The 10 best practices for virtual team meetings


Table of Contents

Hybrid and remote working improves employees’ well-being, work performance and work-life balance (1). Managing and leading a remote team is not always easy, especially when it comes to organizing and conducting meetings, as well as making sure all parties are on the same page.

If you struggle with making virtual meetings effective, or if you want to improve your team’s experience, this list is for you. We’ve compiled the 10 best practices for virtual team meetings that you should follow to make them productive.


  • To make meetings productive, you need to make sure that there is effective communication between all parties involved.
  • As meetings are conducted virtually, it is very important to be well organized. This will avoid distractions and wasted time.
  • You need to maintain an atmosphere of trust, where there is no fear of expressing ideas. If workers feel comfortable, the results will be much better.

Best Practices for Virtual Team Meetings: The Definitive List

Virtual meetings can be a time-wasting experience. If you can stick to good practices and get your team to cooperate, virtual meetings can be a very powerful tool. The key is to get it right and take advantage of all the tools available.

1. Establish meeting norms

This is one of the main points. The meeting should be prepared before it starts. These rules can be explained once the meeting has started, or they can be given to the participants beforehand. This will ensure that everyone has the same information once the meeting starts and knows how to behave.

The main purpose of these rules is to ensure that the meeting runs smoothly and to avoid questions that have already been answered. Examples include asking for a turn to speak, keeping microphones muted when not speaking, keeping the video on or having a good on-camera presence (2).

These rules vary depending on the company and the type of meeting. They all have one thing in common: you will avoid wasted time and distractions.

2. Schedule the time on a recurring basis

By this, we don’t just mean setting a start and end time for meetings. It is important that you maintain a stable schedule to ensure that the sessions run smoothly.

You can organize weekly reviews, which will help you keep virtual meetings short and simple. It also makes it easier to follow up with employees and helps to define how the objectives are developing and at what stage they are with respect to the final objective. This is also beneficial for employees, as they can prepare in advance and know exactly what you are looking for with each meeting.

Google Meet

Google Meet offers two functions. You can arrange a meeting in advance, which is automatically notified via email to all future attendees with the date and time, and you can also attend the meeting from the same application.

3. Avoid technical problems

Remember to keep meetings productive and short. If technical problems arise, you can waste a lot of time unnecessarily.

A good way to do this is to make sure that everyone has enough time to prepare for the meeting. If you send out a message notifying them of the date the meeting is scheduled, add a reminder so that, before the meeting begins, everyone can make sure their computer equipment is working properly.

Another option is to assign one person from the team to help with technical problems. That way, if you run into any glitches, the person with the technical problem and the troubleshooter can work on it individually and not hold up the rest of the team.

4. Break the ice

Meetings between team members can feel a little awkward at first. This situation is more common in virtual team meetings, since the vast majority of people on the team have never met in person before.

If you want to overcome this situation and make everyone as comfortable as possible, you can choose to kick off the meeting with some activity designed to break down the discomfort. This is also known as “breaking the ice” (3). Examples of icebreakers include:

  • Having them introduce themselves
  • Ask them to talk about how their day is going
  • Tell them about your plans for the weekend
  • Talk about their hobbies
  • Play a little trivia game before the meeting begins
  • Have everyone share their favorite emoji

What you are looking for with this is an initial interaction. To show that there are real people behind the screen and not just a bunch of little windows with a face.
See more Zoom Meeting Icebreakers

5. Assign clear roles

Participants are more likely to stay focused on the meeting for longer if you assign them a task or role to perform in advance (4). Examples might include choosing one member to be in charge of taking notes, or another to be the timekeeper and enforcer of all scheduled items.

If all attendees have some task to do, even if it is not very complicated, it will reduce the likelihood of participants being distracted. This activity makes meetings more productive and also gives participants a sense of relevance by having direct involvement.

Some examples of roles that are assigned in virtual meetings. Remember to adapt them to the way your company works (Source: Miguel Ott Saera/ Gitnux)

6. Helping shy people

Throughout group meetings, shy colleagues may find it difficult to participate in the conversation or share their doubts and ideas. This problem is greater in remote teams, since everyone works from home, and there is not as much interaction with colleagues. Do your best to integrate these team members and encourage them to contribute, but don’t make them uncomfortable. There are certain actions you can take:

  • If you detect that someone tried to talk, ask them directly
  • If a team member has not spoken for some time, you can ask if he/she has doubts or would like to speak
  • If you notice someone is uncomfortable, do not force them to participate
  • If someone gets stuck talking, give them time

It is important to clarify that too much pressure for a person to participate or communicate more can be counterproductive. You cannot force anyone, but you can offer conditions that are comfortable for everyone.

