Use breakout rooms extensively

It’s remarkable how much closer and more meaningful a virtual connection can feel when you’re only seeing one other person on the screen. For one, you have to be engaged – you’re seen up close… While in a large meeting you can pretend to listen while still answering your emails; in a one-on-one you cannot fake.

A one-on-one virtual meeting also offers a rare opportunity for informal chatting, that so many complain is now missing from our interactions on the screen. There is more sight, space and time to engage more personally, if only for a couple of moments, as you would when waiting for your coffee to brew at the office.

Therefore, if you happen to be the meeting initiator, give people a chance at the start of the call, even if it is for three or four minutes, to check in with each other and have that private chitchat they wouldn’t otherwise have. And try to include as many small-group breakout moments as possible, to create the feeling of a closer connection.