How to Take Your Meetings Online

Submitted by: Josh Erwin

Meetings are an unavoidable part of business, regardless of your role or industry. The fact of the matter is that people have to come together and talk for business to get done, which is why organizations and individuals alike are constantly reevaluating the effectiveness of their meetings. After all, time is money; if your meetings are full of wasted time, it could ultimately start affecting your bottom line. Online meetings are an increasingly popular alternative to in-person conference room get-togethers, and they help facilitate a workforce that’s more mobile than ever before.

However, in the face of complicated technology and old habits, some companies have lagged behind the online meetings revolution.

If you’re considering taking some or all of your company’s meetings online, here are some tips and tricks for easing the transition:

Know What Equipment You’ll Need

To ensure a productive collaboration experience, there’s some hardware your company and workers will need. For starters, webcams are must-haves; did you know that up to 93% of communication is non-verbal? Without the visual component provided by webcams, you’ll miss out on a huge chunk of the conversation. But if everyone in your meeting is on high-quality video, online meetings are the next best thing to face-to-face.

Another handy accessory is a quality headset for your deskphone or smartphone. In addition to comfort and sound quality, using a headset frees up your hands during your online meeting, allowing you to engage in features like chat, note taking, Q&A and more without juggling a handset on your shoulder.

Start Small

Consider a small online meetings pilot program comprised of key stakeholders, decision makers or simply coworkers whose opinion you value. Many online meeting tools offer a free trial, allowing you to dip your toe in the water without fully committing to a product. After all, your company’s meeting style is uniquely its own, and only through real-world testing of an online meetings tool will you know if your organization is ready to take its meetings online.

Prioritize User Experience

When deploying an online meeting initiative, user experience is vitally important. If the technology is too cumbersome or difficult to use, people will fall back on phone calls and emails, wasting your investment and squandering opportunities to empower employee productivity.

When choosing an online meeting tool for your business, carefully consider the level of intuitiveness and ease-of-use. Overwhelming interfaces, unnecessary downloads and plugins and unclear interface design are all signs of a tool that won’t help you meet your collaboration potential. On the other hand, a seamlessly designed online meeting experience is the best way to get buy-in from both decision-makers in your organization and, ultimately, your entire workforce.

Online meetings are the future of business collaboration. If you need help getting started, contact PGi today!