Rules to Better Remote Meetings

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  1. Do you provide at least two days’ notice for people in other time zones?

    Ideally, giving people more than 1 weeks’ notice gives people enough time to adjust their schedule, and keep their clients informed about their availability.​
  2. Do you ensure speakers use a microphone?

    ​It’s sometimes quite hard to hear who is speaking. Usually the person leading the meeting is audible because they’ll using be a mic, but if others want to talk, they should come up next to the presenter and speak – this is important so people who are attending the meeting remotely can hear what is happening.

    It’s worse when there are multiple conversations going on – let one person speak at a time, and make sure they’re close to the mic. No side conversations!​
  3. Do you give remote attendees the URL to shared videos?

    If the presenter wants to show a video, they should give remote attendees the URL to the video prior to playing. Video never plays well over a shared screen. ​
  4. Do you keep a chat window open at the side of the screen at all times?

    It's important that the remote attendees are included, and because they can't see the other attendees, and audio quality is not ideal, text is much better for short comments and replies.​

  5. Do you send out an email summary after each meeting?

    After a meeting, you should summarise the main issues and decisions of the meeting. The level of detail in the communication should suit the type of meeting, but should at least include a bullet point list of agenda items or any announcements made at the meeting. This can also serve as a reference for those who did attend the meeting.​

  6. Do you have successful remote meetings?

    ​​Ever had a remote meeting via Skype or Skype for Business and had numerous issues with people accessing the meeting, or you couldn't find the shared files, or links afterwards? The de facto approach of communicating via group emails and sharing files via a patchwork of different services is difficult, with the potential for missed messages and files. SSW thinks Microsoft Teams is designed to solve those problems.

    ​At SSW, we use Microsoft Teams for our company meetings and for our internal communication. Microsoft Teams is designed to provide an easier way for small groups of people to communicate and collaborate.

    Microsoft Teams winning feature is its tight integration with Office services and Groups, which allows users to seamlessly and securely switch between editing documents, shared dashboards and planners, and group chat, video and voice calls. The simplicity of just setting up a Team and having access to all these shared services — without the need to spend hours configuring them is part of what Microsoft sees as Teams' selling point. Teams integration with email also allows messages sent to a designated Team address to be copied to a conversation in Teams.  

    What’s the difference between Skype, Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams?

    Skype – an instant messaging app that provides online text message and video chat services. Users may transmit both text and video messages and may exchange digital documents such as images, text, and video. 

    Skype for Business – a solid communication product boasting multiple modalities and the ability to easily switch between them, as well as share a variety of content forms (e.g., desktop, application, whiteboard, poll). 

    Microsoft Teams – MS Teams came along and boasted some of the features that Skype for Business offered – predominantly persistent chat, instant messaging, individual and group voice/video calls, and scheduled meetings.

    Figure: A chart showing a feature comparison for Skype, Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.
    skype chat.jpg
    Figure: Bad example - Numerous group chats with no group name and therefore no way of tracking previous chats/files
    Teams chat.jpg
    ​​​Figure: Good example - Figure showing all of the team members. This group chat can be used over and over for projects discussions with all data in one place and integrated with SharePoint.

  7. Do you make it easy to see the users PC?

    Sometimes you can’t resolve a ticket without seeing the users PC. Ask a user to install TeamViewer and then for the ID and Password isn't the 
    easier way.

    You should just give them a link they click on.

    Figure: Install TeamViewer app from Marketplace
    Figure: Easily send a link to the user

    More info: Integrate TeamViewer with Zendesk