Updated: 16 February 2023
With employers encouraging remote work during the pandemic, communicating and coordinating with colleagues and employees proved challenging. The viable solution was to conduct virtual team meetings such as large conference calls or web conferences. Virtual town hall meetings continue to be vital to organizations. Both small businesses and big corporations can utilize them for a number of different functions.
And so, it’s imperative that you do things right in these meetings. You need to ensure that every meeting is fruitful and productive and that it is helping your day-to-day business operations.
Ask yourself: is this meeting about something urgent? Does it involve the executives? Can it be discussed through emails instead? Are you merely giving an update about something? Consider these things the next time you think about holding a virtual meeting.
Not everyone has to be in your meeting. If your participant list is full of people who don’t have direct involvement with the topic or issue at hand, it’s best to leave them out of the meeting. It will be inefficient to have unnecessary participants in the meeting.
Work with a large conference call service that provides a range of conferencing solutions for virtual team meetings. If you work for a big corporation, you’ll need a service that can handle audiences even up to the thousands. International access is also a great feature if you have remote workers across the globe. Be sure the tools help you communicate and collaborate effectively.
Cybercrime continues to rise, and cybersecurity will be one crucial factor you can expect this year for conferencing. This means you must also be vigilant with your own large conference calls. Make sure your conferencing service and your communication tools are secure. You can also set up extra guidelines and precautions so that every meeting is private.
Virtual meetings can easily divert from one topic to another. This will lead to disorganized discussion and can prevent you from coming up with the right decisions. An agenda sent beforehand can help everyone stay on track. The listed items will be the highlights and points of discussion. With this, distractions can be avoided. Having a facilitator or a moderator throughout the meeting is also encouraged.
Don’t let one person monopolize the meeting. Encourage others to speak up and engage with the whole team. Let them provide insights, ask for updates, share suggestions, and more. This fosters sharing and collaboration among your team. You also have the chance to keep everyone engaged and focused during the meeting.
Working remotely with team members in different parts of the country or the world can be a setback for your virtual team meetings. One thing you should always be practicing is checking time zones. Consider the time of your meeting and ensure it’s not too early or too late for some. You can even use tools like World Time Buddy to easily convert between time zones and pick the best time for your meeting.
Don’t let your meetings end without any clear steps or actions. Check that every item on your agenda has a corresponding action decided by the team and that every issue or concern has a solution. If you don’t have any next steps at the end of the meeting, then it could be a sign that you didn’t achieve your purpose and your meeting was unproductive.
It’s best to keep these conference calls or web conferences short so you don’t disrupt your employees’ daily routines and workflows. Lengthy meetings may be ineffective and can distract your employees from what they do best. Keep it short and straight to the point.
Before ending the meeting, set aside some time for final questions. This is the team’s time to ask for clarifications and raise related issues or concerns. This way, you can wrap everything up and ensure that all discussion points are clear to everyone. Unnecessary follow-up meetings can also be minimized.
Your virtual team meetings can be smooth and effective if you put in the effort. Here are a couple more simple things you can do: