6 Tips for Productive Hybrid Meetings

Before the pandemic, only 8% of remote-capable employees worked from home full-time. Of course, that changed quickly when the pandemic hit, with as many as 70% of those employees exclusively working from home in 2020. Fast forward to February 2022, and many employees are starting to return to the office at least part of the time with 39% working from home exclusively and 42% operating on a hybrid schedule.

According to a Gallup survey, when employees were asked where they plan to work long-term, 53% said they expect a hybrid schedule. While there are many perks to hybrid work arrangements, it can pose difficulty for meetings when some attendees are tuning in on Zoom or Teams. To make the most of your hybrid meetings, consider the suggestions below.

  • Improve the audio. It’s frustrating when remote attendees can’t tell who is speaking or what is taking place in the room. Ensure your conference room is equipped with high-quality microphones so remote employees can hear each speaker clearly.
  • Avoid side conversations. When people in the room get off topic or have personal discussions—or worse, talk over one another—remote attendees will tune out. Be respectful of everyone’s time and keep the meeting on track with minimal off-topic discussions.
  • Consider what remote attendees need to see. Will your meeting include a slide deck, handouts or a hands-on activity? Take time to plan ahead. Send important documents to remote attendees in advance of the meeting or ask them to complete pre-work so their thoughts can be captured along with the rest of the group. It can be helpful to point a webcam at the room, allowing remote workers to see the entire group while one person shares meeting documents from their screen.
  • Limit computer use in the room. It can be tempting to ask every person to log on to Zoom or Teams to help remote attendees feel included. However, this serves as a distraction to in-person attendees and contributes to the feeling that they might as well have stayed at home.
  • Be a strong facilitator. It’s easy for in-person attendees to dominate the discussion while remote employees are left out. Be intentional about calling on remote attendees to give input and ensure that no one interrupts during their time to contribute.
  • Ask for feedback. It might take a few attempts to run a truly effective hybrid meeting. Ask attendees to suggest areas for improvement and give feedback on what they enjoyed. Over time, your hybrid meetings will run smoothly and feel effective for all attendees—whether they are in person or a working from home.