Virtual Meetings Convenient Scheduling Seals The Deal
Whether your team is located across town, across the country or around the world, convenient scheduling is a critical factor in virtual meeting success. Could you be more effective in scheduling your distance team meetings?
Whether you are hosting meetings, or working with a virtual assistant to schedule meetings, follow these proven practices for success.
Best practices for scheduling virtual meetings include both a mindset and a set of technical tools.
Let's look first at the mindset:
This is the bottom line for effective teams – be fair. Rotate meeting times to respect the various time zones of your participants. Avoid the trap of checking calendars with attendees who are at your location – but only informing the rest of the team.
Be fair in scheduling. This sets the tone for participation and full team engagement.
Watch out for planning meetings at tough times: Monday morning, Friday afternoons and during lunch time. If you steer clear of these tough times, your attendees will thank you.
Be on the lookout for holidays, vacations and busy production times. This is especially important when working around the world and in countries that may have holidays at times different from yours. Often people will take time off in the days preceding and following holidays.
Get a good calendar to preempt scheduling virtual meetings during these critical holidays. The same holds true for busy production times. Be sensitive to these times and your meeting engagement will increase.
Now, let's turn to the technology options:
Invite participants in an easy-to-read invitation. Many services make this 'no-brainer' easy by providing a link to the conference via email.
For team members who were expected, but are not present, be sure to send last-minute reminders. It's easy to lose the login information, misplace emails or just forget about meetings. Help participants remember and make it easy for them to join the conference.
Many providers offer integration of emails and calendar invitations directly with your Microsoft Outlook® program. If you are using this program, you'll be able to seamlessly integrate virtual meetings directly into your schedule.
To make the most out of your online meeting time, be sure to share relevant information with participants in advance.
While many people lead virtual teams, not so many remember to use all the best practices – both of a mindset and a toolset. Be a virtual leader who cares and is technologically savvy. You'll enjoy higher productivity, faster engagement and more reliable teamwork.