Hybrid presentations enable your company to participate in the modern business world. With hybrid meeting solutions, your business can:
- Attract top talent in an exceedingly-competitive market
- Onboard team members efficiently, enabling them to succeed quicker
- Bring together in-person and remote team members for engaging meetings
- Build excitement with presentations to external stakeholders
- Invest in team members through training and professional development
Yet for all their benefits, hybrid meetings come with their fair share of problems. Seamlessly hosting and running hybrid meetings can often be easier said than done. After all, who hasn’t dealt with broken meeting links, interruptions, screen sharing hassles…
Every meeting host—and attendee—has a long list of what goes wrong before, during, and after virtual meetings.
At Alleo, we’ve worked out solutions to these problems because your company shouldn’t suffer for making work more convenient. In this guide, we take a deeper dive into not only the common problems with hybrid meetings, but also how you can solve them. Keep reading for our top tips for successful hybrid meetings and the technology that can transform meeting fatigue into excitement.
What Are the Challenges of Hybrid Working?
A hybrid model isn’t always easy to implement, and challenges range from technology malfunctions to managing team members you don’t see in person. However, when comparing the benefits and challenges of hybrid working, the positives often outweigh the negatives.
Problems with Hybrid Working
According to a Gallup survey, the greatest challenges of working within a hybrid model are:
- Access to Technology: For your team members to work effectively outside of the office, they need access to the same technology that you have in the office. This is often easy to accomplish by lending laptops, monitors, and cell phones. But what about internet access? In the office, you can (usually) ensure your service meets your needs. For remote workers in rural areas, this can be a lot more challenging.
- Disconnected from Organizational Culture: A strong company culture can increase engagement by helping employees feel that they’re part of a bigger team. They’re not just working for their company, they’re working with their coworkers who share the same vision and values. However, when people are coming in and out of the office at different times, it can be harder to develop this connection.
- Disrupted Work Processes: Despite the benefits of hybrid work, switching to a new system is still challenging. For hybrid work, you need to coordinate synchronous and asynchronous work, distribute necessary technology, establish virtual meeting protocols, and more. These changes can be frustrating at times, especially for employees who are used to the way things were.
- Difficulty Collaborating: Hybrid work models make individual work a lot more efficient, but what about collaborative work? One of the challenges that companies face when adopting a hybrid work model is figuring out how to still make a team feel like a team. It can be accomplished, but managers will have to balance schedules, weigh feedback, and encourage interaction between employees working from different locations.
Benefits of Hybrid Working
The participants of that same Gallup survey report the following as the most significant advantages of hybrid working:
- Improved Work-Life Balance: With the option to work from home, employees can skip their commute. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends 55.2 minutes per day commuting to the office and back home. With more time to spend on what they enjoy doing and less stress from traffic, employees are feeling better about the actual time they spend working. And employers are benefitting, too. Promoting work-life balance within your company can increase productivity, reduce turnover, and even further enable employees with diverse backgrounds to succeed.
- Greater Efficiency: Employees often work more quickly when they have a choice of where they work. For example, when employees have a set amount of project work to complete at home, they can earn extra time in their day by finishing early. This means that more of your company’s projects will be finished ahead of schedule.
- More Freedom in Schedule: Everyone has a specific time of the day when they are most productive. Some prefer to finish their work earlier in the day, some work better in the evening, and others work best on a standard 9-5 schedule. By offering flexibility, you can receive the best work from your team.
- Lower Burnout Rates: Commutes, the same work environment every day, and the feeling of needing to “keep busy” can quickly burn out even your most engaged employees. And when enthusiasm and creativity suffer, your company can grow stagnant. Another positive impact of hybrid working is that it helps combat burnout. Having more control over when they work and how they work provides employees with the change of pace and freedom they need to re-engage with their work.
- Higher Productivity: At the end of the day, projects need to get done—no matter where your team is actually working from. Employees that work within a hybrid or remote work model are 22% happier and 5% more productive than those working in the office full-time.
