Michael Scott’s Guide To Virtual Management

We are huge fans of the NBC Comedy The Office.

It’s not uncommon for nights spent flipping through tiles of new things to watch to end with our brain finally saying, “That’s Enough,” and then we return to old reliable.

But what if Michael Scott were managing his team virtually? Well, we thought about it (a lot!) and without further ado here are the pearls of wisdom we think Michael Scott would offer right now. Maybe Michael Scott’s Guide to Virtual Management would be his column in Small Business Man Magazine…

Recognize Big Moments.


Time may feel like it’s melding together, but there are just as many holidays, birthdays, work anniversary’s, and team milestones as any other year. Don’t let these slip by without celebration! These are moments to break-up the routine and bring the team closer together. Sure, you’re not physically together, but that only makes maximizing these opportunities to come together virtually all the more important.

Send People Stuff


Before earning likes on Instagram, snail mail was the original dopamine hit. People like opening mail, swag, and knowing you’re thinking of them. Combine it all, and ship your team something fun! Rather than making it a surprise, tell them in advance and ask that they wait to open until you’re all together. 1:1 or in a team meeting, it’s more fun to feed off each other’s energy than it is to be thanked for something they opened over the weekend.

Razzle Dazzle


Use visuals to spice up your virtual meetings. Virtual backgrounds may have become tired or distracting, but visuals still serve a purpose. A presentation gives people a way to follow-along beyond what’s said. Try visual features that enhance engagement like meeting reactions, a quick poll, or a word cloud.

Bring Your A-Game.


It’s too easy to wear out going from back-to-back virtual meetings, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you being there is good enough. Here are our favorite quick (10 seconds or less!) energizers between meetings: clap and rub your hands together; 10-second dance party blaring your favorite song; do 5 jumping jacks.

Everybody Dance Now.


People like music! Log into your next meeting a little early, and play some music to welcome other attendees. Notice the difference this makes in your meeting’s energy and consider passing the baton to someone else so that it’s their responsibility to pick the song for the next meeting. We love picking on each other’s musical tastes, and it’s a great icebreaker.

  • For Zoom: Share Screen > Advanced > Music or Computer Sound Only

  • For Google Meet

React for All to See


In virtual meetings, body language is camera-confined. So use your face, bring your hands into camera view, and let people see your reactions. When you talk, make sure you bring gestures into camera view. When you listen, being generous with your facial expressions may encourage the speaker or indicate that you have a question without interrupting.