Hybrid meetings are the new normal. Here are four tips to make yours successful.
In the post-pandemic world, hybrid work is now the norm. As a result, companies are having to adapt to new ways of working and managing remote teams. They’ve had to invest in the latest technologies to facilitate virtual meetings and make sure that remote teams are able to stay connected. They have also had to adjust their policies and procedures to accommodate hybrid work and make sure that everyone is able to collaborate effectively. To ensure this, team members must be diligent in their efforts to make remote participants just as much a part of the meeting as those who are physically present.
“I have been fortunate enough to be able to work remotely full time for over 20 years,” says Brien Posey, vice president of research and development for Relevant Technologies. In a piece for IT Pro Today, Posey explains how remote meeting participants can often feel isolated and forgotten. “I can’t count the times I have walked away from these meetings feeling like I might as well not have even logged in.”
To help combat this, Posey offers four best practices for companies with team meetings in hybrid environments.
Encourage Cameras but Don’t Require Them
Cameras are important for ensuring everyone can participate in hybrid meetings. Attendees in person tend to forget remote attendees if they cannot see them. Having the cameras on helps bridge the physical distance between the participants, creating a more unified meeting experience. It also allows people to make eye contact, which is crucial for effective communication.
A mandatory camera-on policy, however, can cause more harm than good. If implemented incorrectly, a mandatory camera-on policy can make people uncomfortable and disrupt the natural flow of communication. No one should feel compelled to appear on camera. Respect for every individual’s boundaries and comfort levels should be prioritized, even if it means foregoing the full benefit of a camera-on policy.
Reconsider a Single Camera Setup for Large Conference Rooms
A single camera is often used in conference rooms to capture the entire area. While this may be cost-effective, there are better solutions than this, as it limits meeting participants to the point of view of the camera and reduces the interactivity of the conference, especially in larger conference spaces. Attendees from remote locations may need help identifying which in-person attendee is speaking at any given time. It can also be difficult to read body language and facial expressions if the conference room camera is too far from the one speaking. This can make it difficult for remote attendees to accurately assess the tone of the conversation and the level of agreement between the in-person participants, creating a barrier to effective communication.
Having in-person participants turn on their cameras allows remote attendees to get a better sense of the overall environment, enabling them to interpret the conversation more accurately. It also allows them to make more accurate assessments of the conversation’s tone and gauge the level of agreement or disagreement between the in-person participants.
(2023, February 14). AVIXA Retrieved from https://xchange.avixa.org/posts/strategies-for-successful-hybrid-meetings