Telecommuting comes with a unique set of challenges, one of the major ones is the potential for distraction and miscommunication. It’s easy for someone to lose track of the topic or simply misunderstand the discussion. It’s also possible that task allocation is not clarified due to physical distance or just missing a visual cue.
Read the top 5 things leaders should ensure to stay on track and ace remote meetings:
- Start personal – Having meetings focused wholly on to-do lists ends up isolating teams from each other – this can sap morale and reduce crucial collaboration. To promote the much needed human connection, begin remote meetings with a meaningful or fun question and include this in the agenda. This gives employees a chance to clear the air and let go of stress, ready to focus on the tasks at hand.
- Allow home and work to merge – Some working parents have children at home. If a child does interrupt the meeting, let them deal with it, repeat where you were up to and of course say hello to the child and use this as an opportunity to build human connection to encourage team productivity and gain loyalty from your team.
- Meeting distraction – An online meeting means the person can often keep their email/social media open or have visual distractions. If you think this is happening and see their eyes wandering elsewhere stop and ask “are you okay?” – this will show you are paying attention to them and that you want their full attention.
- Have a crystal clear recap – It’s crucial that you determine the next steps before closing the meeting. Have a roadmap to serve as a framework for the minutes of the meeting. Have someone capture these and circulate them quickly to all involved. It should contain immediate and long-term steps, responsibilities, deliverables with timelines and sign-offs.
- Tech check – This might seem like a given – but considering everyone’s overloading on Zoom and Chat now, it’s increasingly seen as a challenge for remote team meetings. Have a pre-identified tech lead for large meetings. Have your headsets, passwords and presentations ready to go!
Learning to ace remote meetings now will not only help you get through the next few months, but also adjust to a very likely new normal.
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