Mastering hybrid meetings 101

Workplace wellness
Estimated read time: 4 mins
Published: 05/03/2024

Mastering hybrid meetings 101 

Love ’em or hate ’em, hybrid meetings have become essential in today’s workplace. While they’re great for bringing remote and on-site teams together, they can come with a fair share of challenges. Keeping both in-person and remote attendees engaged can be tricky. Plus, there’s more potential for those pesky technical glitches. 

Despite the bad rap, hybrid meetings connect teams spread out across different locations and make sure the work gets done. 

As you strive to strike a balance between virtual collaboration and face-to-face interaction, mastering the art of hybrid meetings is crucial for keeping productivity flowing and communication lines open. 

In this blog, we share some best practices to help you get this balance right and host smooth-sailing, super-efficient hybrid meetings.  

How do hybrid meetings work? 

A hybrid meeting combines in-person and virtual attendees. In other words, it lets people attend the meeting physically by being present at a designated location or virtually through video conferencing or other online collaboration tools. 

With more people working remotely, hybrid meetings have become a must for many businesses. They provide the flexibility we all crave while keeping the collaboration vibes alive, no matter where you are in the world. 

Benefits of a hybrid meeting  

Get these meetings right, and hybrid work can be much more productive and efficient for your remote and in-person team members. The flexibility of hybrid meetings mean they can: 

  • Save you time and money 
  • Improve work-life balance  
  • Increase attendance numbers 
  • Enhance a culture of inclusiveness 
  • Encourage creative ways of working. 

Preparing for a hybrid meeting 

Hybrid meetings are like your regular in-person or virtual meetings (check out our guide on acing your team meetings for more). But they need a little extra TLC to ensure all attendees can collaborate and communicate effectively. 

Here’s how to prepare for your next hybrid meeting: 

Communicate expectations: Ensure everyone knows the deal with the meeting format and provide participation guidelines. Creating a policy is the perfect way to keep hybrid meetings consistent and on track – but more on that later! 

Plan for breakout sessions: If you’ve got breakout sessions or group discussions lined up, plan how to make them work for remote and in-person participants. Use technology to create virtual breakout rooms and appoint facilitators to keep things running smoothly. 

Select your meeting space: By booking dedicated hybrid meeting rooms, you’ll avoid distractions and background noise (especially crucial for our virtual pals). Ensure your online attendees have access to the meeting platform and joining instructions. 

Choose the right tech: Make sure your meeting room has the appropriate technology and tools to support virtual and in-person participation. This includes screens, video conferencing equipment and whiteboards (psst! Work.Life meeting rooms have all these things). 

Test your tech: Give your audio and visual tech a test drive to dodge any last-minute hiccups. A quick run-through with remote participants can pinpoint any potential issues. And keep a tech whiz on standby during the meeting, just in case! 

How to run a successful hybrid meeting: 5 best practices 

The success of hybrid meetings hinges on careful planning, innovative strategies and inclusive practices. So, how do we make sure everyone’s in on the action, no matter where they are?  

Here are five tips to keep things fair and square for all your attendees: 

  1. Create a hybrid meeting policy 

Once you decide how you’ll hold hybrid meetings, create a policy and give all employees access to it. Set ground rules for the meeting, like putting away phones and other distractions, using the chat function for questions or comments, and respecting speaking turns.  

Establishing clear meeting norms and etiquette that apply to all participants keeps everyone on the same page (no excuses for not muting that mic!). 

  1. Accommodate remote attendees first

Adopt a remote-first mindset to make your hybrid meetings work. If you assume everyone will join the meeting remotely, you can think about and plan for the extra barriers your online crew may face.  

Prioritise contributions from remote attendees – kick off introductions with them, let them lead the way anytime you go around the room and go to them first with questions.  

  1. Build an inclusive environment

It can be easy to (unintentionally) magnify inequities in hybrid meetings. So, look at what you can do to level the playing field for remote participants. Make sure they feel included and engaged by giving them the same chances to speak up as those in the room and actively asking for their input.  

Also, take the time to find out everyone’s accessibility needs beforehand to ensure you accommodate everyone. 

  1. Encourage active participation

It’s natural for in-person attendees to take over the discussion. So, foster a culture of active participation by encouraging questions, comments and feedback from all participants, regardless of their location.  

When someone remote is speaking, make them more ‘life-size’ by popping them up on the big screen so they’re right in the mix with everyone else. 

Breakout sessions are also a great way to ensure everyone has a chance to have their say. And you can assign dedicated facilitators to check everyone has an equal experience and that remote participants aren’t overlooked. 

  1. Ask for feedback

Want to know how your hybrid meeting really went? Ask for feedback! Send out a quick survey via email to get the lowdown from both sets of attendees. What worked? What flopped? And what could use a little tweaking for next time?  

Constructive feedback will help you identify areas for improvement and help make those meetings even better down the line. So, don’t be afraid to ask. 

Less stress, more smiles 

So, there you have it – our golden tips for rocking those hybrid meetings like a pro. It’s all about keeping your online and on-site teams engaged and making sure everyone gets an equal chance to chime in wherever possible. 

Mastering hybrid meetings gives people the flexibility to juggle those crucial meetings with their busy schedules. Less stress, more smiles – that’s the name of the game here at Work.Life! 

All you need to master those hybrid meetings   

If you’re on the hunt for a meeting room in Central London, Reading or Manchester, we’ve got you covered. Our meeting rooms accommodate 2-20 people with everything you need for a productive hybrid meeting like:  

  • Super-fast wifi  
  • Easy to set up TV  
  • Video conferencing 
  • White board and pens  
  • Coffee and snacks (just don’t make the online crew jealous!). 

Whether you’re a Work.Life member or not, you can book a meeting room instantly online today! 

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