Remote meetings are expected to become much more frequent from now on, as we are almost all confined at home. Furthermore, it is unlikely that everything will return to exactly the way it was before the pandemic.
Technologies that prove to be efficient can now be adopted on a much larger scale, even when everything returns to relative normality.
A well-organized remote meeting can be an excellent working tool in any circumstances. After all, it brings together people around the world saving time and money, and it has the potential to be even more productive than a face-to-face meeting.
In the remote form, participants tend to be more objective and focused on the subject that should be discussed, leaving those informal conversations for another time.
Making productive remote meetings
In order to have productive remote meetings, however, it is necessary to take some precautions, preparing the computer, the content and the environment in advance.
This avoids problems and reduces stress, especially for those who are not used to working in the home office and need to adapt to many changes at the same time. Is it your case?
Take a deep breath, follow the recommendations below and relax, because everything will be fine.
Choose the right tools
A successful remote meeting begins with choosing an appropriate tool. This choice basically depends on the number of meeting participants, the purpose of the conversation and the quality of your internet connection.
This is a simple type of remote meeting. Some widely used tools for this are Google’s Hangouts Meet and Zoom. In this type of video call, participants receive a link in advance to participate in the meeting.
At the agreed time, they just need to click on that link and connect. With these tools, it is easy to interact with all participants and share screen.
This is the simplest type of remote meeting and can be done only in audio or video. The audio-only option is ideal for connections that are not very good.
It can be done by cell phone or by free platforms like Skype or Hangouts itself, with the option of leaving the camera on or off. For it to be efficient, however, it is necessary to limit the number of participants. Otherwise, the conversation can become a mess.
If you need something more sophisticated to make a presentation to several people using a screen or a flip chart, perhaps the best tool is the video conference. With it, attention is centered on you and the interaction of other participants is more restricted.
However, videoconferencing requires a set of equipment consisting of a camera, microphone and projector, in addition to a fast and stable internet connection.
Prepare everything in advance
The first step in preparing for the meeting in advance is to set an appropriate date and time for all participants. When everyone is in the same time zone, the challenge is not so great.
Still, it is necessary to check everyone’s availability to ensure that the conversation is carried out in the best way – without anyone having to divide their attention between two appointments or be tense to finish soon and move on to the next.
Find the best place
The second step is to define where you will be staying during the meeting. The ideal is a bright and quiet place, especially if the meeting is by video, but we know that this is not always possible.
So choose the best spot available and be careful with the background – a sink full of dishes or a bed that is not a good option.
Check the equipments
It is also very important to check your equipment and connection before the meeting. If possible, take the test with someone in the house (on another computer, of course) or a close colleague. Check that everything is going well – including webcam, microphone and sound.
When all goes well, remote meetings are often faster and more objective than face-to-face meetings. Therefore, it is essential to define well the topics that should be discussed.
Usually, there is not that time of conversation about football or traffic between one subject and another. Furthermore, with everything organized, no one is distracted.
Organize interactions and have a plan B
During the meeting, it is important that everyone can interact, if applicable. Right at the beginning it is worth asking each participant to speak only on their turn. Video calling tools often switch the large image on the screen between participants.
The focus is always on whoever is speaking at that moment. This facilitates interaction, but a good deal of organization between everyone is necessary to keep the conversation productive.
Finally, as the distance meeting depends on several factors – the connection of all the participants, including – it is good to leave a combined plan B among all. If the video call doesn’t work, for example, already agree that you should talk on the phone. This care can avoid a lot of stress with technical problems.
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