Hybrid work schedules blend the versatility of working from home with the face-to-face setting of the office, with each bearing unique pros and cons. These factors are especially critical to consider when scheduling meetings. Keep reading to learn where meetings should happen based on their specific components and goals.
Why the Type of Meeting Matters
Meetings make up a large percentage of employees' time on the clock, yet many meetings don't contribute as much to the organization as they should — especially for organizations shifting to hybrid work styles. When scheduling a meeting and determining its format, you should first consider what type of meeting it is. Is it a weekly team update? A one-on-one check-in?
Looking at all meetings as the same can restrict discussions, limit information sharing, and keep you from optimizing company time. But by considering each meeting's needs individually, you can determine whether it would be more effective if conducted in the office, remotely, or a combination of both.
The Types of Meetings Already on Your Calendar
To properly understand which setting will work best for each meeting, you should first understand the different types of meetings and what they entail.
Brainstorming and Creative Sessions
Brainstorming meetings are highly creative and collaborative, so everyone in the meeting room should be involved. These meetings are usually less structured, with significantly more space for discussions. By maintaining an open platform, brainstorming sessions allow everyone involved to consider as many ideas, perspectives, and questions as possible.
One-On-Ones and Weekly Check-Ins
One-on-one meetings are more personal and should allow both participants to engage openly and further build their professional relationship. Examples include:
- Manager-employee check-ins
- Direct reports
- Project collaboration
- Quarterly reviews
- Exit interviews
Planning, Kick-Offs, and Goal-Setting
Planning meetings are usually highly structured, and despite including numerous participants, are often run by a few group leaders with specific opportunities for group collaboration. These meetings typically aim to put everyone on the same page regarding specific goals, changes, and expectations. Planning meetings help participants prepare for:
- New quarters
- New goals
- Industry shifts
- Software or workflow changes
Review and Status Meetings
Review meetings focus on the status, changes, and goals of ongoing projects. Reviews can be treated as daily huddles, regular stand-up sessions, smaller check-ins, or full-scale status meetings featuring presentations. Essentially, these meetings should update individuals about new information, outputs, and expectations.
Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
Problem-solving meetings are generally less collaborative, with one designated decision-maker. These meetings aim to help all parties reach a shared goal, decision, or solution. Whether it regards a problem, question, or workflow change, the final determination should be firmly honored after the meeting ends. Common decision-making subjects include:
- Industry shifts
- Goal/workflow changes
- Resolving misinformation and misconceptions
- Customer/client complaints
- Conflict resolution
Best Remote Meeting Types
Remote meetings are held entirely online with no in-person participants. These meetings are generally more structured and informational, with less room for creativity, open discussions, or hands-on engagement. Remote meetings are incredibly easy for hybrid and multi-location organizations to schedule due to their versatility and usually shorter lengths. In addition, screen-sharing makes visual elements such as presentations and data reports significantly easier to use.
The best types of meetings for remote settings are planning and decision-making sessions. Planning meetings, in particular, usually include a mix of topics to be covered and, when held remotely, can ensure that everyone receives the same information. Additionally, as planning is often a divergent process, remote meetings allow side discussions to occur smoothly while keeping the entire group involved.
Most decision-making and problem-solving meetings are also ideal for hybrid settings, as they usually only follow one decision-maker. Additionally, remote meetings ensure that participants won't have to commute to the office every time a problem needs resolving, which is important for time sensitivity.
Best In-Person Meeting Types
In-person meetings are ideal for more collaborative, less-structured company meetings because they allow everyone to participate in the same room without technological restrictions. These meetings should be longer in length, especially if you ask employees to commute for them, and are more personal and relationship-oriented than remote sessions.
Brainstorming meetings should be held in person whenever possible to allow everyone to feel like they can contribute and to increase the flow of communication, ideas, and perspectives. It's challenging to capture the high energy needed for creative sessions over video calls, as they can feel like you're talking to your screen rather than to a colleague.
One-on-one and other more personal meetings should also be held in person to allow both participants to focus on relationship-building and non-verbal signs. Remote meetings can cause distractions to get in the way of communication, which is particularly detrimental when only two people are involved.
Finally, planning meetings should be held in person rather than remotely if the discussions are collaborative. In-person planning meetings are ideal for longer sessions, visual aids, open discussions, and breaking into smaller groups.
Best Hybrid Meeting Types
Hybrid meetings include both in-person and remote participants and are ideal for larger, time-sensitive discussions. However, they generally provide less room for collaboration as most participants don't have equal opportunities to be heard. For example, an in-person participant may not recognize when someone present via Zoom is speaking unless the speaker is specifically introduced.
The hybrid meeting format is ideal for problem-solving, review, and status meetings, as it allows numerous people to participate but limits open conversation and the number of speakers. This way, information can be shared with all parties, whether they're present in person, at home, or at another office location, with isolated opportunities for group discussion.
Optimizing Your Hybrid Workflow
The shift into hybrid work is new for most organizations, so there's still much to learn to make the most of working partially from home. Remote days offer many benefits, such as better flexibility for employees, but also have downsides such as limited attention during meetings and restricted days on which everyone can meet in person. Get Scoop for hybrid work today to easily schedule meetings, track your company's schedule, and further optimize your hybrid workflow.