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Best practices for effective hybrid meetings

The Service Desk reports a smooth opening at the CU System Office. The most common request is for headphones, which the Service Desk is unable to provide for sanitary reasons. Please remember to bring your headphones when using a hoteling desk. Even if you reserve an office rather than a cubicle, you may need headphones for quality sound and a microphone during a hybrid meeting.

Hybrid meetings

After adapting to virtual meetings during the pandemic, we face new challenges to make hybrid meetings effective and inclusive. Best practices for meetings in general, like sharing an agenda in advance, still apply, but here are some practical tips unique to hybrid meetings.

  1. Test the technology in advance of the meeting. Check the audio-visual setup for both remote and in-room attendees.
  2. Assign a facilitator to encourage engagement with remote attendees, checking to see that they can be heard and watching for questions in chat or hands raised.
  3. Share presentations or documents in advance, if possible, and have one person sharing their screen so virtual attendees can see the information.
  4. Make sure you include the call-in numbers and instructions for Zoom meeting links to allow those having trouble with computer audio to call into the meeting.
  5. Consider how remote participants will engage in each activity or exercise. Consider what tools or technology can increase their interaction with those who are in-person, such as using Microsoft Whiteboard for brainstorming.
  6. Acknowledge all participants and set expectations at the start of the meeting for engagement. After leading your first hybrid meeting, ask for feedback.

Depending on the size and purpose of your meeting, you may determine hybrid is not the best approach. Some teams follow a “one remote, all remote” principle: If one person is attending remotely, then those in the office also connect online using individual devices. This allows everyone to have the same experience and to participate equally.

Ultimately, be flexible and resourceful if things don’t go as planned. Technical issues happen, but with preparation and inclusive expectations, you can still have a productive meeting.

For more hybrid meeting tips, visit CU Boulder’s Hybrid Work Recommendations – Your Meetings.

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