Hello Friends,

Happy Monday. Thank you for subscribing to my weekly newsletter ‘Mindful Mondays with Arijit’. These days, most people work remotely. This week’s letter focuses on how to make remote work more fun and meetings more engaging.

Meeting teammates and clients makes the work more interesting and gives it purpose. Collaboration makes work more enjoyable. Collaborations were naturally encouraged in pre-pandemic work environments. We used to work sitting closer, discussing problems and exchanging ideas. While the virtual workplace has changed the scenario, we should take active steps to make work enjoyable.

During our college days, studying for exams wasn’t so much fun. However, we had found a way to make reading enjoyable by studying in groups. Work is more likely to be productive if we have fun doing it. In our job, the same analogy applies. Connection, Collaboration, and Feedback are the three essential elements of an enjoyable workspace. Having said that, I’m not saying that more meetings are a good thing. I have heard people complain about the increased number of meetings. In fact, whenever we are swamped with meetings that are not productive and actually get in the way of our work, our days become boring.

These days, virtual team meetings provide opportunities for social cohesion. We can no longer have in-person conversations, shared lunches, watercooler conversations as we used to, so team meetings are essential to get people talking. I think it’s great to follow the 20/50/30 rule. The first 20% is to cement relationships, get people talking, and create a space for open communication. The next 50% is for collaboration, conversation, and discussing topics of interest. The last 30% is for feedback and reviewing action items in progress. After each meeting, completing the responsibility assignment matrix (also known as RACI) increases efficiency. 

Meetings with clients are different from meetings with the team. It is imperative that we as leaders be aware of the fact that cultural differences get exacerbated in remote settings. The last thing anyone wants is to waste their time, and if we are going to maintain a meaningful relationship with our clients, we have to respect their time as if it were our own. Furthermore, we need to recognize that screen fatigue is real. In client meetings I follow the rule of 20/50/30, but the compositions are different than in team meetings. A random ice-breaker question takes up the first 20% of time. Over time, these simple, relaxed questions help create a persona. The next 50% of time is to review action items from the last meeting and check-in on objectives based on the GROW framework. Usually, I follow an agenda that consists of Goal, Reality, Obstacles/Opportunities, and Way forward. A successful client meeting ends with everyone knowing what needs to be done next. While we may not have resolved all issues, everyone should be on the same page for what’s next.

So the message here is – if you’re having trouble enjoying your remote work, create a structure for all-way communication, facilitate collaboration with clients and colleagues, and respect everyone’s time. It’s totally worth it, I promise.

Have a great week!


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