Virtual meetings were previously unheard of. Now, they are one of the most popular ways for office workers to communicate with one another. While this leap in technology has helped many individuals, these online meetings do not come without their own challenges.
Learning how to work with something new can be quite a daunting experience; however, since the change to remote working, digital workplaces have become essential. Technology is always expanding, which can make it confusing, and introduces challenges for others. If you want to learn how to become a pro at video conferencing and improve your presence during virtual meetings, then keep reading.
What Are the Benefits of Hosting Virtual Team Meetings?
Believe it or not, these meetings offer various advantages, such as:
- There are lower costs spent on resources and infrastructure – You do not have to worry about rent, electricity, water, and maintenance costs associated with the office space.
- It may lead to higher productivity and efficiency – Some people perform best in their personal spaces, as they can control every aspect the way they want to.
- You can work with people across the globe – If everyone is communicating via a virtual meeting platform, you do not need to worry about having people in a common area.
- It saves a great deal of time – People do not have to worry about factors like traffic.
Five Common Virtual Meeting Challenges
The most common challenges that everyone faces with regards to virtual meetings include:
1. Technical Issues
We can learn how to work with technology, but unfortunately, we cannot control it. Even if you have digital workspace setup and prepared for everything correctly, you may still face challenges, such as connectivity issues, audio problems, or display issues. These challenges sometimes arise out of nowhere, placing you under a great deal of stress or pressure.
2. Communication Gaps
It is not always easy to get your exact point across via a virtual meeting. Face-to-face meetings enable you to pick up on specific cues such as body language and posture. A video conferencing problem is that it limits the power of these gestures. You may face some virtual meeting etiquette problems. While you may be able to see and hear the other person through the camera, it does not have quite the same impression. To solve this, you must learn how to have an effective virtual communication with your remote team.
3. Different Time Zones
With people working remotely, you may find that people are in various locations at different times. It may become quite challenging to find a time that complements everyone's schedules.
4. People Are Nervous
One problem with virtual meeting conferences is that people are nervous and uncomfortable. It is something new to them, so they do not know how to cope with the unfamiliarity.
5. Reduced Focus and Productivity
During a virtual setting, there is nobody to make sure that people are paying attention and doing what they need to. Your workspace may be full of distractions like digital distraction, which means that it is highly likely that you are not paying attention during the meeting. In turn, you may miss out on some crucial information.
How to Overcome These Challenges
While it may seem impossible, you can overcome virtual meeting challenges with proper preparation and a bit of practice. Make sure that you prepare for all video conferences beforehand so that you feel comfortable and relaxed.
Luckily, most of these challenges have common solutions, such as:
1. Having a backup plan
You never know when you may experience technical difficulties where the cause is unknown. Send out information and details regarding an alternative meeting plan so that if there are issues it does not need to have adverse effects on upcoming events.
2. Send out a meeting agenda before the time
All meeting participants must know exactly what outcome they can expect from the conference. If you give people clear and concise instructions, they know what you require from them.
3. Have a meeting plan with set instructions
Set ground rules so that participants are not confused about the process. For example, state that everyone should mute their microphones while other parties are speaking.
4. Make sure that you set a routine for your meetings
Have specific steps or actions that you use for every meeting so that people feel more comfortable and know what you mean. This creates a sense of comfort, which enables everyone to function appropriately.
5. Try to make all the meeting participants feel comfortable
Do what is necessary to try and make this feel as close to possible as a normal office meeting. Build it as a virtual team culture for your business.
6. Allocate time during the meeting to ensure that everyone is keeping up with the events
You have to check-in and evaluate people's performance, progress, and understanding. Ask questions and set goals so that everyone is on the same page.
Virtual Meeting Must-Haves for the New Remote Working Trend
With most people working from a remote area, there are certain things you need to have to ensure that you are making the most out of your workspace. All remote workers should invest in the following for their office set up:
- Standing desks – These products are ideal for any space and help you to maximize your productivity during work hours while keeping healthy and physically active.
- Ergonomic office chairs – These chairs are a must-have item for any office worker because they enable you to customize everything to suit your preferences. This boosts your mood, reduces pain, and increases work performance.
- Smart office products – Everyone likes to add a personal touch to their workspace. Use items that are going to benefit your performance.
The Bottom Line
Virtual meetings have saved many offices during these times; however, they have brought about their own set of challenges. These challenges may appear to be overwhelming, but there are effective solutions to overcome everything that makes you feel uneasy.
Make sure that you equip your remote working environment in the best possible way and learn the appropriate virtual meeting etiquette so that you feel prepared for any task or conference that you are faced with!
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