Tips For Productive Online Meetings

Woman having an online meeting next to coffee and glasses

We live in a day and age where not everyone is working 9 to 5 in an office building in the CBD. Today, more and more office workers are working from the comfort of their own home. In fact, many of them have never stepped foot into the office they “work” in. Because there are now remote workers to consider in many businesses, it’s important to remember them the next time there is a major meeting.

But, how can you ensure that an online/remote meeting is going to be beneficial to everyone involved? It may feel a bit strange at first, but when you need to have a meeting for remote workers, there are a few things to consider to ensure everyone gets the most out of your catch up.

Have a clear agenda

Just like any standard meeting, a meeting with an agenda is a good meeting. Having a clear agenda for your meeting means that you can stay on track and ensure no time is wasted on confusion and vague messages. Preparing a formal agenda may feel overwhelming, but if you happen to have minutes for your past meeting, the agenda for your current meeting will be made simpler. Provide the agenda to those attending so that people can prepare questions and notes for the meeting.

Prepare your systems ahead of time

Whether you’re using Google Hangouts, or even plain old Skype, you need to ensure everyone understands how to access the meeting and is comfortable doing so. Choose a place to hold the meeting that works well for you and your business. Skype may be sufficient for your business or you may prefer something a bit more hip like Discord. Whichever program you choose, make sure it’s one that your whole team can download ahead of time for the meeting and understands how to use it.

Act like you’re in a real-life meeting

Even though some participants may be on the other side of the country or world, it’s important to treat it just like any other meeting. Don’t get distracted by checking emails or flicking through your Facebook feed during the meeting. By staying attentive to those in the meeting, you’ll be able to get the most out of the meeting. Encourage participants to do the same and to respect others by giving them their full attention.

Keep it engaging

One way to keep people from playing Fortnite whilst they’re meant to be in a meeting is to keep the meeting engaging. Although it may feel a bit harder when you’re not in the same room as everyone else, you can hold people’s attention a little better by involving them in the meeting. Encourage questions and talk to others as though having a friendly discussion. Screen-sharing is also a great way to show your message, rather than just talk about it.

Prepare your space

Although working from home has benefits, when it comes to attending a meeting at home it’s important to prepare your space well. Whether it’s the kids or your cats and dogs you have at home, distractions are bound to happen. But, we can still try to prevent these little incidents by trying to make use of a quiet environment and using headphones can help eliminate audio feedback. If possible, having a quick test run on the software you’re going to use may also help you to be prepared.

Take notes

It can be easy to forget what happens in a meeting, even more so if you’re working remotely. One of the easiest methods to ensure you make the most out of your meetings is to take notes. Whether it’s using a notepad or simply typing on your computer during the meeting, notes can help you to stay engaged, stay focused and remember anything important that is brought up during the meeting. If possible, having a minute-taker available can also ensure everyone is on the same page. It’s also a great way to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities for the next meeting.

Whether you’re holding an online meeting or attending one, you’ll be able to make the most of your meeting with a few simple tweaks. Setting the stage for a better meeting will ensure all workers, including remote staff, will feel included in your next catch-up.

For help with all matters relating to minute-taking or to hire an independent minute-taker for your business or organisation, get in touch with Meetings Into Minutes today.