What makes the virtual workplace work are the various virtual tools and meetings that connect team members to each other and to their leaders, teams to other teams, and so on. The meetings are supposed to help people come together, align goals, share experiences, and otherwise make sure that the team both functions well and creates a nice, social place to work for its members. It is very rare, though, that virtual teams report that their meetings work like that: often they speak about technical problems, boring sessions and multi-tasking participants. ‘How can we ensure commitment – and keep our people active and interested?’ virtual leaders often ask – meaning both virtual meetings and virtual work on the whole.
Actually, I don’t think this is necessarily a problem of virtual meetings only: it is not so rare for participants in face-to-face meetings to read e-mails or engage in other activities while the meeting is on, or not everybody to participate fully with their best contributions. This means there is room for improvement in our meeting methods in general – and if you virtualise an ineffective meeting method, the result is rather a double frustration instead of an effective virtual meeting…Lire la suite