Unlike completely virtual meetings, hybrid meetings imply that at least one person is meeting from the office while others might be working remotely. Hybrid meetings have changed how we view communications and cooperation in business environments. For global enterprises, it is a game-changer in how they conduct business, employ talent, and improve efficiencies.
The popularity of hybrid meetings is such that this could be the future of corporate communications.
Although hybrid meetings have been around for years, the pandemic has undoubtedly increased the demand within organizations for hybrid meetings and virtual collaboration options. When done correctly, hybrid meetings promote effective communication, are easy to handle, and allow all employees to join meetings no matter where they are.
The overall benefits for companies and employees lie in increased productivity and cost-effective collaboration.
Hybrid meetings benefits for employees.
Today hybrid meetings are an essential part of a modern office and working environment. Reducing travel costs and time for employees is likely the more glaring advantage. However, hybrid meetings give employees freedom and autonomy by allowing them to work where and how they want and offering them a real work-life balance.
Despite these real employee benefits, most employees want (and need) a mix of home-office and formal office. The office remains a place of social exchange and cooperation.
Hybrid meeting benefits for global enterprise.
A significant cost benefit for organizations is the optimal use of office space as shared workstations, and a hybrid working model can optimize the shared area configurations.
For global enterprises, the most essential cost-saving measures are linked to unnecessary travel costs and travel times for key employees.
Cloud video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams have made video conferencing accessible to a broader audience, and with improvements brought on by the pandemic, the future of hybrid meetings as a necessary form of workplace communication is assured.
How will hybrid meetings develop in the future?
As hybrid meetings become an integral part of workplace practice and culture, the need for local and global organizations to future-proof their organization is crucial.
Although we still are a few years away from evolving beyond a camera, and screen to a fully digital VR workplace (think Facebook’s Metaverse), recognizing that suitable technical infrastructures are necessary is the first step to future-proofing a business.
How to improve hybrid meetings?
The adverse impact of a mismanaged hybrid meeting due to a poor technical infrastructure can reduce productivity and promotes employee dissatisfaction. Reduced cooperation opportunities, limited efficiencies, and remote working employees are left behind.
There are practical adjustments to consider in improving hybrid meetings with the technology available today.
Meeting Room Sizes
Large conference rooms are less relevant in a hybrid working model due to the reduced number of employees on any day. Organizations should consider multiple smaller meeting rooms for more efficient use of space.
Good acoustics are also an integral aspect to consider. Some areas can be optimized with media technology, but if a conference room has poor acoustics, the best media technology will not improve the audio quality.
Quality, easy audio-visual infrastructure
An essential aspect of technology for the conference room remains the clarity of exchange, especially with global meetings, where variations in speech and accents must be mitigated. High-quality speakers and suitable microphones will filter noise and prevent echoes in speech. And of course, professional video conferencing cameras should also be planned for the conference room.
The conference room technology must also be easy to use with certified room systems like Microsoft Teams or Zoom or via a “bring your own device” approach.
Hybrid meetings are still a new concept for some companies today, and there is still a lack of technical infrastructure in many organizations. However, with a few changes, local and global organizations can benefit from implementing a modern working style such as hybrid meetings.
Want to learn how hybrid meetings can be improved for your organization globally?
Source: Thank you to GPA Germany, GMS Global Media Service. Additional information can be found in the article Hybrid working: between the meeting room and home office, Author Tobias Enders, GPA Germany – GMS, Global Media Services GmbH