The Unicorn HRO Blog

Etiquette at Remote Team Meetings

Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2016 by Unicorn HRO

More and more, technology allows companies to utilize remote team meetings as a way of carrying out day-to-day business.  However, while some are acquainted with how they should behave during remote meetings, others might be new to these settings and need to be informed as to how to conduct themselves in them.   Below are some best practices on the expected etiquette at remote meetings.

Host Etiquette

If you are hosting a remote meeting, planning is important. Ensure that you’re using the best means of communication to reach others letting them know you want to set up a meeting. The ability to share detailed information regarding the date and time, and using an online meeting platform that is available to all team members is important.   Make sure to have the structure of your meeting organized in advance having already planned how much time you are going to spend on each point.  It is a good idea to send the meeting participants any relevant materials in advance so they will have time to review them and give feedback.  During the meeting, avoid going off point or rambling by staying focused on relevant matters, and being as clear and succinct as possible. This ensures that meetings do not run over their allotted time and this communicates respect for the attendees. Also leave time for your meeting members to ask questions or raise concerns.  

Make sure that your goals are clear

Remote team meetings are about collaboration between team members.  Communicate in advance to your team members what you want to accomplish from the meeting.   You should clearly lay out what the role or responsibility of each team member should be when planning the agenda, so that each member is able to productively participate in the meeting.  As the team leader you are the facilitator of the discussion, and it’s your job to make sure that each of your co-workers is giving useful input and feedback while at the same time providing your own.

Be aware of everyone else’s schedule

One of the benefits of remote team meetings is that it allows people to work together on projects or strategies without being in the same room, town, state or even country.   Consequently, the meeting leader should be aware of the schedules of others, as some could be in completely different time zones and may not be available for the time you want to set. Correspond with all team members in advance to know what their schedule is, and set a time that everyone can agree upon.  If possible, try your best to schedule these meetings during everyone’s work hours.

Act as you would at an actual work meeting

While remote meetings allow you to conduct business from almost anywhere, you should still act in these meetings the way you would at an important office board meeting.  Dress appropriately (even if you are conducting the meeting from your home).   Be courteous to other team members, and don’t interrupt them.  Minimize background noise in your environment, as this can easily be picked up on the microphone and speaker system. If it is a meeting where cameras are used, make sure to keep your body movements minimal, and make eye contact with the camera.  If you are working with a team member who might be communicating from another country and who speaks English as a second language, make sure to speak slowly and clearly, and be culturally sensitive to them. 

By following these simple guidelines, you should be able to organize an effective remote meeting in which you and your team members can achieve clear and productive goals that will contribute to the company’s aims as well as its vision.

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