Working from home presents a whole set of new challenges. Especially when conference calls and virtual Zoom meetings are involved. Here are some tips to make them as productive as possible!
Virtual meetings have become the norm lately. For me and most people who are working from home these days! Whether I'm consulting with a new branding client or meeting with The Wedding Collective, video conferencing is the easiest way to chat "face to face" without actually being face to face.
I always prefer to have important meetings in-person because I feel that it helps people express themselves more clearly, feel more comfortable asking questions, and prevents against anything getting misconstrued through text or email. But obviously in person meetings are not always viable, so video conferencing is the next best thing.
Here are some tips for making your virtual meetings as productive as possible...
If the people you're meeting with have never met before, allow everyone to introduce themselves and maybe even suggest a few ice breakers. The more comfortable people feel right off the bat the more easily they'll be able to communicate and work together effectively.
Encourage collaborative problem solving
Bounce ideas off EACH OTHER.
Tackle problems COLLECTIVELY.
Instead of reverting to everyone sharing what they've been working on on their end, try to maintain the collaborative element that you would if you were together in an office or typical work environment. One person can act as the "lead" of the meeting to raise topics or problems and then everyone can contribute an idea one by one.
Give each person time on agenda
Piggybacking on the above...plan out the meeting in advance allotting segments for all participants to have a specific amount of time to bring any ideas, problems, comments, or concerns to the table for discussion. Then, go around the group so everyone gets a chance to either ask a question/comment about the person's issue.
Kill mute Muting yourself in a virtual meeting is effectively checking out from the conversation. You wouldn't sit at a family dinner with noise cancelling headphones on and a scarf over your mouth. So the same should go for a virtual meeting where you are all coming together to be productive and collaborative with one another.
Make it a group rule from the beginning that no other tabs, programs, or side projects should be up and running while the meeting is taking place. Having a meeting online is distracting as it is since you're sitting in your own home with your kids or pets running around, so don't make it any harder than it needs to be. The meeting also be more efficient this way since you all will be more focused.
How have your 'work from home' virtual meetings been going?