Do you dread virtual meetings? Make them better

Do you dread virtual meetings? Make them better

What YOU can do to make virtual meetings better for yourself

Many remote workers spend much of their time in virtual meetings and conference calls. Many of these calls are not well organised nor are they properly facilitated, but what is worst, you can still have experiences like the one shown in this video: Continue reading “Do you dread virtual meetings? Make them better”

3 ways to use slides and captivate a virtual audience

3 ways to use slides and captivate a virtual audience

Ever heard of Death by Powerpoint? Even if you have not, you probably have sat in on presentations where the presenter uses presentation slides more to remind himself of the things he wanted to say than to help you understand his message. To me, the worst version of this is when each slide is packed with words in small font, and they are read off the slides by the presenter.

But slides can be quite useful and help your audience stay engaged. In a virtual meeting, slides can serve a number of purposes: Continue reading “3 ways to use slides and captivate a virtual audience”

How to deal with intercultural issues in remote teams

How to deal with intercultural issues in remote teams

Intercultural communication has been a topic in teams and organisations for quite some time. Still, in recent years the situation has changed and now requires a different approach to dealing with cultural differences.

Until only a few years ago, most members of a team were sitting in one location. They had rarely more than one dominating culture. The responsibility to bridge the distance (and the cultural difference) was mainly with the team leader and other high level managers, who would travel around to world to keep in touch with their people and ensure that the work done in the different locations was coordinated and coherent. In some cases the managers were sent to a different country, where they had to learn how the culture differed from their own and adapt to the local practices.

This situation has changed quite considerably in most organisations. Today, most teams spread across many countries, if not continents. There might still be a large group of people in one location (typically in headquarters) but the team is predominantly distributed, and includes people from a number of different cultures. Furthermore, most if not all communication is virtual, and virtual distance (physical, but also operational and most importantly affinity distance) heavily influences the effectiveness of a team.
Continue reading “How to deal with intercultural issues in remote teams”

Why not cancel your next virtual meeting?

Why not cancel your next virtual meeting?

Real time meetings are touch points for team members: they raise attention levels and focus energy. When I know that I have a meeting next Wednesday and that the team has agreed on some deliverables, this is usually something that has a considerable binding force.

Nevertheless, in the virtual environment, the meeting organizer should always consider alternatives to meetings. By the way: this holds true for face-to-face meetings as well. Very often, we just call in a meeting because that is what we are used to, but at the same time we complain about too many meetings, right? The virtual toolbox allows for many more alternatives in asynchronous work processes. We should not consider a meeting to be an automatic requirement. Virtual collaboration also means chatting, collaboration on a document in a wiki, working on an online mind map together, and the like. These new collaborative options are only possible when using virtual tools. This is a huge and often unexploited potential area for virtual work. Continue reading “Why not cancel your next virtual meeting?”