person writing on notebook attending virtual meeting
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In the workplace, at least a lot of workplaces, meetings can get out of control. Meetings are called when there isn’t a meeting needed. The year of 2020 was the year we found out which meetings could actually be an email instead of a meeting.

That was the best 2 days of the working world.

Then online meetings became all the rage. Even when a phone call would do, it became a video conference.

Zoom. Webex. OneTeam. Google Meet.

Inefficient meetings became the norm again.

The Workplace Has Changed Forever

The reality is, a lot of workplaces went remote March of 2020 due to the pandemic. Although some of those businesses have brought people back into the office, some offices have shifted their workers to permanent remote workers.

Prior to the pandemic, 3.6 % (5 million) of American workers were remote workers. That number has increased due to the pandemic. Studies show that companies are going to allow some remote work (2 or more days a week) into the future.

This trend means that not all of your employees are going to be in the office at the same time. Which means that online meetings are the way of the future.

Meetings in general are typically ineffective and seem to waste some time. However, meetings can’t be ditched completely.

Here are 8 To-Do’s for an effective virtual meeting:

1. Set guidelines for the online meeting.

Do you require everyone to be on camera? Using video allows for that missing component in phone calls…body language. You can see if people are engaged and paying attention when you have a video call. This will provide for enhanced communication. Think through what you want your meetings to look like, and communicate that.

2. Send out an agenda and any read outs.

This allows for all participants to know what to expect from the meeting and takes away ambiguity.

3. Technology

Make sure your team has all the technology they need and that it is working properly for them before you utilize video meetings consistently.

4. Set the expectation that everyone needs to pay attention and to minimize distractions.

Seems pretty straightforward, but often there are more distractions when employees work at home than the office. State all expectations at the beginning of the meeting.

5. At the beginning of the meeting, check in with your team.

This gives everyone the chance to connect with each other, either professionally or personally.

6. Give each person a chance to share opinions if the meeting includes problem solving.

7. Utilize breakout rooms.

If you have a large number of attendees in your meeting, and you are trying to solve a problem or need a brainstorming session, utilizing the breakout room feature is a great tool. It gives more people a chance to participate and then you can bring everyone back together to hear ideas.

8. Wrap Up

Wrap up your meeting just as you would in person. Go over any tasks to be completed by team members before the next meeting and make sure everyone is clear on any assignments.

Although virtual meetings are not as appreciated as face-to-face meetings, this is a great way to engage your staff for the meetings in your organization and allow your remote workers to participate in meetings when they are off site.

I empower business leaders, creatives, and entrepreneurs to develop their leadership skills, develop workflows that are beneficial for them, and to create work-life integration so they live a life they love. Set up a free 30 minute consult if you are ready to up your leadership game. Click Here.

If you are a leader or emerging leader who wants to lead with meaning and purpose, then let’s connect. Join me at the Emerging Leaders Network (a community on Facebook) community designed for leaders to collaborate on best practices and discuss issues to become great leaders.

Stephanie German is a leadership coach and consultant, author, and adjunct professor. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and loves giving back to her community in a variety of ways. When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. Stephanie’s greatest desires are to raise up the next generation of leaders while raising her own children to be strong, independent, and brave. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the best-selling author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?

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