When you take a closer look at the challenges of hybrid work, many of them are specifically related to hybrid meeting problems. Solve those, and you’ll find improvement throughout your entire hybrid work model.
How To Make Hybrid Meetings Work
In order for hybrid meetings to work, they need to be accessible to both in-person and virtual attendees, run smoothly, and engage both audiences.
How Do You Run a Successful Hybrid Meeting?
For a hybrid meeting to run successfully, you need the right technology. Before starting any meeting, make sure you have the proper tools for each step. Use the following checklist to see if you’re fully prepared for your next hybrid meeting:
- The Essentials: Virtual attendees will need computers with microphones and cameras enabled, and so will in-person attendees! Everyone should be able to have a presence.
- The Meeting Space: In order to get everyone together, you’ll need a shared virtual space. Basic platforms allow attendees to see, speak, and chat with one another. More advanced platforms like Alleo offer all of these inside an infinite virtual canvas with native tools built for interactivity.
- The Bells and Whistles: There are countless programs that you could use while meeting, but the trick is that you’ll have to manage a mess of applications. Sharing your screen and switching between tabs or browsing your files causes distraction and can even expose sensitive information like high level discussions. On the other hand, fully-integrated platforms give you everything you need within one program—no need to hunt it down.
- Following Up: Even the best meetings can get better (and many have a long way to go). The solutions don’t have to be a secret, either. Ask attendees what they think went well and what didn’t. Also, make time to check in on deliverables assigned in the meeting. Is work getting done on time, or are projects being delayed at the last minute? Getting ahead of potential issues can save you time and frustration down the road.
How Do You Make Hybrid Meetings Inclusive?
How do you facilitate a hybrid meeting that makes everyone feel welcome? By giving in-person and virtual attendees plenty of opportunities to participate. This can be challenging for many reasons, especially on the virtual side. For example, many virtual attendees will feel unsure of when the best time to speak up is. And when they do build up the confidence to say something, so will someone else—at the exact same time. To help avoid the awkward silences that follow and other inclusivity issues, try the following:
- Repeat questions asked by both in-person and virtual attendees. Microphone and sound issues can keep in-person conversations separate from virtual, and vice versa. As the host, simply repeating what was said loud and clear can make it easy for everyone to follow along.
- Utilize tools for deciding whose turn it is to speak. The popular “hand raise” tool is a great way to establish speaking order.
- Encourage participants to contribute through integrated text communication—like chat windows—if they are shy or are experiencing connectivity issues. The host can then read these messages aloud so the whole group can listen.
- As we mentioned in the above checklist, getting feedback is essential. Ask questions about inclusivity. Did attendees feel like they had the opportunity to contribute? Did they feel like the meeting was a valuable use of their time?
How Do You Make Hybrid Events More Interactive?
If you’re inviting someone to a meeting, then you likely want their contributions. Yet, traditional virtual meeting platforms restrict what participants can actually do. Meetings center on one person sharing their screen. Contributions, especially ones that need to be illustrated, are difficult to record.
That changes with Alleo’s visual collaboration canvas, which allows attendees to contribute in real-time and have their ideas seen and heard.
Where To Find the Best Equipment for Hybrid Meetings
Hybrid meeting technology can all too often feel like a necessary evil. When juggling too many meeting and presentation tools to count, your technology is likely to work against you instead of for you. There’s a better way.
Are you struggling to get the most out of your hybrid meetings? See how Alleo can help you overcome the challenges you’re facing:
- Problem: Unengaged Attendees
- Solution: Interactive Meeting Tools
- Problem: Too Many Programs To Keep Track Of
- Solution: A Fully Integrated Hybrid Meeting Platform
- Problem: Presentations Feel Disjointed
- Solution: Well-Choreographed Multimedia Presentation Tools
Reap the benefits of hybrid work like never before. Schedule a demo today.