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Tips For Attending Virtual Team Meetings

Working remotely from home during this period, you will probably need to connect with your work colleagues either through formal or informal virtual team meetings. This may be your first time at attending these type of meetings and finding them very different or challenging to get used to.

To help you get prepared for an effective online meeting, consider the following tips for setting up and attending virtual team meetings.

Setting up

  • Find a quiet spot to hold your virtual meeting, avoiding any likely internal and external distractions, e.g. road noise or the main family gathering point like the lounge or kitchen.
  • Mute your microphone in meetings if you do have to sit in a noisy area, until you’re ready to speak.
  • Wear a headset to reduce distractions. It will help maintain your energy and focus.
  • Turn your video on and get used to seeing yourself on screen, if you’re not used to these types of meetings.
  • Pre-empt bandwidth constraints if you are experiencing these. You can join the meeting on your laptop and join audio from your phone instead.
  • Record the team meeting if a team member is missing, so they can quickly catch up on their return to work.
  • Agree signals for no interruptions with family members or flatmates whilst you’re on your team meeting but also appreciate that most colleagues are in the same situation as you.
  • Plan a distraction activity for young children (sometimes easier said than done!) whilst you’re on your virtual meeting, from a play activity to completing their school work dependent upon their age.

Attending virtual meetings

  • Join the meeting early, say 3 – 5 minutes early, so you are ready to start on time. However well you’ve checked the meeting link connection, its worth logging on early to avoid any last minute technical hitches.
  • Check your video and audio is on so you can see and hear your colleagues in the meeting.
  • Mute and silence distracting sounds, e.g. turn off your computer sounds and notifications as well as distracting background noises.
  • Introduce yourself at the beginning of the meeting once everyone has arrived. Make colleagues aware of any potential interruptions you may face during the meeting. They should be quite empathetic during these unusual times.
  • Take it in turns to speak, but don’t over apologise if you speak over a team member. It will inevitably happen.
  • Ask colleagues what they are thinking or how they are feeling about what is being discussed if they are not contributing for a while.
  • Check, agree and assign action points so that everyone is very clear on next steps, ready to report progress at next meeting.

Review, reflect and improve

Finally, reflect on what is and isn’t working well during your virtual team meetings.

Ask yourself:

  • What’s working well during our virtual team meetings?
  • What could we do better or differently at our virtual team meetings?
  • What do we need to change in order to make our meetings more productive and supportive?

We hope you’ve found these tips for attending virtual meetings useful.

  • What other tips can you share with us to help support others during this challenging period?
  • What else can we do to support you?

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About the Author

Kim Larkins, MCIPD is Company Founder of KSL Training. She has amassed over 30 years training and HR management experience.

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