Managing time during online meetings can be a headache for the managers as it is difficult to manage resources at your disposal and keep a check on time alongside. Developing one’s ability to run effective meetings with management skills is a critical part for ensuring successful meetings.

Companies all around the world have embraced remote working environments. With some preparation and a game plan, your team can also have online meetings that are more productive and collaborative.

This post is #2 in a series I am writing on “Tips for successful remote meetings”, brought to you by Rate My Meeting. Earlier we discussed 5 key benefits of having a clear meeting agenda. Let’s have a look at the 2nd element Rate My Meeting uses to improve remote meetings: Time was managed effectively. We help our clients to manage expectations on time spend on topics and schedule any complex discussions for another time as they come up. Consider a countdown clock on a screen or laptop to increase time consciousness during the meeting.​

For teams, there are a series of pointers to recommend that they can keep in mind which can help in better time management for meetings.

1)  Be sure your presence is required

The first and foremost thing is to confirm whether your presence is necessary in the meeting or not. There are going to be times when there are more pressing tasks that you need to undertake, and you can focus on those tasks if the meeting can go ahead without you.

Sometimes, there may not be a need for you to attend the whole meeting. It may be only the first 10 minutes that your services are required.

2) Have a clear and well-structured agenda

Creating a clear and well-structured agenda is a key part of meeting preparation as these make things easy. Everyone gets to know about the specific contribution expected of them in the meeting. Remember to send the agenda at least 24 hours before the meeting so that everyone gets adequate time to prepare.

You can check out 5 key benefits of having a clear meeting agenda  here.

3) Appoint a meeting moderator

A moderator is essential to control the proceedings of the meeting and to keep everyone focused on the task at hand. This is highly important in online meetings, since there's a high chance of miscommunication taking place due to internet connectivity and Audio/Video issues.

4) Summarize the main point and press for closure

Once you have discussed a subject thoroughly,  learn to summarize the main points from your discussion. Also press for closure on what has been decided and what follow-up actions should be taken, before you switch to next item on the agenda.

5) Start and finish on time and keep a record

It is imperative to start and end the meetings on time so that all the employees respect the meeting deadlines. Include a countdown clock on the meeting screen to increase time consciousness during the meeting.​ Also. remember to take notes from the meeting regularly and maintain a record of all the happenings which took place in the meeting.

5 essential steps to improve time management
Photo by Brad Neathery / Unsplash

How to find you did well on time management?

Time management is very essential for conducting effective and productive meetings. If people feel timelines in online meetings are not being respected, Rate My Meeting gives them an opportunity for submitting completely anonymous feedback right after the meeting. Everyone involved gets to know about their strengths and weaknesses. If your team is unable to achieve its goals during meetings you can work on your weaknesses accordingly and this facilitates room for improvement in your meeting skills. Learning how participants feel personally helps to understand their mindset and thought process. Direct, anonymous and precise input from all the participants is the best way forward towards mutually beneficial online meetings.

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Rate My Meeting is here to disrupt your meeting culture: 35% of managers’ time is spend in meetings. 50% of employees feel meetings are unproductive. And 75% of employees are not trained in meetings. Make frustrating meetings a thing of the past by measuring honest feedback on your meetings today, growing your skills with proven tools and knowledge and apply your learnings, enjoy productive meetings and show off your new skills. Reduce your work frustrations and make remote meetings more productive: create a free account and start today!