The 5 biggest challenges in remote meetings

How do you lead meetings effectively when your attendees are spread across buildings, cities, countries and continents?

This is a special kind of communication and require a special skill set. Here are five big hurdles you have to deal with:

  1. Tech hazzle! This is probably the most frustrating part of a virtual meeting. Lost pin codes, poor connections, no skills in how to handle the system. So many things go wrong. As the leader: learn the technology at hand!
  2. Multitasking. If you run a boring meeting, they will distract themselves with email, texting, cooking, eating, online shopping and even going to the WC… As the facilitator: Short meetings with lots of interaction is the key.
  3. Noisy backgrounds. It’s hard to concentrate when you hear the dog barking, the church bells ringing, the baby crying, the announcement from the conductor etc. As the chairperson: Agree that the phones are muted unless it’s your turn to speak
  4. Too long meetings. It’s much harder to focus in a remote meeting and it drains us of energy quicker. Some experts say that two hours is the maximum length. It’s way shorter than that. As the head honcho: keep’em short!
  5. Time zone struggles. If you live in central Europe, it might be great for you to have the meeting at 11am, but not so fun for your colleague in Singapore, not to mention San Fransisco. As the meeting manager: Circulate the meeting time so that it fits everyone sometimes

Best of luck with your remote meetings ^_^

//Antoni Lacinai, author of (among other books) Virtual meetings

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