In the UK alone, approximately 50% of adults in employment are working remotely. Although this number has skyrocketed this year due to social distancing, we can boldly say remote work is here to stay. A survey carried out at Buffer showed 99% of people would choose to work remotely for the rest of their careers, even if it was only part-time.

Therefore, if you are a team leader, you will have to master leading and managing remote teams in the most productive way. This article will show you five secrets you need to learn when working with remote teams.

Prepare an agenda for your meeting.

Firstly, before you call a remote team meeting, you need to prepare a meeting agenda. The reason is primarily that;

  • A program prepares meeting attendees for the meeting.
  • It will help attendees stay on track.
  • It will ensure everything is touched on.
  • A plan will reduce the time spent on non-essentials in the meeting.

Ensure that when preparing your team meeting agenda, you use questions rather than statements. By doing this, your meeting will be more of a conversation than a speech. Also, this prepares your team with ideas and solutions to the question asked on the list.

With the preparation aspect of this secret, it merely has to do with making sure the technology you are using for your meeting runs smoothly. This includes your remote communication tools, slides you might, etc. However, if this isn’t your forte, there are many custom writing service¬† reviews like Online Writers Rating and Best Writers Online you can go to get this professionally created.

Video is a must

While this may seem like a no-brainer to you, about 22% of people rely more on conference calls using their mobile device. You must use video in your remote communication. The reason is this;

  • Video conferencing will help you read your team’s body language and facial expression.
  • Team members’ engagement increases when using video communication.
  • Teams get stronger as video communication mimics actual face-to-face meetings, which are in themselves great for building relationships.

Assign a virtual meeting facilitator

When working with remote teams, there needs to be a meeting facilitator for every virtual meeting you have. A meeting facilitator will help manage and guide the discussions in the virtual meeting. They will also help ensure that all team members get to speak on the points listed on the agenda.

Lastly, a virtual meeting facilitator should be someone who can fix simple technological questions.

Curate virtual team meetings

Curating virtual team meetings means setting basic rules for a team meeting. It encompasses setting rules for when to have a meeting, what to happen during your session, and so on.

For example, if you were to curate a virtual meeting, here are some points to consider;

  • If an email or a Slack message can suffice, don’t have a meeting.
  • If a time-bound plan wasn’t sent to attendees at least 24 hours before the meeting, there shouldn’t be a meeting.
  • Strictly follow the time set for the start and end of the meeting. So, if your meeting is to start by 8 AM, attendees should have set up and be seated at least 15 minutes prior.

By curating your remote communication, this will ensure that your virtual meeting is fast-paced and highly engaging for all members of the team.

Be intentional about your remote communication.

Finally, every virtual meeting you set needs to be intentional to keep people on track. For this kind of meeting, you should:

  • Leave space for silence. You shouldn’t expect your virtual meeting to be the same as a face to face meeting. Please note that there could be connectivity issues, and it is way easier to talk over people when you have a virtual meeting. So, by leaving space for silence when you say something or asking a question, allows other attendees to talk once they can.
  • Call attendees by name. Another essential thing to do in an intentional virtual meeting is to call attendees by name. By calling team members by name on your virtual meeting, you prompt them to speak out.
  • Be alert for nonverbal responses. During a face to face meeting, it is easy to spot non-verbal responses, but that’s not the case with virtual meetings. Depending on the platform you use, video quality may not be apparent, or there could be a delay in communication. However, by watching for non-verbal responses, which are a considerable part of our conversation, you can better understand attendees. For example, You can point out that team member A nodded his head, and ask them to confirm that they agree. This will help other attendees in the meeting understand what is going on.
  • Have an exit phrase. Having an exit phrase like ‘Let’s revisit that point,’ ‘Let’s continue the talk at another time,’ or even ‘that’s an interesting point, let’s get back to it later’ is an excellent way to keep meetings on track and on time. An exit phrase is necessary for every session you have because not everyone might agree on a course of action, and it’s not wise to drag a meeting on for longer so that people can agree on something. The more efficient way to go about this is to review the points with the various team members on a separate video chat afterward.

The Bottom Line

The truth of the matter is that there are different ways to lead any remote team meetings. And, with virtual meetings becoming the new normal for a lot of people, there is much to be said about adapting and conforming.

So, making use of all the above-listed secrets will help you run a successful remote meeting. It will also ensure that virtual meetings within your team don’t become something your team members dread, but instead something they look forward to.

Look at your virtual meetings as an avenue to connect, strategise, collaborate, and even celebrate team progress.

Article source: Frank Hamilton