BCAW 2022 Blog Competition: 'Is hybrid working still new?'

  • 03 Jun 2022

Most of us have had 2 years to adapt to working from home, and have become familiar with the WFH acronym. We have learned to master virtual communications, or at least learned how to mute and un-mute ourselves, perhaps not always at the correct time, but every day is a school day!

Here are a few tips to help ensure hybrid ‘works’…

Be Prepared

Even though hybrid working offers some flexibility, you need to make the best use of everyone’s time.  Prepare by:

  • Set an agenda and distribute it ahead of time
  • Stick to the agenda, unless something major requires attention
  • Ensure attendees know their roles, particularly those who have a speaking part   
  • Assign room moderators.  Use the moderator to act as a main speaker for the room, to ensure that not everyone is speaking at once, and to signal when someone has the floor. 
  • Meeting Facilitators should call on individuals both in the room and those dialled in virtually, and keep an eye out for raised hands (physical and virtual).

Be Engaging – Presentations / Surveys / Process Mapping

Nothing beats an in-person engaging workshop, but having all of our colleagues in 1 room at the same time can be a rarity these days.  Engage more by:

  • Showing movement to keep it interesting. Use visuals and graphics to keep things live and fresh.
  • Using virtual whiteboards.  Allow participants to enter their own comments or feedback, when appropriate to the conversation at hand.
  • Map processes live, or taking notes, can help bring the topic to life much more than reading a slide. 
  • Virtual voting is also a good way to get instant responses to survey questions, and it is a subtle way to keep attendees engaged.
  • Looking at your camera.  Let the attendees know that you’re there and engaged.  Don’t let them stare at a blank circle with your initials on the screen wondering if you’re really there or not.

Leverage a Virtual World

If everyone doesn’t need to be in the same room, then they can attend from different offices, organizations, or even countries.

  • Open the meeting invite outside of your normal audience.
  • Allow for a mix of attendees across time zones, while being sensitive to how various cultures may, or may not, naturally speak up.
  • Use a hybrid environment to create end-to-end views from suppliers to customers. This is great for facilitating exercises!

Use hybrid meetings as opportunities for end-to-end stress test exercises with third-party providers, and other interested parties, who normally would not be onsite in the same location.   

Author: Michele Henry, Operational Resilience Business Partner, Adviser vector


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