7. Facilitate the sharing of ideas

In a virtual meeting, it is very important to be able to share ideas among all colleagues. By putting different ideas together, we can find solutions to a problem in a more agile and innovative way. This process is known as brainstorming (5). It may seem a very simple process, but it offers excellent results when the imagination is given free rein.

The cycle we follow to carry out a complete and effective brainstorming (Source: Miguel Ott Saera/ Gitnux)

It is important to have virtual tools that favor the sharing of ideas. These can have integrated chats, a function to add notes to a common file, generation of outlines. Find the tool that best suits your business and take advantage of it.
See the best Team Communication Software

8. Include dynamic activities

When talking about dynamic activities, there are two options. Those that you should always include, and those that should be implemented eventually. We explain them below.

Short breaks for stretching legsOrganize a virtual coffee break
A few minutes when the camera can be deactivatedPlaying a team game
An agreed time when you can go to the bathroomWhere possible, make a face-to-face meeting

Be sure to include these types of activities, both daily and occasionally, as they can make a big difference. A good meeting atmosphere and short breaks keep people engaged and attentive (6). Activities in the second group are more focused on the long term. They serve to foster social interaction, create group feeling, get to know your employees better and build trust.

9. Encourage feedback

You should always be open to constructive comments and contributions from your colleagues and team members. Communication is fundamental in any team, both face-to-face and remote.

When the meeting is over, express that you want to hear their opinions and know how the session went, what they liked and what could be changed or improved. By doing this, you can learn from mistakes made and change your initial approach, adapting it to your team and including their personal preferences.

Just as your team’s comments to you are good, it is very good to give feedback to your team. It can be a comment on something positive they have previously contributed, or sending a private message after the meeting thanking them for correcting you on an issue. This practice helps to increase people’s participation and makes them want to contribute on other occasions (7).

10. Follow up on the meeting

To avoid wasting your and others’ time, it is not advisable to send out the classic detailed meeting notes that are handed out after a meeting. Instead, you can opt for other strategies.

You can send a private message to the meeting attendees to thank them for their participation, or send a general email. This message can contain a reminder of an important deadline, or remind them of a very important point of the meeting. They should be brief and to the point. Make sure they provide value, or they will lose their effectiveness.


As we have seen, virtual meetings can be a very powerful tool to keep your team updated and organized. They can bring you very good results in your activity and can be very positive in terms of employee productivity and time savings. They can also serve as a strategy to foster team spirit and keep your employees together, which is very beneficial for the company.

But meetings can also be a disaster if they are not conducted carefully and if they are not prepared thoroughly and in advance. Adapt these recommendations to your meetings and get better results from your team. With this list of tips, you can rest assured that no detail will be overlooked, and you can make your meetings a success.


1. Cisco Systems Inc. Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study 2022 [Internet]. Employees are ready for hybrid work, are you? CISCO; 2022 [cited 2022Nov8].

2. Government of the Canary Islands. Rules for good use of videoconferences [Internet]. Virtual classes and meetings. Government of the Canary Islands; 2020 [cited 2022Nov8].

3. Subero R. [Internet]. 5 “icebreaker” ideas for virtual meetings. LinkedIn; 2020 [cited 2022Nov9].

4. Walker TB, Teng M, Business Insider. [Internet]. 6 rules for virtual meetings that will keep your teams engaged and make you a respected boss. Business Insider; 2020 [cited 2022Nov9].

5. Design Thinking Spain. [Internet]. What is brainstorming and how it helps you generate innovative ideas. Design Thinking Spain; 2021 [cited 2022Nov9].

6. Criddle C. The vital importance of technological rest… and the paradoxical technologies that can help us achieve it [Internet]. BBC News. BBC News World; 2021 [cited 2022Nov9].

7. Pérez-Cuvit L. [Internet]. The importance of feedback in the company. LinkedIn; 2020 [cited 2022Nov9].


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