The Globe and Mail – How to stop having bad and unproductive remote meetings

The COVID-19 pandemic has moved nearly everything online, including office meetings. With the number of staff working remotely growing exponentially, driving remote meetings in the right direction and ensuring productivity isn’t easy anymore. 

The Globe and Mail says navigating this requires thought – about sarcasm, length of meetings, coffee together, and other things. Here’s all you need to know about remote meetings: 

  • Text-based communications are the most common form of virtual communication but are also the most likely to be misunderstood. 
  • A research by Nick Morgan, a communications consultant, suggests audio calls and conferencing are better because participants have the opportunity to follow up and ask questions. 
  • Audio calls and conferencing has two advantages. First, you may actually learn how the other person feels. And second, you show the other person respect and vulnerability.
  • Over 60 per cent of the participants are doing something else during the session, so even simple exchanges of overt information are often missed or misunderstood. Shortening the time of the virtual meeting can help. 
  • Consultants Justin Hale and Joseph Grenny recommend never going longer than five minutes in a meeting without giving the group another problem to solve, or otherwise, people will retreat into being mere observers.
  • At the same time, beware of brief communications. By driving for efficiency we can conflate brief communications and clear communications. 
  • Kurtis Morrison, chief growth officer of urges managers to make sure their team feels a sense of connection. One technique is random virtual coffees: Pair up team members each week to meet for a virtual coffee in which they can chat informally and share what they’re working on.