Tips & Tricks: Best Practices for Hybrid Meetings

Illustration of a diverse group of people working together in a hybrid work environment

Before the Meeting

  1. When planning your meeting, determine: Is the meeting necessary?
  2. Pay attention to time zones.
  3. Always include the call-in numbers and instructions for your Teams or Zoom meeting in the invitation to allow those that may have trouble with computer audio to call in to the meeting.
  4. Share presentations or documents in advance, if possible.
  5. Test the technology in the conference room in advance. Test both the hardware (the technology you’re using to connect, such as a camera, microphone, etc.) and the software (your broadcasting platform, such as Teams or Zoom) in advance. Often, individual software programs will have their own settings for speakers and microphones, so you may need to change some settings in the software itself to get the audio setup that works for your meeting.
  6. When planning your meeting format, accommodate remote participants first.
  7. Consider how remote participants will engage in each activity or exercise. Consider what tools or technology can increase their interaction with those who are onsite, such as using Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams for brainstorming.
  8. Check that conference room setup and camera angles give remote participants a good field of vision.
  9. Consider recording the meeting. Teams and Zoom will allow you to record for any participants who weren’t able to make the live meeting or in case you need to revisit talking points.

During the Meeting

  1. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Always have everyone join from a laptop—that includes everyone onsite, even if they are together in a conference room—and have everyone use their individual laptop cameras. Everyone in the conference room should mute laptop audio to avoid echoes and sound issues. Remember: multiple people playing audio from their laptops or using multiple mics can lead to echoes if not properly set up. Tell conference room participants to mute their laptop audio to prevent this.
  2. Is video necessary? If you just need to be heard, you can use a conference room phone for remote participants.
  3. Start the meeting on time.
  4. Have one person share their screen so remote participants can see the information.
  5. Acknowledge all participants and set expectations at the start of the meeting for engagement.
  6. 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.
  7. Focus your attention equally on the participants in the conference room and remote participants on camera.
  8. Include remote participants in the whole discussion, not just at the end.
  9. When you’re going around the ‘room’ to ask for ideas, start with remote participants so they aren’t forgotten.
  10. If a participant in the conference room not seated at the table is speaking, make sure they are visible to the camera being used and ensure remote participants are able to hear this person. Although, all participants should join from a laptop to be visible at all times regardless of their location in the room.
  11. If the conference room whiteboard is used, make sure it’s visible to the camera.
  12. Use Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams to add interactive components to your meeting. Whiteboard allows meeting participants to engage with the content being displayed.
  13. Use Microsoft Polls and Microsoft Forms to ask questions of participants and collect input in real-time.

Additional Tips

headset icon

Use a headset for better audio and to reduce any outside noise.

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Don’t hold side conversations while someone is talking.

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Don’t have the “meeting after the meeting”—this excludes remote participants, and important decisions may be missed. Foster a culture that keeps the “voice” in the meeting.

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Identify any accessibility needs (captioning, interpreters, etc.) and model inclusion by describing yourself during introductions, as appropriate.

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