Virtual Meeting Best Practices

Author: Tyler Cox

shutterstock_1702215022-Converted.jpgThe workspace landscape has changed dramatically over the past 12 months, and many who used to spend their workday at the office are now doing their job from a spare bedroom at home.

 

With those changes have come a new set of workplace tools, with chief among them being the concept of video conferencing. It’s so much a part of our new working world that the word “Zooming,” in reference to one of the more popular virtual meeting tools, is being used as a verb, and “Zoom fatigue” is being used to describe the mental exhaustion that occurs after participating in a few too many poorly run online conference calls.

 

Still, video conferencing and remote meetings are here to stay. To help get the most out of that time in front of the webcam and keyboard, here are a few tips for virtual meetings, some virtual meetings best practices, and ways to get the most out of your online sessions while avoiding that aforementioned mental fatigue.

 

1. IF YOU'RE LEADING THE MEETING, HAVE A CLEAR AGENDA

One of the most frequent complaints about workplace meetings, even when we were all working from the office, is that they often ended up being a waste of time. One of the most essential rules in running effective remote meetings is to have a list of topics to discuss and stick with it. Avoid allowing participants to bring up items unrelated to the discussion, and have a predetermined stopping time.

 

2. HAVE THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGICAL TOOLS

Along those same lines, ensure everyone has the proper technology, especially if they’ll be participating in remote meetings regularly. Most of us have been in virtual meetings where someone’s feed stutters or freezes. Although some of that is related to Internet connectivity, it can also be related to the technological tools they’re using. 

 

To help avoid those issues, Yamaha Unified Communications offers work from home tools designed specifically for making virtual meetings a breeze, including the YVC-200 Portable Speakerphone, the YVC-330 Speakerphone with SoundCap, and the CS-700 Videoconferencing Soundbar. And Zoom isn’t the only video conferencing software on the market. Explore your options and choose the software that best suits your needs.

 

3. TEST OUT TECHNOLOGY AHEAD OF TIME

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a virtual meeting held up while someone fumbles with the technology. There are even a few television commercials poking fun at the team members who can’t get things to work properly. If some will be participating in a meeting who haven’t done so before, run a quick test session in advance to ensure they can log on successfully.

 

4. ENCOURAGE PROPER VIRTUAL MEETING ETIQUETTE

Although the video clips of meetings being interrupted by the family dog or overenthusiastic children may have been humorous when we all started working from home, constant interruptions can be a source of aggravation for other participants, especially when you’re trying to land that big contract. Let participants know to keep those interruptions to a minimum. If a meeting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., have people log in a few minutes early, so others aren’t kept waiting by latecomers.

 

On a final note, if your company has moved to remote work, spend some time with employees to give them the information they need to adapt to that new normal. Some helpful resources include our guide to the best office equipment and supplies for teaching, learning, and working from home and key tips for staying collaborative and on-task when working from home