The COVID-19 pandemic brought about changes in the modus operandi of many organizations and businesses.
One of these changes being a shift from the conventional face-to-face meetings that were the norm pre-COVID-19, to an online meeting.
However, as offices gradually resume physical operations, there are takeaways from an online meeting, especially with regards to relations and etiquette, that we think they should maintain in order to improve efficiency and promote a healthy work environment.
Socialize before meetings
Anyone who is always early at an online meeting will testify that there’s usually an awkward silence at the beginning part when everyone is trying to log on and ensure their microphones are in order. The same goes for physical meetings.
In physical meetings, the ” early comers” sit and awkwardly fiddle with their pen or writing pads (or devices) while waiting for others to join in.
Organizations that have physical meetings can take a cue from online meetings where a few minutes are allowed for socializing before the meeting formally starts.
This will ensure that people catch up on stuff and put themselves together while waiting for the others to join in.
Reduce the number of meetings
The purpose of meetings is basically to keep people updated on issues, reflect on them and possibly make plans.
However, compared to remote organizations that are more likely to hold fewer meetings, physical meetings tend to be more and, boy! do they take so much time?
Since they take so much time, physical meeting time should be considered so that people don’t end up using productive time on meetings.
Overlap? Let the other person speak
There are instances when one person starts talking and the other person does at the same time due to network lag, then comes that awkward pause from both parties when they realize the situation.
What then happens is that one of the speakers courteously asks the other person to go ahead while they wait their turn to speak.
This happens in in-person meetings as well (only in this case, people talk over one another.
Adopting the online method of moderating by asking one person to speak first before allowing another person to speak ensures everyone gets equal opportunities to speak and that no points are left out at meetings.
It’s a known fact that some meetings do not need your full attention as the information is passed at some point isn’t relevant to you.
In online meetings, you can multitask by listening in while working at the background.
Organizations can adopt this method by allowing employees who have nothing to do with a conversation at a certain point listen in while working at meetings.
Allowing them multitask ensures their work doesn’t pile up at the end of the day.
It takes trust for all of these to work.
Working remotely takes discipline and dedication on the part of the employee, and employers need to be assured that adopting some of these techniques offline will not hamper employee productivity.
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