As travel restrictions increase and more online meetings are added to your schedule, consider the following nine tips for making your meetings more effective:
Mind the time zones. It’s difficult to concentrate at three in the morning. Just because someone is attending the meeting doesn’t mean he or she is being effective. Be sure to pick a neutral time that works for those expected to attend.
Post an agenda of what will be discussed and include the expected outcomes of the discussion.
Avoid idioms that may not be understood by everyone in the meeting. Some sayings that are popular in one country might not make a lot of sense in other countries. Make your points using clear words instead.
Record your meeting but ask for permission first! Recorded meetings are a great way for others to catch up if they are not able to make the meeting but not everyone might be comfortable being recorded. State the reason why you would like to record and ask if anyone has an objection to it.
Use a desktop sharing platform such as Zoom or MS Teams. You never know when you might have to share something to get on the same page, even during quick sync-ups.
Turn on your camera to allow others to see you. Facial expressions, which are transmitted by the camera, help you communicate more effectively. Being on camera also hinders multitasking and distractions.
Use an online whiteboarding tool such as Miro or Span. These tools are great for group collaborations that make use of whiteboards. They also have an extensive library of tools to increase interaction and brainstorming.
Allocate a quiet space for the meeting. Nothing breaks up collaboration like a barking dog (nothing against our canine best friends!).
Agree on action items by the end of the meeting and be sure to add names next to their respective owners.
Keep these tips in mind and you'll be on your way to becoming an effective telecommuter. What other tips have you come across recently that can help others work from home more effectively?