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A critical skill for remote work

Working remotely for employees can be firstly fun, then hustle, and eventually, everything will break apart if it is not well thought through. Not to mention, technical difficulties when joining online meetings, low bandwidth, disabling video calls.

Body language, different environments, tone of voice and posture, everything is different when being in an online meeting. But one thing is the same. Like with the regular meetings, they “eat” a lot of time and it is pretty easy to get lost in numerous meetings without any results. 

Then, employees will see those meetings as an obstacle for their work, not as a tool to set the shared goal, align direction or to overcome some impediment. 

Here is one example of how easily meetings can be abused or wasted: 

  • 10 people meeting that last 90 minutes can take a total of 2 workdays time, the cost for the company could be 4 digits sum, and the question is: Is the outcome of that meeting worth the investment?

  • Meeting rooms are the resource in your company and you need to justify their usage. In an online meeting world, using tools can be treated as a zero cost, neglecting time and people's effort investment, or not?

  • Are meetings ad-hoc scheduled, without a clear agenda, participant list and desired outcome, just because it is a few clicks away?

  • Having a tool from an Agile world is not being Agile and responding to change, it is usually totally opposite if your attention is to a tool and not to the people;

  • Managers impact on meetings could be disruptive in online, as well as in face to face meetings;

  • Being on some meeting where you cannot contribute, learn something or do not want to be, is counterproductive on many fronts;

  • No working agreements how the discussion should go will create chaos for sure;

  • Do a group at the end of the meeting have some agreeable for all course of action, some delivery to follow through, and check in the follow-up meeting?

Just in the USA, the average employee spends 5 hours on meetings, and at least 4 hours preparing for them. 

As always, there is:

  • the right way of doing the things;

  • doing the right things.

Prerequisite for success is knowing how and why you do both. Having skills in meeting facilitation can help you with both, and be crucial for the company.

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