Seven Best Practices in Scheduling a Virtual Meeting

Meeting via web would always be part of a virtual assistant’s professional life, given the fact communication is a foundation for his or her work. Apart from e-mails and written messages, meeting either via call or video conferencing is one way to coordinate tasks, clarify matters, ask questions, and even share ideas with your co-workers.

Nonetheless, scheduling a virtual meeting is not as easy as selecting a date and time on the calendar. There are also considerations to make for both parties. Be reminded that meetings would be part of a worker’s schedule. Hence, it is imperative that it would not affect any of the person’s commitments, projects, and daily tasks.

There are best practices in scheduling a virtual meeting, which you could apply right away, such as the following:

Identify if a meeting is indeed necessary. According to The Muse’s survey, executives view over 67 percent of meetings as failures. This is despite how much time and money are spent on meetings. The said survey also found out that over US$37 billion is spent on these valueless meetings.

Given the fact, you should consider whether a meeting should be scheduled or otherwise. There may be another way to coordinate the agenda of the conversation, which may take less time. For instance, an e-mail may be sent instead with detailed information of the concern. At the very least, one can check it out without having to dedicate a chunk of time, which could have been allocated for more important tasks.

Schedule meetings in advance. Always consider that the persons involved in the meeting would need time to prepare for the discussion based on the agenda. Setting a meeting at least a couple of days, in advance, could be very helpful. This would even keep the people from scheduling other commitments that may coincide with the meeting.

Consider the opportune times for all the meeting attendees. If you want to make the meeting efficient, it is best to schedule it at a time that is convenient to all. Avoid the end of the work week for this is the time that most are trying to keep up with their deadlines. 

You should also consider if Mondays are indeed friendly for all, for some may find the start of the week the busiest, while the others do devote it to touch-base communication.

Never forget the preferred platform of attendees. It is best to settle with a communication platform that works for all. For instance, some may prefer using Skype, while others are used to Zoom conferencing. If you will schedule a virtual meeting, always inquire what application works best for all, if not, for most.

Invite only relevant people for the discussion. There are meetings that require a lot of workers in attendance without actually giving a reason for their participation. At the end of the day, they become an audience to a discussion they would not be a part of, instead of spending their time on more important activities.

The goal of a meeting is to clarify concerns, solve problems, and check the status of activities within the organization. The persons involved in the meeting should be the ones that could provide input and collaborate. With key attendees, the objective of the meeting would be met much more easily and quickly.

For instance, if the Assistant Manager is in attendance instead of the Manager himself or herself, it is likely that some matters may still need to be clarified with the latter right after the meeting. Time could have been saved if the Manager was in attendance in the first place.

Always include the agenda in the meeting schedule. Do not simply send a calendar invite when scheduling a meeting. It is best to include the agenda in the event description. Should there be materials involved, these should be attached, as well. Sending the files separately may actually bring confusion and cause attendees to miss it.

Set short meetings. Lengthy meetings could keep the participants from being involved. The longer a meeting is, the more the attendees could be anxious about other tasks they are working on. If you could set a meeting that is 30 minutes the longest in duration, then you should do so. This could be done without complications as long as there is an agenda in place.

Designating a schedule for a meeting could either make or break one’s day at work. With the practices provided above, you would be able to schedule virtual meetings more effectively without compromising anyone’s productivity. If there are statistics showing that meetings are unproductive, it does not mean that you should let it be that way in your organization. They can also be meaningful and constructive, as long as they are managed appropriately.