Running meetings virtually has been steadily gaining in popularity in recent years, and even more so in recent months due to social distancing requirements due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic with many businesses choosing to shift into digital space. Therefore, employees don’t have to travel to a specific location in order to attend meetings. Instead, they can simply dial in from wherever they are.
There are many benefits associated with having virtual meetings, which encourages businesses to make their decision to go virtual as it brings a lot of natural convenience to businesses and individuals. Also, it reduces expenses as opposed to face-to-face meetings that might include hotels, meals, rental cars, car parking tickets, and even airfares in order to make them happen, all of which can cause significant cost to the business.
However, there is often a concern that people won’t be as engaged in a virtual meeting as they are in a face-to-face one. Here are few tips on how to run a virtual meeting:
• Introduce People with Each Other
Part of the meeting facilitator’s job is to help people get to know each other, for them to feel more connected so they can have a productive meeting, and quickly get over any social awkwardness.
• Ensure Turning the Camera On
In order to encourage maximum participation is to have everyone turn their cameras on.
This is important to increase engagement for several reasons. Firstly, everyone will more likely feel like they are in the same room together. Secondly, it is much harder to be distracted when everyone can see you, and where your eyes are looking.
• Avoid Multi-tasking
Multitasking is risky when it comes to implementing it during a virtual meeting because it causes distraction in most cases. However, the risk is greatly reduced when putting the video camera on and avoiding the mute button. It is hard to check emails and pretend to be engaged. Much easier just to be engaged in your meeting.
• Avoid Using the Mute Button as Much as Possible
In a virtual meeting, participants should not put themselves on mute and start doing other things such as answering emails or doing anything else. Each participant in the meeting needs to be prepared for the live interactive discussion.
In a nutshell, virtual meetings are useful and it is a tool that deserves to be used and maximized by every organization especially with the current COVID-19 crisis that has increased the need for remote and home working.