An improperly managed hybrid meeting can feel chaotic and can even impede decision-making. Remote participants launch into an intelligent response only to be told “you’re on mute”, and onsite participants undervalue the remote ones – often because they can’t see them – and end up dominating the conversation.
Most of the workforce wants more flexibility when it comes to working, meaning that the frequency of hybrid meetings is only going to increase. So how can businesses successfully achieve healthy hybrid meetings?
Here are a few ways to improve your organisation’s hybrid meetings:
Notify your team about your objective for the meeting and set time aside for at least 10 minutes of meeting prep before starting the meeting. Sharing your objective with the team is a great way to set a tone of inclusivity and allows them to come prepared.
It is entirely up to your organisation to determine if video usage is effective but if video is expected make that clear well in advance. If you’re having a meeting with a small team, turning video on can often make the meeting feel more personal. Keep in mind that for your remote participants staring at themselves for hours on end can feel exhausting and therefore creating a culture where participants can turn off their video for a mental health break should be encouraged.
Respect the virtual and physical “hand raise”. Having a moderator present at your hybrid meeting can ensure that people do not need to talk over one another or fight to have their say heard, regardless of how they attend. The moderator can also keep their eyes on non-verbal cues, like someone coming off of mute. Your organisation can also make use of electronic hand-raising technologies.
Practising new behaviours is needed to ensure a healthy hybrid meeting. In-person attendees having a side conversation can make it impossible for virtual attendees to hear and can distract other in-person attendees. You can also nod or type in the chat to affirm the speaker rather than using verbal queues which can cause more audio issues.
Attention spans have never been shorter and keeping hybrid meetings as crisp as possible means avoiding over-presentation. While we all want to be heard, there will be times when you must impose limits. Constant questions and points will negatively impact meeting productivity.
As leaders of the conference industry, we’re passionate about helping your organisation make your next hybrid meeting a success. Contact us to find out more about our world-class hybrid meeting-inspired solutions.