You may already be used to having remote and on-line meetings or this may well be new territory for you. However what is clear is that experienced or not, chances are you’ll be taking part in even more of them in the coming weeks. So we developed some handy tips on how to get the most out of these important interactions.

  1. Avoid distractions

We have all seen the BBC clip of the small child interrupting the very important news interview.. Why we may not all be delivering live TV interviews it’s always important for us to keep disruptions to a minimum!

So, if you are able, it’s helpful to keep children and pets from being in the room when you’re on a call.

  1. Test and log in to your system in advance

Make sure you are online and logged in to your call software ahead of the meeting.  This will help to reduce the time waiting for people to get online and will help to ensure the meeting can start promptly.

There will always be tech issues, and this can’t be helped. If you do experience a problem, don’t panic, try to rectify it and if its not a quick fix text or call someone in the meeting to let them know. Also be agile – if you’re having trouble joining the video call rather than miss out, join in by phone. It’s important to take part in some way. And of course, contact your company’s IT department for advice.

  1. Use the camera

During the current climate, we have to take into consideration people may be feeling a bit lonely and the only regular contact they may be experiencing is in fact with their colleagues.

One simple step we take to help combat this is to use our camera functions.

This will also help with concentrations levels as talking at a blank screen can be incredibly boring, leading us to be distracted by other work we may be doing.

Also remember body language is a really important part of communication and cameras help you understand how people are reacting and feeling.

  1. Meeting etiquette

Dedicate one person to owning the agenda and one person to take minutes, this could be the same person, or it might not, and it may vary from meeting to meeting. By having an agenda this will give structure to the meeting and allowing all necessary points to be covered. With one person taking the minutes, every attendee can come away with a unified and concise overview of the meeting and a clear set of actions and deadlines ensuring nothing was missed. It can be good practice to share the chairing and minute taking for regular meetings so everyone is engaged and involved.

Make sure your everyone has their say and try not to speak over someone when they are talking. This will end up in a confusing call and lead to people not being heard. And currently, when morale might not be at it highest it’s important for everyone’s point of view to be valued. This can be tricky to manage with on-line delays in sound so perhaps think about a system where people can visibly indicate when they want to talk.

  1. How is everyone feeling?

Taking the time to have a short casual chat is so important for our mental health during this time.

We are all here to work and to follow the agenda but a simple ‘How is everyone feeling today?’ could be a boost for those workers who are feeling isolated during this period of remote working.  It sounds like a small thing but it is really important!