Hybrid working has become an increasing trend in the UK, with TravelPerk’s research suggesting 40% of employees’ companies have shifted to a hybrid model post-pandemic.
The introduction of this new working model has meant business owners and their colleagues have needed to adopt a new way of working and communicating. This blended on and off-site approach to work provides employees with more flexibility regarding where they physically partake in their working duties.
As a business owner, you have to seriously consider how you can meet your employees’ needs and continue to run a successful ‘modern workspace’ at the same time. Adapting and offering hybrid working is one way to help retain staff. By offering them more flexibility, you can increase your hiring pool as employees are not bound by location.
Below, we explore what hybrid meetings are and what you should invest in to benefit your employees.
What is a hybrid meeting?
A hybrid meeting is where part of the audience joins from the office, and another part joins remotely, enabled by audio and video conferencing technology. Participants often use online content-sharing solutions to support collaboration, such as screen sharing, to allow everyone to get the most from the meeting.
Hybrid meetings are now the norm, which has been supported by the research from TravelPerk, which revealed that only 30% of UK companies are working fully on-site today, as opposed to 57% before the pandemic.
Travelling into the office for one meeting can be time-consuming and creates unnecessary journeys. But, hybrid meetings are time-efficient for your employees and good for the planet too as they allow employees to remain at home, reducing their carbon footprint and eliminating commute time.
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
The first step is to ensure you have a suitable meeting room solution for video conferencing.
Meeting room hardware solutions are available for all popular video conferencing platforms, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, often with a tabletop touchscreen interface that combines camera and audio solutions.
When hybrid working, people will join meetings from various locations, so it’s essential to get the quality of the meeting experience right for your employees, so everyone feels included and as if they are all sitting in one room. If participants can’t see all the members within the call, it can decrease productivity and leave users frustrated.
An all-in-one solution, such as Poly Studio, quickly turns any meeting room into an easy-to-use video conferencing suite with minimal wires. Equipment, like this, allows for a streamlined hybrid meeting experience, making collaboration in your workplace simple, enjoyable and inclusive.
If you don’t have an audio system that allows everyone to get heard, you risk losing engagement from those in the meeting as they struggle to hear or be able to offer their input.
Without notice, the main speaker will change from in-room to on-video participants in a hybrid meeting room. 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. This allows everyone within the call to feel included and able to participate.
Solutions to achieve this can range from a ceiling-mounted microphone, like the Sennheiser Team Connect Ceiling 2, depending on your room size and shape. Another is multiple desk-mounted microphones, like the Logitech Tap, which combines as a touchscreen video meeting interface.
At TecInteractive, we can help you choose the most suitable products for your space, needs and uses.
Display screens and screen sharing
The most successful hybrid meetings allow all attendees to collaborate and share content as 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. After all, there’s no point presenting a spreadsheet to the room using a 50″ TV when in-person attendees are sitting 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.
It is easy to overlook employees who join online, but smart cameras help those joining online feel included, comfortable and able to collaborate – especially when several people are in a meeting.
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. This solution also eliminates excessive wires, keeping your meeting rooms neat and tidy.
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 employee wellbeing and the office environment too.
One of the challenges you’ll face is integrating flexible working into your business’s workspace. Office environments need to be dynamic and offer a space that promotes collaboration, while encouraging your staff to attend as much as possible.
One way to help this is by allowing your staff to hot desk and be able to book a desk. This removes any stress of not knowing where to sit or whether there will be space when they do visit the office.
We like the GoBright Room and Desk Booking solution for this, as it provides flexibility to your staff to see which meeting rooms and desks are free, and makes meeting, working and visiting that much easier.
Providing comfortable break-out areas where workers can collaborate with other team members and guests also needs to be embraced, alongside their technical capabilities. By choosing solutions which eliminate excessive wires, it helps keep these rooms neat and tidy, promoting a positive working environment.
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.
Choosing the right tech 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 at TecInteractive offer a range of simple to use video conferencing platforms and complete meeting room systems, plus cameras, microphones, speakers, and acoustic solutions—each with its own unique benefits and USPs. Many of these are all-in-one solutions, meaning minimal wires to keep your desk and conference rooms tidy.
We know being able to collaborate in a hybrid working world means businesses need to stay on top of current AV tech, which is why we offer scalable tech solutions, such as Easy AV. By having the right technology in your office, you can be sure those joining from home can hear and see you clearly, maximising the output of your meeting.
Finding the right hybrid meetings solution for you
From hybrid meeting rooms to interactive displays and presentations, everything we do is designed to help you and your team thrive using technology.
To provide your team with the tools to work better and achieve more, we can shape your smart tech to fit into your company, like desk or meeting room booking technology.
Our smart and simple process matches you with technology that is easy to use, install and manage.
We’ll take the time to understand the technology you already have and how it works for you, before suggesting solutions based on our findings and expert knowledge. We focus on making collaboration in the workplace simple, enjoyable and inclusive – no matter where you’re joining from – so you can unlock the true potential of your staff and solutions.
If you’re looking to invest in hybrid meeting room systems, we can create a solution that works for you, enhancing productivity and teamwork.