Recently, Docket asked users about what office work may look like in the coming year. 72% of leaders expect their meetings to include a combination of participants in the office and remote employees calling in from home or elsewhere.
Hybrid meetings make attendance wholly convenient for all attendees, but they have their own unique set of challenges as well.
While sitting around the conference table together, in-person attendees can leverage the power of facial expressions and body language, for example, while those in the digital realm cannot. Beyond that, the ability to meet shared goals and promote accountability can prove difficult as well. Thankfully, it’s easy to overcome the challenges of hybrid workplaces by leveling the playing field in the following ways.
Create an Equitable Conference Room Setup
If you only have one camera in your conference room, many in your hybrid workforce may end up in the dark about what’s going on in the room. They might miss key information that’s only conveyed in nods, paper taps, and the like.
To avoid that scenario, it’s important to position multiple cameras from key vantage points. Your cameras should show everyone in the hybrid office equally so that they can communicate with all attendees.
You will likely need to hold a short test meeting with team leaders to test your camera setup and get actionable feedback. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback on the conference room setup at the end of your hybrid meetings, too. With that info, you can better align the setup with your employees’ needs and achieve your desired results with each meeting.
Communicate the Agenda Early and Often
To ensure all your hybrid office workers remain on the same page through every meeting, you need to communicate the agenda early and often. Before each meeting, take the time to create a full agenda with time slots for each topic.
Then, share the agenda across the flex work environment to give everyone time to review all the key talking points. This will give them time to get acquainted with the meeting’s purpose and jot down notes about things they want to cover as well.
During the meeting, plan to assign follow-up tasks to each employee to engage them with the content and ensure they can contribute to the group goals. Set due dates for each task and check back with each of your hybrid workers to see if they need any support in completing the work or meeting their deadlines.
Use a Shared Digital Notepad and Workspace
After holding hybrid meetings, you can promote each session’s success by bringing everyone together on a shared digital notepad and workspace. While navigating through that space together, it’s possible to improve communications and understanding in leaps and bounds.
Within that space, you can offer your flex work team:
- Recaps of every meeting
- Notes and resources from all prior sessions
- Access to all their action items and next steps
- A chance to use many other productivity tools
In addition, your team members can track their tasks to completion right in the same system. You can review their progress and offer feedback, helping everyone work toward their collective goals.
Look at the Meeting from All Perspectives
During meetings for hybrid teams, you have to consider all perspectives to give attendees opportunities to fully participate. On the digital side, your flex work professionals may need extra time to hear the questions and respond. Even the fastest internet connections have a little lag in comparison to real-life correspondence.
In-person attendees, on the other hand, need a little bit of grace as well. Due to the lag on the digital side, it’s far too easy to accidentally interrupt.
Fortunately, by sharing all the potential snafus with the group before starting, it’s easy to get around these challenges and make every hybrid meeting a success. As hybrid workplaces become commonplace, team members will get used to consistent meeting processes.
Your Commitment to Holding Successful Meetings for Hybrid Teams
With a commitment to following all the key hybrid meeting best practices, you can get the desired results out of every session like the ones above. Everyone needs a little extra time to find ways around the challenges presented by hybrid working, so don’t worry about not having a clear path forward quite yet.
As you leverage the right tools and methods, the hybrid office concept will undoubtedly become the norm, potentially pushing your organization to great heights. So, do what it takes to get around the challenges and set your sights on great success with the hybrid office model.