; on Skype, for an instance, you can raise your hand so the chair can decide when people respond and in what order they respond.
- Make efforts to engage everyone – Another thing to concentrate on is that the introverted people of your team can easily slip under the radar than they would face-to-face. In a virtual meeting, it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone is engaged. So if your introverted team members don’t put forward their opinions, make sure you actively ask if they have anything, to sum up.
- Follow up in writing – In a virtual meeting, however clearly you may all have accepted the next steps, it’s good practice to put them in writing. It’s easier for points that have been unspoken or if they are missed.
Thanks for reading this article, hope it will prove beneficial for you.