The Slice

FAQ: How Often Should You Meet With Your Remote Team?

April 28, 2022

When you virtually check in with your team, it can help all of your workers feel connected and offer the opportunity for direct communication. While that's all well and good, we all know that there's definitely such thing as too many meetings. So, how often should your virtual team meet? Let's take a look at the answer to this question and many more.

Unless you've been living somewhere deep under a rock, you probably know that the COVID-19 pandemic totally transformed workplaces worldwide, with in-office employees becoming remote workers nearly overnight, pretty much whenever possible. At this point, Americans who are employed and working from home are mainly doing so not because their workplace is unavailable or closed but because they'd rather work from home.

In the same Pew Research study where we found that little tidbit of information, we also learn that people who had never worked from home before the pandemic but who spend time working from home now feel that it's much easier to find work-life balance. At the same time, though, a majority of those polled stated that they feel less connected with their co-workers.

That's where remote meetings come in. When you virtually check in with your team, it can help all of your workers feel connected and offer the opportunity for direct communication.

While that's all well and good, we all know that there's definitely such thing as too many meetings. So, how often should your virtual team meet? Let's take a look at the answer to this question and many more.

How Often Should Virtual Teams Meet?

How often you should meet with your virtual team depends on many different factors. While it's good to meet as often as you need to, many managers find that having meetings on a regular schedule is more important than having the precisely right number of meetings.

Once you have created your expectations of how often you would like your remote team to check in, it's important to communicate this to your team. For example, maybe you will feel that a weekly briefing with the whole team is sufficient, or you will want to have daily updates from each team member.

Whether a monthly meeting will suffice with your team or you need to be in more frequent communication, setting a regular schedule will help everyone working on your project know what to expect and allow them to prepare for meetings ahead of time.

As you might imagine, opinions on how often teams should meet (whether in-person or remotely) can vary a ton. Depending on how distributed your team is, you might consider occasionally having face-to-face meetups with your team. However, in some cases, this obviously won't be possible without many logistical considerations.

How Do I Know How Often Is Best For My Team?

When you're thinking about the optimal number of times for your team to meet in a given month or week, you'll want to think about the nature of your organization and project and the specific personalities at play.

Your goal is to find the sweet spot between under and over communication. For example, when you have meetings too often, your team might feel (and maybe rightly so) that they are a significant distraction from their work. As a result, they might not take them as seriously and check out mentally during the meeting.

With too few meetings, though, your team might not feel as engaged and less connected to the team. Important information might get lost in the shuffle, and your productivity as a group can suffer.

Managers will find that some teams thrive more off of communication and socialization, while others prefer to have more space to focus on their work on their own. Figuring out the perfect number of times to meet with your team, whether daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, can depend a lot on the project at hand but also on the personality characteristics of your team members.

What Types of Meetings Should You Hold With Your Remote Team?

If you're feeling perplexed about how often you should meet with your remote team, it can be helpful to break down the different common types of remote meetings.

Firstly, there is the standup meeting. These typically occur daily or weekly and give each team member a few minutes to talk about the status of their work. This is an opportunity to share where they are in the process and whether they need anything from the team to move forward swiftly. These meetings are essential for remote teams, as they let you see everyone "face-to-face" but can also be casual, succinct, and quick. In general, these meetings should only be between fifteen and thirty minutes long.

Then there is the brainstorming meeting. This is a project or goal-specific meeting that allows your team to come up with ideas in a space guided by the rule that "no idea is a bad idea in brainstorming." These meetings are also best kept brief– fifteen to thirty minutes tops.

Many remote teams might also benefit from a progress team meeting. Depending on your project and company, you might want to do this once a month or once a quarter. This is a great way to check on your team's progress and goals. At the end of the meeting, leave some time for your team members to ask questions and discuss initiatives and goals you have planned for the upcoming period. Ideally, this type of meeting should run about forty-five to sixty minutes long.

When working remotely, you might find that tackling a big job in a collaborative environment can be super useful for productivity and morale. In this informal team meeting, your team members can all be virtually together during a hackathon session. Some great ways to get everyone on the same wavelength and into the ideal flow at this time include creating an upbeat playlist for everyone to vibe with and making sure all of your team members are fully stacked when it comes to snacks (ahem… may we suggest pizza?)

What Are the Benefits of Remote Meetings?

