Best Practices For Successful And Engaging Remote Team Meetings

Best practices for successful remote team meetings

Meetings are an important part of any industry. These are the places or meetups to strategize, brainstorm, share the goals, and come up with the best ideas to develop the business or keep track of the ongoing development. And this also comes true with the IT industry. Due to the pandemic situation, many organizations offered their employees to work from home and hence the IT meetings are also carried out remotely. But sometimes these meetings are a waste of time and energy because of the lack of intention or structure. Here is some guidance to avoid the common pitfalls when you’re working from home.

Importance Of Remote Meetings-

Remote meetings are important for getting on the same track with your colleagues. Live communication allows you to strengthen the bond  and a short casual conversation can build the alliance between you and your teammates.

To be effective remote meetings should be-

  • Well structured- Ensure that you have a clear format, agenda of the meeting, and have set expectations. This will help teammates to prepare and think about the possible scenarios of the issues that will be discussed in the meeting.
  • Focused- Remote meetings should be organized to avoid the distraction due to unassociated conversation and hence the team can focus and solve problems together.
  • Success-oriented- Time is precious. No one wants to waste time. Unlike face-to-face meetings, it is tough to reschedule or walk without a clear plan. Before ending the meeting, everyone should be clear on what they need to do.

Useful Tips When Hosting Remote Meetings-

With remote meetings, the biggest challenge is to keep people engaged and interested in contributing. You can try your own solutions to engage the attendee’s. Following tips will surely help you to host the meeting-

1. Etiquette For Online Meetings-

Different meetings have different rules. There are some basic etiquette practices that everyone should know before attending the remote team meeting.

  • You must test all the technologies such as communication tool, camera, WiFi and screen sharing before start meeting
  • Introduce everyone during the meeting and give everyone a chance to contribute.
  • Don’t interrupt other attendees while someone is speaking or don’t try to speak over them
  • Don’t work on other tasks during remote meetings such as email checking, organizing files etc.
  • Turn off all notifications and ensure that your mobile phone is on silent
  • Ensure that you and your team members are in a quiet area to avoid distractions.

2. Ensure That You Really Need A Remote Meeting-

  • Can I solve this problem without a meeting?– Ask yourself, can I solve this problem by myself? Can I chat or email with the person to solve the problem? In case of urgent issue, you must include the sense to introduce your idea by a message and then schedule a meeting so that remote workers may prepare for the conversation and the it will become easy to solve the problem. It is beneficial for specifically different time zones because it will be harder to schedule a meeting quickly.
  • Can I answer this question myself?– In case, you need some information, see if you can self search it for the answer. If you don’t get the answer you may find out the approach to get the solution in most effective way. 
  • Can I solve this problem in the next meeting?– If you work in sprints, try to discuss the upcoming problems during the sprint planning meeting. It can avoid the confusions.

3. For A Remote Meeting-

Remote meetings brings you closer to your goal as a team. Hence remote meetings should be properly managed. Consider the following about for effective remote meetings.

  • How many attendees?- You must select the proper employees before you invite. Consider using a responsibility assignment matrix to understand your teammates’ responsibilities.
  • Schedule- You must check the people’s working hours before you schedule the meeting. Some of the attendees can be from other time zones, so match the meeting timing accordingly.  Set a clear time limit for the meeting  and send a calendar invitation to everyone and include the video/conference call info.
  • Set a clear agenda- Make a plan with specific items to cover in the meeting and stick to that plan. Share the agenda with meeting attendees before the meeting starts so that everyone can prepare.
  • Technology- There are a lot of tools available for conference calls. You can use skype or zoom for meetings. But you must inform the team members about which tool you are going to use. Also test the technology before you start the meeting and go with an alternative plan if one tool couldn’t work.
  • Commonplace to collaborate- If you want to take notes in a meeting and also need to share it with others,  you must go with a shared spreadsheet or some other collaborative platform.

You can use VoIP for remote teamwork and meetings. Know- Why VoIP Is Best For Remote Teams?

4. Running A Remote Meeting-

  • Experience Sharing- Remote employees can be from different states or countries. Each one will come across different experiences because of the different problems or situations to a particular geographical location. Such experiences will help your company to well tune with products and services. Experience sharing also helps to reduce the work pressure and relax the mind and increases loyalty towards your company.
  • Interactive session with an expert- It can be an engaging meeting if you include an interactive session of an expert with presentation and question-answer. Your remote team members will get an opportunity to learn new technologies or skills in the market, seek solutions to work-related issues. Expert’s advice to remote teams will help teams to improve productivity. 
  • Discuss about the latest policies- Each business needs to be updated with the latest policies announced by the government, financial institutions, trade unions, or even distributors. Sometimes your remote team may be unaware of developments, leading to incorrect judgment. Meetings for remote teams should include the details about these policies which helps employees to know about how to reshape their work for such scenarios. With this they can take action to meet the challenge and help your company to implement strategies according to latest policies governing your market.
  • Employer-employee open house- Best way to interact with remote teams is generally known as ‘open house’ sessions. Many companies organize an open house with teams. These kinds of meetings provide informal but best ways for managers to gauge team confidence. It helps remote team members to ask questions concerning your company, products and also can solve the personal issues when possible. As open house is not formal, managers and remote workers can discuss multiple issues as per team’s interest.
  • Online Quiz for remote teams- Remote team meetings should not be always serious and focussed completely upon business. You can organize online contests or quizes to make team meetings interesting and engaging. The fun filled meetings help to increase the knowledge of participants and also promote teamwork. Quizzes regarding company services and products helps employees to know more about the company, products and services. They also get an opportunity to know the issues of industry and sometimes may come to the eye opening solution.

Final words-

A skilled manager can turn challenges of remote meetings into advantages. Remote meetings require more preparation as compared to meetings at office and taking extra efforts can lead the meeting towards success. When you use this step by step guide it doesn’t matter if you’re working with a team of two or 20, you will have everything you’ll need to run a productive remote meeting.

We at solace believe in these tips to make productive and engaging meetings that directly improve the productivity of the team. We have delivered a lot of projects within the timeline by allowing remote working. Are you looking to develop software? We are here to help you through development with proficient remote teams. You can hire PHP developers and android developers of Solace team for effective web and app development. Connect with solace and get a free quote to develop an efficient and effective software. We will be happy to help you.

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