How To Run Successful Distributed Team Meetings

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If your meeting doesn’t have one, you can easily spend 5-10 minutes on each topic catching everyone up to speed. While virtual meetings and video chats can be more engaging, it’s still not quite the same as face-to-face meetings in a meeting room. It’s the next best thing, for sure, but humans are great at pretending to listen while checking social media—and even better at multitasking.

How do you run an effective meeting remotely

People don’t spend enough time planning meetings. It has become almost second nature to throw an invite into Google Calendar without any context. But remote colleagues can’t walk over to your desk to ask what the meeting is about. This inequality doesn’t have to be work-specific either. It might seem asinine, but simple social things, like bringing baked goods into the room for a hybrid meeting, can be extremely isolating for remote team members. These cues help us speak without interrupting each other too much.

It’s not ideal, and it’s worse in hybrid meetings because those in the office can have a normal conversation. Since early 2020, most organizations have allowed their employees to work from home, and now this is become a trend and going to be there for the long term. One thing that everyone is frequently using is online meetings for their work and individual needs. To be more productive, virtual meeting needs to be more effective and straightforward. Recently Microsoft announced that more than 75 million people using Microsoft Teams as their hub for digital teamwork, including voice and video meetings. Have people write down their questions during the meeting.

Normalize Digital Meeting Tools

The great thing about virtual meetings is that pretty much anyone in any part of the world can join your meeting. You wouldn’t show up for a meeting late every time, or talk over other people in a meeting room, right? Traditionally, teleconferencing revolves around meetings that have audio, but no video. (Although again, some people do use these terms interchangeably.) This means that teleconferences are generally more accessible since you don’t need a webcam or other complicated technology.

Ensure that your remote meeting isn’t a waste of time by clearly establishing the next steps and sharing outcomes with the team. Use a meeting management tool to track the outcomes. It can be as simple as starting a Skype conversation with one or more people, or as complicated as scheduling a video conference call with numerous dispersed speakers.

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But others are often just the result of secondary considerations that have a big impact on remote colleagues. This includes the choice of meeting rooms or environments with poor internet connections or a lack of equipment . It also includes the simple problem of meeting organizers not actually including Zoom, Hangouts, or other Zoom alternative links in the invitation. Nothing kills momentum like a 15-minute delay because people need to download software, can’t get the video or audio to work, or encounter other technical hiccups. Meeting presenters should log in five minutes early to ensure that all the technology is working smoothly.

Feel free to make other attendees optional if you want to be inclusive. This ensures that you’re not forcing employees into a bunch of meetings where they might be unable to provide value. We recently dove deep into the research and synthesized the best advice for running effective meetings. Many of these general meeting tips will also help you run better hybrid meetings. The key is to double down and increase your commitment to making meetings as organized and efficient as possible. Surprising absolutely nobody who has taken part in a video call these past few months, IT issues are the second most common challenge in hybrid meetings.

Adopt A Stewardship Mindset When Managing Remote Meetings

The downside, of course, is you can’t see everyone’s body language and physical cues. Remote employees struggle with being constantly interrupted or talked over in meetings more than others. To combat this, structure interactions in such a way that everybody gets to participate. Go around the virtual room giving everyone a chance to speak.

Even worse, the annoyance that grows while waiting for the meeting to start spills over into the meeting itself, resulting in more interruptions, fewer ideas, and decreased morale. Crush that crankiness by getting started on time, even if everyone hasn’t arrived. Any follow-up discussions can happen in a dedicated Slack thread, rather than involving everyone in a conversation that only two people need to be on. Monthly research-based updates on what the future of work means for your workplace, teams, and culture. This ensures that your overall productivity maintains intact, even if you are working remotely.

Likewise, remote calls are limited to audio and screen sharing. Be overly descriptive of what you’re talking about to ensure everyone understands. GetApp recently collected 15 software vendors offering free plans, trials, services, and more to help businesses with their video conferencing during COVID -19. That everyone has the proper technology to handle a remote meeting. The need for tools and storage platforms to centralize notes and to-dos. Hold people accountable by assigning follow-ups, deliverables, and next steps including due dates during the meeting.

How do you run an effective meeting remotely

A hybrid meeting is one in which some participants are gathered together in person while other participants are remote. While many companies have decided to shift remote on a permanent basis, the majority are trying to get a handle on a hybrid working environment. This type of situation would see some employees working remotely while others continue to work in the office.

Video Conferencing

While they might introduce new challenges into the mix, hybrid meetings are essential if you’re planning on offering your employees remote work flexibility. Now is the time to train your time on how to run these meetings effectively and prepare them for the future of your business. We’ve all experienced this to some degree during a remote meeting. Two people try to talk at the same time, both stop, then engage in an awkward decision-making process over who is going to actually go first.

