Now more than ever, businesses are turning to hybrid workplaces made up of at-home employees, remote staff, and office workers to get the job done. A recent survey of Docket users found 72% of people believe their team will be made up of a combination of office workers and remote staff by this time next year. While the hybrid office concept isn’t new, large corporations are looking seriously at hybrid meetings for the first time.
Since more employers are adopting the hybrid office model, it’s now more important than ever to stay in touch with workers using hybrid meetings. These hybrid meetings provide the best of both worlds, but they have similar challenges as onsite meetings and remote meetings. Maybe more so because of the necessary preparation, one has to plan to make the meetings useful. There are four key areas teams must address to ensure productive and effective meetings for hybrid teams.
Technical Set-Up for Hybrid Meetings
The first consideration one needs to have when running a hybrid office is the technical equipment to keep everyone in touch. That means video conference equipment, cameras, documentation systems, and communications such as chat or email. Team members need to be able to share documents, files, code, and designs with other team members quickly and efficiently. That means a method of transferring and sharing data. At the same time, employees need a way to meet virtually, take notes on ideas, and share with all meeting attendees and interested parties. It’s important to establish what tools are needed for effective communication upfront and invest in equipment and training to ensure everyone adopts the technology.
Flexible workspaces naturally present more barriers to information. Normally, an office worker might ask their coworker or manager how to do something by simply looking around or going to the person’s office. When a team member works remotely, they no longer have that luxury. Policies and shared systems need to be implemented to ensure a hybrid team member can get the information quickly and without confusion. Establishing clear guidance will help all team members should there be questions concerning the work they’re doing.
Shared Workspace for Hybrid Meetings
In the past, it was common for employees to have their own workspaces. With hybrid working, all employees — both onsite and remote — need to have a shared, flexible workspace to maximize engagement and provide a common workspace so all employees can access the project. That way, when the team has meetings, everyone is on the same page and has access to the material being discussed. All team members have single-channel access, whether at the office, at home, or at the conference table. This reduces confusion and keeps everyone on the same work — not different iterations or different versions.
Shared hybrid workspaces also enable management to see how projects are developing. Because there’s transparency, management can see what phase the project is in and whether more resources need to be procured to ensure that the team meets the deadline. Additionally, a shared workspace is important for hybrid meetings because the team members can work together on a project together at a meeting rather than leave a problem for just one person to solve.
Set Clear Policies to Eliminate Confusion
If the company is to be successful using hybrid working, there must be clear policies for transparency and follow-up on tasks. If an employer fails to establish the rules in a flex work environment, employees will try to make up their own rules, often to the project’s detriment. With clear policies and transparency in place, no one needs to guess what other people on the project are doing. With clear rules for follow-up, no one gets surprised when there’s a problem or when an issue arises. When each team member understands their job and the method in which they report on their job, there is less stress and more productivity. Encouraging communication between onsite and remote office workers will also increase productivity as each person understands what the other team member is working on and how their projects work together.
By preparing employees for hybrid workspaces, teams are also preparing for hybrid meetings. Having the right technical equipment, enabling remote workers to obtain the information they need quickly, providing a shared workspace, and setting clear policies will ensure that your organization is ready for a hybrid office and hybrid meetings.