With the dawn of the latest IT infrastructure and technologies, virtual meetings are becoming more and more common than they are a few years go. These advances in technology have broken down boundaries and bridged the demand for great talent to where talent exists—which for many means recruiting talents from different parts of the world. But having a virtual professional relationship is not always a smooth journey. In conducting virtual meetings alone, there are already many challenges participants normally face. Here are the most common ones, and how you could solve them to have a more productive meeting in the future.
Lack of certain social cues
While virtual meetings make it easier for participants to see one another and talk to each other through video conferencing, there are just certain social cues that can’t be transmitted properly virtually such as body language, the overall vibe of everyone, and the possible tension that may ensue during the meeting. Solution: as convenient as virtual meetings are, make sure that you also have face-to-face meetings with your staff, so that you still get to find out how they are really doing.
Meetings take too long without breaks
Normally, people reserve virtual meetings to discuss more important matters, and they last at least 30 minutes to a couple of hours. You don’t schedule a virtual meeting with your staff from five different parts of the country just to meet for 10 minutes—they’d want to be able to make the most of the scheduled meeting. But the risk here is that people usually stop paying attention after a few minutes into the meeting, so longer virtual meetings don’t necessarily mean more productive meetings. A quick solution is to make sure to take short breaks even after 30 minutes just for everyone to re-energize or stretch.
People’s attention spans are short
In relation to the previous reason, people who sit down for a meeting for too long usually zone out after a while, especially if they are not required or compelled to share anything or contribute to the meeting’s agenda. If you to really need to have a long meeting and want to make sure that everyone is alert throughout the entire time, ask for everyone’s opinion after every discussion point and make sure to sincerely listen to what they’re saying to re-affirm them that their presence in the meeting is important.
When it comes to meetings, whether face-to-face or virtual, it will all boil down to paying attention to everyone and giving them a chance to contribute to the rest of the team.