Remote meetings can offer benefits and opportunities to businesses of all sizes. This is the case whether your team is fully distributed or working in a hybrid model. When you consider the alternative (the old-school in-the-flesh type meeting), you realize that remote meetings allow you to tap into the wealth of opportunities provided by meeting with your team while also minimizing the parts of meetings where time is lost in the abyss.

Remote Meetings Improve Communication

Have you ever been in an in-person meeting that seems to have no momentum, floating around with no particular direction in mind?

Remote meetings help to remove this phenomenon from your business entirely. Everyone sits, staring at a screen, looking at a grid of squares that comprises their team. This reality encourages all of your team members to learn to communicate directly and clearly.

They Reduce Costs

Of course, one of your business goals most likely involves making a certain amount of money while not spending too much moolah. Virtual meetings offer major cost savings for your company since no one has to spend time commuting, and you don't have to incur the cost of travel, maintaining a meeting space, and more.

Virtual Meetings Boost Productivity

We all know that how much work your team gets done can vary immensely depending on how efficiently they are working and with how much focus. Virtual meetings can be a lot less invasive for employees, meaning that they can switch between tasks more efficiently than if you were calling everyone to the conference room.

They Save Valuable Time

Let's not forget that in-person meetings also leave a lot of dead time on either end of them. All of your team members have to get themselves to the meeting space, whether it's down the hall or across town. Then, once everyone has finally made it into the conference room, it inevitably takes ten or fifteen minutes for people to settle in at the beginning and part ways when the meeting is all said and done.

They Enhance Collaboration Across Teams

Virtual meetings also offer opportunities for different teams to be more communicative to promote the overall success of your company. As you likely know, communication is more important in a remote setting, where all of your employees are working in the separate, solitary space of their own home. Facilitating cross-team collaboration can help keep everyone at your company on the same page while also offering the creative potential for cross-pollination.

Virtual Meetings Let You Hire the Best Employees

On a larger scale, holding virtual meetings can mean that your company is made up of higher-quality talent. No longer limited by who happens to physically live where your office space is, you can seek out the best of the best across the world.

The Power of Regular Check-Ins For Remote Teams

While there's definitely such a thing as having too many meetings, you've got to admit that having regular check-ins at the right intervals can be seriously powerful for productivity, morale, and achieving your project goals. 

Check-ins don't have to take a big chunk out of your calendar, and it can be useful to have a set, regular agenda for these check-ins. Make it clear to your teammates what you expect during this time to help reduce stress and keep the meetings on track. 

During these check-ins, your team can share ideas they have, give updates on their progress in their work, or even just catch up socially. Remember– your remote employees don't have the chance to chat over their coffee break in the same way they do in the office. So providing some opportunity for people to have some casual time to talk can help bring the team together in an excellent way for productivity and morale.

How Can I Make Remote Meetings Fun For My Team?

Remote meetings don't have to be something that everyone dreads. In fact, you can set things up so that your entire team actually looks forward to your daily, weekly, or monthly meetings.

This might sound like the wishful thinking of an overly optimistic team leader, but it really is true.

Remote meetings don't need to be all work and no play. There are plenty of creative ways to make your virtual meetings both productive and an opportunity to socialize and blow off some steam.

This might mean having some quick icebreaker activities at the beginning of a meeting or meeting up specifically in the virtual space for some social time, team-building challenges, or, our personal favorite, a pizza party. If you're at a loss for how to create remote team-building activities that are legitimately a blast, you can get inspired here.

Do Your Remote Meetings Feel Dull and Pizza-less?

Settling into the proper routine for remote meetings can take some trial and error. Depending on your team and the project at hand, you might find that meetings should be held as often as daily or as infrequently as monthly or quarterly. Regardless of how often you hold your virtual meetings, we're just here to make sure that your team isn't suffering from starvation and a general malaise while meeting up in the digital realm.

If this is the case, and you can tell through the screen that your team members have a pizza-shaped hole in their lives, we're here with the remedy.

Just because you and your team can't enjoy a piping hot pie in the third-floor conference room anymore doesn't mean you can't share in the true joy of pizza together. It's for this reason that we created Pizzatime. So when you decide you and your team should have some pizza to accompany that crucial meeting, all you have to do is let us know the details, and we'll take care of it all for you.

That's right– you just tell us the date and time of when you'd like to get pizza in the hands of your entire distributed team. Then, you just have to send out the customized invite to all of your team members. They'll let us know how they like their pizza, and we'll make their dreams a reality.

So, what do you say? If you want to bring smiles to the faces of your team via pizza, you can order here today.

The Pizzatime Blog

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