Team meetings can be the cornerstone of any excellent collaboration and bonding. In a changing world, many teams are now having to conduct remote team meetings for the first time ever, or at least for a prolonged period. Getting the most out of these interactions is critical for both productivity and mental health. If you’re worried about your remote team meetings, then consider these simple tips to help you improve.
The crux of team meetings is to share important information, provide updates, and allow people to ask for help. One of the best ways to improve your remote team meetings is with collaboration and visualization tools. Tools like Microsoft Surface Hub are great ways to engage your teams better and create a simple, virtual way to track work. These tools allow all team members an opportunity to speak to their output and also ask for help when they experience a block. By tracking tasks, stakeholders, and completions, these tools give a full-scale view of the work your team is handling. In a remote meeting, it can help to use digital tools everyone can access to feel a part of the team.
Team meetings in person will almost always have an element of social conversation. Remote team meetings should be no different. Don’t just allow your video call or teleconference to be all about business. Please make sure you allow time for people to discuss their weekends, their plans for the evening, or even share a laugh. A great way to encourage a social element is to invite everyone to join with their morning coffee. That way, you can signal that while discussing work is essential, that you can about the people as well. Virtual meetings don’t get to excuse the social elements you would normally exchange in person. Rather, you will need to work harder to make sure people have a chance to discuss non-work matters as well and have a fun virtual experience.
Rather than keeping to a set time slot, on the same day every week, consider mixing it up. The time and day that worked for in-person team meetings may not be the best time for a remote team meeting. As people find their feet working remotely, they can be more productive or contribute more at a different time. Try afternoons, mornings, the start or end of the week, and that people see the point of the meeting also. The important thing is to experiment and find the right time for your remote team meetings. Ask your individual team members for feedback as well. Letting them choose their preferred time can go a long way to gaining better engagement. Don’t be married to a one-time slot or one day, mix it up.
One of the best aspects of any team meeting is finding out what each person is working on, and it can be very easy to get swept up in individual to-do lists. Hearing what others are up to in the team can be motivating and provide an opportunity to contribute beyond your role. To improve your remote team meetings, allow each team member a week to give a short presentation on their work in whatever format they choose. The projects they are working on, or the things they are challenged by. By sharing these updates across the team, you’ll find your team has greater trust and support.
Team meetings are an incredibly productive part of any workplace, both professionally and personally. In today’s distanced world, remote team meetings are the norm. To grow the most out of your remote team meetings, try implementing these simple strategies.