Real Advantages of Conducting Virtual Meetings And How Can You Enhance The Productivity
Gone are those days when collaborating meant to unite at one place. Today is the modern era, and you need not essentially be in the same venue to connect with your colleagues. Remote and virtual meetings have made it possible to connect and collaborate without actually needing to pass on a handshake to your fellow mates. In short, you can say that the in-person meetings have turned out to be outdated and yesteryears story. Now is the era of evolution wherein virtual meetings have taken over the traditional method of meetings. They are here to bring a revolution packed with advantages and benefits of using the same. Virtual meetings offer room for innovation, newness, and growth. If you are keen on knowing how virtual meetings can help your business grow in a smart way, read further to know about the real advantages of organising virtual meetings:
When it comes to business, monetary funds are something of prime importance. And, saving can help you generate some extra funds to make your business flourish. And, you may be surprised to know that virtual meetings can actually save your hard-earned money. Virtual meetings mean waving goodbye to travel expenses, hotel accommodations, costly conference room reservations, food bills and a lot many other bills that can cause stress on the owner’s pockets. Thus implementing virtual meeting systems for remote agents can actually save some money and is a budget-friendly aspect to consider.
Virtual meetings trigger productivity
Yes, you have heard it right, holding virtual meetings is like being bestowed with the power of productivity. On one hand, it reduces the costs, and on the other hand, it has the capability of boosting productivity. Without taking the pains of travelling to a decided place to attend the meet, all the agents can get connected to each other remotely to discuss enhancing the business outcomes. Speedy results, decision-making efficiency, faster information delivery. All such things are possible with virtual meetings. Also, it offers flexibility to hold the meeting according to the wishes and comfortability aspects of all the employees.
Sometimes you can find people from other departments also participating in the meetings even if they are not required. But virtual meetings can be limited, only those remote agents who should be taking part in the meet are connected, and further exchange their ideas. As we have heard too many cooks spoil the broth, virtual meetings can eliminate this factor by including only those people who need to collaborate for efficient functioning and discussion.
Getting back to work is easy
After attending a conference meet, usually, employees don’t get back to work immediately, primarily if the meeting is held somewhere outside their office premises or city. But organising virtual meetings gives them the employees the advantage of getting back to work as soon as all the video calls are disconnected. Nor do the employees need to travel long distances to get back to their cubicles or in front of their laptops to set off with their work.
Space crunch issues are resolved
Every business does not have large conference rooms to organise a meet. And, in such a case, the owner may require to search for a space that he/ she can rent out for conducting the meet. This can accrue some additional operational cost to the business. Renting space means investing money. Thus, in the case of virtual meetings, you can save the money of renting a space and it also solves the space crunch that you may be facing in your office.
Virtual meetings allow the employees to attend the meet from their comfort zone. They are not required to rush to the office, the punctuality factor is also not affected. Also, it gives an opportunity to every employee who is invited to address the meet with ease without causing any inconvenience to their schedule.
How to make virtual meetings more productive?
Some employees may dislike attending meetings, especially if they have to get ready and rush to the office to be seated amongst a number of people coming in for the same purpose. Long meetings can cause exhaustion and may also prove to be tedious after some time. Virtual meetings have come as a boon for conducting such official meets. They are a cost-effective approach to aid business meets. Virtual meetings have been the talk of the town for quite some time, and we have already discussed the advantages of conducting the same. But now the next question is how to make it more effective? In the modern landscape, conferencing can be made effective in numerous ways. Here is a quick checklist of how to make your business meets more effective:
Chalking out some real objectives and goal
Many times, it happens that instead of fixing up some realistic goals, the owners get involved in overcrowding. One needs to understand that setting too many goals can distract you from the main objective and chances are that none can be accomplished perfectly and completely. So the owner needs to be realistic about the goals and keep it to a minimum of two to three rather than merely maximising the goals and getting served with almost nothing.
Having clear agendas
Apart from keeping the goals and objectives to a minimum, you also need to be clear about the same. Never-ending meetings are boring and can also make your remote agents lose interest in the meeting. So in order to engage them and get them involved in the meet, make sure that you have some clear set agendas. For a virtual meeting to be fruitful, time duration, and clear topics are what matter the most. Well, set agendas also ensure that your agents gain something at the end of the meet. The employees gain a gist of ideas on what needs to be done next to keep your business flags high.
Think beyond simple audio
Preferring video conferencing over the audio conference is another way to make your virtual meetings more productive. Video conferences have the capability of engaging your employees to a greater extent in comparison to the audio conference. It can further generate more productivity as it is similar to organising in-person meetings. Your employees can participate actively in such virtual meetings. And, the best part is that despite being situated in different locations, video conferencing makes you feel like you are all together as a team in one place.
Choosing the right platform
Using the right technology is important when conducting virtual meetings. The right platform is mandatory to have an impact on the meeting conducted. Failure in the selection of the right medium may hinder the effectiveness of the meeting. Therefore in order to get the collaboration to progress in an efficient manner, the right communication method needs to be chosen to save efforts and money. Choosing the right software that is virtual meeting friendly can help the participants collaborate in a better way. You can use software like GoToMeeting, Join.me, Zoom, Skype, etc.
