Why are Standup Meetings Important for Remote Working?

March 25, 2022

A decade ago, remote working was uncommon, and it was only a privilege given to knowledge workers. Year 2020 was full of uncertainty and has changed this norm for good. COVID-19 has forced many businesses across the globe to adapt another "new normal", that is to work from home.

A well-organized, perfectly-structured remote work policy has enhanced business productivity in multitudes. In these advanced technological times, adapting oneself to this ever-changing business landscape has become easy. From employee training to providing the right tools for distant collaboration, a lot needs to be considered to ensure maximum or the same level of business productivity.

This is when stand-up meetings come into the picture. Today almost all leading companies, organizations and small business firms are conducting stand-up meetings.

Stand-up Meeting: The Definition

A meeting held by a group of attendees literally in a stand-up position for a small time frame is called a stand-up meeting. Stand-up meetings are also known as daily scrum, scrum meetings, or morning roll calls. 

About Stand-up Meetings

Stand-up meetings are short, and regular meetings that are held on a daily or weekly basis by a team in the company to ensure the team members keep up with the happenings in the business. The stand-up meetings are also important to ensure staff accountability and their active participation.

Though your employees may not be working in the same physical space anymore, holding regular stand-up meetings with clear plans and goals has been known to boost productivity in business.

In this blog, we will help you to understand the role of stand-up meetings and their importance in navigating the uncharted waters of remote working.

What is the purpose of daily stand-up meetings?

 The objective of stand-up meetings is to determine:

  • What has been accomplished so far.
  • What has been planned for the day.
  • Discuss the obstacles or challenges faced, if any, in the quickest and shortest way possible (15 minutes maximum).

Honestly, no one is a fan of daily face-to-face stand-up meetings. If conducted unorganized or faced with challenges such as showing up late or rambling unnecessarily, stand-ups can cost a huge loss of time and work for the team members. 

Any stand-up meeting that goes beyond the standard 15 minutes is a stand-up meeting that went wrong. Now, what are those factors that can put a spoke in the otherwise smooth and quick stand-ups?

 Let's introspect: 

  • Late arrivals: Late arrivals by the attendees can produce a negative impact on the stand-up meeting.
  • Poor scheduling: If the factors that involve scheduling are not handled and taken care of properly, it can lead to a glitch.
  • Too many attendees: If the attendees in a time frame aren't kept low, it can lead to an over-crowded stand-up meeting.
  • Long discussions: Long discussions don't stand a chance here, as the idea of a stand-up meeting itself is to keep it short and crisp.
  • Disrupting work-flow: The stand-up meeting alone is to be entertained, and anything that goes beyond it is to be ignored.
  • Different time-zone: For remote members, the time difference would be a concern if the attendees aren't from the same time -zone.
  • Network issues (Again for the remote members): All the attendees would need to be on the same kind of internet speed or signal strength if the stand-up meeting would have to be completed in a given period.

These drawbacks are prompting us to question the necessity of stand-up meetings because they can ruin their whole purpose if not run well. The only motive of stand-up is to ensure the whole team works effectively with a collaborative effort from each team member that enables maximum productivity.

And when it comes to remote working, facilitating stand-up meetings is a powerful practice. Why do we say that? Here's why: 

Importance of stand-up meetings for remote working culture

The purpose of stand-up meetings remains the same for office goers or remote employees. Remote working culture has been known to benefit businesses and employees. Businesses across the globe have had huge benefits in terms of lower office expenses and better access to a wide pool of applicants. 

On the other hand, employees have a great work-life balance, enhanced productivity due to no commutes and stress-free life. In hindsight, there are certain drawbacks too. It is very important to have remote stand-up meetings as this is a great way to keep the entire team members connected and keeps them motivated to achieve excellent results.

This measure also helps build a platform for communication and productivity across the time zones in the best possible way. A short session of a remote stand-up meeting can always be utilized for

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • To post the day-to-day updates
  • Collect surveys, reports or daily data to keep the team up and keep everyone in the loop.

Having said that about the importance of Remote stand-up meetings, it is also equally crucial to visualize the challenges that bubble up for the remote stand-up meeting.

Challenges of conducting remote stand-up meetings

Conducting remote stand-up meetings has its pitfalls. Conducting 100% efficient remote stand-ups is nearly impossible. Jotting down some major issues here:

  • Different time zones: Having the attendees at different times can lead to a crucial trust issue.
  • Feeling left out: When the team is located remotely and scattered around, the chances of team building is quite low.
  • Network issues: If the signal strength of the available network is not up to the mark, the remote stand-up meetings won't go as planned.
  • Lack of relationship building: Remote working employees may lack the relationships that office goers can easily develop. They are unable to know what their peers are working on.
  • Lack of nurturing work environment: Remote working employees lack to build an environment that would otherwise be supportive and nurturing.

Remote stand-up meetings enable employees to feel acknowledged, confront their problems and manage challenges—all this and more remotely. It becomes hugely important to facilitate regular stand-up meetings to help realize your team that they are valuable, which results in happy employees or, in short, better productivity.

Best stand-up meeting practices in remote working

Remote stand-up meetings will only bear us the sweet fruit if we follow the best stand-up meeting practices. Now here are the simplest yet the easiest things that should be kept in mind whilst we work for it:

  • Universal roster: Create a roster that is universal and has to be followed by the entire team dedicatedly. The roster should provide and educate each team member on what has to be prepared and completed before entering the Remote stand-up meeting.
  • Meeting structure: Time and tide wait for none; likewise should be our stand-up meeting that shall not await an attendee who doesn't follow or respect punctuality.
  • Right Tool: A right medium should be selected for communication.
  • Be all set to go: It is important that all the required gadgets and gizmos are kept handy and well equipped.
  • Respect time and Planning: Respect time because the time constraint that we have here is shortened to 15/20 minutes for each stand-up meeting, and prepare the work to be discussed and handled well in advance to prevent any misuse of the available time frame.
  • Be Engaged: Ensure that every minute of the remote stand-up meeting goes fully utilized by engaging in the meeting completely.
  • Work Ambience: Be it your home or workspace, ensure that the area chosen for the remote stand-up meeting is up to the mark.
  • Good manners: Create a polite and fair environment, keeping in mind respectful behaviour to the team.

When the keys mentioned above are added to the Remote stand-up meeting, it will help the team to be unified as one and produce maximum productivity regardless of the distance or the differences in the culture or the time zone. As they say, it's all about planning and executing. So have you got any tips to add on for a productive remote stand-up meeting? Write to us or share it in the comment section below.

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