CB Recruitment Blog

5 Excellent Hybrid Meetings Practices to Implement in 2023

Cover image for 5 Excellent Hybrid Meetings Practices to Implement in 2023

Hybrid meetings are as commonplace today as our morning cuppa. After the initial disruption and resistance to taking everything online in 2020, organisations began to understand that the effect of COVID-19 pandemic need not mean the end of engaging with employees and teams. Indeed, hybrid meeting solutions are fast becoming the norm for an organisation’s daily task management and efficiency.

This post explores the efficacy of hybrid meetings and suggests a format for best practices to achieve productive results from gathering employees together remotely and in the Web3 workplace.


Does a Hybrid Meeting Benefit Employees?

According to UK government statistics, 50% of employees worked from home during the early stages of the pandemic. Data from a 2022 Opinions and Lifestyle survey revealed that most people intend to do hybrid work, meaning they spend some time working remotely and other times in the workplace.

  • Hybrid working increased from 13% to 24% (February to May 2022)
  • 84% of employees working from home plan to do hybrid working
  • Employees earning more than £50k were more likely to opt-in for hybrid working
  • Employees aged 30 – 49 were actively reporting hybrid working in mid-2022
  • 75% of employees working from home reported they had a better work/life balance and improved well-being
  • 50% said they found it more efficient to work without distractions

The pandemic changed how we work forever, and most companies now offer remote working as part of their employment packages. Many employees were delighted to work from home, but others returned to the office, preferring one-to-one interactions with colleagues. Old habits may die hard. Still, the Web3 space, by default, seeks to be inclusive of the needs of its workers, and subsequently, the birth of hybrid meetings began evolving.

Most organisations want to increase employee retention rates and engagement. In addition, the objective is to create a working system to improve productivity and efficiency whilst maintaining collaboration between teams and the organisation.

What is a Hybrid Meeting?

A hybrid meeting or hybrid conference is when some employees participate remotely, and others attend in person. Hybrid meetings help teams stay connected with project tasks and targets.

Are hybrid meetings as simple as jumping on a Google meet and chatting? Not really. For the best outcomes from hybrid meetings, it’s essential to have a format to prevent it from descending into chaos.

Hybrid meetings can be tricky to execute. Managing technology failures, such as unstable internet, poor audio or failing to adhere to an agenda, can bring meetings to a grinding halt. Hybrid conferencing can be done poorly or well, so let’s look at the five best practices for hybrid meetings.

#1. Is a Meeting Really Necessary?

When you look at the statistics and data for hybrid meeting productivity, you wonder about the need for multiple daily meetings.

According to Zippia, the average employee spends at least three hours in meetings every week. 45% feel overwhelmed, and 30% said weekly meeting time equalled over five hours and didn’t result in tangible benefits.

Although the data focuses on the United States workplace, UK stats are likely similar.

  • Surveys suggest 71% of employees think meetings are unproductive
  • Unproductive meetings cost organisations around $37 billion annually (yikes!)
  • 37% of employees believe that unproductive meetings are costly to an organisation (stats suggest 24 billion hours are wasted on meetings)
  • 65% of employees state that meetings hinder their workflow and often try to catch up by multitasking during meetings
  • The average employee attends eight meetings weekly. In addition, employees spend up to four hours preparing for meetings
  • Executive workers spend more time in meetings
  • 91% of meeting attendees daydream (It’s not easy to hide the glazed look no matter how hard you try to look engaged and intelligent)

Interestingly, many remote workers reported heightened stress levels once they started working from home, primarily due to the increasing number of meetings.

Every hybrid meeting must have a clear, definable purpose with tangible measurables for outcomes. Whether employees are working remotely or attending a hybrid meeting in person, they’ll soon lose interest in attending meetings if there appears to be no genuine reason for the hybrid meeting.

#2: Prepare an Agenda

When you’re sure a meeting is necessary, the next step is to prepare a comprehensive agenda. Planning is essential to keep the discussion on point, keep it short and minimise the time employees must take out of completing their daily tasks.

  1. What is the purpose of the meeting?
  2. Who needs to attend?
  3. How long will you assign to the meeting? For example, 30 minutes? 60 minutes?
  4. What will you discuss?
  5. Which employees do not need to attend?
  6. What is the proposed outcome of the meeting?
  7. Will you record the meeting?

To help attendees get the most from hybrid meetings, try to give at least one day’s notice so people can prepare. Employees feel frustrated when, in the middle of a task, they get a message asking, “Hey, Joe, can we jump on a quick meeting for ten minutes?” Joe knows it won’t be ten minutes, and he has an hour to complete a project assigned by his manager with a fixed deadline.

In addition, as mentioned on the above list, be 100% clear on the duration of the hybrid meeting. Attendees may have to adjust their workflow as a result of attending.

If you have documentation, a presentation or anything relevant to the proposed hybrid meeting, share it with the invitees, along with the agenda and outcome goals.

Finally, double-check if all invited attendees need to be at this meeting. Is their presence relevant to the topic? If not, message them and ask if they would like to attend or leave their invite as optional.

Be 100% clear of your intent because if the person doesn’t attend, you have no right to get squiffy about their absence. Clear communication wins the day 100% of the time.

