Transition to ‘hybrid’ brings a significant change in how knowledge workers meet.
When some people are in one room and others are distributed, how do you preserve equity and fairness – and keep everyone engaged?
Microsoft Research in collaboration with Aarhus University (Denmark) published a helpful study – Hybrid Meetings in the Modern Workplace: Stories of Success and Failure.
Researchers observed real-life hybrid meetings and revealed five (5) important social and cultural dimensions of a hybrid meeting.
5 Tips for Running a Hybrid Meeting:
1. Meeting Task
– Observation: more clear and defined meeting tasks result in better meeting outcomes;
– Recommendation: define clear goals and agenda for the meeting.
2. Inclusiveness and Remote Participants
– Observation: remote participants often feel isolated, and co-located participants dominate the interaction;
– Recommendation: assign a meeting facilitator to help level the playing field.
3. Team Dynamics and Proximity
– Observation: team members who have met each other in-person can recognize each other’s voices and do not necessarily need to see each other on the screen. However, awareness of others in the meeting is vital if the participants do not know each other well;
– Recommendation: plan for high-quality video connection (and don’t turn the video off) if meeting participants don’t know each other well.
4. Meeting Etiquette
– Observation: hybrid meetings are most effective when participants are familiar with the manners of establishing digital dialogues such as waiting 1–2 seconds after the person finishes his/her talk or speaking clearly and distinctly;
– Recommendation: communicate meeting etiquette to your team that will be observed in hybrid meetings.
5. Cultural Behaviors
– Observation: different cultures behaved differently. Co-located people in EMEA interrupted each other and talked over each other; co-located participants from APAC did not interrupt – and spoke only when asked direct questions;
– Recommendation: consider cultural behaviors; the boss or the facilitator (see #2) must proactively address asymmetries in interaction.
The study highlights that asymmetries of interaction and social and cultural context in both co-located and remote settings can be considered as decisive factors in making hybrid meetings succeed or fail.
Technology foundation, structure and agenda, strong facilitation and clear meeting etiquette can make hybrid meetings productive, engaging and inclusive.
FEATURED TEAMRADERIE EXPERIENCE
Hybrid work requires new norms and skills. Teamraderie has launched a new experience to help your team prepare – Setting-Up Your Team for Hybrid Work.
This new hybrid world has both danger and opportunity for work teams.
The danger is that we become fragmented, out-of-sync, and even distrustful of each other. We’ll succumb to the danger if we stick to the old ways of doing things.
The opportunity is to leverage this new way of hybrid working to become more inclusive, connected, adaptive, resilient, innovative, and productive. We’ll take advantage of this opportunity if we learn how to evolve how we collaborate and how we lead.
Stanford University’s Glenn Fajardo will lead your team through two exercises – one to capture your discoveries on improved ways of working enabled by remote work, and a second exercise that builds on that to establish a new charter for working together.
Premised on academic research, this experience is an excellent way for teams to prepare for the next era of work.