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In the modern world of work, hybrid meetings have become increasingly common. Hybrid meetings are meetings that involve both in-person and remote participants. This can create challenges in terms of communication, engagement, and productivity, but with the right strategies, hybrid meetings can be just as effective as fully in-person or fully remote meetings. Here are some tips for running effective hybrid meetings between home and remote workers:
It is important to communicate clearly with all participants before the meeting to ensure that everyone understands the purpose of the meeting, the agenda, and the expected outcomes. Clarifying expectations can help to ensure that everyone comes prepared and understands their role in the meeting. This can also help to reduce any confusion or miscommunication that may arise during the meeting.
Use appropriate technology
Using appropriate technology is essential for running a successful hybrid meeting. Make sure you have a reliable video conferencing tool, screen sharing software, and a collaborative online whiteboard to facilitate the meeting. Test the technology beforehand to ensure that everything is working properly, and consider having a backup plan in case of any technical difficulties.
Encourage equal participation
Encouraging equal participation is important in ensuring that everyone feels heard and included in the meeting. Techniques such as round-robin discussion, where everyone has a turn to speak in order, can help to encourage participation from all participants, regardless of whether they are in the room or remote.
Taking breaks is important in hybrid meetings to help everyone recharge and refocus. Hybrid meetings can be more mentally taxing than in-person or remote meetings, as participants need to constantly switch between in-person and online interactions. Regular breaks can help to reduce fatigue and improve productivity.
Minimising distractions is important to ensure that everyone is focused on the meeting. This can be done by asking remote participants to turn off notifications on their devices and encouraging in-person participants to avoid side conversations. It is also important to ensure that the meeting environment is quiet and free from any unnecessary noise.
Following up with all participants after the meeting is important to ensure that everyone is clear on what was discussed and what the next steps are. This is especially important for remote participants who may not have had the same level of engagement as in-person participants. Following up can help to reinforce the key points discussed in the meeting and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Ensure your team feels connected
In addition to the tips mentioned above, there are a few more things to keep in mind when conducting a hybrid meeting. One important aspect is to ensure that the remote participants feel included and connected to the team. This can be challenging when there is a physical distance between team members, but there are some strategies you can use to overcome this.
One approach is to encourage remote participants to use video instead of just audio. This can help them feel more connected to the team, as they can see everyone’s reactions and body language. In addition, make sure to address remote participants by name and engage them in the conversation, asking for their thoughts and opinions.
Keep up the communication
Another strategy is to have a dedicated person who is responsible for managing the remote participants. This person can make sure that the remote participants have access to all the information they need, can see the whiteboard or other visual aids, and can hear everyone clearly. This person can also help ensure that the remote participants are included in the discussion and have the opportunity to contribute.
It’s also important to establish a clear set of communication norms for hybrid meetings. For example, establish rules around when it’s appropriate to speak up and when to wait for a turn. This can help prevent people from talking over each other and ensure that everyone has a chance to participate.
Getting it right takes time
Finally, it’s important to recognise that hybrid meetings can be challenging for both in-person and remote participants. In-person participants may feel frustrated by technical difficulties, while remote participants may feel left out or disconnected from the team. By acknowledging these challenges and working to overcome them, you can create a more inclusive and productive hybrid meeting environment for everyone involved.
Mastering the art of hybrid meetings takes time and effort, but with the right strategies and tools in place, it’s possible to create a collaborative and productive meeting environment that benefits both in-person and remote participants. By following the tips outlined above and experimenting with different approaches, you can find the best approach for your team and ensure that your hybrid meetings are a success.
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