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Managing meetings in a “hybrid” model business

We have all got used to video meetings since March 2020. But how do you manage meetings as staff come back to the office? Many of our clients are moving to a “hybrid” model, with employees only coming into the office one to three days a week.

This is great for staff morale and will benefit many businesses, but it does mean that you may need to hold meetings for a mixture of staff working from home and in the office.

So, what are your options?

Carry on as before

The simplest option is to carry on holding video meetings, with everyone logging in individually. The plus side is that you are already set up for this, and it won’t cost you time or money. However, if multiple people log in to the same meeting from the same room, it can cause issues. It is distracting to hear colleagues in the same room AND over headphones (especially with the slight time delay). It can also be very distracting for anyone in the room who isn’t involved in the meeting.

Book a meeting room and use one laptop

Another low-tech solution is to use one laptop in a meeting room for those in the office to connect. If you only ever have one or two people connecting from the office, this might work. However, if you have ever tried to crowd around one laptop to view a screen, you know how difficult this is if there are more than two of you. If you are trying to hold a meeting, it is even worse. You need to be far enough away from the camera for all of you to be on-screen, but close enough to the screen to see those online and any presentations.

Meetings with visitors

Another issue is that your clients and suppliers are also using a hybrid model. You may well find that a client will want to come into your office but will need to meet with staff working in the office and at home. You may even find that one of your contacts wants to come in, but the other cannot travel and wants to connect online. If this is something you need to accommodate, neither of the two low-tech solutions above will work.

Video conferencing

Another solution is a “Video conferencing” set-up in your meeting or boardroom. There is no strict definition of “video conferencing”; some use it to describe video meetings such as Teams or Zoom. What we mean is a professional set-up where everyone in the room can be heard and seen and be able to hear and see other video participants. It also means that all participants can give presentations that everyone in the room and online can see and hear. It includes cameras, microphones, WiFi spots, screens etc.

There are various options, and what is right for your business depends on multiple factors, such as how many are in the office at one time, if you have meetings with clients both in-person and online etc. If you would like help making sure that you have the right technology set up to carry on having successful meetings in the new “hybrid” world, call us on 01506 533 799 or contact us here.