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Online Meetings: 6 Tips to Succeed with a Remote Team

8 Apr 2022 separate icon ~ 5 minutes read
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Online Meetings: 6 Tips to Succeed with a Remote Team

8 Apr 2022 separate icon ~ 5 minutes read

At myOnvent, we have built a remote team from the very start and can attest to the many advantages our remote model offers such as global, diverse and inclusive hiring, work & travel perks, and cost savings. In this article we’ll share some of our best tips to make remote teams successful. 

A recent study by Growmotely found that 61% of employees prefer being fully remote, and as many as 97% of employees don’t want to return to the office full-time. And there is no wonder why this is the case, as we can all agree that there are some days where it’s just easier, smarter, and better to have your meetings online. 

Den in Montenegro

So to make your employees happier and your business more productive and profitable, working remotely seems to be the perfect way to go! Of course, remote work comes with its own challenges, but here are some tips and strategies to make both your and your teams life so much better both in the physical and the virtual world! At myOnvent, nearly all of our 40+ team members work remotely, so we know all the ways :), and are more than happy to share them with you!.  

Tip #1: Setting (High) Standards

Very often employers hire a new staff member with the assumption that the latter has the magical ability to read their minds and know exactly what they are supposed to do. But unless your new employee is endowed with some unique witchcraft techniques, you should always ensure to set clear expectations right at the start of the collaboration. Are there specific hours you want your employee to be available, or are you willing to offer them flexibility on the premise that all important projects will be completed on time? Do you get annoyed by emails sent to you past 8 PM, or can they send anything at any time, as long as the work is done and your customers are happy? 

Even though you might have your own defined and straightforward personal workstyle, there is, more often than not, more than one way to get things done. So if you have a specific approach that you prefer more than the others, let your team know and make it clear in your interview process! This will establish a stronger and longer lasting relationship between you and your new team member, and will reduce the amount of stress and frustration that you both experience simply because you didn’t know each other’s style or expectations. Remember, bringing a new person into your team is like getting into a marriage: the better you know how many teaspoons of sugar to add to the tea, the lesser the number of fights your neighbors will get to witness. Or hear. Or be part of. Anyways! 

Julija in Lithuania

And Tips for Setting Standards…

In the onboarding process at myOnvent, for example, we always provide our job applicants with detailed and comprehensive role descriptions, both in the job posting as well as during the interview. This ensures that people know what exactly they are applying for and what their expectations should be, so that there are no unpleasant surprises at the end. 

For instance, if you are recruiting a social media marketing manager whom you also expect to answer emails, calls, and messages, include this responsibility in the initial job description. Some professions are just too broadly defined: the marketing specialist at company A may be responsible for everything ranging from content writing, graphic design to customer service; company B, on the other hand, may hire a marketing manager for ad targeting strategy solely. Both options are possible and acceptable, as long as both you and the employee have mutually agreed upon assigned roles and responsibilities. 

Other tips for setting standards that we employ at myOnvent include using priority lists and task tracking systems that we review at the start of each week to make sure everyone is working on what’s timely and relevant. This helps setting clear expectations and also allows the teams and team members to understand organizational priorities. There are many ways to organize priority lists, ranging from the basic Excel sheet to To-do lists in Trello. What’s important is that the list has a space to set clear priorities (and never end up setting several priority 1s or sub-divide them into 1a, 1b, 1c, etc… then you’re in for trouble!). Make sure to also allow the team members to add tasks to the list and have them propose the prioritization. As a manager you simply review and amend when things don’t match the bigger picture.  

Tip #2: Managing Your Team

In addition to setting clear expectations, it is also important to set a good example. The more enthusiastic you are about your projects, the more engaged and motivated your employees will be! Remember, the people around you do, subconsciously, mirror your energy. Ever met someone whom you smiled and whose lips didn’t move at least slightly? Rarely the case. We mirror what we see, and that is especially applicable to the way we work and approach our tasks. So get excited and let your energy be the most contagious pandemic! 

It’s important to keep track of your team’s activity and to cooperate with your team members with maximum efficiency and minimum disruption. At myOnvent we use Hubstaff for project budgeting, time tracking, productivity management, and online invoicing… (Note: this is NOT a sponsored post!! It’s just that we use Hubstaff at myOnvent and we think it’s pretty great.) 

The platform provides you with detailed, exportable timesheets and automatic, accurate invoices. Moreover, it enables you to access any information related to your employees’ progress in one all-inclusive, easily navigable interface, ensuring maximum transparency between you and your employee and creating an atmosphere of mutual trust within your growing and glowing team!

Alex in Perth, Australia

Tip #3: Schedule Regular Team Calls

If you have decided to bring the remote work culture into your company, then you should start preparing to hold virtual team calls on a regular basis… unless you end up recruiting a team of introverted lone workers who never communicate:)) Use these online meetings to the advantage of both you and your team. Dedicate 5 minutes before you kick off the meeting to encourage your team members to connect with each other, as people are more at ease sharing their ideas with people they are familiar with. Make sure you don’t let the virtual barrier stop you from building a welcoming and healthy work environment. Management guru, Peter Drucker, once said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” and we couldn’t agree more!

