Have better virtual staff meetings

By | February 10, 2021
Young black man with glasses, head resting on laptop keyboard.
(Violet Dashi/U-M Dearborn News)

Few aspects of office life inspire more grumbling than meetings. And the fact that they’re taking place almost exclusively online now hasn’t helped their reputation much. But according to U-M Dearborn instructional designer Autumm Caines, who’s been facilitating virtual meetings since 2015, much of the “doom and gloom of Zoom” can be softened with a few simple tweaks to your team’s approach.

One of the most significant ways virtual meetings differ from their in-person counterparts is when two people attempt to talk at the same time. Caines says try leaning on the chat feature a little more in your meetings — especially large meetings. In fact, she says chat is generally a great tool for boosting participation.

Another one of Caines tips: Think of hosting a meeting almost like you’re hosting a party. For example, try assigning a designated greeter, who shows up early to acknowledge each person as they log in and help alleviate the awkwardness for the “first arrivals.”