Helpful Tips for Safe Conference Room Meetings
Meetings are usually central to all workplaces. It’s where many business deals take place, where issues are rectified and where staff can congregate and share ideas. Due to the recent pandemic, however, offices have become desolate. Meetings have largely moved online or have not taken place.
As businesses and offices prepare to reopen and allow staff back on-premises, major adjustments have to be made. Areas where staff congregate have to be carefully managed and conference room meetings are no exception to this.
The good news is that you can carry out safe meetings if you take the right precautions.
Read on to discover how:
Set the Room up for Social Distancing
The first thing you need to do is set the room up so social distancing can be observed. This will usually mean reducing the number of chairs so that individuals can maintain a distance of 2 meters from each other.
This is easily manageable in larger rooms. If your conference room is small, consider removing the table altogether so that you can fit more chairs in.
Disinfect and Sanitize
Have someone responsible for disinfecting the room before and after each use. This includes wiping down all chairs and surfaces with sanitizer and wiping down any equipment that may have been handled.
Set up a sanitation station outside the door so people can disinfect their hands before entering the room.
Have Video Conferencing Set Up
Some of your staff may be vulnerable or protecting family members. Therefore, it won’t be appropriate for them to be physically present in the conference room. Having video conferencing equipment set up will ensure that all key staff can be included in the meeting without compromising on safety.
Wearing face masks is now standard practice in enclosed spaces. To maintain optimal safety, ensure that all meeting attendees are wearing one when they enter the room. Have some spare masks to hand, so if anyone forgets and misplaces them, they don’t have to miss the meeting as a result.
Ensure Good Ventilation
Good circulation of fresh air really helps to keep the meeting space safe. Before the meeting starts, open all the windows and doors to refresh the air. Maintain good ventilation throughout. If appropriate, you could even consider holding the conference outside.
Set a Firm Agenda
Staying on track is crucial in limiting the amount of time people spend in close proximity to each other. Therefore, if you set a firm agenda and, most importantly, stick to it, you’ll get everything done in the shortest time possible.
If a conversation begins to wander or go off-topic, steer it back to the main point so you can cover it and move on.
Don’t let meetings run overtime. If it looks like this is going to happen, cut it short and reconvene at another time or consider finishing it off via video conference or email.
Carefully Consider Who Needs to Attend
Pre-COVID, it didn’t really matter how many people attended a meeting. Now, you need to look at who needs to attend and who can just receive the notes after it has taken place. By sticking to the key individuals, you’ll keep the room safe and socially distanced and will also help you keep on track.
Do You Need a Meeting At All?
Many meetings take place informally and aren’t essential. Before you set up yours, consider whether or not it’s needed. Look at what you need to cover and ask yourself whether or not it can be organized via email or another communication method instead.
Stick to Video Conferencing
With so many great video conferencing software applications on the market, it’s never been easier to hold remote meetings. They’ve been the lifesaver of businesses during the pandemic. Just because your employees are returning to the office, it doesn’t mean you have to stop video conferencing.
Sticking to video conferences is by far the safest method of keeping your meeting COVID safe, so is there any reason to change this? Even if your staff are on-site, they can tune in to the conference from the safety of their desks. This also eliminates the need for disinfecting a room every time you want to have a meeting saving precious time and resources that can be better spent elsewhere.
Upgrade Your Technology to Streamline Processes
Pretty much any business activity can now be handled online. For example, a lot of meetings take place to collaborate, brainstorm, and share ideas. It doesn’t need to be this way since there are many fantastic software applications that help enable you to do this online.
Use this time as an opportunity to assess and update your technology to streamline processes and collaboration. This will eliminate the need to hold a meeting to get the work done.
Be Sympathetic Toward Staff
Everyone is worried about this crisis and what may happen in the future. Remaining sympathetic and understanding of your staff will help maintain a positive work environment and calm fears.
If staff members are uncomfortable or need to be extra vigilant with social distancing, don’t force them to attend a meeting. Use the ideas above to ensure that all staff can remain safe and happy while still getting the necessary work done.
Since you’re no longer restricted to holding a meeting in a fixed location, you can now approach customers and hire staff from all over the world. If you take the time and care to set up a safe conference environment, then the business doesn’t have to suffer. In fact, by exploring other options and remote-working possibilities, you can open yourself up to other opportunities.