Tips To Make Your Remote Meetings Productive

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( — October 7, 2021) —

As the digital workplace enters a new reality, with additional physical barriers between suppliers, partners, and employees across countries, continents, and offices, it is crucial for organizations to sustain and boost communication levels to run their business smoothly. As a result, remote meetings are becoming paramount.

Here is a round-up of some effective and practical tips to conduct remote meetings to make them productive and ensure business continuity when companies operate remotely.

Leverage the right tools

Remote meetings greatly rely on various tools for efficient and seamless collaboration and communication. As a result, it is paramount to include a mix of powerful tools via multiple platforms to structure your brainstorming session.  

Your primary goal should be to ensure a comfortable environment like physical brainstorming sessions that often come from leveraging various solutions simultaneously. You can also leverage an online brainstorming tool that is well suited according to your business needs.

Some of these tools include the following:

●      Mind maps. Collaboration tools like mind maps improve communication and productivity in a meeting. It expands and captures the ideas that are coming up, encouraging creativity, and promoting brainstorming. You can better gather and collate ideas via mind maps during a meeting, helping you come up with effective solutions

●      Video meeting solutions. A business specialist’s survey indicates that 96% of the individuals consider video conferencing as highly effective for enhanced connection amongst all the members in the meeting. Virtual session platforms enable more interaction and engagement among participants, and this is what is crucial for brainstorming

●      Virtual whiteboards. This tool is exclusively designed for online brainstorming, which offers a canvas where all your remote participants can share their ideas

Get to know the members 

A productive meeting begins with a brilliant ice-breaking activity and a clear understanding of the participants you are dealing with. Therefore, it is essential to guarantee that you include the right combination of people who join the virtual meeting and add value.

Conduct brainstorming sessions with participants in different departments of your company for different perspectives. Make sure you understand their outlook as individuals to provide them with the environment and tools that enhance their productivity. 

Furthermore, you can also boost their productivity by establishing a virtual meeting only if needed and refining its schedule.

Mostly, remote meetings exacerbate personal and cultural differences. Therefore, you should be mindful of the meeting organizer. And since all remote session meetings are not created equal, it is important to incorporate a diverse approach for each one as per members’ needs.

It is paramount to take care of every employee and the business needs simultaneously.

Break the ice

Virtual sessions can be uncomfortable, particularly for the shy and introverted ones who find it challenging to talk, provided that several people attend it. As a result, even if you have established the teams, it is crucial to find the most effective technique to get the session going. 

Think of engaging and interactive but small activities for ice-breaking that will set the right environment for the session and encourage open discussions and brainstorming. In addition, such activities lower the guard of teams, specifically for the more reserved participants to easily exchange their ideas with others. 

Here are some ways to incorporate this technique.

●      Bulletin board for the bucket list. You can create a bulletin board for the “bucket list” and ask the participants to scribble down something on their bucket list. In addition, introduce a board for collaboration asking the members a topic-specific query and motivate them to jot down their answers.

●      Bulletin board for humor. You can increase interaction by adding more humor and creating a bulletin board for humor in the workplace. Start with an empty board on Monday mornings. The members can voluntarily write hilarious stuff on the board. Then, you can award the exceptionally well employee a scrapbook.

Arranging ice-breaking activities for employees is an excellent way to make all your remote meetings fruitful while ensuring the members, including introverts, are contented. It is also good to inform your team of such activities to better prepare them mentally.

Know yours and others’ roles

Each participant must have a particular role in the session that should be well-defined for success. Although every brainstorming session is different, it is vital to include the respective parts to conduct a productive meeting:

●      Collator. As participants bring various ideas to the table, it is essential to list them, or you can also use mind maps throughout the conference to brainstorm. Someone should gather and organize all these resources that might come up in the forum to efficiently leverage them afterward

●      Leader. This individual will be liable to make the meeting work and keep it functioning by including everyone. As you are conducting the virtual session, it’ll be your responsibility

●      Timekeeper. It is important for every meeting to have a proper structure to make sure that it doesn’t extend much over time, and every critical point gets covered. You can take over this responsibility yourself, request a colleague, or leverage some good time tracking tool

Wrapping up

Companies are increasingly relying on innovative solutions during these uncertain times. As remote working becomes the norm, businesses are faced with unique and novel challenges. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your meetings are effective, well-run, and inclusive to build a team, reduce frustration and boost productivity in these trying times.