Remote meetings are becoming more common as more organisations adapt in covid times. But the truth is that we’ve been doing these for a long time, long before the pandemic! Consider old-school conference calls. You’d put a phone on speaker in the middle of a table and have on-site people assemble around it. Technology has moved on, and with the tools at your disposal, you should be capable of working out how to run a successful remote meeting.
Remote meetings allow you to expand your speaker pool. Whereas in-person meetings often necessitate substantial travel. Hybrid meetings allow anyone from anywhere to participate, expanding the scope of your event.
In most cases, remote employees are unable to attend on-site meetings. Virtual meetings, on the other hand, allow you to enhance attendance among your remote workers. At the same time you get to keep them informed.
Remote employees and contractors typically felt cut out of office culture even before the pandemic. You can be more inclusive and establish cohesion among your staff. This is true whether they’re on-site or off-site, using remote meetings.
While enhanced inclusion is one of the advantages of hybrid meetings, it is also one of its drawbacks. It has the potential to generate division. How? If you follow the “One Zoom, All Zoom” policy, you’ll have to provide accommodation for distant team members. True even if just one of them is attending. This may cause irritation among on-site employees. They must not only join from their laptop to accommodate the off-site employee, but also be reminded that they are in the office in a different way than others.
Another source of irritation among remote participants is seeing their in-office peers enjoying each other’s company while they sit alone at home.
Yes, technical issues can arise even in 100 percent virtual meetings. However, they become more common when in-person and remote meetings are combined. This is because hybrid meetings are more complicated. The equipment is usually more advanced, such as a specialised camera and microphone. Also, there are more opportunities for remote attendees to miss what’s going on on-site. While hybrid meetings allow for a greater number of attendees, they also have the potential for additional technical difficulties.
You don’t need remote employees to attend an in-office meeting just because you’re holding one, and vice versa. Yes, you want to foster an inclusive atmosphere. However, that doesn’t mean you should drag everyone into meetings that aren’t relevant to them. I have wasted a lot of my working life sat in meetings that i did not need to be in.
A meeting leader is an important aspect of virtual meeting etiquette. It’s more more important for hybrid meetings. Setting the agenda, sending out directions on how to join the meeting and smoothing over any miscommunication that may occur during the meeting are all responsibilities of the meeting leader. It’s also a good idea to have a meeting leader with some technical know-how for hybrid meetings. Thus they can make sure the video is streaming properly and the audio is clear.
Because there may be numerous people in the same room, each with their own laptop, it’s ideal to have everyone silence their laptops and then invest in a dedicated microphone for the audio channel.
Typically, teams use video in one of two ways during a hybrid meeting:
All of the on-site attendees gathering in one room were captured on one external webcam. If you want your in-person participants to meet in a conference room, invest in a good external webcam.
Each on-site attendee at their own desk has their own laptop camera. You won’t need a dedicated webcam for the entire team if on-site attendees join from their own computers at their own workstations.
Of course, accessibility considerations are necessary for all types of meetings. However, hybrid meetings organised during the pandemic face a unique challenge: because to Covid, on-site personnel who work in open-plan offices frequently wear masks. Remote attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing can’t read the lips of these veiled on-site staff when they join a hybrid meeting.
So, what are your options for resolving this? One option is to use video conferencing software with live, automatic captioning.
However, this is only one case. Ask your employees about their special requirements. To get their opinions, conduct surveys and meet with them one-on-one.
Michelle Volberg, the CEO of Giledan Search, came up with this brilliant idea. Her executive search agency requires in-office meeting attendees to convene 15 minutes before the hybrid meeting begins in a conference room with a single dedicated microphone and camera.
“This allows people to meet in person, catch up, select a seat, and then dial in together to reduce delays for those dialling in remotely,” Volberg continues.
It also aids in the bonding of in-person team members without letting distant team members feel excluded.
One of the most difficult aspects of hybrid meetings is that on-site attendees sometimes forget that remote guests are not there. This creates a lot of room for misinterpretation. An on-site attendee, for example, might make a gesture toward something, but the remote colleagues can’t see what they’re pointing to. This takes practise and mindfulness, and the “remote champion” we mentioned before should be on the lookout for hiccups like this and reporting them.
Once you’ve decided how you’ll hold hybrid meetings, write it down and make it available to everyone. This will maintain team cohesion and productivity during meetings, since no one will be left guessing what they’re intended to accomplish.