Remote work has become the new norm, but of the biggest challenges is replicating the collaboration that takes place during in-person meetings. To make your virtual meetings more effective, consider these ideas.

Encourage the Use of Video

It’s common for attendees to multi-task or become disengaged during virtual meetings. Using video can help this problem, keeping people more engaged and involved in the meeting’s content. Encourage all participants to use video when possible. However, you should also make sure there is a voice-only dial-in option for those without the ability to video conference.

Understand Your Technology

Different virtual meeting apps have different features. Do a test run of any new technology, so every participant knows how to sign in, if anything needs to be downloaded, and they understand the major features of the software and how it will be used.

Make an Agenda – and Stick to It

Any meeting has the potential to get off-track, but virtual meetings are especially prone to this problem. Send out an agenda and any appropriate resources before the beginning of the meeting and appoint a facilitator to keep everyone on the same page.

Check in With Everyone

The key to a successful virtual meeting is to make sure all voices are heard, just as they would be in-person. Go around the “table” to check-in with everyone at the start of the meeting, and throughout the meeting to see what everyone is thinking. Utilizing features to ‘raise a hand” when someone wants to speak, taking a poll, or other means of soliciting opinions can also help people feel their voices are heard.

Keep Presentations Short

Many times, presentations can be sent before the meeting, so the topics can be better discussed at the meeting. If you need to present something during the meeting itself, try to keep it short, so people stay engaged. Using screen-sharing software is a good option to help keep people on the same page, and help steer discussions appropriately.

Remote work and virtual meetings are more essential now than ever. By taking steps to make your virtual meetings more effective, you can keep employees engaged and tackle even hard subjects remotely.