How to run effective hybrid meetings

In the post-COVID era of remote working, hybrid meetings are becoming a new practice in the workplace. Hybrid meetings represent 46% of total meetings in the USA, compared to 12% being purely in-person; however, if you aren’t familiar with what they entail, in this article we will explain exactly what they are, and how you can take advantage of them.

What are they?

Simply put, hybrid meetings have both in-person attendees and virtual (i.e. remote) attendees. In today’s age of hybrid working in general, where employees often come into the office but for fewer days than the pre-COVID expectation of 5 days each week, the rise of hybrid working makes sense. This is because in many companies, on any given day, the necessary people required for the meeting are likely mixed between working from home or from the office.

According to Forbes, in 2022, 25% of UK employees worked from home at least some of the time, up from just 4.7% before the pandemic. This statistic is consistent with the increase in hybrid meetings being among the most common types of meeting.

Hybrid meetings often resemble their fully online counterparts, with all participants sitting in front of a laptop connected to the online meeting, the difference being that a certain fraction of these participants will be sitting in the same physical room when doing so.

The advantages of hybrid meetings

Better work life balance: hybrid meetings facilitate all preferences, whether individuals prefer the convenience of working from home or whether they prefer the more personal and efficient nature of in person meetings. Having the ability to accommodate all preferences makes hybrid meetings extremely flexible.

Better attendances: by facilitating all preferences, hybrid meetings encourage more employees to participate, leading to higher attendances.

Wider talent pool: firms can include a wider talent pool due to the ability to include those who cannot make it to the office, such as those who have disabilities or live far away.

How to run hybrid meetings effectively

Plan Thoroughly and Set Clear Objectives: Before scheduling a hybrid meeting, define its purpose and objectives. Consider whether a meeting is even necessary (the majority of senior managers believe that the majority of meetings are wastes of time!). Create a detailed agenda that outlines the topics, time allocations, and desired outcomes. Share this agenda with all participants in advance.

Encourage equal participation: Given the format, naturally in hybrid meetings those attending in person will have more of a say compared to online participants. This is because it is easier to converse in person. 

Another reason is because those online have to unmute themselves before speaking, meaning that many rarely speak unless specifically asked their opinion. In your team, delegate someone to coordinate meetings. This coordinator will tell people when they can speak, and make clear the required etiquette to ensure all voices can be heard. 

Rotate meeting times: Due to schedules of hybrid working, you may find that if you hold a meeting on a set day and time, you disadvantage those who work from home those days. 

Switching the rota means that attendees take it in turns to attend in person or online. In person attendance in general should arguably be encouraged instead of remote attendance where possible, due to the benefits of in person interactions. 

As a result, if your team has differing days where they can attend in person, it makes sense to switch the rota to ensure all members of your team have the chance to contribute more effectively.

Hold the meeting in an appropriate space: Meeting basics, really. Just because the meeting is hybrid doesn’t mean that your meeting space should be any less professional. 

The correct environment can really help set the tone and help productivity, so for the in person portion of the meeting, you should find an appropriate meeting space to do so.

Speaking of meeting spaces, we at Venture X have professional, beautifully designed meeting rooms. At either our Chiswick Park or White City locations in West London, you can book a private meeting room with state-of-the-art AV, IT tech support, hospitality services.

The meeting rooms can be booked for a half day, full day or hourly. If you’d like to learn more, click for Chiswick Park or White City.

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