6 secrets of remote meetings for effective remote work was provided by Thomas Simon
There are more distractions than ever during a crisis, but there are ways to minimize losses.
The monstrosity of what has been happening in the world over the past few weeks has been a distraction to those who work remotely. They are concerned about their own and others’ health, well-being, about the stability of their work, personal investments, and general economic prospects. Everybody have faced questions about care for children and home schooling, and have to think about food supplies on a daily basis. Workers have never been so distracted. And organizations seriously need to concentrate on surviving the storm.
Among other things, people who first come across remote work and learn on the fly found that there are just a lot of things around that distract and lead to misunderstandings. When there are no familiar visual clues and reminders around, it is very easy to lose track or misunderstand who is responsible for what, what and when should be done.
Fortunately, there are leaders who know how to help their teams keep up with the times. One way is to have effective remote meetings, which have now become the main way to bring employees together to communicate, make plans and discuss working together.
Here are a few steps that leaders and their teams must take in order to get the most out of remote meetings and work together in these challenging times.
Make Time for private matters
Staff participating in remote meetings are likely to focus on specific lists of tasks. This may appear to be a positive factor and increase productivity, but in fact leads to fragmentation, undermining morale, and the importance of cooperation. To feel like fullfilled people and work productively, we need to keep in touch – especially now. So each remote meeting should start with a constructive question. Allow time for each participant to have a say. This will give everyone the opportunity to clarify the situation, get rid of stress and anxiety, and then switch to the current issues. The fact that there will be less time left to discuss these issues is not scary. Studies have shown that shorter meetings actually do more good.
Let the home and work merge
Working parents are now forced to look after their children and control their home schooling, although they also spend extra time helping their companies cope with this crisis. It is therefore critical to consider random personal interruptions during remote meetings. Employees may be uncomfortable asking colleagues to repeat something they missed because they were distracted by a child. Then they can pretend to understand what they are talking about, even though this is not the case. When mixing work and family life, you can imitate informal chatter at the cooler. All this encourages team members to help each other and support each other in achieving common goals in a stressful time.
There are practices that can significantly improve remote meeting performance. There should always be a clear meeting purpose on the agenda, what to do, and when. For example, you should have a question and answer session and brainstorm for 60 minutes and then make a decision. It should also be absolutely clear who is responsible in each case for drafting and distributing the agenda (along with all background information). Time should be allocated for the workers to familiarize themselves with this information so that they can join the meeting fully prepared.
Sync & corrections
At the end of remote meetings, next steps and an implementation plan should be defined. This verbal summary could serve as the basis for a formal, more complete written summary based on detailed notes, ideally made by someone else rather than a leader. It is critical to determine before the meeting begins who will take notes and who will create and distribute the formal summary, which should include immediate and long-term steps, who is responsible for what result, and keep clear timetable. A clear understanding of these responsibilities and processes is vital in a remote environment. It is better to communicate more than necessary, but to prevent failure.
Invest in Reliable technology
You have to understand that conferencing systems do not always work as expected. Therefore, remote workers must do everything possible to ensure that technology does not interfere with meeting schedules. This means keeping passwords, headphones, etc. ready. For large and especially important meetings, where, for example, presentations are watched together, you need a technical leader: someone who will monitor the volume of the communication and who will connect to the video conference.
Keep office traditions alive
To maintain a normal work environment, try to adhere to office traditions. For example, if you are used to holding weekly pedestrian meetings, try to do the same with a conference call, walking in the park or in the backyard. If the CEO has always done a stupid mailing list for April 1, then let him do the same this time too. Remember, rituals bring comfort, help people cope with uncertainty when disturbances increase anxiety. If nothing like this has happened before, think of something new – like time for informal communication in a remote format, which is becoming more and more popular.
Knowing how to conduct remote meetings will help companies not only to survive a few difficult weeks, but also to adapt to what is likely to become the new norm: organizations and employees may want to continue to work remotely, enjoying the benefits and savings.
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