Strategically enhance your remote communications

Strategically enhance your remote communications


1. Animation plan

The following table is used to construct a facilitation plan

Rhythm and duration

Headings to be completed:

  • Targets: recipients
  • Objectives: use
  • Rhythm and duration: frequency (weekly, monthly, half-yearly, yearly ....) and duration (1h, ½ day, 1 day...)
  • Tool: telephone, e-mail, video conference, audio conference....(there may be several)
  • Medium and access: formalisation mode (email, one-page pdf document, recorded video, printed whiteboard...) and access mode to the medium (shared space, email...)

2. Virtual circle / Virtual clock

The virtual circle consists of putting the photo of the participants in a virtual meeting on a file, in order to increase psychological proximity (useful in cases where the telecommunication networks do not allow the use of video). It also makes it possible to manage the order in which people speak, which is particularly useful if you, as the meeting leader, want to be sure that everyone has spoken.

3. Good practice


  • Check your email every day and reply to urgent emails within 24 hours - In case of absence or limited access, leave a message informing your interlocutors of your unavailability
  • A copy of a message is for information only and does not require a reply
  • Be careful about the choice of words used, as certain formulations can be perceived negatively
  • In case of strong emotional pressure, keep the message in the draft folder and go over it again before sending it
  • An email is often not suitable for resolving personal issues, exchanging sensitive information or avoiding face-to-face contact
  • The title of the email should be clear on the subject and if applicable the deadline
  • The following words should be used in the title to help the recipient manage their priorities: For info / for action / for info URGENT / for action URGENT...
  • Reply to all" should only be used if everyone needs your information. Attachments in this type of reply should be deleted.
  • Review the list of emails regularly to make sure they are processed and filed or deleted.
  • Spell check is always a good help
  • A meeting should be scheduled via the appropriate calendar tool and not by email - Clarify how you want to use email.

Audio/video conferencing

  • The facilitator should arrive early to set up the virtual meeting, liaise with participants, make sure everyone knows how to use the tool (if necessary, remind them how to use the functions used) and provide a backup in case of problems
  • Propose a code of conduct and describe the planned agenda
  • Suggest that participants announce their presence at the beginning of the meeting. The inclusion sequence is just as important as in a face-to-face meeting
  • Introduce yourself when speaking (especially in audio)
  • Depending on the sequence of a video conference, the use of sub-groups can be considered, as well as exchanging in audio only (video can be distracting)
  • Default to "mute"; however, in small groups and if there is no ambient noise, leaving the microphone open may allow for greater spontaneity of expression
  • Do not engage in another local discussion (in case several participants connect to the meeting from the same location)
  • In case of difficulty (hearing, seeing...), inform the facilitator
  • Allow a recovery time of about 15 minutes between audio/video meetings
  • Limit audio/video meeting sequences to 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Allow for breaks of 5 to 10 minutes for sequences < 2 hours, 20 to 30 minutes for sequences of 2 to 3.5 hours
  • The longer the meetings, the more they need to be prepared in terms of content, methodology and technical details, and the more they need to be varied. In general, it is recommended not to exceed half a day.