Business Make the most of remote meetings and avoid burnout

Make the most of remote meetings and avoid burnout


Virtual meetings aren’t too bad at the start of the day, but if they keep piling up throughout the day, it can make things difficult for employees. Mental fog, mental fatigue and lack of creativity and focus are all too common, partly due to too many online meetings. Fortunately, there are ways employees and managers can get more out of their remote meetings and avoid long-term burnout.

Make the most of remote meetings

Tip 1: Prepare and present correctly

Nothing is worse than a meeting that can be great and turn boring and unproductive. People are not focused, participation is low and the presenter has to repeat himself several times. Make sure the little things are taken care of; share the appropriate link on the team’s online agenda and make sure everyone is aware of the meeting. Managers can easily send a reminder via Slack or other communication tools to inform team members that the meeting starts in an hour.

In terms of presentation, managers and employees can ensure that audience members are mentally present by prioritizing audience involvement. For those leading or facilitating the meeting, asking questions of specific individuals can be powerful. Consider asking team members if they can join the meeting on a small scale. Even though they may only speak for a minute or two, it can keep them engaged before and after their remarks and thus keep them more attentive during the meeting.

Another small change that presenters and facilitators can make is for them to go their own way for the benefit of the group. When presenters speak a million miles a minute, it can make it harder for team members to understand them, making them more likely to drop out. After meetings, presenters can also message team members individually and get their feedback on the general points of the meeting.

Team members vary in preference and level of involvement, so getting feedback from your team can help you become a better presenter for your team.

Tip #2: Get rid of distractions.

More than 50% of individuals perform other non-productive tasks during meetingssuch as checking emails and checking their phones. About 40% surf social media, some surf the web and others daydream. In a remote environment, you don’t have complete control over what your employees do, and it’s hard to tell when a team member is looking at something else on the Internet. Some employees even admit to playing video games during meetings. To counter this, try to cultivate a culture that prioritizes meetings. Encourage team members to participate in a “ceremonial closing of tabs” when they join the meeting.

Tip #3: Be selective about meetings

Meetings aren’t always necessary, and sometimes organizations schedule team meetings that can really be an email or even a Slack message. A Harvard Research study found that about 70% of meetings prevent employees from being productive. The study also found that employee productivity increased by 71% when the number of meetings held was reduced by 40%.

HBR recommends that managers scale back meetings by being more selective in meetings. They recommend only holding “meetings when absolutely necessary. That typically includes reviewing work done (what worked or didn’t work and why), clarifying and validating something (policies, team goals, etc.) or to “distribute work appropriately among your team.”

Even if meetings are necessary, make sure you invite only those team members who are absolutely necessary for the meeting and for the purpose the team is seeking. HBR also recommends that managers encourage team members to flag or cancel meetings if those meetings are not a good use of their time.

Owl Labs has created a list of questions for managers or anyone in need of a meeting. The first question they recommend is to ask if the matter is urgent or time sensitive. If the matter is urgent and important, consider messaging team members on Slack first if you don’t necessarily need their input. If there’s an issue that absolutely needs input from other team members, it’s best to set up a meeting with everyone.

Tip #4: Keep meetings short

Shorter meetings help employees be more productive but how can managers keep meetings shorter? As discussed above, limiting the number of team members or individuals in the meeting can be helpful, especially for keeping meetings shorter. Another strategy managers can take is to assign meeting roles to different team members.

Managers may also consider reducing the time of meetings and fit the content they need in time. For example, shorten one-hour meetings to just 45 minutes or 30-minute meetings to just 15 minutes.

Tip 5: Refresh your mind.

Inhale, exhale and return your attention to your physical and mental health. Guided breathing methods are now accessible online, allowing users to take a break between meetings and even during sessions. Additionally, to feel more comfortable, consider surrounding your desk with something small to help you relax. This could be something as small as a houseplant or a photo of your partner, but it can make a big difference.

Finally, a great way to refresh your mind is to get outside. Getting some fresh air and sunlight on your skin can generally help people feel more alert and refreshed when they return to their desks. This could be just sitting on the porch, hanging out in the backyard, or taking a walk around the neighborhood. Walks don’t have to be long to be effective either; 15 minutes can be enough to get employees back to work.

Tip 6: Create a room especially for meetings

When working remotely, setting up a dedicated meeting room has many notable benefits. It primarily improves professionalism and productivity. Setting up a more formal and focused environment is made easier by reserving a location specifically for meetings. Participants can more successfully participate in conversations, improve communication and decision making by eliminating distractions and providing a professional setting.

Second, a designated meeting space can significantly increase the level of online interactions. It allows people to arrange the ideal lighting, placement and audio equipment to ensure effective communication. Participants can communicate non-verbal cues more effectively during meetings if adequate lighting and the right camera angles increase understanding and engagement. In addition, enhancing audio quality with noise reduction technology or sound isolation techniques helps to reduce background noise and ensure that participants can hear each other clearly.

Dedicated meeting space also promotes harmony between work and private life. Drawing boundaries between work and home is easier when meetings take place in a specific location. People can switch psychologically between their professional and personal roles by physically entering and leaving the meeting location. This format reduces the tendency to be in a work mindset all the time and allows for more focus and presence during meetings, which increases productivity and improves overall well-being.

Tip 7: Avoiding meeting burnout is a team effort

It takes a collective effort to prevent burnout rather than just being an individual responsibility. Teams should work together to design procedures that reduce burnout and promote a healthy work environment by recognizing the cumulative impact of meetings on team member productivity and well-being.

First and foremost, a team’s ability to communicate and collaborate effectively is crucial. The frequency, duration, and purpose of meetings, as well as other preferences, should be openly discussed by team members. Teams can reduce the total number of meetings and ensure that only important topics are covered by deciding together whether each meeting is necessary. This prevents wasted time, which leads to burnout.

Groups can actively promote effective meeting procedures. Each meeting includes establishing clear objectives, agendas and deliverables that can be implemented. By applying these guidelines, team members can stay focused and productive during meetings, reducing time wasted on side issues or useless conversations. Meetings can be held more effectively by promoting the use of technologies and tools that simplify communication, including collaborative platforms or shared documents.

Teams can also be flexible when it comes to meetings. Team members can use asynchronous communication channels for non-urgent conversations, such as email or project management software, because they know that not all discussions require synchronous communication. Teams can reduce the overall tension of meetings and give people more control over their agendas by embracing flexibility and empowering people to manage their time well.

Tip 8: Change your eating pattern

Eating a balanced diet is essential to avoid fatigue from virtual meetings. Eating well promotes general health and gives you the strength and concentration you need to get through long sessions. Here are four ways a balanced diet can help prevent workplace burnout.

First, eating foods high in nutrients helps maintain cognitive function and brain health. Your body receives vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants when you choose a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats. These nutrients help you stay focused and engaged during virtual meetings, which also helps with memory and concentration, reducing your risk of burnout.

A balanced diet also helps maintain energy levels throughout the day by helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Lean proteins and complex carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes and vegetables can give you a continuous energy supply. This reduces the mental fatigue caused by burnout by preventing energy crashes and helping you maintain focus and productivity during back-to-back sessions.

Image credit: Pexels; CorronBro; Thank you!

The mail Make the most of remote meetings and avoid burnout appeared first on Calendar.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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