August 4

How to Make Remote Team Meetings Fun… by Getting Rid of Them

Now that COVID-19 is in full swing, one of the biggest horrors from this pandemic is businesses trying to take in-person meetings online. The funniest and the worst part of it is when you see them trying to figure out how to make remote team meetings fun.

If you are a business owner or manager and are trying to liven up your online meetings, let me give you advice… Use this opportunity to get rid of them.

There's a reason why the typical online business or businesses that have already embraced remote working have a much more efficient and effective team. While meetings are ordinary and adopted in the cubicle nation, the online world hates them. Meetings by their very nature are a waste of time.

I remember back when I worked at one of the largest aerospace companies in the world, and we would have a daily “tag up” meeting. These meetings had 10 to 20 people spending the first hour of the day updating everyone that's going on in their world. The fact that you could have 20 people in that room every day for one hour meant every week you spent 100 staff hours giving updates.

With all of the physical meetings going online, there is more of an opportunity for people to filibuster and eat up everyone's time. People want to justify their position and explain why they should keep their job as the economy is potentially collapsing. That means more and more man-hours plague these “efficient” remote meetings.

Here is the bottom line; people find more fun and fulfillment in spending their time doing actual work rather than being on meetings. People go to work to get paid and to do a good job. When leaders try to force fun and force “motivational opportunities,” they fanned the flames of resentment. Very few employees enjoy the mandatory fun events, whether they are in person or remote.

If you want to make meetings fun, make them as short as possible, and keep them under one hour per week. Real-time chat apps like Slack, or project management software like Asana keep teams connected effectively.

I'm not saying that meetings don't have their use, but the more you try to force what “works” in the office into the online realm, the more problems you will have. Take advantage of this and embrace the constraints. The more you're able to keep communication as tight as possible and utilize today's technologies to advance the interpersonal communication between your team, the more growth you will see.

Let people do their jobs, and they will have more fun and will be much more productive.


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