But don’t forget to strike the balance. Avoid meetings for the sake of meetings and, when things can be done over email, do that. People hate wasting time listening in on meetings with no clear objectives.To give your meetings a more organized and goal-oriented touch, set clear agendas with which the participants can familiarize themselves (and maybe prepare for) prior to the meeting. 

To create an authentic office experience in the virtual workspace, you can even try doing virtual work sessions where you and your team members can sit together and work collaboratively on a document via screen share. Building a spirit of collaboration requires nothing more than… collaboration! 

Alf in Dubai, UAE

Tip #4: And Not Just Regular Calls

In addition to work-related calls, make sure you also check on your team members regularly to ensure they are doing well not only professionally but also personally. You never know what’s going on in the other person’s life. Don’t be afraid to show that you care; it won’t make you come across as unprofessional, but it will definitely let your team members know that there is something else beyond their professional knowledge and skills for which they are valued, loved, and cared for. Caring about the people around you is not only a simple act of kindness and compassion, but it is also a great way to establish a sense of loyalty in your relationships.

Team members are more likely to stay with employers who invest in the wellbeing of their staff and ensure a healthy company culture both inside and outside the office. In fact, as the results of a 2019 study show, half of Millennials and 75% of Gen Zers had left roles in the past for mental health reasons. So if you are not a big fan of losing employees to competitors and having to invest your finances, time and energy in hiring new staff members, then you’d better start investing in the wellbeing of your team. 

Another mind-blowing statistic: according to the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health and the American Psychiatric Foundation’s research, depression costs employers an estimated $44 billion each year in lost productivity. Focus on mental health in a genuine way and quickly you will see that as stress and depression levels decline, your employee morale is enhanced and absenteeism rates will shrink, leading to a more efficient management of human and financial resources. 

Yuliya on an airplane :))

Tip #5: Encourage Proactivity

Three main things happen to people when they start working at a new company. The first is… nothing really happens to them and they feel like a fish in water. Secondly, they can get over-excited and over-active and do their best to prove to you that you’ve made the absolutely right decision. Thirdly (and most commonly), new team members feel exactly like a fish out of water, scared of speaking up and sharing their perspectives as they are afraid they might start drowning in the sea of criticism, judgment, and mockery. 

To ensure a smooth integration of your new team members into the company, make sure to encourage them to take initiative and, as they do, try to understand and appreciate any input that they are willing to offer. It is likely that many of the tools that your company is using right now are not the best ones to work with. Ask your new team members if there is a particular software that they enjoy working with, and you’ll perhaps receive a response that can transform the efficiency of your team’s workflow and bring about a wave of growth and success. We’ll be proactive enough to take the initiative to let you know that, if you are tired of the technical glitches of the online meetings platform that your team is using, you have the opportunity to switch to myOnvent and take your company’s online events to the next level. (We’ll show you how it’s really done with a free demo session which will make online events seem as easy as a breeze!). 

Tip #6: Prioritize Safety 

As more and more companies start transitioning to the digital world, security and privacy has gained an unprecedented level of importance. To ensure maximum safety both for you and your team, think twice before connecting to a potentially fake public Internet hotspot. Remember, these hotspots could be used by hackers to hijack and steal personal or work-related information. 

The good news is that you can make use of the many VPN services available in the market. And you can even take the initiative and ask your IT department to establish or expand their VPN bandwidth. This will ensure that all the remote workers at the company have access to secure and encrypted connection. 

If you are unsure about which VPN provider to choose, you can take a look at TechRadar’s detailed and comprehensive guide that provides a thorough and well-balanced summary of the pros and cons of the best VPNs in the market. Be proactive and ‘hack’ the hackers before they’d hack you and your employees! 

Milena in Abu Dhabi, UAE

The online events platform on which you conduct your online meetings also plays a key role in determining how safe and secure your experience is on the web. At myOnvent, we care about your privacy, and have therefore established partnerships with the most trusted companies in the world to provide you with highly reliable and steadfast solutions wherever you are! 

What’s more, our platform is fully GDPR compliant. This means that you can enjoy full peace of mind knowing that you are the sole owner of your event data when hosting any online meetings and events on myOnvent. 

Closing Thoughts

So, are you feeling ready yet?

As you embark on your new exciting journey of building a remote team, remember to always dedicate time for yourself and your loved ones. And don’t forget to give your team members some personal time as well! Working remotely often means there is no official end-of-work time. This makes it incredibly easy to immerse yourself in the work routine and find yourself working 24/7. Creating a daily work shutdown ritual and leaving your virtual workspace to enjoy the other perks of life is of utmost importance for your and your employees’ mental well-being and long-term success. 

Remember, working remotely is supposed to be fun and exciting, and there are all the necessary tools and platforms in place to make your virtual journey as enjoyable and fantastic as it could possibly be! At myOnvent, we want our clients and partners to succeed, but, far more important than that, we want them to be happy. So next time we meet you on our myOnvent screens, we want to see your happy, genuine smile radiate from behind the screen and light up the entire auditorium!

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