Planning Remote Meetings

It is best to use software that is easy for all team members to set up and access.

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Once a decision is taken to hold a meeting. Deciding on what software and tools to use to get maximum effectiveness is crucial. It is best to use software that is easy for all team members to set up and access. The person holding the meeting should ensure that there is a proper connection and a working microphone ahead of the meeting.

Next you send out invitations to the team members, accompanied by an agenda. The shared agenda should be clear and well thought out. It should also be- sent out in good time so no time is wasted in the actual meeting. This gives participants time to prepare ahead of the meeting.  

When participants have clarity on the meeting topics beforehand, they are well prepared. They don’t need to do this while the meeting is taking place and this saves time. The leader should always come to the meeting prepared also, by sticking to the agenda as far as possible.

As the meeting lead, you have to set the standards for the meeting. For example, how you need the participants to behave. It’s important for everyone to be respectful of each other’s time and to give the meeting their full attention. There should be rules set up by the team leader on acceptable behaviour during meetings. The meeting should be recorded and afterward minutes can be drawn up. And sent out along with the recording to the meeting attendees.

A decision has to be made on who is going to facilitate the meeting. Connections are harder to build online because of physical distance. So a greater effort is needed from the meeting facilitator.

Schedule your meeting for a specific start and end time. So people know the timeframe within which they have to work. To avoid wasting time – shorter is always better. It is always best to try and avoid having Friday afternoon meetings. As people are in the weekend mode at that time and less likely to remain engaged. Remember when a meeting is called it interrupts the work of your team members. So make sure that their time is not wasted.

The location of members has to be considered when setting meeting days and times. Especially for those in different time zones. It is important to find a time that is convenient for everyone. The leader’s job is to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to contribute in the meeting. That people don’t speak over one another and that everyone is engaged. It is also good to leave time at the end of the meeting for members of the team to catch up.

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