Facilitating a Virtual Workgroup Meeting

As a remote team manager, coordinating remote team meetings can be one of the most challenging responsibilities. With a geographically dispersed team, the initial difficulty lies in aligning everyone’s schedules. Once the team is connected, there is still the potential for technical issues, even with the most reliable technology. In addition, the same considerations for successful meetings must be taken into account when leading a virtual gathering.

Lots of resources are available to help you organise a successful gathering;

  • Using a scheduling app may help with the stress of working around many time zones.
  • Video calling programmes, to give just one example. With the right equipment, you can lead a productive meeting from afar.

It’s possible that some of your participants won’t even speak or understand English. But don’t worry, we have some recommendations to aid you.

Are you looking to assemble a top-notch remote team? If so, here is all the information you need to effectively chair a meeting with a distributed team. If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out and we will be more than happy to help.

To be an effective meeting chair, you must first be well-prepared for it.

No matter the situation, it is advisable to remain as composed as possible when on camera. This is especially pertinent when chairing a meeting with members from all over the globe. As the great scientist Louis Pasteur once said: “In the field of observation, chance only favours the prepared mind.” This adage demonstrates the importance of putting in the necessary time and effort to ensure the best possible outcome.

What It Means in Terms of The Details

It is essential to ensure that any hardware or software that you intend to use is functioning correctly before the time of use. To guarantee a successful outcome, it is recommended that you double check and certify that the equipment is in good working order at least 24 to 48 hours prior to the meeting, rather than just a few minutes before. Taking the time to practice your presentation or screen share before the meeting can boost your confidence when it comes to delivering your content on the day.

We strongly request that all attendees use the same method when sending out meeting invitations. To ensure that everyone can see and be seen, hear and be heard, and interact with one another prior to the event, we recommend conducting a trial meeting or other pre-event testing using the technology that you intend to use.

Meeting Minutes and Other Paperwork

To ensure that all items are discussed at the meeting, please include a request for agenda additions when sending out the invitation. It is also advisable to send a reminder email containing the meeting agenda and any necessary documents for review in advance of the meeting, providing sufficient time for attendees to prepare.

An idea that may improve teleconferences It may be easier to dispense with the requirement for ‘reporting back’ in a face-to-face meeting than when talking to a camera. An alternative solution might be for attendees to submit written reports in advance of the meeting, which can then be distributed with the agenda packet. This approach allows for greater flexibility during the meeting, offering a less formal atmosphere that encourages discussion and the opportunity for questions to be asked.

It is beneficial to send out written information about important topics to team members who speak English as an additional language. Utilising a glossary to clarify the definitions of unfamiliar words is another possible solution. To ensure communication is effective among a remote workforce, it is advisable to avoid the use of any informal language or regional dialects.

Use Your Social Media Accounts as a Jumping off Point

By organising regular meetings with your globally dispersed team, you have the opportunity to both get down to business and to get to know your colleagues better. This is an ideal chance to create a team atmosphere and make sure that everyone feels part of the same group, even if they are located in different parts of the world.

At the outset of the meeting, it is advisable to give your team members some time for informal conversation, just as it would be if everyone was gathered together in a physical conference room. As the chairperson of the meeting, you should take this opportunity to direct the discussion and provide your team members with appropriate topics to converse about. This is also an ideal moment to celebrate and commemorate special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries.

It is crucial to maintain a professional demeanor while conducting a meeting online.

Although digital nomads have the advantage of being able to work from practically any location, it is important that they maintain a professional appearance when engaging with other members of their team. If you need to have a confidential conversation over a conference call, it is not advisable to do so in a busy coffee shop or a shared office space. Make it clear to those involved that they should participate from a suitable environment.

By ensuring that your backdrop is free from distractions, you can create the desired atmosphere. Optimal results are achieved when using a monochrome colour palette, however, including a company logo or other branded items can add an extra professional touch. This will clearly demonstrate that you have come to conduct business.

Don’t forget the importance of graphics in your presentation.

Video calls provide a great opportunity to share multiple types of content, including camera streams. During a video call, you can present, share screens, and even bring up remote collaboration tools to allow everyone to work together. This level of remote collaboration can be extremely beneficial for team work and productivity.

Having the capacity to record the meeting and upload it to a shared online space is an additional advantage. This way, not only can you confirm the exactitude of the meeting, but also those who were unable to be present “in person” can do so.

Make sure everyone is involved.

The role of the chair in an online forum is comparable to that of the chair in a traditional face-to-face meeting; their primary responsibility is to guarantee that everyone has an opportunity to be heard. Working from home can be beneficial for individuals with both extroverted and introverted personalities; however, the latter are particularly well-suited to the task. Although introverts may be more hesitant to add their thoughts to an existing conversation, when they do, their input is sure to be of great worth.

When discussing important matters, it is essential to take the time to ask everyone present if they have any queries or ideas to contribute. The old saying “two heads are better than one” certainly applies when obstacles are obstructing progress.

Wrap up with a conversation over the water cooler.

It is often the case that, as people start to disperse from a meeting, the most crucial decisions are made. Individuals who remain in the room may take the opportunity to ask relevant questions that they were unable to express prior to the meeting coming to an end. Even when a group of people decide to come together to discuss a particular issue, they may come up with innovative solutions. Unfortunately, one of the major downsides of virtual meetings is the lack of ‘water cooler’ time.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved. After the formal meeting has concluded, it is important that you continue to work with your team to address any issues or disagreements. It is essential to ensure that all participants fully understand what was discussed by asking questions and engaging in an open dialogue. This will help to ensure that everyone leaves the meeting with the same understanding.

Once you have completed the task, why not take a few minutes to stay and chat with your colleagues? It is a great way to build relationships and get to know each other better. As a competent remote team manager, you should be regularly checking in with each of your team members on an individual basis. This can be used to help foster a sense of unity and camaraderie within the team. So, why not take the time to really get to know each other and build strong working relationships?

In Other Words, That’s How You Operate

Presiding over a conference call with your team doesn’t have to be a difficult task. You just need to apply the same principles and practices you use in other remote team settings, while ensuring that the correct technology is in place. To make this process simpler, it may be helpful to ensure that your team is comprised of experienced individuals. If you need any advice or assistance with this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us as we have a good track record with this type of work.

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