In Part 1 of this blog, we offered five tips relating to how the right preparation is essential when running remote meetings. In Part 2, we offer five more tips relating to best-practice during your meeting to help you drive efficiency and provide a more productive environment.
6. Invite the right people
This seems like an obvious point to make, whether dealing with online on in-person meetings, however, for remote meetings, it is probably even more important given issues such as latency and background noise that may seem more severe if too many attendees are invited to your meeting.
We suggest only inviting stakeholders directly affected by your subject, who will contribute, and who can either support or lead decision-making. It’s also essential to know who is leading the meeting, and ensure this person is responsible for keeping the meeting on time and focused.
Finally, ensure that everyone attending the meeting introduces themselves so it’s clear who is on the call, this will also allow the meeting chairperson to ensure all attendees are contributing.
7. Have clear meeting roles
As above, ensuring the right people attend the meeting is essential but also that all attendees know in advance what is expected of them. You already have your meeting chairperson, and hopefully, a clear agenda sent out, but it helps with your meeting efficiency to let each attendee know what they are expected to contribute.
Perhaps they will be required to communicate data or material, make a decision on behalf of their team, or submit ideas in a brainstorm session. Having roles defined in advance helps to hold attendees accountable and recognise their contributions.
One piece of etiquette that is always advisable is to encourage attendees to join meetings before the scheduled meet time. Whether you’re running the meeting or just attending it, it wastes valuable meeting time when attendees spend the first few minutes troubleshooting technical issues or even disrupt a meeting that has already begun by joining late.
8. Keep it human
One of the things we hear repeatedly is that remote work has seen us lose out on all-important ‘water cooler’ moments in our daily routine, whether that is exchanging work ideas on downtime, or even just socialising with colleagues.
Why not set aside some time at the start meeting, so these social moments can take place as part of your agenda, rather than sporadically throughout the meeting, with the potential to disrupt the flow of the session.
Aside from helping keep your schedule on track, it’s important to remember that employees’ mental wellbeing and job satisfaction are always improved by checking in with colleagues – and a happy employee is a productive employee.
9. Take turns contributing
Successful remote meetings rely heavily on engagement, so it’s vital for the meeting chairperson to provide everyone the opportunity to contribute in a structured way. Two common issues with remote video meetings or conference calls are either having participants not engaging in discussion or having everyone trying to talk over one another. Take turns contributing, specifically taking the time to seek out the input of those quieter attendees, and encouraging dialogue.
10. Avoid rescheduling
A meeting is a commitment and rescheduling or cancelling last minute is generally to be avoided. Given that attendees may have more meetings in their diaries when they are unable to meet face-to-face, it may be difficult to reschedule – especially if you have many required attendees.
However, sometimes this is unavoidable, so what is important is how you go about it. Ensure you communicate clearly why the meeting has been cancelled or provide multiple options for when your rescheduled meeting may take place. What you shouldn’t do is just move the meeting invite in the diary without warning or explanation.