3 Tips to Energize Virtual Meetings

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by Judy Campbell Judy Campbell (New)

Specializes in Case Management. Has 16 years experience.

Virtual meetings can be a great way to save time and travel expenses, but they can also be tedious if not planned correctly. Here are three tips to energize your virtual meetings and make them more productive.

Are virtual meetings just as productive as in-person meetings?

3 Tips to Energize Virtual Meetings

Bedside nurses talk about how they still hear call lights or bed alarms when they go home after their shifts or - even in their sleep. For nurses who work remotely, we hear that “ping” alert when someone sends us a message via chat or that calendar alarm that reminds us there is a meeting in 15 minutes. That meeting reminder is usually a cue to use the bathroom, drink water, brush your hair, and get out of pajamas.

The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly led to significant changes in the way people work. Even the healthcare industry allowed workers to do their work from home. Remote nursing includes roles such as case managers, auditors, telehealth, telephone triage, clinical informatics, nursing education, and many more. Within these roles, virtual meetings often occur, allowing access to the team and its leaders. In December 2019, Zoom had 10 million daily meeting participants. By April 2020, it was reported that there were "300 million Zoom participants". Surveys and research have confirmed that participants are not as engaged in a virtual space, resulting in miscommunication or mental fatigue. To somehow mimic how face-to-face meetings are held and combat these challenges of video conferencing, these three elements may help reenergize virtual meetings.

1- Get reacquainted with each other

During face-to-face meetings, it is common for team members to have some.
“small talk” before a meeting formally begins. Taking a few minutes to check in with the team or have a casual conversation can encourage otherwise quiet team members to chime in. Open the floor for people to share resources and tips. It is important to create a positive atmosphere and help support and motivate team members. Perhaps use this time to share personal announcements and celebrations. Working remotely can be lonesome, so allowing the team to share what they have been up to and “socialize” can build trust and enable participants to get comfortable speaking up.

2- Get physical

Sharing exercise tips or leading desk stretches is always beneficial and can energize the team audience. Remote workers spend much of the day sitting in front of the computer – often losing track of time or snoozing reminder alarms to take a break. Similar to floor nursing, avoiding bathroom breaks and missing meals are common with remote nurses. Inactivity can wreak havoc on one’s body and health. Incorporating stretch breaks during virtual meetings can help team members improve productivity, ability to handle stress, and overall well-being. Encouraging stretching regularly can emphasize the importance of self-care and wellness and health benefits such as reducing muscular fatigue, tension, pain, and joint issues.

3- Game on

 Virtual games, such as icebreakers, can bring life to a meeting. Games also develop opportunities to collaborate. Incorporating fun activities can help break down barriers, encourage creative thinking, and give teams a chance to refresh and focus. The Stoke Deck site can provide creative, energy-boosting activities that build connections and collaboration. Kahoot is another game-based learning platform that allows meeting facilitators to create multiple-choice games and other trivia and creative learning games.

Nurses who work remotely are typically individually driven and focused on their tasks. Despite possible telephonic or video interactions with patients or clients, the lack of “regular” work environment interaction can lead to virtual meetings feeling dull, dry, and transactional. Simple but meaningful socialization and good energy impacts team morale and performance. Using the three methods above to stimulate team spirit and reenergize virtual meetings will pay off with employee satisfaction and retention. And, perhaps the team will be looking forward to the next meeting!   


References

12 Best Work from Home Nursing Jobs in 2022

Guide to Virtual Engagement: University of Illinois Chicago

Zoom Q1FY21 Earnings. - Prepared Remarks

Stanford researchers identify four causes for ‘Zoom fatigue’ and their simple fixes

The Stoke Deck

Northwestern Stretch Break Handout

Kahoot!

Judy Campbell, MSN, RN, CCM has been a registered nurse since 2008 and has experience in various care settings. As a certified case manager, her aim is to assist in transforming fragmented health systems to become coherent and manageable. To continue to cultivate her growth and entrepreneurial spirit, she is also a freelance writer that provides high-quality content for healthcare professionals.

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