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Meeting Best Practices :: Communications - Virtual Meetings - Extension Best Practices

The Division of Extension recommends the following best practices for employees who schedule virtual meetings.

Introduction

  • The following are virtual meeting best practices developed by Educational Technology Support and Extension Human Resources.
  • Employees scheduling virtual meetings (e.g. Zoom) are encouraged to review these best practices and modify their calendar invites as appropriate.

Extension Meetings Best Practices

Shorten Meeting Length

  • Shorter meetings result in transition and processing time between meetings.
  • Meetings typically scheduled for 1 hour should be re-scheduled for 45-50 minutes to have time in between meetings.
  • Leverage scheduling tools in Outlook to reschedule the duration of scheduled meetings.

Encourage Phone Only and Walking Meetings

  • When the agenda topics allow, schedule meetings using the phone number options.
  • For meetings that are scheduled with a phone number option, encourage meeting participants to walk or engage in other activities (that allow them to listen) while they are called in.

Encourage Meeting Best Practices

  • Conduct meetings following best practices. Set agendas and have target meeting outcomes. When the agenda is finished and outcomes have been met, end the meeting.
  • Communicate meeting best practices to staff through articles and other regular communications.
  • Encourage "Water Cooler" social gathering that promote social interaction and communication between coworkers. 

Set Expectations for When the Camera is On or Off

  • Some meetings require active participation that is best served by having a camera on during the meeting. These are typically smaller group meetings where interaction with other attendees being seen is important.
  • Large meetings may not have the same interactions or expectations for interaction. 
  • Expectations should be set at the start of the meeting so that all participants are aware of what is expected.
  • Zoom Virtual backgrounds may also be used to provide a level of discreteness for those concerned about the background of their video.

Schedule Fewer Meetings

  • Not all meetings need to take place via video conferencing, and maybe a meeting does not need to take place at all.
  • A phone call, email, or instant message (e.g. Teams) may be an appropriate alternative.

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