“Hybrid Meetings” where most attendees are physically in a room and a few connecting remotely over video is pretty standard in my organization. This setup has a lot of disadvantages. In fact I can’t think of any advantage for the meeting structure and facilitation.

In this new “everybody-works-remotely” world it is easy to lose the connection to your colleagues you’ve seen every day in the office. Keeping these connections alive is more important than ever.

You are leading a remote video call and pose a question to all attendees. What follows is awkward silence…nobody says anything for a long painful moment.
While meeting facilitators need to be comfortable with silence in general, having these moments in a remote meeting is particularly painful. What goes through your head are questions like – ‘Did they understand the question?’ – ‘Did they hear me or was there a connection issue?’ – ‘Did they listen at all?’
Sound familiar? Here are a few tips on how to combat these moments or at least reduce them to a minimum.

While we were encouraged to work from home for the last two weeks because of Coronavirus, it’s now officially a mandate starting tomorrow, March 17, 2020. Our office will be closed. Nobody is allowed to go to work. Everybody has to stay at home and work remotely.

Most of us are working from home every now and then and most of my work colleagues are part of a fully or partly distributed team. However, being at home every day, not seeing your work colleagues in the office, not having ad-hoc social interactions and suddenly being in fully remote meetings is a major change and can be challenging. That is why, from tomorrow on, I’ll post daily thoughts and tips on remote working and being in general as well as remote meeting facilitation. And I will do this for as long as the imposed working from home quarantine is going to last.

I recently facilitated a session for my team at our quarterly team gathering to introspect about who they are as a team and how they are working together. We’ve done this session during a transition phase where one team member was about to leave while a new team member just joined the team. Both were present in the room.