How To Increase Effectiveness Of Remote Work Meetings
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
The onset of Covid-19 pandemic has led to 180-degree change in the way we live and work. Now the office chair is our couch, the commute is the length of our hallway and the snack drawer is our entire pantry. Work-from-home is no longer a dream and we all are learning to live with the reality of Coronavirus.
When we think of this whole work from home concept, what usually comes to our mind is that it saves time and energy and it usually increases the productivity. Increase in the productivity can be due to the time that is being saved by working from home or the employee feels more comfortable and relaxed while working at home.
But there are certain challenges that come along as a part and parcel of implementing work-from-home model. Remote working leads to virtual meetings. Virtual meetings can prove to be ineffective and can lead to decline in the engagement levels rather than boosting it!
Here are few ways in which managers can increase the effectiveness of virtual meetings.
- Communicate the time and agenda
Working from home is synonymous to multitasking. In this situation, communicating well in advance about the time and duration of the meeting would allow the employees to mentally prepare themselves and not indulge in other tasks just before the commencement of the meeting. Also if the employees know the time when the meeting will be held during the day and the exact agenda behind the meet, he/she can do their homework and prepare points to be discussed in the meetings. This will ensure the required participation by employees.
- More engaging meetings
None of us would enjoy or would like to participate in a meeting wherein only the boss talks and everybody else has to keep quiet! Just like at workplace, the flow of virtual meetings also should be designed keeping in mind the need to engage the employees. Engagement goes a long, long way and enhances the productivity of the employees. The success of any meeting lies in the participation level of the employees. It should be in the form of a dialogue and not monologue. A good rule of thumb is to make the team meeting 50/50, whereby the leader of the meeting talks for no more than 50% of the time and the other 50% is reserved for collaboration, conversation and discussion by people.
- Start and end on time
The biggest deal breaker for the employees could be the stretching up of meeting beyond the pre-communicated duration. The managers should strictly follow the time limit of meetings .Long virtual meetings can also lead to burnout along with constant phone calls and work e-mails. Of course in certain situations wherein a topic of supreme importance is being discussed, the meetings can stretch beyond pre-determined time limit. That is an exception but the managers should keep in mind that the meetings should be started as well as ended well within time.
- Touch base with everyone
Employees appreciate if the leaders are concerned about their well-being. Rather than jumping right into business, ask the employees about how they are doing and what is the situation at their end. This would instil a sense of belongingness in the employees. This is a tough time for everybody as working from home might be euphonious, but it does come with many challenges. This sense of belongingness will encourage the employees to participate enthusiastically in the meetings.
- Take feedback
Asking the employees about what worked and what didn’t is always a good idea. This will throw light on employees’ opinion on the quality of the meetings and what can be done to improve the entire experience. Whether it is about the meeting platform or the way it is being conducted, getting feedback is a powerful way to increase the overall effectiveness of virtual meetings.
Many organizations have successfully transitioned to the remote working model and this new way of doing work is definitely going to stay around for a long time. Organizations like Google, Facebook and Amazon are planning to ask their employees to work-from-home till the year end.
Virtual meeting is the lifeline in a remote environment, way of connecting and collaborating with the team. It is thus imperative to enhance its effectiveness!
About the author:-
Aarushi Ahuja is currently pursuing PGDM from New Delhi Institute Of Management, specializing in Human Resources and Marketing. By continuously taking up challenges, she is determined to become the best version of herself and stand out from the crowd!
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