Online rather than in-person meetings for community association boards of directors became very popular during the height of the Covid pandemic. Their use has diminished since then, but they still remain a popular option for many boards and committee meetings to facilitate effective administration and operations.
Whether it is on Zoom, Workspace, Teams or another internet-based meeting platform, conducting a virtual board meeting instead of an in-person meeting can be a highly effective problem solver for many associations. Communities need to rely on dedicated volunteers, and online meetings are sometimes the only option for busy directors and committee members to be able to take part.
In addition, for emergency meetings or special meetings that need to be held offsite and/or kept private, online platforms provide a convenient and efficient option. If a property is heavily impacted by a hurricane or other disaster and it is inaccessible, having the preparations in place for online meetings can enable directors who may have evacuated to other locales to effectuate immediate decisions and actions.
For special meetings of the board, such as those to discuss private personnel matters and potential changes, the virtual option is often the best choice. They can be organized at the spur of the moment should the need arise, and their convenience for all the participants makes it much easier to achieve a quorum on short notice.
Associations that may just now be getting started with online meetings should first consult with highly experienced legal counsel. Protocols addressing notice and quorum requirements, recordings, agendas, vendor/expert presentations, director/member votes, and member access/discussions should be developed with the help and guidance of qualified association attorneys.
Legal counsel could also offer recommendations for hybrid meetings that enable members to attend either in person or remotely via an online platform. They can also help associations to establish procedures to enable owner members who do not own or use computers or smart phones to attend virtual meetings via an onsite connection to the platform that is provided by the association.
As online communications and meetings become increasingly common with many businesses and organizations, their use in the community association setting is bound to continue growing. They present a convenient option that can be a boon for communities and their volunteer directors and committee members in their efforts to effectively provide the best possible management and administrative oversight.
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