Best Practices and Tools for Successful Hybrid Meetings

By Calendar
Calendar
Calendar
Tips, advice, news—your central resource to help you start, run, and grow your business. https://www.calendar.com/blog
September 9, 2021 Updated: September 9, 2021

Video is undoubtedly here to stay. The data says it all: 96 percent of people who started working remotely due to COVID-19 want to continue working at least some of the time remotely for the rest of their careers, according to Buffer. A McKinsey report also cites that 30 percent of employees say they’re likely to switch jobs if forced to return to fully on-site work.

Will Your Company Choose a Hybrid Work Schedule?

If your office is one of the many businesses choosing a remote or hybrid model, it’s imperative you know how to present yourself on video and have productive and engaging virtual meetings. In addition, virtual meetings will remain a key channel for you to work with others. With communication and collaboration listed as some of companies’ most in-demand soft skills, nailing your virtual meetings will be key to your success.

After all, there’s likely always going to be at least one coworker who isn’t in the room. So when it comes to meetings, one person virtual = all participants virtual.

Best Practices and Tools for Successful Hybrid Meetings

Below are elements of virtual meetings and collaboration for your organization to consider:

Create Structure

Virtual meetings across your organization should have a consistent format. For example, include an agenda, assign a notetaker, and make sure there are clear action items by the end that get sent out in a summary email.

Other ideas you may want to consider and watch out for:

  • Above a certain number of participants (I recommend more than 4), the “hand raise” feature should be a given to avoid an awkward mix of people speaking out and others waiting patiently to be called on.
  • If someone starts talking about a topic that’s not on the agenda, the moderator or facilitator should respectfully ask them to set up a separate time to discuss it. It’s important to value participants’ time and to ensure that the meeting stays focused.
  • Both Google Calendar and Samsung Calendar have functions to shorten up meetings prior to the initially scheduled time to save time in your day. Decide if meetings should always be scheduled to end five minutes before the half-hour or hour. If you choose that route, make sure you stick to it. Your team will thank you for it.

Tooltip: Use Prezi Video to create an agenda in minutes—you can walk through the agenda at the start of the meeting and keep it on your screen to keep the conversation focused.

Ask For Feedback

Before everyone leaves your virtual meeting, consider sending participants a poll to ask them how productive or useful they thought the meeting was. If you are consistently getting low ratings, you should take a deeper look at both the meeting content (was it something that could have been done async?), as well as the way you’re facilitating these meetings.

Other ideas you may want to consider and watch out for:

  • Make sure your questions are specific. While it’s good to ask for a general rating, if their number is low, ask for ideas on improving the meeting. If your team is hesitant to give their honest opinion, try framing it using the word “differently” instead of using the word “better” to make it feel like less of a criticism. If you’re working on improving your facilitation of meetings, ask a specific question around it and let others know you’re working to improve it.

Tooltip: Use Slido or any of the polling apps within Slack to get an honest opinion.

Give Everyone a Voice

Not everyone feels comfortable jumping in on virtual calls. With the added (and online-specific) effort of having to unmute oneself, or figure out the right lull to jump in without speaking over someone else, those who are hesitant or nervous maybe even more discouraged to speak up.

Tooltip: Use collaboration apps like Atlassian to document your meetings, and then give everyone a chance to provide written comments and feedback—both before and after the meeting. You can also use tools like Prezi Video to give participants a more engaging and comfortable way to share their thoughts beyond the chatbox. Prezi Video recently launched a feature that lets users add written and visual content onto the screen during a video call in real-time, which is a great way to foster better two-way engagement.

Conclusion

Successful hybrid meetings will take more than just appearing on video. Leaders will need to think deeply about their company, teams, and personalities to figure out the best format that will allow everyone to be successful. If done well, they have the potential to create a more productive and efficient organization.

Want even more tips from thought leaders and experts on how to reinvent your meetings? Download Prezi’s ultimate guidebook to virtual meetings, presentations, and collaboration in a hybrid world.

By Lorraine Lee

Calendar
Tips, advice, news—your central resource to help you start, run, and grow your business. https://www.calendar.com/blog