How to Run a Remote Meeting
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.
If you’re running a remote meeting, you must have proper strategies and techniques to help ensure that your team members and meeting participants stay engaged with the rest of the team. Following these techniques will keep your company flowing and take advantage of the perks of having a workforce worldwide.
What Are Remote Meetings, and What Challenges Will I Face?
Online meetings are formal or informal gatherings with team members in an online setting. Remote meetings can be as small as 1-on-1’s or larger gatherings between team members. This ability to communicate, share information, and collaborate with employees is one of the most innovative additions to workforces, but they also come with a few challenges.
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.
Luckily, technology has caught up with remote workers and made it easier to enjoy time with remote team workers without sacrificing many options. The key is to be prepared for the challenges that come your way and set up tools and requirements to ensure a successful remote meeting.
Tips to Ensure Your Remote Meetings Go Smoothly
Video conferencing technology has come a long way, but video calls are more than just finding the right platform. To keep participants engaged and ensure you maximize your remote meetings, keep track of the moving parts, account for any technical issues, and follow these additional steps.
Learn the Ins and Outs of the Meeting Platform Beforehand
The worst thing a meeting host can do is hop onto a meeting without knowing how their platform works. Many meeting systems allow you to set up solo rooms or give detailed instructions on using their platform's features. Play around with these tools to understand how to share your screen and use other tools before introducing a larger group.
Make Sure Each Member Has a Clear Understanding of Their Role
A good meeting structure should keep members on the same page, and this is especially beneficial for meetings with multiple speakers and various topics. Assign jobs and roles before the meeting starts so individuals know when they’re speaking and how much time they have. It’s much easier to hash out these details beforehand, so you aren’t stuck when the meeting begins.
Keep Those Cameras On!
Face-to-face communication is necessary to ensure a meeting goes well. Sure we all have sick days or moments when we don’t want to show our face, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore establishing a good rapport with your team. Turn the camera on to get a glimpse of people's body language and reactions to your statements, and ensure full attention throughout the meeting.
Change Up the Environment For the Meetings
Meetings don’t always have to occur in your room or home office. Switch up the background by going for a run or having your meeting on a park bench outside (if you can find Wi-Fi, of course). Changing the environment provides a good view for your team members and helps ensure meetings don’t grow stale. This works great for remote team members who meet more regularly.
Keep Everyone in the Meeting Engaged
Keeping everyone in the meeting room engaged throughout can be a challenge at times, but you can find ways to ensure meeting attendees participate in the call. Take suggestions, share your screen often, ask plenty of questions, and don’t forget to make sure the meeting times don’t extend too long.
Take Advantage of Breakout Rooms
Breakout rooms are a great way to double down on the information discussed during the meeting and help teams catch up on their tasks. In addition, smaller discussions can help individuals in larger meetings engage in more profound thoughts and conversations and report back on what they learned and what they might need more clarification on.
Make Your Meetings Fun
Productivity doesn’t have to come at the expense of fun. Apply fun activities like icebreakers for new members or have teams dress up in themed outfits. This can help make meetings a lot more engaging and help your team bond and communicate in more ways than just “work.”
Run Your Remote Meetings From Flexible Office Spaces
Remote meetings are a significant part of most organizations, 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.
From conference rooms to on-demand meeting spaces, our locations in 717 Texas and Texas Tower in Houston provide access to state-of-the-art equipment that all businesses can use. Best of all, our rooms are bookable by day, hour, week, or month, meaning you can throw your team meetings in comfortable environments that make both in-person and remote attendees feel comfortable. Contact The Square today for access to our flexible office spaces and various amenities and perks your employees can enjoy with our partnership.