Be considerate about the time zones
A virtual team gives you an opportunity to employ remote agents in all parts of the world. And, if you are lucky enough to have a talent pool from various parts of the world, you need to be considerate about the time zones of your agents residing in different corners. A virtual meeting shouldn’t be set in such a way that your agents have to spoil their sleep for attending one. The geographical range may vary, and conducting a virtual meeting may be a challenging task. But in order to make things better and convenient for your employees, make sure that you choose a time that is suitable for all. If the situation doesn’t permit and you have to select a time frame that is inconvenient for a few members, make sure that you rotate the timings. In this way, it is not always the same team or the same set of people who suffer every time with undesirable hours. It will help in improving the participation and will also lessen down the burden on a particular team or member to stay awake late night or get up early to attend the meet.
Limit the people attending the meet
You do not need to have all your employees attend the meet; team leaders are enough to brief about the decisions and implementations. Thus, you are required to decide the number of people who will attend the meet and keep it precise and genuine. Having too many people share the meeting agenda may cause unnecessary passage of data and information to unwanted people. So try to keep the attendance minimum as much possible to enhance the activeness and participation of your employees.
Meeting etiquettes shouldn’t be omitted
Yes, we understand that you may have to dress up in formals with polished shoes, a well-set tie to sit up for an in-person meet for your company. You may not be required to do the same while attending virtual meeting except some formal attire. But it doesn’t mean that you needn’t follow the meeting etiquettes. One may have the privilege of attending the meet from home. But it doesn’t give you the license to leave the conference at any moment to get yourselves a cup of tea or any ‘xyz’ thing. Going mute and pausing your audio/ video for a while during an ongoing meeting is considered to be bad manners and should be avoided in all circumstances. Also, make sure that you are looking towards the camera and are not distracting yourself from the minutes of the meet. Though you may not be present physically, you should be courteous enough to make eye contact and stay focused.
In virtual meetings, you do not exactly come face to face with the other attendees. But adding a personalised touch to such meetings can actually help you to make more out of it and build rapport. There are chances that the attendees may know each other, and maybe they will see each other’s faces for the first time. So in order to break the ice and to avoid the awkwardness, it is necessary that the agents get to know each other well. At least a basic introduction that can bridge the gap between the geographical boundaries of people meeting up for the first time. It will further make your employees comfortable and generate productive results.
Keeping the attendees engaged
You may have thoroughly planned your agendas and must have got the right tools and platform to operate the meeting. But if you are not able to engage your colleagues, then all things may go in vain. So it is necessary for you to make your team actively engaged in the business meeting. Giving time to your employees to start with a casual conversation can help in attaining the objective. Before one dives down the sea of agendas, goals, and objectives, a slight casual conversation amongst the employees can help them develop a rapport. In virtual meetings, the remote agents are not actually meeting face to face, and thus, they need time to build trust and reliability with their fellow mates. Sparing out some time for your employees to catch up with others can help build this rapport and will also help you in getting your employees engaged. Also, another key point is to assign everybody with their defined tasks so that everyone has their role to play. Every team member should have a job to perform so that your attendees stay attentive and interactive during the meet.
Provision of a suitable environment
Providing your employees with an environment that is pleasing is of utmost importance. Being seated in a place where there are lots of background noises can be frustrating. Even the slightest of unwanted noises can distract your employees, so it is necessary that you take care that no such disruptions creep up in the middle of the virtual meeting. A place with minimum disturbance or you can say nil disturbance is considered to be ideal for setting up for a virtual meeting.
Keeping distractions at bay
Employees attending a virtual meeting should make sure that they stay at pace with any kind of distractions. Silencing your mobile phones during the meet is vital so that your mind doesn’t wander to check out messages and calls. Checking emails in between is also not considered as a code of conduct that one should adhere to during a virtual meeting unless it’s of an urgent nature. Thus, one needs to make sure that everyone is focused on the main objective and bid adieu to everything that can lead to disturbance. It may cause you to lose interest and activeness in the meeting being held.
Be prepared well in advance
There can be technical issues that may pop up in the middle, such as loss of connectivity, improper functioning of microphones, and other devices. Such kind of situations can cause inconvenience and disruption. Not just for the person who is facing such an issue but also for the others who are a part of the meeting. So it is better that you keep things ready well in advance and get it checked properly so that you do not encounter any such problems. Testing the equipment, making arrangements for proper connectivity well before time is mandatory to save time and efficiency.
Implementing a problem-solving aspect
Getting your employees acquainted with a problem-solving approach can further make them active. You may get to have some extremely sure shot solutions that you may have never thought of. The problem-solving aspect will also help you to judge the potential of your employees and their level of intelligence and wisdom.
Virtual meetings are becoming ubiquitous and are gaining popularity all over the world. It assures ease and comfortability, and a lot many other factors that can straightaway affect the company’s performance.
Virtual meetings are of great convenience and are able to cut off the in-person meeting madness. Virtual meetings have turned out to be an effective tool to keep employees happy and have shown some tremendous results in terms of productivity. So if you are a business owner who tends to spend a considerable sum in bringing your employees together to collaborate, try this virtual meeting method. It will help in maximising your employee’s potential and minimising the costs involved in conducting the meet.