In today’s ever-connected world, remote team meetings are the way to get things done. Virtual meetings have enabled firms to allow their employees to telecommute. This is a great benefit because you may find the perfect candidate for an open position, but they live 1,500 miles away. Remote meeting software allows your distant team member to partake in online meetings. Job seekers also appreciate the telecommute option because it allows them to search for jobs all across the country if they’re unable to relocate. If this sounds like an idea you want to incorporate into your business strategy, you may be wondering how to run effective remote meetings. Take a look at these tips.
Challenges vs Benefits of Remote Team Meetings
Although there are a great many benefits to a remote meeting, there are some unique challenges as well. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from at least trying it out in your office.
A remote meeting definition is when individuals come together from various locations and through different technology mediums to share information and collaborate. The most obvious challenge to a virtual team meeting is technology. A reliable computer and internet connection are vital to an effective remote team meeting. If you have a weak WiFi connection, a computer that is likely to crash, or if you are out of range of cell phone service, you may have difficulty connecting to the meeting which can make it very unproductive.
Thankfully, those situations are hard to come by in our modern world. High speed internet and widespread cell phone coverage make a remote team weekly meeting a great way to keep everyone connected.
Face to Face vs Virtual: Which is Effective?
The main difference between virtual meetings and face to face meetings is that virtual meetings take place online, whereas face to face meetings will happen in your office. Neither is more productive and your choice is based on personal preference and capabilities.
A reason to choose video conferencing vs face to face meetings is to include remote team members or distant clients. This way, everyone feels like part of the team. A downside to virtual communication vs face to face communication is that your message can be misinterpreted by the receiver.
However, let’s not minimize the value of face to face meetings. There’s nothing quite like taking the time to visit your client in person to make them feel like a valued partner in your business.
How to Have a Virtual Meeting
Implementing effective team meetings into a virtual workplace takes some planning. You must follow proper virtual meeting etiquette to ensure the meeting is productive. Here are some virtual meetings best practices:
- Provide everyone with the dial-in information well in advance. You don’t want to have delays because someone can’t log in.
- Begin the meeting by overviewing the agenda. This helps everyone know what’s going to be covered and when.
- Give others a chance to speak. A simple “Jennifer, can you expand on this?” is a great step in how to manage remote meetings.
- If the meeting is planned for 30 minutes, keep to the schedule. If you think you’ll go over, ask if everyone can stay longer, schedule a follow up, or put it into a recap email.
- Share your video as long as it does not impact the ability to communicate. Being face to face provides a more in-person experience.
- Remove distractions outside the meeting such as background noise and turning off email and chat notifications.
Tools to Make Remote Team Meetings More Effective
Many meeting organizers want to know how to improve virtual meetings to make them more enjoyable. Having the appropriate remote meeting software, like a Zoom meeting, is the first step. It must enable everyone to log in quickly and easily, and hold the session without disruption.
You may also wish to incorporate some remote team meeting topics with each session. Perhaps every week starts with an overview of what was and wasn’t accomplished last week, as well as what’s on deck for the upcoming days.
Having your own virtual meeting techniques allows for a more productive session. Choose a software, like Docket, that enables you to send meeting agendas beforehand, as well as recap emails afterwards.
Don’t forget to follow the web meeting best practices listed in the above section!
Activities to Bring Global Teams Together
Having a global team is a great business asset, but it can also make meetings difficult. Online games for remote teams are the leader in how to make virtual meetings fun. If your team is new or not connecting together, try some remote team building activities. Although you can’t exactly do a trust fall with each other or go on a camping trip, you can still learn how to make virtual meetings more interactive with ice breaker questions that get everyone engaged.
When you utilize online games for virtual teams, you’ll also see an increase in your virtual meeting attendance. Try a few different tactics and once you’ve learned how to engage remote meeting participants, you’ll have happier, more productive employees.
Start Having Better Meetings Today!
There are many types of virtual meetings and hopefully these remote meetings best practices inspired you to incorporate some into your workplace. These are just a few of the remote team meeting ideas we wanted to share. We hope this helps you see how you can expand your business with a telecommuting team and still have productive and effective meetings!