Let's talk about - Micromeetings

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The chance word overheard in the canteen, the exasperated sigh at the end of a call, the little piece of gossip that explains so much, or the sight of a laptop arcing elegantly through the air before making contact with the floor and splitting into its component parts. OK, we have only dreamed about the last one, but these events have one thing in common.

They are generally missing from our work-at-home days. We miss the little indicators of mood that normally we would be tuning into every day. We find it difficult to gauge the mood of our co-workers, because we are not with them.

Is this important?

In my conversations with managers over these coronavirus-affected days, it seems that this is the aspect of working from home that they find most problematic; getting a feel for their staff and understanding what is happening in their working life.

Think of the useful mini-conversations you have had in corridors. Perhaps you have organised a meeting later in the day or clarified a point from the morning’s briefing. All in a matter of seconds, unplanned but useful.

These are the moments that many managers are finding difficult to replicate on Teams or Zoom.

More telephone calls, late-night emails, hurried messages are needed to achieve what could have been done in a few seconds face-to-face.

Keeping cameras on in home offices does not look workable, especially if the kids are at home or partners are sharing a workspace. Is there another way to create these micro-moments that mean so much?

For many, the solution is to limit working-from-home days, but of course if lockdown returns, this will not be an option.


Why do managers value ‘micro-meetings?

How would you define ‘micro-meetings’?

What do you think – does this make a difference?

What do you think; is it a real problem? How could you find a way around it?

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Find a word in the text that fits the definition - highlight the text for solutions

to arc – to move in a curve shape

chance (adjective) – unexpected, unplanned

missing (adjective) – not there

indicators – signs

mood – atmosphere

a matter of seconds – a very short period of time

exasperated – annoyed, frustrated

gossip – news, information about people

to gauge – to measure

hurried – quick

workable (adjective) – possible, achievable

to replicate – to make again, to duplicate


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