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How to run a hybrid meeting that works
Talent, skills, HR
Hybrid working is likely to become a feature of the post-pandemic office, but meeting when some staff are on-site and others are at home will be key to its success - new research attempts to guide the next phase of office work.
Running such meetings is far more complex than managing an all-remote or all-in-person gathering, as Bob Frisch and Cary Greene, writing in the Harvard Business Review, point out. Here are their top tips for getting things running right.
Great audio is critical – and it’s often overlooked in favour of the right visuals. Zoom has changed all this: everyone expects to hear clearly.
Always test the tech in advance!
Think about video from the virtual participant’s perspective – what do they need to see to feel part of proceedings? Using separate cameras to capture both in-person attendees and presentations can be useful.
A good way to give remote participants equal representation in a meeting is to give them prominence on large screens. Keep in mind all the attendees when designing a meeting, which means running through each activity and exercise beforehand to consider what tech tools and techniques will be needed. For example, if you want a breakout, the best solution is to put the virtual participants in the same group.
Despite the best intentions, it’s far too easy for those in attendance to dominate proceedings, so assigning someone – either a meeting participant or an outsider – to keep the conversation balanced and on track is useful. And give each in-room participant an in-room “avatar” – a staff member or a fellow participant in the meeting who can be a physical presence in the room. Whether it’s to move a camera angle or just to whisper to someone to please raise their voice a little, having confidential access to an in-room point of contact can remove the sense of being isolated.
Nine out of ten organizations say they will combine remote and on-site working as COVID restrictions are eased, according to a recent McKinsey survey of 100 executives across a wide range of industries and geographies.