With so many organizations are working to learn the ropes of running a remote workforce, we’ve put together this Guide to help both meeting leaders and participants prepare for virtual meetings.
For Meeting Participants
Before the Meeting: Get Ready
- Ensure your environment is ready for the meeting (quiet space, no distractions)
- If you have not previously used the video-conferencing application being used, connect well in advance of the meeting time to ensure the application works as expected, and audio/microphone are working properly
- If you have a weak internet connection, consider dialing into the conference if you can
- Shut down other browser tabs and distractions prior to your meeting
- Turn off any pop-up notifications which may potentially appear on your screen if you are to be screen sharing
- Review agenda prior to meeting starting
- Use your best audio quality, whether it’s a headset or external speaker, versus speaking through your computer microphone
- Turn on your camera and make eye contact with others because this will increase engagement and personal connection
- Virtual meetings need to start on time, so be prompt
During the Meeting: Participate and Pay Attention
- Do not multi-task. Although it is very tempting to check your phone, read email, etc., during
the meeting (…who will know?…), don’t do it! Be intentional about paying attention and
- Use the mute button when not talking
• Tip: On many VC applications, pushing or holding the space bar will temporarily unmute the microphone
when you wish to speak
- Engage by following along in shared documents online
For Meeting Leaders
Planning the Meeting: Be Detailed
- Schedule meetings in advance
- Take into account different time zones and try to be flexible by looking for times that can
best accommodate everyone
• Tip: Use “Scheduling Assistant” if using Outlook, or comparable capability in other email applications to
view participants’ schedules for available time slots
- Define the purpose of the meeting (if you cannot define a purpose, do you need the
- Have a clear purpose and document it in the meeting invite. Different types of
meetings may include:
• Status updates • Communication of specific information • Planning • Working sessions to solve a problem/issue • Team building
- Create an agenda and add it to the calendar event so participants know what to anticipate
and what needs to be accomplished
• Tip: Make the meeting agenda a shared document. By attaching the link to the meeting agenda in the
calendar invite, you can prevent excessive emails.
• Tip: Encourage team members to read the agenda prior to the meeting. This way, if they have comments
or updates, they can add them directly to the agenda prior to the meeting. This type of collaboration will
dramatically increase meeting productivity.
• Tip: Add links to supporting documents in the agenda. Make it easy for people to navigate to supporting
Running the Meeting: Understand what that entails
- Start the meeting on time
- Ensure there is a dedicated note taker (for smaller meetings the meeting facilitator can also
be the note taker). Be sure to assign roles for calls, such as: Moderator/Facilitator, Note
Keeper, Timekeeper, Support (support person serves as single point of contact for technical
- Decide how must social interaction is needed prior to getting into the meat of the meeting.
Many projects find allocating the first five min to social discussion establishes a good working
- Use the online agenda to take notes
• Tip: Have everyone get into the agenda and mark their name as attended. This gets all participants to
• Tip: Take meeting notes in the same agenda document, this keeps team members attention and ensures
clear understanding of meeting action items/“to-do’s”.
• Tip: For recurring meetings, such as status meetings, use a running meeting agenda document where this
week’s agenda is above last week’s agenda. This way everyone can easily scroll down and see the notes
from last week.
- Use good facilitation and ensure teams are engaged. Call on different participants to contribute to ensure that diverse voices are heard. Do not let one voice overpower others.
While many organizations have settled into a new “remote routine,” these tips can still help with remote meetings, webinars and more. In fact, with this new work-from-home experience, some organizations may choose to move more towards a more virtual workforce.
To read more about remote workforce strategies, check out this great article by our partners are HireVelocity: Remote Work Tactical Checklist: How to Quickly Transition to a Remote Workforce Strategy
If you have any questions, or would like to more about transitioning to a remote workforce, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877.252.5505.