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Virtual Stand-up Meeting Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Team Calls

5 min read
Virtual stand-ups are an essential part of every team’s agenda. But how do you engage participants and make the most out of them?
Virtual Stand-up Meeting Tips to Make the Most of Your Team Calls

In the business world, there are many forms of virtual meetings, depending on their purpose.

The duration of the video call, the number of participants, the level of formality of the conversation, and the preparedness of all participants depend entirely on the nature of the gathering.

The virtual stand-up meeting is the most informal online team meeting because it’s usually very short and happens almost every day.

In the following paragraphs, we’ll elaborate more on the nature of the virtual stand-up meetings and we’ll provide you with 6 ideas on how to conduct them well.

What is a virtual stand-up meeting?

The basic purpose of a standup meeting is to gather the whole team, usually in the morning, and answer the 3 following questions:

  • What did each team member finish?
  • What are they working on currently?
  • What stands in their way to finish the job?

It’s all about sharing information about the status of tasks and how’s the progress going. That’s why the stand-up meeting has certain characteristics that distinguish it from the other forms of video calls.

For example, virtual daily stand-ups (also known as scrum stand-ups) are no longer than 15-20 minutes and are usually held at the same time and in the same virtual meeting room every day.

Also, all team members’ participation is required and the meeting starts on time no matter if someone is late or missing.

How long should a stand-up meeting last?

As mentioned above, the duration of a daily stand-up meeting is up to 20 minutes because people do not gather to brainstorm, discuss, or solve any issues.

It’s merely a verbal report of where each team member is in terms of tasks and projects that gives an overview of the overall team progress.

After the meeting or at the end of it people could arrange additional one-on-one follow-up meetings if a certain matter requires more consideration.

Virtual Stand-up Meeting Tips to Make the Most of Your Team Calls

Of course, the frequency of the remote stand-up video calls is entirely up to the team leader and it could vary.

If the team gathers once per week, the meeting could be a bit longer since there will be more events to report. However, all participants should do their best to be as concise as possible.

💡 Need help?

As a virtual team manager, you know how hard it is to gather the whole team together. Here’s how to skip the availability guessing game, save time, and schedule meetings on the fly.

Who should attend the stand-up meetings?

Forbes states that not having the right people in the room is a meeting-waster.

Indeed, you have to be careful when you compose the list of attendees because that determines hugely how your meeting goes.

Having too many participants, some of whose presence is unnecessary is a pure waste of time.

And people hate when their time is not respected.

Make sure to gather only the people whose input, support, and expertise would be needed and useful.

And if those attendees are currently unavailable, better reschedule than hold a meeting with no purpose.

For example, if you want your sales team meeting to be as productive as possible make sure you invite only those who are crucial to the conversation, e.g. all the sales reps and managers.

How to conduct a successful remote stand-up meeting?

The best way to effectively conduct remote stand-up meetings is to find a good video conferencing tool that offers all the features you may need.

You should look for features such as Full HD video, easy meeting scheduling, breakout rooms, screen sharing, recordings, and transcriptions.

Apart from that, we would recommend preparing an agenda so that new members know how to proceed and what to do.

To help you conduct more effective virtual stand-up meetings, we have prepared these 6 actionable tips.

Minimize irrelevant information

Every daily stand-up meeting should have a purpose.

That must be the first thing you come up with because having a purpose justifies taking on your teammates’ time.

After you know what you want to discuss, it’d be nice to design an agenda. Bullet points help people stay on track and prevent you from forgetting important things.

Virtual Stand-up Meeting Tips to Make the Most of Your Team Calls

If you don’t have an agenda, or worse, if you don’t have a good reason to meet, then most probably your interaction will be chaotic, there will be a frequent change of topic and you won’t be productive.

But if you know what subject is with priority, you will be able to sift out the irrelevant information and focus on what concerns you the most.

Add a few minutes for appreciation

Embarking on remote work can be a solitary experience.

Some people struggle with the feeling of isolation and, although it might not seem so important, it could affect deeply their performance.

It would be nice to include a couple of minutes at the end of each meeting to give a round of applause or express your gratitude towards someone for a job well done.

This way team members won’t feel invisible. Instead, they will know that their effort is recognized and their input is valued.

After all, good motivation is what makes progress easier.

Ask for opinions

Giving and receiving feedback is also crucial for the efficiency of the team. Ask your team members what made them unhappy work-wise yesterday and what would please them today.

This tip kills two birds with one stone because it’s a nice ice-breaker for the moments you don’t know how to start the conversation and it also provides you with insights on what improvements could be made.

Virtual Stand-up Meeting Tips to Make the Most of Your Team Calls

As a manager, you’ll make all the important decisions, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask your teammates about their experiences and opinions.

Einstein once demonstrated that we all perceive things differently, thus, sometimes it’s useful to look at things through a different lens.

Decide a frequency

The frequency of your virtual stand-up meetings is entirely up to the needs of your team and the goals of your business.

They could be on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly basis. The most important part is to make sure that everyone is notified in advance about the date and time.

Also, don’t be afraid to skip a meeting.

Some people say that the best virtual meeting is the one that doesn’t occur.

That’s because nobody likes to waste their time in sweet talks instead of working on the task.

So, if you think that you have nothing, in particular, to talk about and at this point, your team would meet merely out of habit, better cancel it.

Keep introverts in mind

In this digital era, working with introverts remotely presents a whole new level of difficulty.

You have to be mindful of them because usually, they’d prefer not to speak up during video calls.

Good advice would be not to oblige everyone to attend informal meetings with their camera on since some people are very shy and knowing that everyone is watching them might prevent them from sharing their thoughts.

Also, make the effort to include everyone in the conversation.

Some people could be very talkative which could be overwhelming for introverts and they’d prefer to remain silent.

Make sure to give every team member the word and listen to them carefully because they might have something important to share.

Avoid negative feedback

Virtual stand-up meetings are not a place for criticism and negative feedback.

Avoid commenting on teammates that are falling short on their tasks.

Denouncing somebody in front of others could be humiliating for that person and could lead to shifting the blame and inducing conflicts.

Virtual Stand-up Meeting Tips to Make the Most of Your Team Calls

Even if you are not content with how certain things are carried out and you have something to say, it’d be best if you schedule individual one-on-ones with the people you have in mind.

This way your criticism could actually be beneficial and they’d be able to fix the issue without any tension arising in the team.

Our final thoughts on virtual stand-up meetings

Hosting daily virtual stand-up meetings is an essential part of managing a remote team and helps you and your team to stay on track with your business goals.

No matter if you manage a remote sales team, marketing team, or any other virtual team, it’s a good way to keep in touch with your colleagues in both the digital and the real world.

If you’d like to receive more heads-ups on how different projects and tasks are going, this type of informal online team meeting is the right solution.

However, here are some other types of virtual meetings that you should be aware of and prepared for since they are an intrinsic part of the online business world.