The Coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the business community. It has forced business owners and their colleagues to adopt a new way of working and to communicate virtually for over a year.
But as we cautiously prepare for a return to normal, another new way of working is presenting itself in the form of Hybrid Meetings and Hybrid Working.
Hybrid working blends an on-site and off-site approach to work, providing employees with flexibility regarding where they physically partake in their working duties.
Deloitte research suggests that more than 100 million people in Europe shifted to remote working during the Coronavirus crisis in 2020, with nearly 45 million doing so for the first time. Many are not rushing to return to the office, instead, embracing the hybrid working model.
Employers now have to seriously consider how they can meet their employees’ needs and continue to run a successful business at the same time. Hybrid meeting rooms are a popular solution.
But you may be wondering…
What is a hybrid meeting?
A hybrid meeting is a meeting where part of the audience joins from the office and another part joins remotely, enabled by audio and video conferencing technology. Often participants will also use online content sharing solutions to support collaboration.
According to research by Barco, 29% of meetings in the future will be hybrid, so business owners need to be prepared for this statistic to become a reality and fast.
Tim Oldman, chief executive of the productivity thinktank Leesman, believes that “employees will expect their employers to make meaningful changes to the office environment that reflect their newly learned workstyle. Inaction from employers now would be hugely harmful.”
So, what changes can your company make to accommodate hybrid working methods and ensure all team members have access to high-quality hybrid meeting technology?
Invest in hybrid meeting room technology
Video solutions for meeting rooms
Meeting room hardware solutions are available for all popular video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, often with tabletop touch screen interfaces that combine camera and audio solutions to turn any meeting room into an easy-to-use video conferencing suite.
Equipment such as this allows for a streamlined hybrid meeting experience, making collaboration in the workplace simple, enjoyable, and inclusive – no matter where attendees are calling from.
In a hybrid meeting room, the main speaker will change from in-room to on-video participants without notice. So, for a hybrid meeting to be a success for all participants, you must have microphones that can pick up sound from wherever a person may be in the meeting room.
There are various solutions to achieve this.
Depending on your room size and shape, a ceiling-mounted microphone like the Sennheiser Team Connect Ceiling 2 may be the best option for you. Multiple desk-mounted microphones like the Logitech Tap (which also combines as a touch screen video meeting interface) are another piece of technology to consider.
The key is to choose suitable products for your space that can identify between background noise and the people speaking.
Display screens and screen sharing
The most successful hybrid meetings allow all attendees to collaborate and share content as they would if they were all in the same room.
There are two ways you can achieve the best results, either through a large single screen or a dual-screen setup, using mid-sized panels. Both options allow in-office participants to see everyone in the meeting, plus crystal clear content. After all, there’s no point presenting a spreadsheet to the room using a 50″ TV when in-person attendees are sat four or five metres away!
Secondly, a tool for wireless screen sharing is key. Many video platforms offer basic content sharing and a whiteboard as standard, but a solution that also allows content annotation is an essential tool for true hybrid meeting collaboration.
We like the Poly G7500, which integrates with additional modules in the Poly range like advanced cameras, the TC8 Touch Console, and smart audio solutions for an unsurpassable yet simple collaboration experience.
Smart cameras and speaker systems
In a hybrid meeting, video participants may need to change their view of those in the room from a group view to an individual close up.
A smart camera that can pick up these changes automatically is the best solution for an easy and natural meeting experience.
We like the Poly Eagle Eye Director II (available on its own or with the Poly G85-T) for a simple, professional solution that will automatically group people into one shot or zoom into individual speakers, creating a more natural and dynamic experience for all attendees.
Make the working environment hybrid friendly
Hybrid working isn’t all about meetings and virtual conferencing services, it’s also about a serious consideration of the office environment too.
One of the challenges many employers now face is integrating flexible working into their actual workspace. Twenty four percent of the working population have been working from home in some capacity since March 2020 and have become accustomed to their home comforts in the process.
Office environments must reflect this dynamic, offering a space that enables workers to interact with their colleagues in comfort. Hot desking will also increase in popularity as the rigidity of cubicles and assigned desks becomes less attractive.
Spaces will need to encourage employee attendance as much as possible, making the workplace a welcomed change of scenery that encourages creativity, participation, and eliminates the constraints of working from home. Comfortable break-out areas where workers can collaborate with other team members and guests will be embraced and the overall aesthetic of conference rooms and meeting spaces will also need to be considered, alongside their technical capabilities.
TecInteractive’s partnership with leading office fit-out firm Blueprint Interiors means that we can help you design and fit your entire space to adopt a new way of working. And of course, we’ve got the technology to match, so, you can transform both your workspace and the way that you work.
Consider those working from home too
Meeting quality is extremely important for both those in the boardroom and for the hybrid worker choosing to stay at home. Engagement levels must be high for both parties, and to ensure that happens; the right tech needs to be considered in all environments.
Choosing the right solutions for your organisation takes a great deal of consideration. Call quality, security, interoperability, ease of use, and reliability are all factors, as well as cost, maintenance, and scalability.
We offer a range of leading video conferencing platforms and complete meeting room systems, plus cameras, microphones, speakers, and acoustic solutions—each with its own unique benefits and USPs.
The most common systems for remote working are Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Starleaf. Check them out here.
Finding the right hybrid meetings solution for you
At TecInteractive, we give teams the tools to work better and achieve more, making collaboration in the workplace simple, enjoyable and inclusive – no matter where you’re joining from.
We shape smart tech to fit into your company, enabling you to unlock the true potential of your staff and solutions. From hybrid meeting rooms to interactive displays and presentations, everything we do is designed to help you and your team thrive using technology.
If you’re looking to invest in hybrid meeting room systems, we can help.
We’ll work with you to create a system that works for you, enhancing productivity and teamwork.
For more information, get in touch to give your team the tools to work better and achieve more.