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How to Have a Safe In-Person Meeting During the Pandemic

Virtual meetings are great during the pandemic to keep everyone safe, however, there are just things that are better done in an in-person meeting. It may sound like the perfect opportunity for the virus to transmit — unless you take extra care and keep in mind the necessary precautions to prioritize the health and safety of your team. But how to have a safe in-person meeting during a pandemic? 

Having everyone together in the same room at times for a face-to-face meeting is extremely beneficial. However, since we are amidst a pandemic, there are important things to note to ensure that you are not compromising the health of your team. Let’s take a closer look at some points we should take into consideration.

6 Tips to Hold an In-Person Meeting Amidst Pandemic

Now that we are aware of how the virus is being transmitted from one person to another, we can now hold an in-person meeting when necessary as long as we observe and comply with the COVID-19 safety protocols and precautionary measures. 

Here are a few ideas on how you can still hold a safe in-person meeting during the pandemic:

1. Avoid Busy Hours When Setting a Meeting Schedule

One of the first things to consider is the schedule of the meeting. Select the most appropriate time for everyone, but make sure to avoid the busy times, especially if you are in the central business district. These are the hours when many people are going here and there such as the regular start and after-office hours as well as lunch breaks.

Aside from preventing each of the meeting members to be stuck in the traffic, the main purpose of this to for all of you to avoid the crowd. Getting contact with many people in public transportation, elevators, and other locations, especially enclosed areas can be a reason for the virus to spread even more. So it is best to schedule your meeting in hours when people are staying in place, busy working or doing important activities.

2. Make Sure Everyone Wears a Face Mask

This is one of the basic safety protocols to prevent the COVID-19 virus transmission. The participants of the meeting surely have their own already as you cannot go out nowadays without a face mask. However, it is always best to be ready. Prepare some face masks when having an in-person meeting in case someone needs them. 

Moreover, encourage attendees to still wear their face masks while the meeting is ongoing by repeatedly sharing reminders to cover their faces with well-fitting masks to keep everyone safe. Although it does not totally eliminate the transmission, studies have shown that wearing masks consistently and properly helps protect the person wearing them as well as the people around them. 

3. Disinfect Shared Spaces and All the Materials

To lessen the possibilities of virus transmission when having an in-person meeting, aside from encouraging everyone to always wear face masks, it is also recommended to regularly disinfect the areas you will commonly use inside the meeting room as well as all the materials that each of you will get into contact with every session.

It’s a great idea to observe proper hygiene too. Encourage the attendees to regularly wash their hands and use sanitizers, especially after touching materials and surfaces. Place hand sanitizers in different areas of the room. Another option is to provide each of them with a small bottle of sanitizer. Also, as much as possible, remind everyone to avoid touching their face. 

4. Observe Social Distancing

One way to make sure that social distancing will still be practiced during your in-person meeting is by arranging the chairs at least a meter away from each other. Double-check too if seats are facing directly one another so you can remove the other side. Set it up like a zigzag. This is also a way to let the attendees know that social distancing will strictly be observed inside the meeting room. 

When choosing a meeting venue, make sure that there is plenty of space to avoid bumping on each other as well as to ensure that there will be enough space to set up the seats following the recommended distance. This arrangement also allows the meeting participants to go to their seats and exit any time without coming close to the other attendees.

5. Leverage Technology

The use of technology can also help prevent the virus from spreading. We can use it not just for remote meetings or virtual meetings, but also for in-person meetings. For instance, since a spacious room is recommended, instead of making each of the participants raise their voices to be heard by everyone in the room,  which can increase the chances of spreading the virus, provide a desk microphone to everyone. Make sure none of them will share. And take note to disinfect the microphones before and after use. 

Another way to maximize the use of technology for a safe in-person meeting is to use meeting software to share screens. Avoid crowding around a single computer. Integrate a software or an app that allows you to share screens like TeamViewer or a presentation screen in front. You can also do both, especially if there are participants who cannot properly see what’s being flash on the big screen in front. This will help keep everyone in their respective seats.

6. Choose a Meeting Place that Complies with COVID-19 Safety Protocols

One of the most important things on your to-dos pipeline is choosing a meeting place where you will not worry too much about the safety of every participant, one that complies with the COVID-19 protocols and precautionary measures. And public places like cafes aren’t a part of the choices.

You can look for private meeting places you can rent for a day or two like ARCH Offices located in the Makati central business district that offer flexible plans. We have a safe office that complies with the COVID-19 safety protocols with regular disinfection of all the areas and materials. Our spacious office spaces allow you to practice social distancing.

If you want to hold a safe in-person meeting with no hassle, ARCH Offices got your back! When you choose us, you can just do your thing and go. We will take care of the rest like disinfection, arranging of seats, and other precautionary measures to make sure that you and your team will have a successful, safe, and productive in-person meeting at one of our meeting spaces. Get in touch with us today to know more about our flexible workspace solutions. 

How to Create Connection and Community in Remote Teams

Looking for effective strategies to shape up your remote team? Building a community with a strong connection can be a challenge in a remote work setup. What efforts should you administer to keep the group connected and prevent them from getting the feeling of detachment?

A recent study has proven that people need social interaction to maintain a high level of efficiency and productivity. It’s easy to focus on the tasks, but isn’t it better if your people feel fun and rewarding environment that could make them love their job even more? 

As a remote team, having each member look forward to another workday is already an awesome achievement. But how can you do that? By trying out effective ideas and hacks to build a culture of trust and connection. 

Having Coworkers is Different from being a part of a Community

If you are getting a little confused about whether or not your team has achieved the level of community, this is what you have to take note of: Having coworkers is different from being a part of a community. Coworkers only mean working the business processes together, sharing resources to complete the tasks, and earn. On the other hand, the community is all about having a strong connection with each other, having shared visions, and doing activities as a team with unity and camaraderie.

