The Secret Formula for Productive Remote One-on-Ones

Dec 12, 2023

Productive remote one-on-one meetings are crucial for maintaining effective communication and engagement within a remote team. Here's a secret formula to ensure these meetings are as fruitful as possible:

1. Clear Agenda Setting

  • Key Factor: Before the meeting, clearly define what will be discussed. This could include project updates, feedback, personal development, or problem-solving.

  • Benefit: A clear agenda keeps the meeting focused and ensures all important topics are covered.

2. Regular Scheduling

  • Key Factor: Schedule one-on-ones regularly, whether weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, depending on the need.

  • Benefit: Regular meetings foster a sense of consistency and reliability, crucial for remote team dynamics.

3. Utilize Video Conferencing

  • Key Factor: Use video conferencing tools to add a personal touch. Visual cues are important for effective communication.

  • Benefit: Video calls enhance engagement and foster a stronger connection than voice or text alone.

4. Active Listening

  • Key Factor: Practice active listening. Pay close attention to what the other person is saying without formulating a response while they are speaking.

  • Benefit: Active listening demonstrates respect and allows for a deeper understanding of issues or concerns.

5. Constructive Feedback

  • Key Factor: Provide feedback that is constructive, specific, and actionable. Also, be open to receiving feedback.

  • Benefit: Constructive feedback promotes professional growth and continuous improvement.

6. Set Clear Action Items

  • Key Factor: Conclude the meeting with clear action items or follow-up steps. Assign responsibilities and deadlines where appropriate.

  • Benefit: This ensures that the meeting leads to concrete outcomes and progress.

7. Encourage Open Dialogue

  • Key Factor: Create an environment where open and honest communication is encouraged. Address any concerns or challenges.

  • Benefit: An open dialogue fosters trust and ensures issues are addressed promptly.

8. Follow-Up

  • Key Factor: After the meeting, send a brief summary of what was discussed along with the agreed-upon action items.

  • Benefit: Follow-up reinforces the discussion points and ensures both parties are aligned on next steps.

9. Flexibility

  • Key Factor: Be flexible with scheduling and be considerate of the other person's time and workload.

  • Benefit: Flexibility shows empathy and understanding, which are key in remote work environments.

10. Continuous Improvement

  • Key Factor: Regularly seek feedback on how to improve these one-on-one sessions.

  • Benefit: Continuously improving the process ensures that these meetings remain effective and valuable over time.


The secret to productive remote one-on-ones lies in careful planning, clear communication, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that these meetings are not only effective in addressing immediate work concerns but also in building stronger, more cohesive remote teams.

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