As more and more companies move to a hybrid workplace, it’s important that remote workers avoid being overlooked when participating in real-life/virtual meetings. Adapting to hybrid meetings will require employees and management to rethink how they communicate. It can be useful for the meeting manager to adopt a remote-first mindset, where it is assumed that the entire team will be remote, even if some people are working from the office. 

As a remote worker – or, a manager of remote and live workers – there are a number of steps that be taken to make everyone feel included in hybrid meetings:

  • having a meeting plan in place can be immensely helpful. The plan can include an agenda, policies regarding talk time for each participant, etc;
  • avoid using a conference room, rather, have all meeting attendees dial-in – whether they are joining from home or an office down the hall. This approach helps everyone feel like they’re on an equal footing;
  • keep your camera on!  It’s easier to feel more engaged with people when you can see them, they can pick-up non-verbal cues, and it keeps your attention focused on the meeting;
  • try to participate in as many forms as are available – such as using features like chat or “raise hand” that are offered by most video call apps to help to boost your presence;
  • how you look on screen is important, too. Be sure you are well-lit so that other attendees can see you clearly, letting them better engage with you; and,
  • partner with a fellow team member or friend who is in physical attendance who can act as your advocate during the meeting can help ensure you are able to get your points across.