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Improving Your Team Meetings and Collaboration When Working Remotely

  • Team meetings can inhibit productivity rather than supporting it, especially when working remotely
  • Adjusting the focus of your meetings and giving more priority to one-on-one sessions can improve how your company operates
  • A variety of online tools are available to encourage digital collaboration among teams

Most companies bring their team together at least once or twice a week with the goal of sharing updates on current projects, coming up with new ideas, assigning roles, or otherwise fostering creativity and collaboration. If these meetings aren’t effective, though, they’ll become a dreaded ritual among your workers: a regular get-together that does nothing but sap their time, energy, and productivity.

Making your meetings effective has become even more crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, as virtual check-ins may be the only way your team is having live discussions. Alison Green, in her management column for, says team meetings may be more effective if managers choose one or two challenges to focus on and have the meeting discuss ideas or strategies to address them.

Managers can also promote better collaboration and productivity by making individual contacts to link team members who can assist each other. They can also do one-one-one check-ins on issues that only affect individual segments of the company, ensuring that these matters don’t come up at team meetings where they need to be resolved before employees who are not involved with them.

One-on-one meetings are also a good way for managers to offer better support to their team. One survey found that three-quarters of managers found these check-ins to be useful, with 82 percent of workers saying they helped make them more comfortable bringing up difficult matters. Regular one-on-one meetings can also help build trust and accountability while more effectively resolving issues.

Team members can also make use of a number of technologies and strategies to improve their collaboration. These include document sharing services, messaging services, and “virtual side by side” arrangements where team members work together with a video chat open so they can quickly check in with a co-worker if necessary.

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