Improving the efficiency of virtual meetings is a significant way of boosting company productivity now that they have become ‘the norm’ even post-lockdown.
From staying on agenda to making sure everyone has the platform to speak, experts from Universal AV have revealed some of the top ways organisations can make virtual meetings work for your business.
Meetings with a mix of local and remote participants require a dedicated level of planning. Prior to the meeting, attendees need to be clear on the expectations, style of meeting, and also who will be in attendance.
Meeting agendas have also never been more important. These should be clearly set out and circulated in plenty of time, to ensure each person is clear on the objectives.
“Meeting planning is vital in the landscape of virtual and hybrid meetings. Participants need to be made clear on what the meeting will entail to ensure everyone can be well prepared and get the most from it,” says Sales Manager at Universal AV, Mark Atkinson
It can be common for remote participants to feel marginalised during a hybrid meeting, with their contribution potentially being less effective. The right meeting setup with correctly integrated technology will ensure everyone can take part seamlessly.
“The role of the chair has never been more important to ensure that all participants, regardless of location, feel included in the meeting and are given equal opportunity to participate,” states Atkinson.
Alongside considerations for the remote participants, for those joining in person, the right meeting space is vital. Open plan spaces can be equally as effective as dedicated meeting rooms, but have different dynamics and acoustics. Considerations should be made for sound quality, and how the meeting space will work with remote participants.
Determine meeting etiquette
Clear meeting etiquette should be established, from ensuring mobile phones are silenced to avoiding postal deliveries in scheduled meetings, and muting microphones when not speaking.
Participants should also be made familiar with the technology used in the meeting to ensure ease of use, avoiding situations of stalled speaking and to avoid talking over one another.
“Technology can be deployed to make meetings run efficiently, with interfaces to give predetermined control of a meeting, options to hide or control the mute button, or even programme microphones to prioritise certain areas, such as the head of the boardroom table,” Atkinson added.
Implement the Right Technology
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in organisations employing technology to keep their businesses going, but it’s important to ensure that the correct technology is chosen.
“Question what you want the technology to achieve in your business, is it to fix something that doesn’t work or to make a process more efficient. Time is precious but it is important businesses take a moment to make the right decision when it comes to technology,” says Atkinson.
Many things play into meeting fatigue, from having too many in the calendar, to spending too much time in a meeting, or even having a strained experience with technology.
“[S]tudies into concentration have shown 90 minutes is often the limit of focus, therefore it is important meetings are the appropriate length, and not scheduled unnecessarily. Additionally, hybrid meetings with poor audio or video can fatigue participants, so the right technology is vital to help with concentration,” adds Atkinson.
The way in which we work, teach, and learn has changed following the pandemic, and hybrid meetings are the new norm. Successful meetings which are both efficient and effective rely on the right technology, and ensuring it is deployed correctly by experts.
Workplace technology, including virtual meetings, has already given great benefits. It is enabling populations to work remotely, even from abroad. Taking these tips forward as we continue using virtual meeting platforms will enable technology to continue offering workplace flexibility.