- June 14, 2021
- Posted by: Turlock PC
- Category: Tips
When COVID restrictions began in early 2020, many (if not all) of us had to learn to adapt to the mandatory changes in our working environments very quickly. As the Pandemic draws to an end, and the state of the World returns to a form of normalcy, restaurants are beginning to open up for indoor dining, concerts & events are back on the calendar, and businesses are encouraging their employees to return to work in the office. After operating remotely for over a year, learning to navigate hybrid meetings could be difficult. That is, ensuring that both employees in the office, and at home, feel equally as engaged, involved & informed on all company meetings, presentations and business reviews. Below, we outline the best practices to help ensure your hybrid meetings are efficient & effective.
While a lot of companies in 2020 placed an emphasis on using your camera when attending a remote meeting, to create an environment where everyone is visible, it is actually the audio that we encourage you to focus on. In pre-pandemic times, remote participants often requested the speaker get closer to the microphone in conference room round-table settings. Now that we are all familiar with the audio quality of a Zoom (or similar) meeting, it is important to ensure that your audio during a hybrid meeting is high quality. If you are able, we encourage you to outfit your meeting space with multiple microphones throughout, instead of a central microphone that is equidistant from all participants.
Explore New Technology
The quick transition from in-office to remote work environments that the Pandemic required, has necessitated a transformation in the technology available to run virtual meetings. As you return to the office, we encourage you to explore the new technologies available, and upgrade your equipment and/or subscriptions, to ensure that your business has access to the newest features that will improve communication between your in-person and virtual participants.
Consider Your Remote Audience
Before you begin a hybrid meeting, it is important to think about the experience from your remote participants point of view. Individuals in the room will have access & visibility to any handouts, white-boards, flip charts, and conversations. It is important that remote participants have the same access to & visibility of these items.
On the flip side, it is imperative that in-person attendees feel connected to the virtual participants, as well. We would recommend projecting remote participants on a larger centralized screen, as opposed to viewing them on a single laptop or simply including them as a dial-in participant.
Test Your Setup
Time is of the essence, especially as many companies come back online and work to make up for lost revenue, and time, during the early Pandemic stages. Utilizing the first 10 minutes of a 30 minute meeting troubleshooting issues, decreases quality work time by 33%. Testing your setup before a meeting begins allows you to fix any bugs, or rectify any audio, visual or connectivity issues before participants join.
Designate a Facilitator
Managing a hybrid meeting is inherently more difficult than if all participants were either remote, or in-person. Despite your best efforts, it is hard to ensure in-person attendees do not dominate the meeting, and forget about the participant(s) joining the meeting remotely. A facilitator is a great way to keep remote participants engaged, and ensure their voices are heard.
Throughout the Pandemic, we learned that work can be done across countless organizations remotely. This means that although work-life for many people is returning to a pre-pandemic normal, some companies are not, and therefore hybrid meetings are likely here to stay. Fortunately, with the right technology and tools, forethought, and facilitation, you can ensure that all participants feel engaged & valued, equally, whether in-person or remote.