The era of most colleagues living in the same locations, going to the same eateries and even having children attend the same institutions in addition to working physically next to one another is gone forever. Despite massive structural changes affecting sustainability of most employees, over 16% of companies globally are transitioning to having a remote work setup.
“Despite more people working remotely today, our recent findings indicate that if companies don’t go above and beyond to establish best practices for remote and hybrid meetings, they pay a high price,” argues the chief editor for Gitnux.
Employees are now dispersed across several locations and continents. Therefore, consider some best practices to maintain order if you have such meetings.
Hybrid Meeting Best Practices
Hybrid meetings favor in-person attendees more than remote workers in most cases, but when done properly, all parties equally benefit.
According to data from The University of Michigan, Remote workers may have challenges getting clear audio from the meeting, especially if the in-person attendees speak in low tones or share the same microphone but with different devices. On the other hand, the in-person attendees get everything clearly, and if physical materials are used for presentations, they get clear views. To solve this problem, you can ask in-person attendees to be more audible, use favorable slides when presenting or use visible writing when using the whiteboard.
Have a Facilitator
A hybrid meeting coordinator might find it hard to control the session, especially if the in-person attendees are more in number. This is because they can easily talk over remote attendees, making it hard to communicate. To solve this, you can devise a system where anyone who wants to talk has to raise their hand, whether in-person or remotely. Having order during these meetings is important if you want to achieve the purpose within the set time.
Have an Agenda
It is easy to talk for hours in a hybrid meeting and miss the whole point of holding the meeting. An efficient agenda outlines the meeting’s objectives and discussion points, allowing the team to become cohesive prior to, during, and after the session. Agendas are particularly crucial for remote workers because they might not know why the meeting was set.
Avoid Side Conversations
When soliciting feedback from the attendees, don’t allow side conversations, especially from the in-person attendees. This might cause disorientation and misunderstanding. Instead, let the facilitator call people by their names for feedback. It could be done systematically so that in-person attendees are given the first chance to speak, then remote workers follow or vice versa.
Don’t Misuse the Chat
Use the chat for relevant communication only, like posting links or other materials associated with the meeting. Don’t use it to catch up with those you haven’t talked to in a while or to talk about non-work-related activities.