Remote meetings are not going away anytime soon. Per a Gallup poll, remote work is here to stay and will be a big part of how we work in the future. The ability to run effective remote meetings will likely be a critical contributor to team and individual success. Per Prezie CEO Jim Szafranski, “In 2022, producing better remote meetings will begin to be a skill that leads to promotion, leadership opportunities, and success as a worker.”
Ineffective remote meetings have serious negative consequences on a company.
Middle managers typically spend 35% of their time in meetings while upper management spends over 50%.
Inefficient and unproductive meetings are very expensive to companies. They also hurt employee morale and retention. We previously talked about all the reasons why no one loves remote meetings. In this post, we share some of our findings around how you can make your remote meetings more engaging and how Clockwork can help you get the job done.
How you can run more effective remote meetings
The good news is that there are several simple things you can do to run more efficient remote team meetings. Start with a bit of honest introspection on what is or isn’t working for your team and then try out some of these recommendations to make your meetings more effective:
- Reassess your calendar: Take a good hard look at your calendar and reassess if every upcoming meeting this week needs to occur. Free up your calendar. Fewer meetings can be a quick win.
- Build predictability: Avoid hiccups by building predictability into your meetings. Participants should have a clear idea of what to expect from the meeting. The meeting start time should be consistent and the video conferencing setup should be standardized
- Prepare ahead of time: Meeting preparation is key. The meeting organizer should compile an agenda and make it available to all participants in advance of the meeting. Participants should review the agenda beforehand and have the opportunity to contribute to it as well.
- Actively moderate the discussion: For remote meetings, a meeting moderator can help minimize the problem of multiple people trying to speak over each other or someone hogging too much of the airtime. The moderator should manage time, prevent discussions that go down the rabbit hole and encourage participants to speak up.
- Follow through on actions: Meetings inevitably end with decisions and action items. These should be captured and immediately shared with participants. Open action items from the past should be reviewed at the start of every meeting. Teammates should hold each other accountable to complete their tasks.
- Introduce meeting etiquette: Here are some rules that you could reinforce to improve meeting engagement - start and end meetings on time, keep cameras turned on, avoid instant messaging during the meeting, use the Raise Hands tool when you want to speak up, etc.
- Gather feedback: At the end of the meeting, gather instant feedback from participants on how engaging they found the meeting and whether meeting objectives were accomplished. This could be in the form of a quick poll. Timely feedback will help you continuously improve the quality of your meetings.
Clockwork for remote meetings
Clockwork is a Slack app that can help you run efficient remote meetings. With Clockwork, you can connect your calendar and then enable various automations for your recurring meetings. Clockwork creates a dedicated private Slack channel for each of your meetings, automatically invites all meeting participants and then manages your meeting agenda, notes and actions within this channel.
Clockwork helps you with:
Once you connect a meeting, Clockwork will automatically send out an interactive agenda builder in Slack before the meeting. You can decide when the agenda builder goes out - a day before or a few hours before the meeting. All meeting participants can view and contribute topics to the agenda. This way everyone can have a shared understanding of what will be discussed in the meeting and come prepared.
Actions and follow through:
During the meeting, you can record action items within Slack. Assign these actions to team members, set due dates and add comments. Clockwork will automatically send reminders and check in with each assignee on the status of their outstanding action items. This way, nothing slips through the cracks and things get done!
You can also record key discussions and important decisions as meeting notes with Clockwork. These notes are instantly visible to all meeting participants within Slack itself which in turn helps drive alignment. Your meeting Slack channel will contain the history of all your past meeting notes.Clockwork is currently free to use. Give it a try and tell us what you think!
We built Clockwork to help remote teams operate more efficiently. Give it a try and let us know what you think!