How Does a Community in a Remote Team Improve Business?

A remote team is more likely to be productive and efficient when there is a sense of community. Some of its benefits to businesses are the following:

  • Higher employee retention rate
  • Higher productivity and efficiency rate
  • Reduced conflicts in the workplace and within the team
  • Increased collaboration and innovation
  • Healthier work culture, and many more

All of these helps create a better impression and drives your business towards growth.

10 Keys to Build a Great Culture and Community in a Remote Team

The future of work setup now looks different from how we imagined it before the pandemic started. Today, at least 1 out of 5 workers is a part of the distributed workforce, but this will not hinder people from interacting with others. We always seek ways to connect, learn and grow. 

Here are the effective and top hacks for remote teams to stay connected and foster a sense of community: 

1. Communicate Honestly with Clear Expectations

Communication will always be at the top of the list for an effective remote team. One way to do this is to set a schedule for weekly team meetings. An effective virtual team meeting allows you to discuss challenges, brainstorm processes, and celebrate successes together. 

Moreover, setting clear expectations will boost productivity. Take some time to talk about the goals of your team including the specific target per task. This way, you can achieve both building a strong group connection as well making your team high-performing.

Nowadays, there’s no way for you not to connect as remote communication is now easier. As a result of the continuous development in technology, many sites and applications have emerged to keep us connected whether through chat, video calls, or emails such as Gmail, Slack, Viber, WhatsApp, Zoom, and many more. 

2. Create a Dedicated Random Channel

A non-work-related group chat would greatly help create a lighter aura within the team. It is more important than it may initially seem. Remote work can sometimes make employees feel lonely. This channel can help improve team collaboration and workflow.

Here, each individual in your group can ask questions and share thoughts, stories, and random things they want to share such as everyone’s favorites, new movie releases, pets, kids, celebrities, and many more. 

A dedicated random group chat helps create connections and community in remote teams. It can make you feel as if you are all together in the same room, eliminating the barriers of working and having conversations virtually. Just a tip, promote a positive vibe within the channel to encourage everyone to read and get along. 

3. Show Up and Smile for the Camera

Human leadership is what impacts the most during challenging times. Your presence as a leader and your effective strategies to properly manage the team are what your people need in a remote work setup. When they see how dedicated you are, it significantly influences the way they work. This is why you must show up with a positive aura and attitude towards work and colleagues. 

Weekly video calls, seeing everyone’s faces also create a different level of connection and belongingness. 

4. Facilitate Fun Engagement Activities

Take a few minutes of team break at least once a week. Use this time to have some fun games or any non-work-related activities that can hype everyone like a trivia session, quick bingo, and many more. Make use of the collaborative tools you can find online. 

There is nothing wrong with infusing a little fun into everyone’s day. Keep in mind that a team that laughs together, innovates together

To get the energy up high, reward the winners with something useful or in demand. A gift certificate in an online shopping platform for instance. Even simple prizes could go a long way. This could boost motivation and get them ready for the tasks.

5. Create a Sense of Stability

The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainties. Reassuring your people at this time is what they greatly need. However, being transparent as possible about the business performance and the future market forecasts would also be ideal. We need to face the fact that in business, it’s not always good times, but there are also downtimes, and this is what will inspire us to keep on working hard — to create a strong sense of stability. 

6. Establish Frequent Professional and Personal Check-ins

Amidst the global crisis, you must put your people first. Tap on each of your members from time to time and ask how they are doing. A simple message would also be appreciated like, “Hey, if you need anything, I’m here to help.”

Always have the ears and the heart to listen to them. There’s no other way to authentically connect with others than relating to their stories. Let them know that you are always there for them professionally and personally when they need you, even for the pettiest reason. Be there, especially when they least expect it. 

7. Eliminate Isolationism in Your Remote Team

One way to fight isolationism within your group is to build a buddy system. This could be based on their interests like books, action figures, food, and many more as that is where you can strongly bring out their best side. 

Moreover, an article in Harvard Business Review stated that 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees. From this, we can assume that when the roles are reversed, the rate would be higher. Make them feel that you are not the typical superior they think you are — but more of a friend to whom they can have conversations and do activities.

8. Have an Appreciation Platform

If you want to keep your people and have them enjoy an active and rewarding community, make each member feel valued by you and the other team members. Recognize their good works in front of others to encourage everyone not just to keep hustling, but to congratulate the person. This creates a happy air within the team, bringing each other closer.

9. The Cupcake Principle

Even when your people are working remotely, make sure everyone gets a piece. This is easier nowadays as many food delivery services are within your reach. This is a great idea, especially each time the business achieves a milestone. Your people did their special parts for it. Let them feel that they are a part of the success even through simple gestures. 

10. Coworking Spaces

When working remotely, there are times when we are longing to be around other people, especially our colleagues during work hours. It makes us feel an overall sense of connection in various aspects of our lives, may it be personal or professional. 

Satisfy the longingness by considering offering coworking space for your staff who need a workspace or those who want to work with others in the same place. 

Another great idea would be to get a meeting hub where you and your people can gather at least once a month to discuss the important business activities while enjoying the presence of everyone.

Communication for a Productive Team of Remote Workers

When you have a strong connection and a solid community, a remote work setup will never be a hindrance to achieve the goals of your organization. You can empower each other and unleash your team’s full potential. Try these practices to provide support and different opportunities for connection and building a community within your team, no matter where they are.

Looking for great coworking places and hubs to meet and connect with your team? Arch Serviced Offices got you covered! Get in touch with us to learn more about our coworking and meeting spaces.