Tips & Opinions
Scribe special edition: Remote work meetings
The impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) on global workforces continues to be significant and far-reaching. Its market and corporate effects have been felt, but the full ramifications are still uncertain.
As workplaces self-quarantine, we continue our series on how Scribe’s fully-distributed team works remotely and collaborates across multiple time zones.
Last week, we introduced you to Scribe’s remote work culture and our top 6 tools to help us operate as a fully-distributed team.
This week, we discuss best practices that make virtual meetings work for our team members and clients, no matter where they are in the world.
If you want to make the most of your remote work collaborations, then this Scribble’s for you.
How to hold better remote meetings
There are times when in-person collaborative meetings are the best and fastest way to engage with clients and each other to reach consensus, generate ideas, or make decisions.
But at Scribe, most of our internal meetings are virtual.
On top of that, our “Way of Work” mission states an “essential-only” meetings policy.
We rely on documented processes, explainer videos, and checklists to maintain our work efficiency and quality.
Here are some of our time-saving, team-centered tips that can make meetings smoother for new or temporary work-from-home teams.
Scheduling meetings in multiple time-zones
Getting everyone on the same page across time zones can be a challenge, especially when team members or clients are outside the U.S.
At Scribe, our team members and clients total up to eight different time zones!
Luckily, there are simple tools to help:
Every Time Zone shows every time across the globe. Just move the slider bar to see how times correspond to your local zone and then click “link” to share the suggested meeting time.
World Clock Meeting Planner lets you choose specific cities for each team member and create a table of suggested meeting times.
Set the format
Call-in or video conference? Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts? Take into consideration which tools are readily available to meeting attendees. Then, indicate which format or tools will be used in the calendar invite.
PRO-TIP: In today’s mobile age, dial-in numbers with additional conference codes can create quite the frustration for remote callers.
Many web conference providers allow you to format your dial-in number so most people (and phone services) can join a call with one-tap dial. This can help avoid the frustration of toggling back and forth between a call-in number and hunting for the code:
Dial-in number [two commas] [meeting code]
Set the agenda
The most effective, efficient meetings provide attendees with agendas and materials in advance.
A sample agenda might include the following components:
Key talking points
Time allotment to discuss each point
Documents, files, or research for attendees to view before the call
Take notes and assign action items
Today’s real-time, collaborative tools enable transparent note-taking and agenda-following during meetings.
It’s useful to capture these during calls and meetings:
Team members in attendance
Follow-up action items and who will handle them, and by when
Documents to review post-call
Next check-in date
Honor the start/stop time
Just because team members work from home, doesn’t mean they aren’t under similar deadlines and time-constraints as their in-house counterparts.
Being respectful of everyone’s schedules and time means being prepared before meetings, not preparing during them. Research first and ask questions second. Clarify a grey area, rather than assume something incorrectly.
Schedule a Discovery Call
If you’re new to the Scribble, schedule a free short, no-obligation Discovery Call so we can review your financial content goals and strategy. You can also check out all that we do, view our latest content work, and see client testimonials and case studies.
P.S. This week’s 20-ish second streaming TV review
Watchmen, Season 1 – HBO streaming
Set in an “alternate” Tulsa, Oklahoma, 30 years after the first film adaptation storyline ends. It’s 2019, Robert Redford enjoys a seventh Presidential term, superheroes are (still) illegal, but now, it’s the police who wear masks to keep identities secret.
The gritty storyline is entirely new and remains faithful to the original graphic novel, psychic squids and all. Watch the movie first if you’re a newbie.