When businesses think of adopting new technologies, they generally focus on customer-facing functions, like marketing, sales, or customer service. Much less attention is given to internal operations, especially to something as mundane as the meeting.
As a result, the meeting has gone unchanged for far too long. It is now a routine that everyone in the corporate world has down pat. A colleague proposes a meeting, calendar invites are sent, and people attend via Google Meet or Zoom.
These meetings are so ordinary that people dread sitting through them and leave with even less energy than they entered. This fact undoubtedly accounts for the rise of the term “meetings that could have been emails” - employees are just not getting much out of remote meetings.
But technology can reinvigorate company meetings, so that they are more efficient, productive, and believe it or not, fun. To point companies in the right direction, we’ve compiled a watch list of five meeting-related software that can revitalize your humdrum meetings.
One of the biggest challenges of remote and hybrid work is isolation. While employees may indeed frequently meet with one another, there is far less of the casual banter that would occur in the office. This lack of socializing weakens working relationships.
Companies can turn to Thursday to reverse this trend. Thursday provides companies with an interface for playing social activities among remote workers. These include classics like Charades as well as original games like Doodle Race. Other activities are more explicitly designed around conversation. In Know Your Team, two employees are randomly paired together and assigned a topic, such as “your funniest childhood memories.” In Lounge, the entire team gathers and employees can survey one another with different questions.
While these activities may seem like small touches, they ultimately go a long way toward kicking off - or ending - meetings on the right note. Employees will get to know their colleagues better, and in extension, find it easier to collaborate.
There is a reason that “brainstorming” and“ collaboration” are most often represented in user interfaces with a white board icon. It is simply easier to come up with ideas among teammates when you can jot ideas down in a common space. Unfortunately, remote meetings have largely made whiteboarding a relic of the past: People have to shout out ideas during brainstorming, which may not work as well.
Miro offers a better way forward. As one of the most popular whiteboarding apps, teams can use Miro to conceptualize everything from user journeys to scrum events. The app even has templates that make it easier for teams to get started with whiteboarding, such as those for brainstorming, diagramming, mapping, and strategic planning. Within the different categories, it has use cases for all company departments, such as marketing, engineering, product management, and even sales.
While not everyone may be a visual person, there is a certain satisfaction in seeing ideas come to life before your very eyes. In this way, Miro can.
Another issue with remote meetings is the lack of visual cues. Since it is commonplace for employees to turn off their video, the presenter or other meeting participants often have no idea how their off-camera colleagues are reacting. They could be confused, saddened, or even angered by the topic at hand, and no one would have a clue.
Pigeonhole addresses this problem through Q&A. With Pigeonhole, audience members can ask questions of their presenters and colleagues, who can then answer back via pre-set options or fill-in answers. For example, one employee might want to ask, “What are the possible challenges of our upcoming brand activation?” and get live feedback from their colleagues.
With Pigeonhole, employees will no longer be left in the dark as peers hide behind their screens. Instead, they get real-time insights from their colleagues that can help them address issues that would otherwise go overlooked in meetings.
While Meta’s metaverse has regularly been lampooned, one of the organization’s more salient applications of web3technology is for enterprises: Workrooms. A product of Meta’s Oculus, Workrooms enables teams to meet in virtual reality at a level of immersion that is quite impressive.
Employees are represented by digital avatars bearing their likeness. Their devices can also be represented in Workrooms, so there is less of a disconnect between virtual reality and the real world. This product has other touches that make it feel more like face-to-face meetings, such as spatial audio, hand tracking, and expressive avatars (you’ll be able to tell when Bob from finance doesn’t like your idea).
While some might criticize the practicality of regularly meeting in a virtual reality room, it can provide some much-needed novelty. Like a field trip in school, the occasional trip to virtual reality can energize employees for the rest of their meeting slate.
Most video conferencing software offer transcription features natively, which allows employees to essentially take minutes of meetings. There are several problems with these built-in features, however. The first is that the quality of transcriptions is low, especially if speakers are communicating in a non-English language or in a field with plenty of jargon. The second is that the transcription is not a living document: It’s hard for people to collaborate based on them.
Vocol.ai is designed to change this status quo. For starters, Vocol.ai is built for global teams, allowing teams to translate a transcription into one of 25 languages, including English, Japanese, and Chinese. In addition to facilitating cross-cultural collaboration, Vocol.ai gives employees the power to comment on specific parts of the transcription, so that all attendees are aligned. Users can even tag specific colleagues, ensuring that relevant items are brought to their attention. Finally, employees can even share transcriptions with non-attendees, which breaks down silos within the organization and promotes improved collaboration.
The best part about Vocol.ai is that it is as intuitive as any consumer-facing application. After picking up Vocol.ai, teams can revitalize transcriptions into a hub for collaboration, discussion, and ultimately action.
While meetings may have existed since the dawn of working life, they do not need to feel that way. Companies can reinvigorate meetings with tools that improve team-building, brainstorming, engagement, and most crucially, post-meeting follow-through. With a tool like Vocol.ai, companies can transform meetings from a gathering of employees to springboards for true, meaningful collaboration.
If your organization wants a demo on how Vocol.ai can help teams better execute in the wake of meetings, please reach out for a free demo here.
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