“Could you move a little closer to the mic and repeat yourself?”
“Did someone say something in the back of the room? I missed it.”
“Hey, your mic is on mute.”
As hybrid meetings become a more regular occurrence, so do these stumbling blocks.
Collaboration today involves bridging the gap between in-office and remote workers. In order to effectively roll out a hybrid work strategy, leaders need to consider how they can create an equitable experience for their distributed workforce.
This new hybrid meeting model will bring with it a dramatic change in how we facilitate collaboration. A mix of in-person attendees and remote meeting participants will be the standard as more companies leverage flexible work.
When you have two people in Chicago, four people calling in from home and three more sitting in a conference room in your NYC office - how do you ensure every member on the call has an equitable experience?
We know hybrid work isn’t going anywhere. So now is the time to figure out how to host meetings that effectively incorporate all members regardless of location.
With hybrid meetings you need to account for all parties in attendance. Virtual members might need a gentle nudge from facilitators to unmute and join the conversation. In-person attendants may need to be reminded to consider camera placement and positioning of audio equipment to effectively present.
Try addressing the potential problems at the beginning of the meeting. Let your teams know that hiccups are normal and trial new ways of smoothing them over. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for hybrid meetings, you need to figure out what works best for your teams. The best place to start? Asking them.
Do you know who is coming into the office on a given day? What kind of meeting room space is available and suits your needs?
Making hybrid meetings more effective starts with understanding who will be where, when. If you have a workplace experience software in place, you should be able to easily determine who is in-office and locate where they are sitting.
Once you have an idea of who is in office for the meeting, you can then find a meeting space that not only fits everyone but has the technology needed to support team members calling in.
One of the biggest advantages of hybrid work is being able to fit work around your life. When your teams are given choice about how they take in information, there is inevitably less friction.
Where possible, support flexibility by:
Remote and in-office participants can use these shared spaces to ask questions, conduct follow-ups and visibly acknowledge they have the information they need.
By enabling flexibility around how your team gets the information they need, you ensure that the right stuff is communicated regardless of any hiccups.
Technology certainly plays a leading role in more effective meetings. Making investments in your room equipment is a core part of improving the entire experience for your teams.
The focus should be on audio and visuals. You want to ensure that everyone on your team can be seen and heard.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to pour millions into a completely new system. Start with the basics, like video conferencing tools, room displays and audio solutions.
Pro-Tip: Always test your audio before the meeting starts. Nobody likes the start-of-meeting tech scramble.
Despite your best laid plans, there’s always going to be slip-ups in hybrid meetings. That’s why it’s a good idea to assign a single facilitator for your meetings.
This person will be responsible for making sure the conversation includes all voices. Engaging all participants in a meeting can be hard even if everyone is in the same place. Facilitators should be in charge of making sure everyone has what they need to fully participate.
Sometimes, this may call for nudging remote participants to virtually raise their hand. Other times, it might be about telling in-person participants to speak closer to the microphone. Whatever the approach, facilitators will play a key role in successful hybrid meetings.
Still not confident in running your own hybrid meeting? That’s okay. We have even more supporting information for you.
A good agenda is always a great place to start when structuring your meetings for maximum efficiency. Below is a free, downloadable hybrid meeting template. Give this tool a try heading into your next hybrid session.
Meetings before hybrid work were relatively simple; everyone in a conference room, mandatory attendance, an equitable experience.
Hybrid workplace strategies force us to take a look at different ways to effectively disseminate information.
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We partnered with our friends at Owl Labs to bring you the best tips on how to optimize your workplace hybrid work. We're experts in the world of workplace experience and provide businesses of all sizes with a scalable and smart solution for workplace experience. To learn more, sign up for a free Robin demo today!