How Often Should I Meet With My Remote Employees?
As a manager of remote employees, how often do you need to meet with your team? The answer isn’t always clear-cut and depends on the needs of your business and the success of your employees. Here are some guidelines to help you decide how often you should meet with your team and why it’s important to keep the lines of communication open.
When to Meet
There’s no right answer to how often remote employees should meet, but there are a few situations in which you should be holding virtual staff meetings such as when your company first starts hiring remote workers. Meeting regularly (at least weekly) is an excellent way to keep everyone on track with their work. Plus, when people who work together aren’t in each other’s physical presence, it can be hard to know if and when work gets done. That’s why a weekly check-in for new hires is important, but it can be every other week too.
If it’s your established remote staff that needs attention, you might only need to schedule meetings monthly or bi-monthly. While meeting less frequently can be seen as a sign of neglect, keep in mind that regular meetings aren’t always productive. In fact, having them too often can actually make people less productive. If virtual employees are meeting more than once per month and nothing is getting done, then it may be time to revisit how you’re holding them accountable for their work.
Having Effective, Not Just Frequent, Meetings
Yes, it’s tempting to invite remote workers into every meeting you have. But even though your remote employees might be able to check in at any time and ask questions, these meetings are still valuable opportunities for them to make contributions and feel connected to your team. Aim for meetings that are effective, not just frequent. For example, you can have a weekly meeting on Mondays that is strictly about workflow updates and project planning.
Also, ensure that remote employees are present and active in your meetings. In a recent survey (which is probably not a shock to our audience), 50% of moms said they enjoyed working from home and planned on continuing to work from home, so working to establish a good remote workforce is important! Consider creating a culture where regular check-ins can happen via phone or video chat to offer these opportunities, and look into other tools that can help keep everyone on the same page.
When Not To Hold a Meeting
Don’t have a meeting to just have a meeting. Holding meetings that don’t have an outcome or purpose can be frustrating and unproductive, especially when you’re working with remote employees who aren’t in-office. Take time before each meeting to think about what you want to get out of it and jot down topics, action items, and follow-up plans so everyone knows what they need to take care of after the meeting.
So, How Often Do We Need To Touch Base?
The magical number is…it depends. That’s probably not the answer you were hoping for, but it’s the best one we can give you. We do have some guidelines we recommend in general:
- Check-in often with new hires. This helps the onboarding process, ensures work is being completed, and establishes a good working relationship. We recommend a regular check-in maximum of once per week and a minimum of every other week. Find what works for you, but make sure you are 100% available to help new hires as needed.
- Schedule meetings around project kick off, mid-project check-ins, and after projects are completed to review how it went. Now, we aren’t talking about every little project that comes across your desk — we’re talking about the BIG projects that require your entire team to complete.
- Check-in with your regulars. There is no set rule for this. We have seen companies that hold company-wide meetings weekly. We prefer to check-in with our entire team once per month, but we meet individually more often. Find what works for you, and remember that everyone works differently so some folks need more meetings than others to feel connected and productive — but some fall on the other end of that spectrum!
The takeaway is to find what works for you and your team. Meetings with everyone can be difficult with schedules and time zones, so individual meetings are easier to arrange…which might lead to one too many meetings for individual team members. Just keep the lines of communication open and honest to find what works, and go from there!
How often does your team meet? Reach out to let us know!