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As outsourcing, consulting and of course, remote working become a growing phenomenon in modern workplaces, it changes the way teams work and collaborate drastically. How do you increase the productivity of this increasing out-of-office workforce? One of the biggest challenges faced by SMBs around remote work is how to make team meetings more efficient and productive. Overcoming communication barriers isn’t easy when the meetings aren’t face-to-face in a conference room, but instead have to be conducted with teams who are thousands of miles apart.
Remote meetings are part of the solution but not the whole solution. Here’s why: First of all, team managers need to accept the fact that the same rules don’t apply to a conference meeting as against a remote meeting. There needs to be a change in perception that the former is more productive than the remote ones. Remote meetings are just as regular as the office ones; if conducted in a proper, efficient manner. Second of all, with the right remote meeting tools or remote meeting software, you won’t even be able to tell the difference.
We have listed a few tips to make remote meetings more effective:
1. Build a check list of your communication tools
Prior to even thinking of conducting a remote meeting, why don’t we make a list of what all we need to have a proper one? It can be a good video conferencing software for discussing and brainstorming the next marketing campaign. Or how about 'screen sharing' if you need everyone to watch a quarterly presentation in real time? And don’t forget team messaging functionality if you want to share that reference webpage by IM (instant messaging). If you have assessed the right tools or even combined a few of them to suit your requirements, you can run remote meetings successfully by leveraging the technology. So what are you waiting for? Get started with your checklist now!
2. Set up remote meeting guidelines
Setting up some ground rules can help build a positive remote meeting culture at your enterprise in the long run. Imagine this - if you have one team in Belarus while the other one in Portland, as a project lead it’s your responsibility that the teams get to know each other, break the ice and build an external rapport that carries over into meetings. This isn’t easy when the time zones are different and so are the cultures or backgrounds.
That’s why laying a common foundation is so important. Ensure that your virtual teams meet regularly, even for short chats or connecting over something as simple as wishing a team member on his/her birthday. Sharing meeting agendas in advance, completing before-the-meeting preparation in time, reviewing the team work before the meeting commences and also allowing your remote teams to develop questions and curiosities of their own are few of other rules that can keep your remote meetings productive. Check out thishow-to guide to effectively lead virtual team meetings for more tips. From getting comfortable over meeting online to making your remote workers feel like they are an integral part of your team, you can gradually help lay a structure that sets up the pace of remote meetings.
3. Avoid distractions and tech problems
Since meeting participants are usually alone during remote meetings, distractions can occur easily. Checking your emails/social media/messages, eating or noisy objects in the background- can disturb the flow and result in inattentiveness. Conducting your remote meetings against a clean background in a spot with less noise, or even pre-testing your internet and meeting equipment can solve some of the remote meeting problems. The best solution would be to schedule meetings far in advance as much as possible - because the more notice everyone has, the less likely are the conflicts.
4. Hold remote meetings that work
…And cancel the ones that don’t. Not all remote meetings can be run successfully. With time, you will be able to assess and figure out which team meetings go smoothly and which ones need more tweaking. Though not rocket science, remote meetings need a definite structure, great time and efforts to test-run their effectiveness and necessity. Keeping everyone engaged while creating a more inclusive remote meeting space may take some work on your part but when done right, it’ll evidently power up your remote teams’ productivity and business efficiency.
Planning on improving your remote meetings? The market is flooded with various remote meeting software, free collaboration tools and hardware but all we need is that one inclusive solution that makes remote collaboration smooth and easy. Introducing Bria Teams Pro – a powerful team collaboration solution that enables HD video and audio conferencing with screen sharing capabilities for up to 200 participants in a secure virtual room. From its rich hosting capabilities to integrated team chat features, meeting recording, web meeting and more, Bria Teams Pro allows you to conduct remote meetings seamlessly and helps boost team productivity. Working with distributed teams has never been so easy! Elevate your remote meeting experience by signing up for a free 30-day Bria Teams Pro trial: