Hybrid meetings are disrupting the lifestyle of those operating from home and office. Functioning from home for the past couple of years has made people eager to go back to work, and those going to offices wish to stay home and stay safe.
Flexible work models enable seamless working renditions, letting people in the same team connect without worrying about their location. With the partial crew attending in the office and others still at home, hybrid meetings came to the rescue of many companies.
Given that the new normal is transforming by the day with recurring pandemic waves, fluctuating work requirements, and demand for boosted productivity, employers believe that hybrid meetings are the solution to ensure efficiency.
So, in this blog, we discuss the basics do’s and dont’s of a basic hybrid meeting. Read on as we study the hybrid meetings etiquettes, checklist, and Dos & Don’ts of the hybrid working model.
Let’s get started!
A hybrid working model and its significance
For those clueless, the hybrid working model is where partial workforce functions out of the office while others join in virtually.
Many Indian companies are choosing this work model to maximize productivity and effectiveness amongst employees.
With the hybrid working model, employees can be mobile and save time and money on long commutes every day. Additionally, it can also enhance the overall well-being of employees and make it easy for everyone to follow the COVID protocols and social distancing.
Now that we have an idea of what the hybrid working model is all about, let us look at the index one must follow while attending Hybrid meetings.
Hybrid meeting checklist
Being the mix of both the employment models we have followed in the past, the hybrid working model works as the flawless combination of remote and in-office working patterns.
Hybrid meeting decorums are almost the exact as other meetings. But to help you prepare better, here are some things to keep in mind while attending a hybrid meeting.
For those working remotely, find a quiet location for meetings
Ensure punctual booking of meeting rooms
Mute your audio when you are not talking to avoid echo (Unless you have a video call infrastructure on your device)
Cite the schedule of the meeting in the invite
Assess the gravity of discussion and determine if you need to connect through audio or video meeting
Check the camera, microphones, and other devices utilized for these meetings
Preserve eye contact with people while talking to them
Be punctual while entering and convey your opinions in the set time
Create minutes of the meeting and log decisions
If working from the office, make sure to pay attention to people connected virtually
Hybrid meeting etiquettes
Working from home has given us the option to be virtually present wherever we need to be. With the hybrid working model, a part of the team is present in the same room, while others are connecting from their space. The question is how do you deal with this new format?
The answer is simple! With the right etiquettes, we can simplify attending hybrid meetings. Here are 9 ways for you to get started.
1. Dress formally for hybrid meetings
Whether attending the meeting from the office or home, make sure you dress appropriately. While you may be tempted to wear comfortable track pants if you are attending video calls from home, a good practice is to wear formal attire. This not only brings a sense of uniformity but is another step towards connecting better with your peers.
2. Switch on camera before joining meetings
Direct interactions are always more effective and personal. But as you connect to a part of the team virtually, some extra effort is required to get everyone interested in what you have to say.
To avoid your first impression of being just a voice with no face to relate to, keep your camera on when you join meetings.
This will lead to a better first impression of you and make it easier for you to connect with people that are not present in the room. Additionally, it adds to the sense of teamwork and trust-building.
3. Have a designated workplace
This one is especially for those working remotely. The hybrid working model requires you to be slightly extra attentive and focused as it is easier for people in the same room to share ideas.
As you join a hybrid meeting, ensure that you have a designated workspace with little to no distractions, is not a noisy place, and helps you work comfortably.
4. Maintain eye contact while communicating
It is essential in a hybrid meeting as it is one of the only ways of showing that you are paying attention. Maintaining eye contact is one of the crucial elements of non-verbal communication, especially in a hybrid setup, where a part of your team is in the same room, and it is easy to ignore those connected virtually.
So, as you try to connect with your teammates virtually and in the same space, make sure you pay attention to the participant speaking to show that they have your attention.
5. Mute when you have nothing to say
Office meetings can be difficult with background noises coming from your end. It is a good practice to mute your mic when not in use.
This makes it easy to control noise in the background. It can also work as an indicator of when a participant is about to speak as they unmute their mic.
6. Avoid multitasking
If you find yourself checking social media platforms during meetings, this is a special note for you.
Sitting in front of the laptop all day can get boring, leading to people multitasking during meetings, which is a bad idea.
Not only would you end up missing what others have to say, but this also takes away the opportunity from you to contribute. So, avoid multitasking when in a meeting and do not check your emails, social media, or other activities in the slot assigned for meetings.
7. Include everyone during the discussion
Imagine you are in a meeting with 10 people- 6 in the same room, and 4 connected virtually. How do you divide attention in such a scenario? In a hybrid setup, the communication gap between those present physically & online can be hard to bridge.
It is always easy to focus on those in proximity, but this is not the right approach in a hybrid meeting, where communication with everyone has to be unbiased.
While there is no proven way to make everyone feel included, you can try to make an extra effort to hear out the opinions of people connected virtually in case you feel they haven’t had a chance to talk.
Another thing you can do is avoid having personal discussions amongst the people present in the room. Speak loud and clear so everyone in the meeting can share their input on the project.
With the feeling that their opinions are valued, those working remotely get the motivation to open up and share their ideas confidently, adding value to these hybrid meetings.
8. Avoid long meetings
Virtual fatigue and brain fog are real, especially now when people are confined to their rooms with their laptops for most of their day. Now add to it the pressure of long-duration meetings that never seem to end. This is all very common in the hybrid working model.
In situations like these, it can get tricky for people to focus on the agenda at hand, making them distracted by other interesting things. Avoid this by scheduling meetings for a short duration.
In cases this does not seem possible, you can schedule a small break in half-time to allow people to freshen up. This will provide much-needed relief and will add to their productivity.
9. Log meetings and share the M-O-M
With innumerable, lengthy meetings, it can be difficult to remember each discussion point.
This is where M-O-Ms come to the rescue. M-O-Ms or minutes of the meeting are short notes that collate point-wise the final takeaways from these meetings.
Sharing them with the participants allows them to have a written note of what was discussed, bringing them to the same page with others.
Dos and Don’ts of Hybrid meetings
In a hybrid working model, it is necessary to understand the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of hybrid meetings to make them a part of our routine. Here is a list of the same for a hybrid setup to help you get started:
Hybrid meetings- Dos
RSVP to meeting invites to confirm your presence
Whether in office or home, always maintain eye contact with all the meeting guests
Have a ‘Camera On’ policy
Show up early to scheduled meetings
Make a list of talking points for meetings in advance
Speak in a brief, concise, and to the point manner
Hybrid meetings- Don’ts:
Don’t take other calls during meetings
Don’t attend meetings in informal clothing. Ensure formal dress code
Don’t have private conversations with people in the same room during the meeting
The hybrid working model has changed the way people work. With hybrid meetings becoming the new normal, we must understand the know-how of the process.
We hope that with the suggestions from above, you will get a better understanding of its structure, dos and don’ts, and etiquettes to be followed in a flexible work environment.