Strategies on Conducting Hybrid Meetings
As Covid-19 restrictions start to ease up, a new type of work setup is starting to arise. A new type of setup wherein a portion of workers keeps on with their work-at-home set up while another portion starts to work in the office.
This is called the “Hybrid” work environment. It’s called as such because as you can tell, it has the best of two worlds. The convenience for employees to work from home and the ability of some workers to focus on working in the office.
Studies have shown that a majority of businesses in the US are planning to adopt this new hybrid work environment for a variety of purposes.
Still, conducting hybrid meetings is different from both in-person meetings and virtual meetings. You need to have a gameplan as it may seem so easy, but a lot actually fail to execute it well.
Hence, if you want to become more successful in this area, here are some tips for you to be able to conduct hybrid meetings more successfully:
Get everyone on camera #cameraon
When speaking with somebody, you would want to see their faces, right? As such, those who are in the remote work team should be visible on their camera. This also applies to the workers in the office area. Everyone should be visible as much as possible.
There may be some exceptions such as technical difficulties, but generally, there should be a rule that everyone should have their cameras open when you conduct hybrid meetings.
This makes it easier for you to make sure that everyone is attentive and participating properly. You never know what they are actually doing if their cameras are closed. This also increases engagement and makes communicating much more effective as you can see more of their actual responses compared to having voice-only meetings where you might feel like you’re speaking to a silent wall.
Lastly, this makes your meeting much livelier as everyone can see each other. This is as close you can simulate an actual in-person meeting.
Get stable internet #stableinternet
Since video streaming takes uploads of data and bandwidth, you must invest in a stable internet connection for your office. This makes it less likely for your office work team’s video feed to be blurry and have lag. You know how frustrating it is to virtually talk to someone and their responses arrive 10 seconds late, right?
Likewise, you should also recommend the same for your remote work team. This is useful not only for them to conduct hybrid meetings with you, but also for them to be more responsive and available online.
Get high-quality mics #highqualitymics
Part of a better hybrid work setup is not only having a good video stream but also making sure your mics have good quality. You wouldn’t want to speak to your team for hours on end only to discover later on that your mic was garbled, right?
This is why having high-quality mics is a must. Invest in microphones that can capture clear voices from a distance with crystal clear quality. In this way, communication will be far more effective with everybody.
Get prepared #getprepared
Always prepare everything in advance. Confirm everyone’s attendance well before you conduct the meeting and inform them of the agenda. This gives them prior knowledge and time to prepare so they may have questions ready when the meeting time comes.
You also need to prepare the material in case you need to present or have the one presenting in the meeting well informed of when the meeting starts so they can prepare themselves as well.
Get started on time #startontime
As mentioned before, you need to let everybody know beforehand just when the meeting will start. This way, they can make sure to reserve that spot for the meeting itself. Tell them at least an hour before it starts.
In line with this, make sure that you follow it yourself, It’s going to feel unfair for those who arrived early if you delay the meeting for a long time for the sake of those who are late.
Get a proper background #properbackground
Seeing each other’s rooms or houses is fine and all, until somebody walks by in the background or there are kids running around. This causes a distraction for the participants of the meeting and is not conducive to productivity.
Hence, you need to require everybody, especially those in remote work set up to have their virtual background set up. It’s even better if you have a standard one for your company such as the picture of your company building or logo.
This gives your meeting a more professional feeling and encourages everybody to act more professionally.
Get engagement #getengage
Hybrid meetings may feel strange at first, but you have to make sure that the flow of conversation does not stall. One way to do this is by facilitating engagement among yourselves. If you’re the leader of the meeting, then don’t be shy to call on others from time to time. Make sure they’re keeping their attention to whoever is speaking or presenting.
You can also do icebreakers or ask everybody to participate in the chat so everyone can participate,
In addition, you should also give and get some feedback. Tell employees what they are not doing right during the meeting, what presenters can improve on, and ask them how else you can improve the next hybrid work meeting. Ask them about the experience and how you can make it better for them, so no one ever feels left out.
As you may have noticed, a lot of the hybrid meeting strategies can also apply to both virtual and in-person meeting strategies. Things such as preparation, having the technology ready, having everyone participate and engage, and feedback are also standard when it comes to other areas of business meetings.
Doing this also makes everyone feel like they’re on the same page even if they have different work setups and that no one has it easier or harder than the rest of the team. This prevents future friction or discrimination between anybody in your team.
Therefore, by setting up proper hybrid meeting practices like this, you are also setting up proper work meetings in the future no matter what type.
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