Scheduling and carrying out effective meetings can be a challenge for any remote team. Not only do you have to overcome scheduling and technology conflicts, but you must be careful to use your time slots wisely. Luckily, you can do several things to ensure your meetings are successful and your team doesn’t constantly dread them. Here are five tips for running effective virtual meetings:
1. Keep the Meetings Short
Did you know the average meeting is between 31 and 60 minutes and that since the year 2000, the length of time employees spend in meetings has increased approximately 10 percent each year? Long meetings leave employees unengaged and inattentive. Remote employees often particularly struggle — distractions are everywhere and nobody is hovering around to keep them on task. To prevent this, aim to keep each meeting under 30 minutes.
2. Stay on Point
It can be easy to stray off topic and discuss a new movie or a show one of your employees recently enjoyed. However, these both waste your employees’ time and cost you money. In fact, companies spend more than $37 billion each year on unproductive meetings. When you keep meetings short and on topic, employees can get back to work quickly, helping you make more money.
3. Only Include Necessary Individuals
Does every employee actually need to attend each meeting? Will an email suffice for some? While many remote employees want to stay up to date with the latest company news, they also don’t want their time wasted with irrelevant information. In addition, they can become distractions during meetings, making the time even more unproductive.
4. Give Each Person a Chance to Talk
Even though you try to stay on topic as much as possible, a certain employee may like to dominate the conversation or ask questions that don’t pertain to the rest of the group. Structure your meetings so you can deliver all important and necessary information at once — with no interruptions. Then, near the end, give each individual two to three minutes to ask questions, raise concerns, provide updates, etc.
5. Find Other Ways to Deliver Information
Finding a time that works best for everyone, preventing technology glitches, etc. can make you want to scream. Good news — there are other methods for distributing information to employees. For example, make a video, create a podcast, or send a weekly newsletter to inform your remote team of any changes or company news. Deliver information creatively; don’t always resort to long, drawn-out meetings.
Strong communication is essential to ensure your entire remote team is on the same page, but long, unstructured meetings are not the answer. Use the above tips to create meetings that effectively distribute information in a timely manner.
Author: Alisiana Peters
Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.