As the world tries to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses in Seattle and across the US have switched to a remote work setup to avoid the risk of spreading the virus. This means employees have to work from home, which includes holding meetings remotely.
But while holding remote meetings is as easy as firing up Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or WebEx these meetings can eventually become taxing for your employees. Not only is the discussion reduced to a small screen, remote meetings can also feel monotonous, which may make your employees dread them even more.
Unfortunately, as long as the pandemic lasts, remote meetings aren’t going anywhere. The best you can do is to make the most out of the situation. Here are a few tips to make remote meetings more engaging:
1. Connect to your team
Start meetings with a fun icebreaker activity to engage your employees. Choose one that will make everyone feel included, which will compel them to participate more in the meeting. You can ask questions such as:
- What Netflix series are you currently binging?
- What is an ideal work from home day for you?
- Any skills you have picked up during quarantine?
- What do you like or not like about working from home?
- What is your self-care routine?
- Where do you plan to go after the quarantine is over?
- Any good food you can recommend?
2. Stick to your agenda
Remote meetings are a powerful way to connect to your employees and clients, but they can easily be derailed. Avoid this by sticking to the meeting agenda. Let team members know what topics will be discussed in the meeting, and encourage them to ask questions. Promptly end the meeting once the discussions are over. Team-wide participation will boost engagement, communication, and teamwork among your employees.
3. Have a theme for your meetings
Who said remote meetings have to be boring? Make them more engaging and fun by having a theme for your meetings.
Team members can use a custom background of their favorite movie or video game character, talk like a pirate, wear their worst shirts, or put on a hat they like. These themes can spark conversation and lighten everyone’s mood, resulting in a more interactive meeting/conversation.
4. Schedule non-work-related meetings
Remote meetings shouldn’t only be done for company matters. You can also hold non-work-related meetings to help your employees relax and de-stress, especially now that the lines between their personal and professional lives are blurred.
For instance, your team can talk about the things they are currently interested in, such as TV shows, music, books, cooking, and knitting, among other things. You can also play virtual games such as two truths and a lie, social distancing bingo, and I spy. Other activities you can do include:
- Karaoke night
- Team lunch/dinner
- Talent shows
- Gaming tournaments
These activities not just require participation, but they also promote trust and collaboration among your team members. It also reminds your employees that work isn’t just about finishing their tasks from 8-5, but it’s also about having fun.
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