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Business Tips

Five Remote Meeting Mistakes That Can Shut Down Productivity

Back view of female employee talking on video call with diverse multiracial colleagues online.

Working remotely is not a new concept, but it is one that more businesses have courted since the quarantines of early 2020. The approach is powerful, but you have to run the business correctly to make it work. Remote meetings, for example, require a whole different approach from face-to-face ones to ensure productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Even one mistake can throw off everyone’s rhythm and prevent anything useful from happening at the meeting. Here are 5 of the most common remote meeting mistakes and how to avoid them:

1) Meeting Heads who Lack Passion and Energy

Every meeting must have a leader, someone who can direct discussion and ensure all the relevant topics are covered. However, that is not their only purpose. Meeting heads must have healthy energy levels and passion, as they are also responsible for setting the tone for the seminar. A low-energy or seemingly uninterested speaker will bring down the whole virtual room and can cause people to disengage right from the start.

Avoid that mistake is a matter of choosing the right meeting heads. Don’t get stuck picking team leaders to determine who manages the summit. Choose people who are energetic, charismatic, and know enough about the topic to properly lead the discussion.

2) Not Having Anyone Lead the Meeting

Worse than having a seemingly uninterested meeting head is having no meeting head at all. That is an instant recipe for disaster, but it happens frequently. Some business owners think that the meeting will run itself – which can happen during face-to-face meetings, if you are lucky – but more often than not, a remote meeting will quickly become useless without someone guiding discussion and ensuring everyone has a chance to speak. Avoiding that mistake is simple – assign a leader for each meeting.

3) There is No Point to the Meeting

Meetings are important, especially for a remote business. They allow teams to coordinate, as well as gain feedback and advice from their peers. However, meetings should always have a point. Holding a summit for the sake of having one is a spectacular waste of time and will make your employees dread the next meeting.


If you gather people online, make sure it has a business-related purpose to the summit. Regular meetings for feedback and progress check-ins, for example, are a good reason to hold a conference. Should nothing be on the table, cancel the meeting.

4) No Authority is Present

Participants must leave a meeting with more direction than they had when entering it – and in highly structured business, that direction can only be approved or even created by someone in authority, like a manager or a boss. If no one in the meeting has the power to approve a course of action or decision, the meeting is essentially pointless, as nothing actionable can even be decided on.

Solving that problem is simple. When making the list of attendants, make sure that someone who can make decisions is present. That way you can make sure that any and all decisions can be approved for action.

5) No Note Takers

Meetings can run long and have so much information thrown around that keeping track of everything mentally can be difficult. Without someone taking the minutes of the meeting, people can easily forget key decisions and facts thrown out, which can make your team more disorganized that they were before the summit.

Ensure that someone is responsible for taking notes for the entire meeting, and those notes are sent to everyone relevant after the meet is done. Since it is a remote meeting, you can also have someone record the meeting locally and send the video to everyone so they have the option to manually review the meeting.

Remote meetings can be extremely useful and beneficial to your company, if done correctly. Avoiding those mistakes can make those summits exactly what they were meant to be – a method of keeping your team on point and organized.