It’s not easy to conduct effective virtual and in-person meetings, particularly when you have a team that is able to work from anywhere. Meetings consume employees’ time and require them to concentrate without being physically close to one others. They can also create stress if they do not yield results. Fortunately, by following a few best practices for conducting meetings–meeting only when necessary, creating clear and concise agendas, encouraging active participation, and using effective collaboration tools that facilitate discussion and decision-making–managers can make meetings a powerful tool for employee productivity.
After a meeting is finished, it’s easy for participants to become overwhelmed by the new tasks that need to be accomplished. To counter this, managers must set specific goals for the next steps that result from the meeting. They can then break these goals down into smaller tasks that are simpler to complete. Managers should ensure that participants are aware of their duties and following-up obligations.
To prevent distractions It is important to create a comfortable and tidy environment for everyone. Ideally, the meeting space must be quiet, private, and well-lit. Furthermore, a great sound system for meetings is crucial to ensure clear communication when online meetings. For example an audio conference with the noise of the dishwasher or dog barking in the background can cause miscommunication and prevent meeting participants from engaging in productive discussion. It’s also important for managers to ensure that their teams remain focused on their task by implementing technology that block distracting websites and apps during meetings. The digital agency O3 World, for example, uses an app called Roombot that scans the Google Calendars of participants to notify them when it’s time to wrap up. The app dims the lights in the conference room during the last minutes of the meeting, to discourage attendees from checking their smartphones.