While we all knew the Work From Home Revolution would eventually come. Nobody thought it would happen so fast. Overnight, virtual meetings became integral for keeping companies connected.
Even as they’ve become the new normal, many things can be done to make the meetings themselves more efficient and drive increased business performance across the board.
Here are five essential ways to enhance the efficacy of your Zoom, Google Meet, MS 365, or any other digital platform-based gatherings.
1. Figure Out The Technology
We’ve come a long way in the last few years. It’s now possible to hold video conferences with up to 1,000 people. And yet many of us still struggle to get a simple 2-3-person meeting.
It all boils down to getting the right technology in place. Regardless of the software you use, make sure your devices have enough system resources like RAM and CPU speed to operate it.
Likewise, check bandwidth requirements and verify both your home and cellular networks have enough capacity.
Finally, do the same for all the other meeting participants. You don’t want to be held up because one person’s phone only gets a 3G signal. Use the money saved from downsizing office space and reducing overhead to give everybody the tools they need for success.
2. Security Is Vital
The days of Zoombombing are far from over. And that’s not the only risk you face as you move more on your business operations into the digital world.
In addition to setting meeting passwords, the most effective method of safeguarding your virtual meetings is by using a VPN. A VPN or virtual private network masks your IP address and encrypts your internet connection, preventing man-in-the-middle and other types of cyber-attacks.
You may be wondering, “why do I need to hide my IP?” That’s because hackers can use it to track your online activity. While you can use traditional VPNs, consider enterprise-grade VPNs to secure your Zoom calls and everything else your company does in the digital world.
3. Set An Agenda And Stick To It
We all know what it’s like to sit through a painful meeting. Virtual meetings are your chance for a fresh start. You not only can set an agenda but share it with all participants. You can also use other engagement tools like the waiting room, surveys, and file sharing to enhance efficiency further.
With that said, you don’t have to be overly rigid. You can allow room for discussion while still steering meetings where you need them to go.
4. Finish Your Meetings With A Concrete Plan
If you’ve managed the meeting well, then you’ll naturally have the next steps to build on. Don’t let that productivity go to waste by assuming people will automatically handle what was discussed.
Wrap up the meeting with a summary of what was discussed and get proactive. Assign specific team members’ tasks directly and give them a date by which you need follow-up. Here’s a quick to-do list to make this more effective:
- Assigns tasks directly to individuals and not to broad teams
- Set realistic deadlines
- Maintain accountability for all assignments.
- Check-in periodically to those who have assignments.
- Set aside a time during the next meetings for updates
- Ask for feedback about responsibilities. Did they have enough time? Do they need more help? Use this feedback to become more effective.
5. Reshape your meeting culture
Many firms do things a certain way because “that’s always how things have been done.” You now have a fresh start to personalize your meetings with your business culture.
This means you don’t have to feel set to maintaining specific time limits. If all your meetings were 45 minutes or more in the past because you had to justify travel time, you don’t have to do that anymore. Meetings should be however short or long as they need to be.
Likewise, mix things up and give other individuals a voice. And check in with your employees. Ask if they’re experiencing meeting overload? Likewise, see what you can to improve the meetings whether that is changing up the format, rhythm, or anything else.
Run Better Virtual Meetings
The cat’s now officially out of the bag. Even if we all one day return to an office, there’s no longer a need for us all to crowd into a boardroom—which is a bad idea anyway!
Take this opportunity to focus on key things like technology, security, and culture to enhance meeting productivity and translate this success across all your business goals.