HOW TO RUN AN EFFECTIVE HYBRID MEETING WITH PARTIALLY REMOTE WORKFORCE| 5 SIMPLE TIPS
After a long year, as the pandemic started to ease up a bit, the second wave came with a huge surge. But with time now, the organizations are recovering by implementing the hybrid work culture with a partially remote workforce. And it seems to be working really fine.
Because of the combination of remote and on-site work, it has become possible for industries to overcome Covid-19 restrictions. In the new work model, employers can conduct hybrid meetings with their team using the virtual solutions.
Not to say more, but this type of work style gives a sort of flexibility to employees. And that’s what millennials job seekers look for the most. In fact, in a survey report, we found that out of 10 newly hired employees, 7 would prefer to work from home. And they may even be ready to take a lower salary for grabbing a remote working opportunity with better flexibility.
It seems that the future of the workforce is inclining towards the remote work culture where employees have the flexibility to work remotely or from their physical office as per their choice. However, with this new change, there comes a few challenges like difficulties in the team building process, communication barriers, time management and several other issues.
Hybrid meetings are the new solution to all such problems. Now, you might be thinking about how to run effective hybrid meetings in your organization. But before that, you should know about what hybrid team meetings really are.
WHAT ARE HYBRID MEETINGS?
Don’t be mistaken to assume that hybrid meetings are the same as remote or virtual team meetings. In a usual virtual team meeting, all the participants join remotely, while in the hybrid team meeting, a part of participants may attend in person, and others may join remotely.
In simple words, from the term hybrid, we understand the unique blend of in-office workers and remote working employees. A part of the team is gathering remotely to plan for OKR sessions (Objective, Key, & Results), and others might be working in the office to finish their urgent tasks on desks.
It may seem like a futuristic idea to some of you. But now, due to the current scenario, many organizations are shifting towards a hybrid work culture where they can manage office work and also maintain the social distancing norms considering the health safety of employees.
But that is not the end! Here comes the hard part.
CHALLENGES OF RUNNING HYBRID TEAM MEETINGS-
Initially, it was not easier for companies to manage remote work. In fact, before the pandemic surge, many of us were not even seeing work from home culture as a reality. But now, thanks to technological solutions, we can conduct virtual team meetings, assign tasks/projects remotely, manage work timesheets and productivity in business accordingly.
Still, many of your workers and team mates might not be experienced enough with remote work. While conducting a virtual team meeting with your hybrid workforce, you must consider the problems that new remote workers might face.
Here are some of the most common challenges that you may face in a hybrid team meeting in your organization.
PARTICIPATION IN VIRTUAL MEETING-
In the office team meeting, you can raise your hand to give your opinion. But in the virtual meeting, when two people are having a conversation, it would be awkward for other members to give their own inputs. And sometimes due to network lag or other issues, the conversation may not progress fluently.
Another factor is that the people waiting in the room can also post a note or join in between, which may even cause disruption. This kind of situation often happens in virtual meetings, and handling them all will take most of your time. The only solution to this problem is by training your employees. As an intermediary, you may even assign the job of a moderator to someone who can efficiently manage such situations.
OFTEN HAPPEN TECHNICAL ISSUES:
IT issues are also one of the most common challenges in hybrid meetings. In the middle of an ongoing meeting, a call drop may happen, Internet connections may go wrong, microphone or headset may not work properly. And with most of these issues, there is quite a chance that your remote working employees are not prepared enough.
Such things can’t be avoidable when you are entirely relying on technology. But on the good side, if you have a partially remote workforce, you may continue the in-office meeting and let your remote working employees join in when they have sorted their technical issues. Though it would be better for you and your team to prepare for any technical issues that may happen in advance. That way, you can minimize any technical interruptions during your hybrid team meetings.
5 TIPS FOR RUNNING EFFECTIVE HYBRID MEETINGS-
We have accumulated data through some research to provide you with the most effective tips for conducting your hybrid meetings. Following these tips, you could be able to organize successful meetings with your virtual and in-office team members. So without any further ads, here we go!
INVEST IN THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY:
One of the most important things to consider while managing remote working employees is having the right tools. Especially when you are working with a partially remote workforce, you can manage the in-office equipment and stuff. But what about the employees that are working remotely from their home.
That is why you need a remote monitoring system that allows you to track employees’ computer activities. And you could learn about the problems they are facing.
A critical decision is to opt for the right platform for conducting your hybrid meetings. Also, make sure that participants on the other side (might be your customer or client) should be familiar with the technology you are using.
PRIORITIZE ASYNCHRONOUS PROJECTS/TASKS:
Due to a sudden shift to remote work, there could be piles of tasks and projects added on your desk. However, conducting too many unnecessary meetings would not give you any productive results. In such a case, you should look for the job which can be done asynchronously so that it won’t interrupt the other ongoing work.
Using the EmpMonitor project management feature, you can keep track of individual tasks and enlist them based on their priorities. It will help you to carry better workflow with your ongoing tasks and projects. And after finishing the antecedent work, you can proceed to the new tasks/projects.
PLAN YOUR HYBRID MEETINGS AHEAD:
In-office work culture, you can announce the calendar for upcoming meetings, and your employees can come to your desk to ask about the details. But this system doesn’t work well with a remote workforce.
In a hybrid team meeting where you have to join with in-office and remote employees, you need to pre-plan everything. So here are the things which you should keep in mind while conducting hybrid meetings.
- Outline the purpose of your meeting and be clear about the agenda behind your meeting.
- Be ready to provide support to your remotely connected participants in case of any technical issues.
- Make sure to invite all the participants in the room before initializing your meetings.
- Get strong wifi connections and equipment like microphones, headsets, speakers, etc that you need in your hybrid meetings.
MANAGE MEETING TIME & ATTENDANCE:
In the office and the workplace, you know that all the participants are physically present in the meeting room. But when conducting virtual team meetings, it would be hard for you to manage the people joining in and leaving out the room. In that case, you need capable moderators who can handle the job on the backend so that you can have a fluent team meeting with your partially remote workforce.
TEAM BUILDING APPROACH:
Often it happens in virtual meetings when you may feel from where to start. For those who have recently started working virtually, it won’t be easier for them to interact with the team. Here you can come up with virtual icebreakers by starting your talk with some fun and social conversation. It will help you to improve the bonding with your employees. And they would also not hesitate to convey their messages.
These are some of the tips which might help you in conducting a successful virtual team meeting with a hybrid workforce. As we have said, you might face some initial difficulties at the start. However, with proper planning, you can overcome such challenges.
So, what are your thoughts? Please mention them in the comments section. Also, make sure to share this blog with others who may need this.
Originally Published On: EmpMonitor