According to McLuhan & Davies Communications, after a few months navigating through this pandemic, our work environment continues to shift, and remote meetings continue to take a major role in our day-to-day lives. Putting this trend into numbers, Microsoft has seen 2.7 billion meeting minutes experienced in Microsoft Teams in one single day, and that’s just one of the conferencing platforms used.
This radical shift has proven that a lot can be accomplished remotely. However, many people are now experiencing "Zoom fatigue" and claiming that online meetings are getting tedious, draining, and unproductive. How can we make this increased use of technology for team interactions more engaging, collaborative, and effective?
1. Plan ahead Prepare a concise agenda with key items to be covered and share it with your team before the meeting. This allows participants to reflect on what is going to be discussed, formulate questions, and make better use of everyone’s time. Get savvy and leverage video, polls, whiteboards, and chats to work in your favor. Make sure you know how to use the platform well, practice and have a plan B in case anything goes wrong.
2. Help your team feel connected As a leader, you play a key role in helping participants feel comfortable with the virtual environment and connected as a team. Breaking the ice before the meeting starts, acknowledging everyone’s presence, and checking in with them personally to see how they are doing will make a big difference. At the end, thank participants for their time and show appreciation for their contribution. This will bring people together.
3. Boost Collaboration Make the meeting more inclusive by encouraging active and frequent participation. Allocate time in the agenda to ask members for their input and share potential solutions for a business challenge. Give team members a task for the meeting to keep them engaged. For instance, you can have someone taking notes, or recapping action items in the end, or assign a member to be the “agenda-guide” to ensure the team doesn’t go off track and sticks with the agenda. This will help them stay engaged and active during the meeting.
Technology is unquestionably shaping our relationships and the way we work as a team. A more engaging meeting is often a more productive one.
We hope these tips help you plan your next online meeting, improve remote contribution, and achieve better outcomes.
Let Fuse know if your organization could utilize communications training to help increase productivity.
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Photo source: Online Tech Tips