It’s a little more work if you’re hosting, but here are three things to check first if you want to run a successful virtual meeting. If you’re having a team meeting that involves some How to run a successful remote meeting degree of collaboration or presentation of a project or design mockup, that’s web conferencing. And don’t force people in other time zones to join nighttime or early morning meetings.

Great for quick comments, side conversations, or expressing thought in a large group without interrupting, the discussion provides a different way to communicate and stay engaged in real-time. Keep your meetings fresh, interactive and engaging. Think about how you can make your meetings more interactive and interesting, and keep recurring meetings varied. For example, you could start with a quiz one week and end the next week’s meeting with a Q&A. It’s a great idea to share your personal best practices.

Getting people to dive into a shared document with their ideas for five minutes or so can also help get the creative juices flowing, as well as drive engagement. Here are five tips for running effective virtual and in-person meetings, which will hopefully make them more enjoyable, too. Is it possible to achieve virtual meeting perfection? Probably not, but with focused development and intentionality, you can turn your meetings into efficient and engaging events.

  • Yes, you’ll have to pay for a service provider or conferencing software, but you’ll be saving much more money in the long-term.
  • Additionally, it provides some tips for virtual collaboration, brainstorming, and avoiding poor-quality experiences.
  • It’s also helpful to schedule a deadline or a time when someone will check in on progress.
  • Recording can capture audio, video, and screen-sharing activities.

If meeting remotely, encourage your team to share questions in the messages section of your video conferencing platform, or encourage them to DM you on Slack. This can help introverts, or those who don’t feel comfortable speaking up, get their concerns addressed. So, remote meetings are now a part of many companies’ workflow. As with any workflow, online meetings are made more effective and beneficial when you have the proper tools and processes in place to handle your needs. Video conferencing plus VoIP platforms offer a more enterprise-appropriate solution to remote meetings.

How Microsoft Teams Solve Collaboration Needs?

If it’s a multi-person effort, assign ownership of the follow-up to one person. This will reduce the likelihood of someone saying “I thought you were gonna do it”. Team meetings can drastically differ in size and scope.

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Speaking clearly and deliberately helps everyone on the call hear and understand you better. Make sure you’re in a quiet, distraction-free environment that allows you to concentrate on the call. Make sure you give your undivided attention to the conversation. Home office distractions and technical limitations. A reliance on screen sharing as a way to illustrate talking points.

A face-to-face conversation is critical in establishing rapport and good teamwork. Now you can no longer rely on in-person communication, having a camera on is critical. Make sure you do a systems test before the call with one or two people to ensure that everything works well. This is especially important for calls with a larger number of attendees. Remote meetings require all of the same structure and etiquette as an in-person meeting, but with added technical and distance barriers that need to be overcome. It might also be worth thinking about getting your team equipped with a proper headset to block out background noise and have better call quality overall.

Is Your Team Only Partially Remote? Heres How To Run Effective Hybrid Meetings

Make these notes accessible to everyone who attended the meeting by posting a summary and any relevant documents on the relevant Slack channel. Alternatively, you could record the meeting and send out a link to the video meeting after. This is particularly valuable for team members working remotely or companies with a globally distributed workforce. If your remote meeting involves multiple speakers and topics, it’s a good idea to assign jobs before the call starts.

These tips and tricks can work for anyone, whether you’re the CFO or a social media intern. You know those days where you’re in back-to-back meetings? At the end of these hectic days, it’s likely that you’re not going to remember what’s needed from you. So, if you’re running a meeting, be sure to categorise the important takeaways and action items and share them with your team as soon as you can after the meeting. Where possible, assign roles and responsibilities to individual items.

If you don’t have that equipment yet, the time to buy is now. In the case of remote work, common challenges are a noisy or distracting workspace. Maybe there are kids at home or somebody rings the doorbell. Or maybe your remote employees work in different time zones which make just attending meetings a challenge. When you’re entirely reliant on technology for meetings, some technical issues are unavoidable.

While an in-person two-hour meeting is already arduous, that same meeting becomes particularly hard for those forced to actively stare at a screen the entire time. Break people into groups and have them accomplish small tasks, or make decisions, together. Then have them share their findings with the larger group. Get free, timely updates from MIT SMR with new ideas, research, frameworks, and more. This issue’s special report explores new ways that leaders can identify which key performance indicators will advance their teams toward their ever-shifting objectives. Bring your hiring teams together, boost your sourcing, automate your hiring, and evaluate candidates effectively.

How We Host Meetings, Conferences And Events Remotely

They would forget I was on the line and not ask for input. They would run whiteboard sessions that I couldn’t see or participate in. And sometimes, the meeting would end and everyone would leave the room while I was still sitting there on the phone.

If people aren’t 100% clear on what they’re supposed to be doing on the call, they’re more likely to zone out. To mitigate this, designate tasks ahead of time via a reminder or email the day before the call, clearly outlining what everyone’s responsibility is at the meeting. The first step is to understand common hybrid meeting challenges.

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