← All posts

Hybrid Meetings

A Guide to Meeting-Scheduling Etiquette for Hybrid and Distributed Teams

Read Time: 7 min
← All resources


No items found.
Table of Contents

Hybrid and distributed employees often work on different schedules and sometimes in different time zones. This can make finding the perfect meeting time quite challenging, especially when planning larger sessions involving the whole team.

Nevertheless, you must prioritize meeting-scheduling etiquette to maintain productivity and respect everyone's time. With so many variables to juggle, you may need to adopt new practices and digital solutions.

Why Is Etiquette Important When Scheduling Meetings?

Meeting etiquette keeps your workplace discussions professional, respectful, and on topic. However, this etiquette is also important in the scheduling process. Just as you shouldn't waste someone's time texting during a video conference, you should also respect their time by not overlapping their schedule.

That said, every organization has a different perception of proper meeting etiquette. Finding a meeting time that works for everyone can be challenging, especially when managing a distributed team. Some people may inevitably be disappointed when you set up a meeting. Nevertheless, you must still respect your colleagues' workflows to maintain positive and productive meetings.

6 Meeting-Scheduling Etiquette Tips for Hybrid and Distributed Teams

Your meeting-scheduling etiquette should extend beyond specific times and rules. Instead, you must "walk the walk" of workplace etiquette to demonstrate that you genuinely respect and care about your workers' time. Good employees will return this respect by preparing for and engaging in team discussions.

Follow these six scheduling tips to improve how you approach virtual and in-person meetings.

1. Be Mindful of Other People’s Time and Plan Ahead

While team meetings are essential for communication and collaboration, they shouldn't interfere with your other business affairs. The last thing you want is for an employee to reschedule an important pitch with a client so they can attend a virtual meeting.

To plan a meeting time that aligns with everyone's schedule, you must account for more than just their direct conflicts. You should also consider employees' current projects, deadlines, productivity rates, and locations. Consider setting weekly time slots that align with everyone's current meeting availability. Even if you don't meet each week, carving out this fixed time slot guarantees you can accommodate everyone's schedule.

Coordinate meeting times on in-person workdays to maximize your face-to-face and nonverbal communication. This can help establish trust and a more natural flow of conversation. This rapport may even carry into your virtual meetings.

2. Provide All Necessary Meeting Details

Meeting participants generally feel more comfortable knowing what a meeting is about before going in — especially if it's 1:1 with a supervisor. So when you set up a meeting, you should also clearly lay out your agenda items, meeting protocols, and expectations. These may include:

  • Start time
  • Location or virtual platform
  • Participants
  • Required camera and microphone settings
  • Discussion topics
  • Action items

The event details should also include the meeting's etiquette rules. These may include dress code, background, lighting, and microphone expectations. This can help you manage distractions and avoid the usual pitfalls of unproductive meetings.

3. Create and Share a Precise Meeting Agenda

Agenda items guarantee that the meeting's leader and participants can stay on track without skipping important topics. Even the most focused meetings may shift toward tangential conversations, which can benefit creativity and build rapport. An agenda guarantees you can always pull the conversation back to where it needs to be at the right time.

An agenda can also help attendees estimate the meeting's length and the depth of the conversation. For example, if you share an agenda with only one topic, employees can schedule their time accordingly. Of course, if you communicate that the one-topic meeting will take over an hour, employees can properly research and prepare for the in-depth conversation.

4. Invite Only Necessary Attendees and Avoid Overscheduling

Most modern professionals already have busy schedules that leave them juggling multiple responsibilities. With limited company time, many employers have reconsidered the number of meetings they hold and who must attend them.

Though you can't eliminate meetings altogether, you don't have to involve everyone in the entire company every time you hold one. Before booking a meeting, consider who needs to share and hear the information being discussed. For example, if you're just covering a project update, you may need to involve only those working on or leading that initiative. Everyone else can review the meeting notes later.

Furthermore, consider when you can combine or condense meetings to take up less time. Instead of hosting multiple one-on-one status updates, you could combine them into one group session, allowing everyone to share.

5. Consider When Meetings Should Be Considered Optional

Another strategy is to make certain meetings optional. This way, employees can attend if available but won't have to overwork themselves if they've already maximized their productivity hours.

Consider the following types of optional meetings:

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Team-building sessions
  • Soft-skill training
  • Project update meetings
  • Group decision-making meetings
  • Office administration meetings

6. Use Technology to Coordinate Remote and In-Office Teams

Digital tools such as Scoop let employees manage their schedules and check their colleagues' statuses. These tools can make scheduling meetings easier, including one-on-ones, group sessions, and client calls.

These tools can also improve the way information is shared after the meeting. For example, Scoop Snapshots lets employees scan easy-to-read reviews that take the guesswork out of their preparation. With meeting details accessible through one easy-to-use interface, employees will always know where to go for time, location, and online meeting etiquette information.

Leverage the Best Tool for Planning Successful Meetings

Meeting-scheduling etiquette is more important than ever with a hybrid or distributed workforce. Even if employees can attend a meeting, they may not be as engaged if distracted by other responsibilities.

Scoop provides meeting planning tools that increase the value of each meeting you hold. This can boost productivity and enhance collaboration for everyone involved. Try Scoop today to see how it can benefit your team's workflow.

Related Resources

Schedules & Calendars

What Is a 2-2-3 Work Schedule? A Guide

Explore the concept of a 2-2-3 work schedule through our comprehensive guide, which covers its advantages, disadvantages, and the industries commonly employing this shift arrangement.

A Guide To Slack Workflows for Hybrid and Distributed Teams

Enhance productivity with our guide to Slack workflows, covering different workflow types, their advantages, and best practices for hybrid and distributed teams.
Culture & Employee Engagement

5 Types of Working Styles and How To Work With Each

Explore the strengths, weaknesses, and collaboration strategies tailored to the top five working styles. Unlock valuable insights to enhance teamwork dynamics and boost productivity.