There are plenty of good reasons to hold remote meetings with your team ranging from geographical obstacles, cost concerns, and practicality to adapting to a more mobile, tech-savvy workforce, pandemic isolation, and more.
Whatever the reason, remote meetings, like their physical counterparts, must be planned and managed to ensure that they are both productive and engaging especially if it’s an international conference call remote meeting.
Engagement is especially important with remote meetings because it’s easy for participants to multi-task, especially if they are not using their webcams in a video conference or have their microphones muted in an audio conference.
In these situations, you can’t see or hear your attendees. All you know is that they joined the web or audio conference. Making your remote meetings more engaging and collaborative is crucial. Here are a few tips to do just that.
- Encourage the use of webcams — This is a great way to build more personalized relationships amongst a remote team that might never actually meet in person. By its nature, it will also reduce, if not eliminate, the temptation to work on other tasks during the video conference.
- Include collaborative activities — While there’s certainly a time for relaying company news and decisions made to the team, try to avoid using remote meetings solely as a broadcast channel. Consider taking a workshop approach where team members contribute their ideas or work together on a quick task. You could also include polls or text-based chats to gather feedback on a given topic.
- Use web conferencing tools to bring the meeting to life — From screen-sharing and whiteboards to YouTube videos, chats, and collaborative notes, modern web conferencing tools enable the entire team to view the same multimedia information simultaneously on their own screens. Make use of these tools. Remember that you can also pass the presenter controls during a web conference, allowing others to share their screens as needed. Allowing participants to share their works-in-progress or illustrate a complex scenario can improve engagement while providing richer insights to the team.
- Manage the remote meeting’s clock — Physical and remote meetings alike have long had a bad reputation for being overly long, boring, and a general waste of time. This is a tough perception to overcome, but it can be done by carefully planning the agenda to ensure it’s relevant and productive and then managing time so your meeting doesn’t run long.
- You’ll need to allocate enough time — to cover each agenda item sufficiently and then actively moderate the meeting. When the time is up for an agenda item, quickly wrap up the topic and move on. Consistently starting and ending your remote meetings on time is crucial in showing respect for your participants’ time and improving their perception of the meeting’s value.
Remote meetings using web conferencing technologies make it easy for virtual and mobile teams to collaborate. Try International Video Conferencing free for 14 days and hold more engaging meetings with your team.