“Not another virtual meeting!”
If that sentiment has crossed your mind in recent days and weeks as you check your look in the mirror, find something to occupy your learn-from-home kids and shove the dog into the backyard—you're not alone. While they have certainly saved many businesses and preserved workflow during the pandemic, the seemingly never-ending barrage of face-to-face (but not quite) meetings are bringing both the benefits and challenges of virtual sessions into stark relief.
These challenges are nothing new. You're just feeling it more now because the frequency of virtual sessions has ticked up exponentially. From December 2019 to March 2020, daily active users on Zoom increased from 10 million to 200 million. Cisco Webex meetings have similarly skyrocketed—daily meeting volume more than doubled in March and user volume is up 24x during peak hours.
There's a science and an art to a great virtual session that isn't always intuitive, even though it seems like you should be able to click on a link and proceed like you would during any meeting.
But it's not that simple. Virtual sessions require extra focus on intentionality and effort.
Meeting attendees have a job to do during virtual sessions to ensure productivity, which includes engaging and avoiding the obvious pitfalls like multitasking and hiding in the crowd. But the onus of a successful virtual meeting is, by and large, on the shoulders of the presenters and organizers. Simply sending the meeting invite and an agenda won't cut it if you want success.
As Sun Tzu once said, “The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.” We unpack exactly what this means for virtual sessions in our latest eBook, “Lights, Camera … Productivity: Your Guide to Better Virtual Meetings.” You'll also find the 7 key areas you should focus on for better meeting success, from creating the right mindset among participants all the way to establishing accountability and generating action after the meeting.
Even if you're a work-from-home virtual meeting veteran, you may find a few tidbits (or at least a refresher) that will remove some of the pressure from your next virtual meeting. It's a reprieve that we can all use as we adjust to the new normal of remote working. The eBook is, of course, free and ungated—and chock-full of tactics that will help you button up your next session.
Keep in mind that dogs will bark and kids will make cameos. But if you keep these tips in mind, along with your humanity, kindness and sense of humor, you'll find creative ways to drive productivity and engagement in every virtual session your organization hosts.
At Navigate, we like to say “we're with you” – so please reach out if you have an important virtual session of your own that could benefit from our insights.