Overcome Obstacles to Meeting Equity in Hybrid Work
Do on-site workers have an advantage because they get more face time with the boss? Do remote employees benefit from not working under a microscope? Do office workers carry more responsibility because they’re top of mind?
There’s a lot of debate about which work arrangement is better for both employees and employers, but meeting equity is especially complex. Organizations have been busy adapting to a hybrid workforce, and now they are focusing on providing an equitable experience for all employees. Meetings are challenging when it comes to equity because you have to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to be seen, heard, and able to take part and contribute.
Unfortunately, more than a quarter (28%) of employees say they struggle to be heard during hybrid meetings, and 56% of remote participants say the person running the meeting focuses more on those in the office meeting space. However, with the right tools and tactics, there are ways to equalize the hybrid meeting experience.
Create a More Equitable Meeting Environment
There are meeting pros and cons to working from home, going to the office, as well as making a hybrid arrangement. Meetings have never been a favorite employee activity, so making them more equitable is also an opportunity to make them more pleasant and productive. Important features of hybrid meetings include:
- Visibility in the meeting
There should be space on monitors to see remote meeting participants. The faces of remote participants shouldn’t be pushed aside for other content because then they’re too easily forgotten.
- The means to speak and be heard
Participants on both ends of a meeting should get equal time and opportunity to contribute to the conversation. This means remote participants should have the equipment to be as loud and clear as those speaking in the room when they have something to say.
- The ability to see what’s going on
If you have only a single camera for those speaking, remote participants will miss other activity and communication that happens in the room. Remote employees often won’t see when a new person enters the room, someone silently gestures off camera, or someone presents information on an in-room easel or whiteboard.
- Access to tools and information
Everyone should have access to the same technologies, including presentation boards, annotation features, and recording and transcription abilities.
Ways to Achieve Meeting Equity
Many aspects of meeting equity are hard or impossible to measure. However, you can improve hybrid meeting inequities by implementing equity policies and providing everyone with access to the same or equal technologies.
What specific audiovisual technologies help improve meeting equity? The most important technologies are those that connect people, including microphones, cameras, and presentation tools.
The Poly E70 camera, for example, puts each participant in a separate view on the display. Previously, remote participants would each be in a separate view while in-room participants were combined in the meeting room view. Now, Poly’s DirectorAI smart camera technology improves hybrid meeting equality by using artificial intelligence to automatically frame people, speakers, or groups. A wide-angle option ensures everyone can be seen clearly, even in a large room.
Another example is wireless presentation technology like ClickShare from Barco which makes hybrid meetings more equitable. It automatically connects with the devices of in-room participants so it’s easy to get on a video call with remote employees and include them in collaborative work.
Both solutions can be used in huddle spaces, boardrooms, and every meeting space in-between.
Employees value flexibility in their work options. By making hybrid meetings more equitable, you can improve both productivity and employee engagement.
If you need help to overcome your meeting space technology issues, we can help. To learn more about which technologies will improve meeting equity, talk to one of Nationwide Audio Visual’s collaboration experts.