Online board meetings offer better scheduling options. They cut down on the time and cost constraints of travel and eliminate the time constraints associated with flights and hotels. They also help reduce groupthink and increase diversity between board members. However, embracing the virtual world has its own set of issues that could cause less than effective meetings.
In order to transition from in-person meetings to virtual ones, boards must alter the way they communicate and work. In order to facilitate communication during an online meeting, many of the elements used in an in-person board session must be recreated. This includes the physical boardbook, digital presentations, and sharing documents. It can be difficult for board members to navigate technology. The use of a www.travelboardroom.com/how-to-run-an-effective-business-meeting/ basic board software program can help streamline the process, however additional instruction on the tool may be needed to ensure that board members’ success.
Maintaining a high level of engagement and productivity is a different challenge when conducting an online board session. Distractions from topics of discussion can consume time and distract from the most important issues on the agenda. This can be reduced by creating an agenda with 20 percent fewer items, and breaking the discussion into 15 minute segments. In addition, establishing an ad-hoc discussion forum for new topics may be helpful.
In the end, it is crucial for remote participants to to see the faces of in-room attendees. This can be accomplished by avoiding backgrounds or by moving the participants away from lighting sources such as windows that could reflect on the screen and obscure the image for other board members. Also, avoiding distractions such as cell phones or other gadgets can increase the participant’s ability to focus on the content being discussed.