Has the “this could have all been sent in an email” thought ever crossed your mind? It’s probably because you felt disengaged during a boring, unnecessary and overly long meeting. And we certainly don’t blame you for that. In almost every case, sticking to a shorter meeting format is pivotal to keeping employees focused. Remote meetings can be both concise and informative, a recipe for success.
Importance of remote team engagement
With remote work continuing to soar in popularity in a post-pandemic world, team engagement is more important now than ever before. Engaged workers are likely to be more productive and contribute substantially to a positive work environment. Remote work lends itself to various benefits, which can all be unlocked when workers are fully engaged.
Challenges of maintaining engagement in a virtual setting
Keeping employees engaged is no small feat. Remote workers can sometimes feel socially isolated from one another. Without clear goals, remote workers can get off-track and lose focus. Also, in a remote setting, workers may feel like they’ve merely faded into the background. This is especially true when employees are subject to an overload of meetings, often with an invite list so large that most don’t even get the chance to speak up.
At first glance, a calendar stuffed with back-to-back meetings may appear productive. But in reality, it’s not. One study found that workers spend approximately 18 hours a week in meetings, a number triple what it was pre-pandemic. This time spent stuck in meetings can be harmful to employees’ productivity and wellness. A University of North Carolina professor noted that mismanaged meetings are detrimental to employee engagement and can even lead people to want to quit.
There’s good news, though. These challenges stemming from a lack of remote team engagement can be solved fast. The simple answer? Meeting formats. Read on to learn about different types of meeting formats, how to accomplish them in remote meetings, and the lasting benefits they can bring to your team.
In order to gain the most out of meetings, choosing the right format is key. Meeting format refers to the structure by which the meeting is carried out. While a longer meeting format is usually chosen for company-wide meetings, these should be limited as they tend to take on a dry lecture style. A shorter meeting format with fewer attendees is more conducive to participation and will better hold employees’ focus and concentration while working remotely. The different types of short meeting formats along with their benefits and use cases, are listed below.
Think of a quick chat like a virtual shoulder tap. A quick chat is the shortest type of meeting format. It’s usually informal and occurs spontaneously or without too much advanced planning. Quick chats are oftentimes one-on-one and only last for 5-10 minutes.
Benefits of quick chats
A quick chat can be used as a way to catch up with a fellow coworker about their weekend, similar to a water-cooler chat. In addition, if you notice a coworker who seems socially disconnected, engage them in a quick chat to check in on them.
Quick chats can be scheduled by anyone, regardless of your role and company status. In fact, quick chats are a great way to get to know colleagues in different departments and communicate with higher-ups who usually don’t have time for lengthy meetings. As a powerful social tool, quick chats can have a tremendous impact on creating meaningful work relationships and contribute to a warm remote company culture.
How to use quick chats in remote meetings
For work matters, quick chats are a great way to ask a brief question or go over something small for a few minutes. In a virtual office, employees can see when someone is available and easily approach them for a quick chat. This burst communication helps to move projects along speedily without the hassle of having to schedule meetings and waiting for them to occur hours or even days later. Quick chats enable effective communication, increased productivity, and natural socialization.
On a spectrum of length, brief conversations fall between quick chats and short meetings. Brief conversations may involve a few more participants than a typical quick chat, but it’s still relatively spontaneous and casual.
Benefits of brief conversations
Brief conversations are highly beneficial as a meeting substitute, since many meetings that are held could have really been conducted in the format of a brief conversation. It’s a good idea to look at your team’s recurring meetings to see if any of them could be held less frequently and/or replaced with brief conversations. By engaging in more brief conversations instead of scheduled meetings, employees can better manage their time and clear their busy calendars to make time for other important tasks.
How to use brief conversations in Kumospace
Brief conversations are useful for sharing ideas, giving feedback, reviewing a completed assignment, and assigning new work. Especially in a remote setting, brief conversations provide a fantastic way to collaborate without the strain of time-consuming meetings. Try using the virtual whiteboard tool in your next brief conversation to see ideas come to life in an organized and engaging manner.
A short meeting is most similar to a traditional meeting, except with a huge perk; it’s short. Short meetings are scheduled with advanced notice and are possibly recurring events. Any amount of participants is acceptable for a short meeting, but the time limit should be closely adhered to. When scheduling a short meeting, be mindful of everyone’s time and hold the meeting for 30-40 minutes maximum.
Benefits of short meetings
When organizing a meeting, think about how to make it as concise as possible without sacrificing important information. Most managers will find that their meetings could all be cut down to be made shorter and more engaging for remote workers. Your employees will thank you for doing this. Even freeing up an hour each day will afford employees the opportunity to better prioritize tasks and give them time to focus on their wellness and personal goals.
Goodbye Zoom Fatigue, hello Kumospace
Short meetings are the best way to keep remote workers consistently engaged. If you’ve ever experienced Zoom fatigue, you know that dragged out, boring meetings can negatively affect your motivation to work. Instead, try using a virtual office platform. Your meetings can come to life and run seamlessly with tools like screen-sharing, video-conferencing and a stimulating office environment.
Other innovative meeting formats
In addition to the aforementioned meeting formats, there are other innovative approaches to holding meetings for various purposes. All of these meetings can be conducted using a virtual office platform. These meeting formats include:
Brainstorming sessions are where the magic happens. Employees get together to think outside of the box with the hope of finding creative solutions to company problems. Brainstorming sessions are usually short, but are highly effective in sparking inspiration. Remote workers can frequently come together to brainstorm, both formally and informally.
Lighting talks have a unique purpose of cultivating new conversations among different office groups. Remote employees can benefit from hearing new ideas from those whom they don’t normally work with. As the name implies, lightning talks are fast-paced, with each participant getting the chance to speak for no longer than five minutes. If you’re using images or a presentation, they should be very simple and limited to 1 slide or image per person.
Virtual happy hours
If you want to facilitate team bonding in a fun and cost-efficient way, try virtual happy hours! They’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Using your virtual office tools, encourage each employee to grab a virtual drink of choice. Allot time for employees to mingle and decompress, and maybe even try virtual happy hour activities to keep the energy alive.
Playing games is a great way for remote workers to get to know one another and form connections while having a blast. It’s fun to let everyones’ competitive sides loose and have a good laugh. Using a virtual office, it’s super easy to play board games, icebreakers, trivia, and a multitude of other interactive virtual office games.
Understanding the different types of meeting formats unlocks countless benefits for your remote team. By holding shorter and more focused meetings, employees can stay engaged and enthused by work. Additionally, certain meeting formats have the power to foster social connections and strengthen company morale. By keeping inspiration alive through innovative meeting formats, companies can maximize their full potential and produce excellent results.
Implementing all of these meeting formats won’t happen overnight. The goal is to gradually infuse employees’ schedules with different meeting formats, allowing them to get accustomed to the new approach. Try using Kumospace to give employees an easy and captivating way to hold various types of meetings and social events. As a result, engagement levels can soar to great heights.
A meeting format refers to the style and structure of a meeting. Meeting formats can vary in length, amount of participants, and the purpose that is trying to be achieved.
- Quick chats
- Brief conversations
- Short meetings
- Other innovative approaches like virtual happy hours, interactive game nights, brainstorming sessions, and lightning talks
By choosing an engaging meeting format, remote teams can benefit from increased productivity levels and greater flexibility. Using a virtual office makes convening for a short meeting to share ideas and collaborate seamlessly. Additionally, remote teams can take advantage of shorter meeting formats to socialize with one another and establish a strong remote company culture.