In the year 2020, we have all attended virtual meetings, given presentations online, and tried to communicate everything through virtual tools. Virtual meetings are surely not a unique concept. However, in the wake of the pandemic, virtual meetings became our only way to communicate with the teams and elsewhere needed.
Now that most of us are attending and managing online meetings over Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, etc., it is still a challenge for many organizations to manage their online meetings. It is not normal nor practical to be present online throughout the day for employees, which is why employers are still struggling to streamline the processes of communication virtually.
Stats and Figures
There are several challenges of working with and managing remote teams; however, there are multiple advantages and cost-saving involved with virtual teams. It is easy for the teams to work remotely as it allows them the flexibility and freedom to manage their work while being remote.
Let’s have a look at a few stats to see the importance of virtual meetings:
- 43% of teams use video conferencing solution for communication
- 78% of corporate companies make use of video conferencing tools
- 83% of businesses prefer paid video-calling tools
- 27% of small businesses prefer to use paid video-calling tools
- 86% of organizations now conduct employee interviews using video calls
- Companies are able to save $11,000 annually per employee using video-conferencing tools
- Video conferences reduce the need to travel by 47% and helps save commute cost by 30%
While there are advantages, it is also not easy for organizations to fully operate remotely under the given circumstances. Online meetings can get really frustrating for the managers, and to avoid this fatigue, you must first train your employees and staff on how to manage virtual meetings.
If you are still struggling with smooth and fuss-free virtual meetings, then we have 3 prices of advice for you in order to know how to manage remote teams:
Protect the Team from Zoom Fatigue
Zoom exhaustion or Zoom Fatigue is the feeling of frustration that is caused as a result of constant virtual communication. The way people now have altered their communication from studies to meetings to note sharing, everything is now done through a screen, and face-to-face interactions have been made minimum.
This is affecting lots of people mentally and causing a feeling of restlessness and frustration in them. To streamline your virtual meetings, you must acknowledge this aspect and train the team on how to take things easy.
Here are a few tips which you can follow to avoid Zoom exhaustion:
- Do not schedule back-to-back or continuous meetings during the day
- Take a break of at least 30 minutes before starting another meeting
- Try to change routine frequently to avoid frustration
- Vary the duration of meetings
- Take a small break in between for coffee, walk, or tea.
- Take a day off from video calls
Have you ever tried attending a meeting while doing some carpet cleaning? Were you able to focus on both the carpet cleaning as well as the meeting? Most likely, not!
Although multitasking is a very useful task, too often, it badly affects employee performance and productivity. If the employee is focused on multiple tasks at a single time while attending a meeting, they are likely to slow down or lose focus quickly. You must ensure that your employees are focused on one task at a time.
It is also recommended that you do not overburden the team, so they don’t burn-out because of the excessive workload. It is essential that you ask your employees to attend the meeting and give their feedback actively .
How to motivate your team? A few ways to keep the team engaged in a virtual meeting are:
- Use a webcam to have face-to-face interactions
- Ask questions and feedback from each participant
- Try to avoid including people who aren’t essential to the meeting
- Make the meeting interactive
End With an Action Plan and Clarity
Have you ever attended a meeting where everyone spoke, but the meeting ended without a clear action plan? These meetings usually cause frustration and a lack of clarity in the team. It is essential that you make the meeting fruitful, and by the end, you must have concrete action steps.
If the meeting ends with no concrete steps to follow, it will be useless and will waste everyone’s time. A meeting where the team leaves without knowing substantial information is an ineffective meeting.
You must carefully categorize your meeting where the agenda of the meeting is clear; the responsibilities assigned to each member must be evaluated, what needs to be accomplished before agreeing on another virtual session. This will make it clear for both the team and the managers to know the action plan, and hence the meeting agenda is fulfilled.
Managers must follow-up with the team to track progress, queries, and issues relevant to the work assigned. You must also consider taking feedback anonymously from the team so that you can improve the meeting dynamics for the future.
It is important to keep in mind how the team is feeling about these meetings, and to get their feedback; you must make efforts. You should ask the following questions from the team to know better about their experience:
- Is the number of meetings held appropriate for you? State reasons if not and alternate plans.
- Is the team comfortable with video calls?
- How long should the meetings be?
- How to motivate employees remotely ?
- Did you get enough time to express your concerns?
- Would you be willing to provide suggestions/ feedback to improve the virtual meetings?
These questions will help you in identifying the status and feelings of your employees and how to improve the process based on their experience.
To Sum It Up
Streamlining the process of virtual meetings is not a piece of cake. However, with feedback and proper goals in mind, you can achieve maximum benefit from these meetings. The pandemic is being hard on everyone, and the new routine is not easy for employees to manage, which is why both sides need to be considerate and avoid over-burdening the team.