Virtual meetings: 10 best practices for remote teams

For example, encourage people to use the chat function to ask questions or rotate who leads the meeting. Use humor and informality to get people talking, but just like in-person meetings, don’t force anyone to speak or put anyone on the spot. So use team meetings to cement relationships, get people talking and provide a space for all-way communication, especially during a time of crisis. But in addition, decide as a team that you are going to disagree, talk about the elephant in the room, make tough decisions and keep moving forward through this crisis. Engagement is especially challenging in remote meetings where participants are often distracted or multitask. Research has shown that using video is one of the easiest ways to keep people engaged.

However, how we choose to speak and hold ourselves in an online setting is just as important as how we conduct ourselves in person. Virtual meetings are online gatherings powered by specialized video conferencing software and meeting tools. They let dispersed teams scattered across different regions and time zones work together through video conferencing technology, without needing to meet in person.

Consider video from the remote participant perspective.

Focus on improving the online conference experience for all employees. Ask yourself, what would you expect to experience as an attendee? If you consider all of these, running a great virtual meeting will be far easier than you thought.

how to run a successful remote meeting

They typically won’t take you up on it, but they will appreciate being asked. Of course, some remote teams are large, and it would consume a lot of time if all the participants were to introduce themselves. In that case, the meeting leader and attendees who will handle topics on the agenda should introduce themselves. Therefore, schedule ten to fifteen minutes of introduction to engage the attendees during the meeting. If you wait for everyone to log onto the platform to start the meeting, you will waste time.

A post-it may need placement on a wall chart, or a poker chip placed on a table as part of a resource allocation exercise. You might like it, or you might hate it, but remote work is here to stay. It provides plenty of benefits for employees and can also help employers access talent in locations previously thought of as too far away. But having a remote workforce isn’t as simple as hopping on a few calls and hoping for the best.

Add a relevant question to your introductions to build relationships. For example — if working on a project for designing custom wedding invitations, you might ask participants to introduce themselves and describe what kind of wedding guest they are. Participants could be coming from other meetings, heads down work time, or even from dropping off a kid who missed the bus. Give folks a little bit of time to transition into the right headspace. While you can’t assign seating, as you might at a dinner party, you can help folks get in the right mindset for collaboration. Having a clear purpose and objective for a meeting goes a long way toward helping folks prepare.

How To Run A Successful Virtual Meeting

For one, remote meetings are very different from meeting in a conference room or some other centralized location. Online sessions make reading body language and emotions harder, and technical and connectivity issues may make deciphering important information difficult. Workforces around the world might have trouble navigating different time zones and regions, and individuals working from home can be easily distracted from their work. Additionally, organizations emphasizing strong company cultures may find replicating this in a remote environment difficult.

how to run a successful remote meeting

Virtual or remote meetings come with their own challenges. Below, we go through the steps you should take to conduct a successful remote meeting every time. Successfully running a digital meeting can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. When you work with an in-person team, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the day to stop, chat, and connect. One study found that workers who shared a funny or embarrassing story about themselves with their team produced 26% more ideas in brainstorming sessions than workers who didn’t. And the benefits of having a best friend at work have also been well documented.

strategies for running effective remote meetings

That’s because we’ve designed our virtual meeting rooms to maximize opportunities for team participation and communication. Collaboration is essential if you want to see concrete results from remote work. That’s why it’s so important to be able to easily share files and apps in your online meetings. Document your meetings to ensure they result in action after everyone logs out. Designate someone as a note taker during the meeting, or have someone jot down minutes on a Google Doc or sticky note within your virtual meeting room.

Team leadership Support managers with the tools and resources they need to lead hybrid & remote teams. Working from home these days due to the Coronavirus pandemic? Then participating in online meetings must be part of your daily routine. Let us know some of the best practices your team uses to keep things productive. And for remote teams, it’s the one thing that helps keep everyone aligned no matter where they are.

how to run a successful remote meeting

The best idea to make online meetings fun and interesting is to plan games and activities during breaks. Morning meetings should start with icebreakers to freshen up the participants. In addition, the host should provide breaks during the meetings and play games that ensure team building and collaboration among attendees. Remote meetings are a significant part of most organizations, how to run a successful remote meeting but there are more ways to leverage your environment to ensure successful remote meetings and overall team continuity. Partnering with The Square gives your team access to flexible office spaces that give your team a location to host all your meetings. When working or interacting online, it’s easy to forget the importance of body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

Ways to Run Productive Remote and Hybrid Meetings

Depending on the culture at your place of work, you might need to set some rules about video and what people should wear. Don’t forget about the appreciation and motivation that should keep coming from managers/peers, even for small acts of success. Given the current state of the world, many meetings will begin with everyone touching base about what’s going on. But be aware of the fatigue that can create in certain geographies.

  • She leads initiatives such as influencer marketing, SEO management, and social media to name a few.
  • Include a list of the digital tools you’ll be using in the meeting to give participants time to familiarize themselves with them beforehand and if necessary create logins.
  • Or call us today to find out more about everything we have to offer.
  • So, dress appropriately, arrive on time, and close irrelevant tabs.
  • By framing agenda items as questions, you have a better sense of who really has to be invited to the meeting.
  • When working remotely, it’s also good to consider the cadence of these meetings.
  • You can also display the agenda on a projector screen or whiteboard during the meeting to keep everyone on the same page.

To keep the members engaged, the host should ask questions. This approach is better for meetings where the host has to provide information. Short introductions are a part of some remote meeting best practices because they are the first step to keeping members engaged and involved. The host can start by introducing themselves, like sharing their name, job title, and why they are there.

Sometimes two people can’t come to an agreement during a 45-minute meeting. You can take an issue with a colleague into a private video chat after. For more tips on this, check out our advice for solving remote disagreements. Research-based insights can improve your remote meetings and keep participants engaged. Today, every manager needs to know how to run a successful remote team meeting. From Zoom and Teams to WebEx, there is no shortage of remote meeting tools and platforms.

Join our FREE community and get answers to your questions about facilitation and workshops

Run more effective, more efficient team and individual remote meetings and keep your team better connected. While remote meetings have the obvious benefit of allowing people to connect from anywhere, they also come with unique challenges. Fortunately, these difficulties can be overcome if you know how to prepare for them. To make your next remote meeting a success, try these 13 strategies from the members of Forbes Coaches Council.

Conclude and follow up

For example, if you need to poll the group, use a phone-based survey tool like Poll Everywhere to collect everyone’s input in real time. This puts remote participants on an equal footing, versus a show-of-hands or relying on verbal feedback. To capture meeting notes, use an online whiteboard so everyone can see what’s being written as it happens. Nothing kills a meeting’s momentum like waiting to fix a glitch in the audio or video.

Monthly or quarterly progress meetings are a way to check in on initiatives, sales, or whatever goals your team has. Give each stakeholder 5-10 minutes to update the team on progress towards goals, roadblocks, successes, and failures. Leave at least 15 minutes at the end of the meeting for questions and to confirm goals and initiatives for the following period. Once the remote meeting is over, follow up on a specific list of action items and deliverables that were discussed during the meeting.

We’ve all been in one of those meetings that were far too short to cover everything that needed to be discussed. Although each type of meeting may be run differently, they require an objective. As a leader, you must differentiate between the need for essential communications versus the need to call a strategic meeting to accomplish an important goal .

Or, it might mean an activity you planned will no longer be effective. While it can be tempting to continue on with the activities you worked hard to plan, a smart pivot will help keep you on track. Call out the new information and how it could change the approach. Not addressing it will have participants leaving feeling unaccomplished.