COVID-19 is affecting companies all around the globe and nearly all companies have already implemented work from home plans. As companies start to make this switch, it is important to continue to conduct business as usual, as best as possible. In order to do this, we recommend that whenever possible, meetings should be conducted via video. Virtual meetings help you maintain contact, relationships, and human interactions and also helps keep everyone focused during the meeting.
We have a few tips on how to make the most of your video meetings:
- Choose the right technology. Test all your technology before the first meeting. We recommend logging on a few minutes before to make sure everything will run smoothly. You would not want to be struck with technical glitches or delays, so testing the connectivity of your webcam, audio, internet, and all sites before the meeting is important. Apps like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Webex are great to use to conduct your virtual meetings.
- Choose the right environment. It is important to give some thought about what is around you when you are about to participate in a virtual meeting, including your background. It is best to choose a plain wall and a quiet location to minimize distractions for both you and the other attendees during your meeting.
- Set a clear agenda. In order to have a successful meeting, setting an agenda is very important to set expectations. Send the agenda to all attendees ahead of time so they have time to prepare. Your agenda should include key talking points, meeting structure, team members, responsibilities, and all relevant documents needed.
- Come prepared. Once the agenda is set, make sure you come prepared to the meeting. If you have a meeting set up with a client, for example, it is best to discuss and prepare with your team members and technical staff prior to the virtual meeting. This will help avoid miscommunication, delays, disconnections, and talking over each other.
- Minimize distractions. Staying focused is key when conducting virtual meetings. Turning off your cell phone and all notifications will help reduce any distractions you may get during a video meeting. Also, it is best to avoid working on other tasks or texts during a video meeting. Give your meeting your full attention and engage with all attendees, just as you would if you were sitting across a conference table from one another.
- Sending documents and screen sharing. Make sure to send all important and relevant documents before your meeting. Screen sharing is also a great technique to use when trying to ensure all attendees are viewing the same material at the same time.
- Casual conversations. Make time for casual conversations. In light of COVID-19, many people are stressed and it is important to take a step back from work to ask your team or clients how they are doing during this time. This will help keep team spirit up!