A recent Docket survey found that 23% of leaders expect their meetings to be entirely remote by this time next year. Remote and hybrid work can be highly beneficial for organizations and employees alike, but there are times when it’s best to meet in-person.
By knowing just when to go digital or bring everyone together in-person, you can achieve the desired results with all your meetings for hybrid teams. Here’s what you need to know to make that happen.
Top Times to Skip the Hybrid Meetings
To best decide when to skip the online meetings for hybrid workplaces, you need to reflect on the meeting type, size, and intensity. By defining those three areas, you can effectively reach your goals for the hybrid meeting and keep your flex work environment operating efficiently.
Large Group Gatherings
Conference-sized events like all-hands meetings and quarterly reviews are often times where presentations and long, one-sided sessions take center-stage. With so many technological hurdles, there’s simply not enough time to stick to a tight agenda and give everyone a chance to chime in.
It’s better to go either in-person or all-remote to give the entire audience an equal experience. Avoid the production costs! If a majority of participants can’t arrive in, you should consider holding your event remotely so that you can manage schedules and content from a single perspective.
Although one-on-one meetings are easily approachable in the digital realm, there’s a disconnect that can impact rapport between the two parties. Furthermore, the message can get blurred, opening the doors for miscommunication that continues far past the hybrid meeting date. For that reason, it’s important to schedule in-person meetings for all your annual employee reviews, coaching sessions, and the like.
By meeting up in the flex work environment, you can not only focus on the topic at hand but get a feel for how the hybrid office model works for your team. Since all employees will have a different approach to how they operate in that hybrid work environment, you’ll need to use all your observations to see where you can improve the workspace.
Digital meetings only work well when following a strict agenda that gives each person time to share their ideas. Interjections can throw off the flow of the meeting, making it difficult to stick to the established agenda. So, if you plan to run a potentially intense meeting, like a brainstorming session, make it in-person only.
By meeting in the flex workplace, your team can break free from the more formal digital meeting format in favor of free-flowing discussions. With that move, you open up the floor to intense talks that move the project forward in leaps and bounds.
You should still create an agenda for that meeting and share it with attendees ahead of time to avoid getting stuck on any given subject. The person chairing the meeting can use their discretion in deciding if they should push the meeting forward to the next time slot or allow a little more time for the topic at hand.
Although in-person meetings might not be as convenient for everyone, they are sure to produce much better results for large group gatherings, personal meetings, and intense sessions. This is not an exhaustive list, however. If you notice that you’re simply not getting what you want out of a meeting, reflect on if it might work better in your flex work area.
Using the Flexible Work Environment to Everyone’s Advantage
While not altogether new, hybrid workplaces are a different landscape than many companies have embraced in the past. Born out of sudden necessity, this flex work environment takes some getting used to by everyone. There will be many chances for reassessment and adjustment to see what works best for your hybrid workforce, especially for meetings and other collaboration opportunities.
As you put in the time and effort into using the flexible work environment to everyone’s advantage, you’ll likely find that you’re achieving your overall company goals as well. Just be sure to check with your team leads and other employees regularly to see if they have any improvement ideas.
Also, ask if they think any of your hybrid meetings would have been more productive in-person. Then, use their feedback to improve your processes even more and make flex work an asset to your company.