Healthy Meeting Checklist – Virtual Meetings
Now that many of our in-person meetings have turned virtual, what is the best way to set these meetings up for success and support our participants’ well-being? Zoom meetings are not experienced the same as in- person meetings and require a re-thinking of how to successfully set up your meetings. The following are tips for setting up your Zoom meetings for health, well-being and productivity.
☐ It is not recommended you publish unsecured meeting links on public-facing web pages
☐ It is not recommended you share your Private Meeting ID (PMI) freely.
☐ Turn off “Join Before Host” so that crashers can't join before you.
☐ Use Meeting Passwords.
☐ Use the Waiting Room so that people can't join until the host or co-host grants them access.
☐ Lock the meeting once everyone has arrived.
☐ Start with scheduling the virtual meeting. If you usually schedule a 60 minute meeting, schedule it for 50 minutes instead. This gives participants time 5 – 10 minutes to transition between any additional virtual meetings they may have. If the meeting is 30 minutes, make it 25 minutes. Your participants will thank you!
☐ Zoom meetings can be considerably more straining for participants. Consider shortening your meetings – if you usually have 90 minute meetings, see if you can schedule two 45 min meetings, instead.
☐ In order to optimize participants’ ability to pay attention effectively, schedule breaks (5-10 min) every 20 minutes.
☐ Slow your meetings down. The normal pace of your in person meetings is likely too fast for Zoom meetings. Try to create pauses throughout your meeting to slow it down.
☐ Think of ways to make your meetings interactive by using functions such as raise hand, Q&A, polling and breakout rooms. Just listening to someone speak for the entire meeting is very difficult for human attention, but even more so on Zoom.
☐ Be mindful of how much screen time you are expecting your participants to engage in each day. Extended screen time is fatiguing and leads to inattentiveness, errors, and unhealthy eye and body strain.
☐ Consider giving your participants the option to decide whether to have their camera on or off. Off camera time can be an effective way to manage screen fatigue.
☐ At the beginning of the meeting, ask participants to use the “rename” function to change their names to the name they prefer others use.
☐ During the first couple of minutes of the meeting, invite participants to check in with themselves by lowering their gaze, taking a deep breath, and being silent.
☐ Take some time to connect with your meeting participants. Check-in with your coworkers at the start of the meeting and say hello! Ask them non-work related questions such as: How are you today?
☐ Schedule in moments of reflection throughout your meetings - perhaps between speakers/topics. Give people 1-2 min to consolidate their thoughts about the material that was covered thus far.
☐ At the end of the meeting, review and summarize what was accomplished and reaffirm what needs to be done before the next meeting.
☐ Stick to the schedule: start on time and end on time. Ran out of time? Don’t extend the meeting; schedule another one.
For more ideas see:
☐ If the meeting is longer than 60 minutes, make sure to put a stretch break in the agenda.
☐ Schedule a move and stretch break for 1-2 minutes, for every hour of sitting time. Select a couple of different stretches to do during the move break. Insert a slide into the Powerpoint deck for a reminder.
☐ Make it clear that walking, standing and stretching during the meeting is allowed and even encouraged at the start of the meeting.
For more ideas see:
☐ Send out the meeting agenda beforehand to reduce paper (usually a bonus for a virtual meeting!).
For more ideas see:
After the meeting:
☐ Survey for feedback on your healthy meeting – stretches, food, mindfulness – how did you do??