#3. Designate one Person as the Meeting Leader

Have one person overseeing the meeting identified as the leader. The leader can call attendees back to the agenda if the conversation degenerates into a discussion about the best funny cat video on YouTube.

As soon as the meeting begins, get to the point after a quick hello to attendees. Every session should aim to be as productive as possible in the shortest time available. Employees will soon start dreading hour-long waffling meetings with no seemingly good reason or purpose.

Keep meeting material concise and upbeat. Add a little humour or light-heartedness if relevant, as it helps to keep attendees engaged instead of daydreaming about their dinner or multitasking.

Follow the agenda, listen to and document attendee input.

Preparing a simple slide document helps keep a meeting on track and gives attendees something to follow that anyone can download afterwards if appropriate.

#4. Prepare the Meeting for Remote Attendees

The last thing you want is remote attendees feeling they are there to listen in and not play an active part. In-person attendees have better access to visuals and audio, so choose the best hybrid meeting solutions for remote workers. Ideally, work with a large monitor so attendees can see each other.

One easy cop-out for everyone attending a hybrid meeting is to switch off their cameras. Yes, video quality can be challenging with people attending from global locations. It’s acceptable to turn off video and microphones during a presentation. Still, everyone should turn their cameras back on when the leader discusses what is shared and asks for feedback. Why? Because it is hyper-easy to lose engagement if you know that nobody can see what you are doing.

Neuroscience has disproved the concept of multitasking. People say they can do several things simultaneously, but multitasking compromises efficiency and reduces attentiveness. It is challenging to listen to someone talking and do something else.

Finally, in this section, if you have invited global attendees, be aware of the time zone differences. Some employees may be working flexibly in another continent, so consider recording hybrid meetings and making them available to replay as soon as possible. Post the replay in whatever communication channels are used and ask for questions and ideas from those unable to attend because of time differences.

#5. Get off the Podium!

Listening to one person talk for 30-60 minutes is not productive. Attendees lose interest quickly, disengaging from the topic even with video cameras switched on. Allow time for discussion and questions, and try to involve everyone where possible.

If the leader notices an attendee hasn’t engaged during the meeting, during the conclusion, it’s acceptable to ask a direct question, get an opinion, comment or suggestion. Not everyone wants to shout out their ideas. Some personality types are less forthcoming, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have great ideas.

In addition, it’s OK that not everyone attending agrees. Leaders often try to gather like-minded people together. The downside of that decision is that everybody agrees. Why does that matter? Isn’t that a good thing?

No, not at all.

In the excellent book Rebel Ideas, Matthew Syed proposes that creating and implementing change becomes stagnant when like-minded people brainstorm ideas.

It makes sense.

Organisations need the radical, the rebel, the person that disagrees with the crowd, the ones who come up with crazy suggestions and challenge “safe” ideas. Ultimately, leaders might find this scenario uncomfortable, but mixing diverse personality types can lead to impressive solutions, ideas and results.

Conclusion: 5 Excellent Hybrid Meetings Practices To Implement In 2023

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted organisational communication and collaboration. Companies frantically searched for hybrid meeting solutions as videoconferences apps that were perfectly acceptable pre-covid wobbled under increased demand.

In 2023, we’ve accepted that we’re unlikely ever to return to the traditional 9-5 office-based environment as the norm. As a result of experiencing the freedom of working from home, we saw the great resignation of 2021, where millions of people voted with their feet to change the system and find better working options. However, organisations still need to create collaborative systems that enable employees to work productively with purpose.

We are a connection-seeking species. Remote working is fantastic for most, but it can come with issues such as feelings of isolation. Hybrid meeting solutions will change. As technology evolves at an incredible pace, it’s not within the bounds of impossibility that we will soon be holding hybrid meetings in the metaverse.

The essential thing is that hybrid meetings are a trust-building warm environment where every attendee feels appreciated and engaged. These meetings can be an excellent platform for connecting colleagues and getting to know each other’s strengths and skills.

Above all, avoid the dictator approach, where attendees must listen to the leader without interacting. Encourage attendees to turn on video cameras and strive for collaboration and engagement.

Seek opinions and encourage attendees to ask questions, submit ideas and know that they can disagree and not be penalised for speaking out. When employees feel confident (safe) to question ideas, it can lead to impactful change. It’s too easy to develop a fixed mindset about “the way we do things around here” and forget that other people have great ideas and may spot potential mistakes and obstacles you cannot see.

Finally, have someone empathetic, a good listener, and a supportive and flexible approach lead the hybrid meeting. Such a person can usually observe if an employee is showing signs of stress or overwhelm, two significant concerns in the workplace that can lead to mental health issues, low retention rates and diminishing engagement.

CB Recruitment is committing to making Web3 work. We have an excellent reputation in the space as leaders in our field. Contact our specialist team for an informal chat if you are seeking a new Web3 career.



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Jan Barley

Jan is a SEO copywriter, brand advisor, content strategist & case study specialist writing for crypto, recruitment, and SaaS companies. Jan lives in the Cotswold's UK with two rescue dogs. Since 2020, Jan has written hundreds of SEO articles for various crypto companies including CB Recruitment & Coin Bureau.

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