Online meetings are nothing new but with the world and workforce clearly going remote, they seem to take over a traditional way of communication and become new normal. More and more companies take advantage of modern technologies and opt for discussing things and making decisions online but not all of them are really satisfied with the productivity of those sessions.
If you have a feeling that the efficiency of your virtual meetings leaves much to be desired, here is how to optimize this important element of collaboration and take it to the next level, literally.
There is nothing worse than sitting in front of the screen and listening to the silence as the only answer to your endless “what do you think about this”. Before scheduling a meeting regardless of its type, make sure to make a plan and share it with other participants in advance. Let your employees or colleagues have enough time to generate ideas and give them a certain shape, otherwise, it is just a waste of time.
The biggest problem with online meetings is the lack of visual contact. People used to read signs of body language and pick up signals sent by facial expressions and if the video is turned off due to technical reasons, it ruins the whole story. If you feel that the communication tools you use do not serve the purpose, look for alternatives that can facilitate a seamless experience even for a big group of users. For instance, many companies have switched to Vaitel simply because their next-generation cloud services let every participant of online meetings stay engaged by connecting face-to-face. In addition to that, anyone in the meeting can present whatever they want, from documents to applications, streamlining the entire process.
Invite As Few People As Possible
Even if your tech capacities allow for a crowded virtual room, try to invite as few people as you can. No tricks here, you should give enough time to everyone who has something to say. The more people speaking, the longer the session, the less content those participants who have already finished their speech. Too long meetings are boring and exhaustive, so if you want to boost productivity, make them as shorter as possible, and one of the ways to do it is by inviting only people who really can contribute.
Avoid Status Meetings
The certain status may come with a plethora of benefits but too frequent meetings are definitely not one of them, at least from the view of the great bulk of status holders. Wittiness aside, so-called status meetings can be incredibly useful but only when they are really necessary and make sense. If you could hold them offline, at the office or, even better, at your fancy conference room, managers would not mind chatting with each other and sharing the latest news. But online is different. So, tet-a-tet is a much better variant when it comes to virtual communication.
Make Meetings Shorter
Have you heard about Parkinson’s Law? “If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do” — Cyril Northcote Parkinson. What he was trying to say is that you let work expand so as to fill all the time available until its full completion. Make it an hour and your meeting will last an hour, make it 20 minutes and all chances are, it will be finished in twenty minutes. Think of it and try to arrange shorter meetings.
Open The Meeting Room Early
When you open your meeting room just a bit earlier, you will give all the participants an opportunity to put to the test both the audio and video and make sure everything is running like clockwork at their end. Then the meeting will start exactly when it is scheduled to start and not ten minutes later because of some technical issues or other disruptions. Plus, the participants won’t be able to offer an excuse for being late. In this way, you get to accomplish more with the time given.
It Is Fine To Log Out
At the very beginning of the meeting, let everybody know that it is okay to log out when they have a feeling of not contributing to the discussion or not learning anything new or useful. There is nothing bad or rude in leaving the meeting because they still have work to be done. So, why not letting people focus on what really matters?
Once a rare thing, online meetings today are an inseparable part of our everyday business communication. Use these tried and true tips to make them efficient because productivity is key to growth and success.