How To Plan And Run Remote Meetings Successfully
Remote and hybrid companies are now a reality.
If you want your company to appeal to the brightest most tech-savvy Gen Z and Millennials, you can’t expect them to be in the office 5 times a week.
This means you need to restructure your operations completely.
From solving problems to running productive meetings and communication and sharing/logistics.
As teams span across geographical boundaries, the ability to plan and run remote meetings successfully is paramount for ensuring productivity and maintaining strong team dynamics.
This article delves into the strategies and best practices that can help you navigate the world of remote meetings with finesse and achieve successful outcomes.
1. Define a clear agenda and objectives for the meeting
Every remote meeting should have a well-defined purpose.
Before scheduling the meeting, outline what you intend to accomplish.
An agenda acts as a roadmap for the meeting. It outlines topics to be discussed, time allocated for each item, and responsible participants.
Distribute the agenda before the meeting to allow participants to come prepared and contribute meaningfully.
Clear objectives provide direction and help participants understand the importance of their presence.
2. Choose the right technology
Selecting the appropriate video conferencing platform is crucial.
Consider factors such as ease of use, reliability, and the features required for your meeting’s agenda.
Test the technology beforehand to iron out any technical glitches and ensure a smooth experience for all participants.
There is a wide range of online collaboration tools.
Invest in a quality platform that has the features you need, including screen sharing, recording, and virtual backgrounds.
For example, whiteboard apps are great for brainstorming sessions and visualising concepts, while chat functions make it easy to communicate ideas in real-time.
Did you know Microsoft Teams video conferencing software enables transcription? This means all your meetings are automatically transcribed, making it easier to refer back to important information and keep everyone on the same page.
3. Determine the participant list and assign roles
Invite only those individuals whose input is necessary for achieving the meeting’s objectives.
This ensures that the discussion remains focused and relevant. Including too many participants can lead to inefficiencies and decreased engagement.
Designate roles such as a facilitator to keep the meeting on track, a timekeeper to ensure discussions stay within the allotted time, and a note-taker to capture key points and action items.
Clearly defining roles enhances meeting efficiency.
Make sure that all participants have access to the platform and familiarise themselves with its functions before the meeting.
This will ensure a smooth and productive discussion without any technical difficulties or delays.
Consider the time zones of all participants when scheduling remote meetings. Aim for a time that is convenient for the majority and avoids any unnecessary disruptions to their workday.
To keep the meeting short and sweet, set a timer before the meeting starts and make sure you stick to your allotted time so everyone can get back to their other tasks.
4. Make sure everyone is engaged
Remote meetings can sometimes feel disconnected. To combat this, encourage active participation.
Send your agenda in advance and delegate specific deliverables for each participant. This will boost engagement and teamwork during the meeting because everyone will have something valuable to contribute
Pose questions, facilitate discussions, and create opportunities for all attendees to share their insights.
This not only keeps participants engaged but also enhances the quality of the meeting.
This also allows for any concerns or questions to be addressed upfront so that everyone is clear on what is expected of them. When everyone feels engaged and included, meetings are more productive and successful.
5. Summarise and assign an action plan/next steps
Establish an action plan once the meeting is finished.
Summarise the key points discussed, assign tasks to respective individuals, and set deadlines.
This is crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what they need to do next.
Regular follow-ups check progress, address any challenges, and maintain momentum toward the meeting’s objectives.
This strategy aims to keep everyone accountable and foster a sense of teamwork and shared responsibility.
6. Gather feedback to improve future meetings
After the meeting, seek feedback from participants.
Understand what worked well and areas that need improvement. Use this feedback to continuously enhance your remote meeting process.
Running successful remote business meetings requires careful planning, utilisation of software, and, most importantly, effective communication.
Prepare for the meeting well in advance, and make sure your team knows what is expected of them. Then, when the meeting is finished, create an action plan with regular follow-ups.
This will ensure that every meeting is productive and beneficial for all participants.
By following these best practices, you can ensure that your remote meetings are not only productive but also contribute to building a strong and cohesive team, regardless of geographical constraints.