The emergence of COVID- 19 has open the eye of many business place and organization to shift meetings and events, from in-person gatherings to a more virtual implementation. Therefore, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is shaking up our world right now, business owners, employees, and stakeholders still need to have meetings, maybe now more than ever. 

These change however is not only during these unprecedentedly uncertain times, but to inspire future potential for offices and gatherings to expand their reach, engaging and empowering members and workers to connect locally and globally, especially at a time when timely research and connection are of such great importance.

So, hosting virtual meetings with remote workers is an important part of running your small business in this season. Virtual meetings can include video conferencing and audio chats via the web or phone. These meetings have unique elements that must be considered before, during, and after the meeting takes place.

You see, juggling managing remote workers and your small business responsibilities can be overwhelming. From making sure your remote works have the right systems installed on their computer to keeping everyone’s attention, here are some important things to work on during a virtual meeting.

How to Conduct a successful Virtual Meetings for Remote Workers

Make Sure They Have the Right Platform

A key aspect of any virtual meeting is the right technology. Your team must be on a reliable video conferencing system. Look for a system that offers a secure video chat, multiple users, recording capabilities, screen sharing, text chat, and file sharing. Be aware that some software may not be available in the country your remote workers are working out of. And remember that some video conferencing systems require payment per user, while others are free to use. Here are some of the best options for virtual meetings: Zoom, Blue Jean, Webinar, Skype, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting.

Provide an Alternative

For those who don’t have access to video or don’t feel comfortable with the video option, you should provide an alternative option to join the meeting. This is also a good option for third-party vendors who don’t have access to your particular video-conferencing system. Try offering an audio dial-in option or providing a phone number for the conference room you’ll be using. Make sure they are able to hear the other participants.

Set an Agenda and Agree on Remote Meeting Guidelines

If you want your scheduled remote meeting to be efficient and successful, you need to plan your agenda. remote meeting guidelines. If you want your scheduled remote meeting to be efficient and successful, you need to plan your agenda.

The best remote meetings have a session agenda [set] beforehand so that people come in knowing what it is they will be talking about. But if the meeting doesn’t have that, then you spend 15 to 20 minutes just figuring out what it is you are even trying to do.

For every virtual meeting, it’s important to create a clear meeting agenda that includes: key talking points, meeting structure (for example, when and for how long you plan to discuss each talking point), team members/teams that will be in attendance, what each team member/team is responsible for bringing to the meeting, any relevant documents, files, or research.

Give Everyone a Role

It’s way too easy to check out when you’re sitting in front of a screen. Try to include everyone by assigning different jobs: a notetaker (especially if you are working off of a shared document or screen), a timekeeper, a facilitator (to call on people based on assigned speaking order), and other tasks that need handling. If you are planning to have a lot of meetings or classes online, switch roles around so everyone has a chance to do each job.

Stay Organized

Staying organized is more important than ever when you’re leading a virtual meeting. Be sure to send out an agenda to all participants a day before the meeting starts. This will give your employees enough time to prepare. Assign someone to take minutes like you would in a face-to-face meeting. Have them email their notes to all the attendees after the meeting.

This will help you keep track of any important decisions or agreements made during your virtual meetups. It is also important to assign someone or take on the task yourself, as a moderator. The moderator is responsible for leading the meeting, keeps track to make sure everything runs according to the set agenda, and ensuring breaks are being taken during long virtual meetings.

Engage Everyone

Set aside at least two minutes per person (set a timer) for participants to share something about themselves and their situation. For example, “What is something that has gone really well for you this week?” or “What is a traditional family remedy/prevention fan or illness that you’ve been thinking about recently?” You could also use the time to see how people are feeling, both physically and emotionally, during this turbulent remedy.

Avoid Multitasking

As tempting as it may be to respond to emails or browse through your Instagram feed while on a virtual meeting (no one will notice, right??), avoid doing it. Even if you’re a master multitasker, anything you do that isn’t related to the meeting itself will prevent you from fully participating and absorbing the content. I understand that being fully present in every single meeting is difficult, especially those you feel aren’t necessary. However, for those meetings that truly matter, you should force yourself to focus on what’s being said, as if you were there in person.

Online Meeting Follow-ups

In order for a meeting to be effective, every person needs to walk out with a clear objective. The key things everyone needs to know are deliverables and next steps, who is responsible for following up on each item or task when those deliverables are due when the next meeting or check-in will be. And if you were the host, don’t forget that an important part of meeting follow-up is checking in with attendees about how well the meeting went, whether you choose to do so through a casual one-on-one conversation or by sending out a simple and anonymous feedback survey. Hearing from attendees may just give you ample ideas on how you can make future meetings even more inclusive and efficient for everyone involved.

Conclusively, there are certain things to keep in mind when conducting a virtual meeting. It is important to keep these things in mind during a team meeting via video conference.

  1. Mute your Microphone when not Speaking: Microphones on the computer can pick-up a lot more than we think. Kindly, mute your mic while others are speaking.
  1. Raise your Hand When you Want to Speak: Talking over people is never a good way to get your point across. When you’re on a video conference, be sure to raise your hand so the moderator knows you would like to add to the conversation.
  1. Be Aware of Different Time Zones: When setting a time for the virtual meeting be aware of the participant’s time zone. Try to find a time that works for the majority of participants’ workday.

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