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The growth of ‘hybrid meetings’ and how businesses can make the transition

Written by Oliver Rowe is founder and CEO of Fusion Communications

At the beginning of the pandemic, virtual meetings became an essential part of every day, with businesses across the globe relying on platforms such as Zoom to stay connected with employees, clients and peers throughout lockdowns.

Now, with people venturing back into the office, businesses are having to pivot once again, as many companies are adopting a part-time in office schedule with employees splitting their time between working in the office and remotely.

These workplace shifts mean a mix of onsite and remote meeting participants has become common for team collaboration and communication. In fact, a recent Global Workforce Survey revealed 98% of those surveyed expect all meetings to include remote participants.

This shift from the traditional office space to a hybrid workplace has created a dramatic change in how we meet, and a hybrid meeting style is an inevitable component of our ‘new normal’.

What is a hybrid meeting and what are the benefits?

A hybrid meeting is a meeting where some attendees join from the office and others join remotely, enabled by audio and video conferencing technology. Often participants will also use online content sharing solutions to support collaboration.

For businesses, having the option for attendees to join a meeting remotely offers many benefits. Not only does it expand the meeting’s reach beyond just those who are available to attend in person, offering online viewing options removes barriers for any individuals who are uncomfortable meeting in person, live in a different area, or can’t make the in-person meeting.

Hybrid meeting technology and planning also allows companies to add value to their meeting attendees, including improving efficiency, boosting engagement, promoting flexibility, collecting analytics, and enabling cost-effective meeting collaboration.

Hybrid meetings can also boost productivity for teams, when compared with onsite meetings which often require more resources, travel time and preparation for attendees, as well as giving attendees the ability to rewatch or share meetings with those not in attendance.

Optimising technology

When looking to implement hybrid meetings, it is essential that businesses choose technology that works well for them and their teams.

Bring Your Own Meeting [BYOM] solutions enable businesses to drive the meeting and room technology using their own devices. This allows for a more personalised meeting experience when compared with room-based systems which typically require in-room touch panels or other equipment to initiate meetings.

Businesses must also ensure the technology they do choose supports the way they would like to collaborate. For example, many room-based conferencing systems only support presentation mode, whereas solutions that enable multi-participant content sharing may better support a business’ collaboration needs.

Choosing a suitable meeting room solution for video conferencing is key. 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 the 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.

As with any technology, prior to a meeting it is vital to test the audio-visual set up for both in-room and remote attendees. It can help to schedule a dry run 10 minutes before the meeting starts to get remote participants comfortable with what they will see and hear during the meeting.

Businesses can use this opportunity to review software features that they will likely use, check if any collaborative software used is accessible to those attending and ask if anyone has specific requirements.

Choosing a suitable provider

In addition to robust technology, it is crucial that businesses ensure they choose a technology provider that can manage all the elements and bring them together.

For example, whilst Microsoft Teams is great for collaboration and does have some telephone functions, it may not be the best solution when compared with a fully-fledged contact centre solution.

A good provider will have the ability to bring Microsoft Teams into its hosted telephony offering. This will enable everything to work seamlessly whilst still providing a business-grade hosted solution that allows employees to choose how and where they change calls, whilst ensuring customers can always contact the right person or team.


Whilst the switch to any new meeting model may create new challenges, hybrid meetings are vital for any business offering employees remote work flexibility.

There is no doubt that hybrid meetings require more planning, but they can be an essential tool in today’s work environment.

By understanding the benefits and best practices for hybrid meetings, and choosing appropriate technology, businesses can take the steps to run their hybrid meetings successfully.

Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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