As the future of work becomes increasingly more flexible, we find ourselves redefining what it means to be a modern employee on a regular basis. This means adapting to new hyflex workplace policies, working from anywhere and restructuring how we use tech tools— most notably, how we use tech tools to improve meetings.

In 2020, people used video meetings 50% more than pre-COVID-19. Due to the success of these virtual meetings, now, as the return to the office post-COVID-19 ramps up, they have become a lasting part of our everyday work lives. But it’s not just video conferencing tools that are changing the way we meet, we also have smart cameras, messaging apps and remote collaboration tools to thank for our increased meeting flexibility.

Why Improving Meetings Matters

It’s estimated that there are about 55 million meetings a day, prompting many to ask, could this have been an email?

When meetings do need to happen, they should be as functional, collaborative and inclusive as possible for all parties.

After all, for companies whose employees meet on average 62x times a month (yikes!), you’re spending more than $20K/month on meetings alone. Annually...that’s over $2.2M. Better make them count, right?

Want to find out how much your team spends on meetings? Try our Meeting Cost Calculator —> 

How can meetings be improved?

As our work schedules and other policies are improved to meet today’s employees increasingly virtual needs, meetings are getting a long-desired revamp as well. And it’s not just how we meet that is getting a makeover, but how we talk about meetings too. With the widespread shift to remote and hybrid work that we’ve seen over the past year, meeting culture has undergone a complete renovation.

With 80% of full-time employees agreeing that there should be at least one day a week with no meetings at all, workers across industries are starting to redefine what constitutes a meeting. And when it comes to creating more inclusive workplace culture, tech tools have been a more than welcome addition to workplace protocol. Thanks to the combined efforts of individuals and organizations, the typical fully in-person conference room meeting has been reimaged to be more inclusive and accessible to all employees— regardless of where they are located. 

Inclusivity in meetings looks like equal access to the conversation. What it doesn’t look like is only taking in-person contributions, or calling out to those around you to ask for agenda items instead of emailing them out to the group ahead of time.

With the increase in remote meeting tech, it has never been easier to gain access to the conversation. When organizations use tech to improve their meetings, they are choosing to level the playing field and allow everyone the opportunity to use their voice.

Benefits of Virtual Meeting Technology 

In addition to using tech tools to improve the overall meeting culture at your organization, other benefits include:

  • An increase in communication choices and flexibility
  • Creates more efficient meetings, saving time for remote, flexible, and hybrid employees
  • Provides easy access for remote employees to communicate with one another
  • Leads to an increase in meeting attendance
  • Cuts back on spending by reducing travel costs
  • Allows for digital recordings of meetings to reference later or repurpose
  • Improves digital documentation and meeting records

Virtual and Hybrid Meeting Technology

Conducting accessible virtual and hybrid meetings is all about the tech tools you use to host them! While a typical meeting would likely require a video conferencing platform and smart video cameras, those are just the tip of the technological iceberg when it comes to conducting fully functioning virtual and hybrid meetings. Let’s run through the tech tools needed to take our meetings to the next level.

Video Conferencing Platforms

Let’s start with the big one. Virtual and hybrid meetings would be doomed before they even had the chance to start without the proper video conferencing platform. Of course, remote and hybrid meetings can be done by conference call, but without the visual element provided by video conferencing tools your meetings run the risk of a higher degree of miscommunication and a lack of personalization. 

Video conferencing tools allow for a more personal, deeper remote meeting atmosphere and without them your remote meetings will be unable to reach the level of success that you typically find with fully in-person meetings.

A few top video conferencing platforms to choose from include Zoom, GoToMeeting, and BlueJeans.

Smart Video Cameras

The goal of virtual meetings is to replicate the atmosphere of in-person meetings as much as possible to increase productivity and familiarity between participants. With a smart, intuitive video camera in your virtual meeting toolkit you can bring remote meeting participants seemingly right into the meeting room with you, so your meetings don’t have to sacrifice any factors to accommodate hybrid and flexible employees.

Go from this (which is usually less fun than this and is definitely not social distancing friendly): 

gathered around a laptop for a meeting

Image: Unsplash

To this:

using a smart video camera for a hybrid meeting

Smart video cameras with 360° capabilities like the Meeting Owl are designed with the work from anywhere movement in mind and can help avoid things like your coworkers crowding around one laptop because no one else brought theirs, then not being able to hear the quiet laptop mic and excluding remote team members. Not a great experience for either team!

Messaging Tools

Video meetings are a seamless replication of in-person group meetings (when done right), but redesigning modern meeting culture to accommodate increasingly remote employees doesn’t stop there. Enter: an increase in messaging tools.

We are all familiar with the dreaded “meeting that could have been an email”, and thanks to an increase of remote messaging and communication tools it looks like the end of that phenomenon is finally here. Still struggling with meeting mania? Use this checklist to see if your meeting really could just be an email.

More than ever before, remote and hybrid employees are staying connected through direct and team messaging apps— like Slack— that allow them to stay in open communication with one another throughout the day. With this increased level of communication, remote teamwork has never been easier and the need for formal face-to-face meetings is reduced.

Use Slack, Skype for Business, or Teams to check in before the meeting, then use it as a space to follow up on topics that were discussed, create key channels or rooms for project kickoffs, and share the agenda and send out meeting reminders. 

Remote Collaboration Tools

Speaking of remote teamwork, the increase in user-friendly remote collaboration tools is also leading the charge against the meeting culture of yesteryear. With these tools, it has never been easier for remote and hybrid teams to work together from any distance. Your team needs will dictate which collaboration tools you use, such as Canva for all of your remote design needs and the G Suite for shared calendars and documents.

Other remote collaboration tools well suited for improving meetings include:

  • Project management tools like Asana or Trello— use cards or boards specifically for meetings, then keep meeting minutes in one organized location. 
  • Video messaging apps like Loom— create helpful pre-meeting videos explaining a new product or marketing strategy so people can really soak it in, then use live meeting times for questions and follow up.
  • Quickbooks or Wave Apps are cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping software options— for small teams, these apps offer a number of tools like dashboards and reporting that can be quickly accessed and discussed during regular team check-ins or meetings. 
  • InVision is a design app where you can create interactive designs that your team can comment on— share design projects, get feedback from your team, then review synchronously in a virtual meeting.
  • 15Five is a team productivity tool that definitely helps meetings— managers, this platform helps streamline meetings and jumps right into helping teams overcome roadblocks and be successful.


Whether your teams are made up of flexible, hybrid, or fully remote employees you can fast track their virtual meeting success by providing them with all of the tech they need to communicate and collaborate from anywhere. For more remote team tips and tricks, here is Everything You Need to Know About Building Successful Virtual Teams.