What is a Hybrid Meeting?
A hybrid meeting refers to the physical location of participants. In a hybrid meeting, a subset of the people attending the meeting is located together in the same place. Other participants join the meeting by conference call or web conference. For facilitators, hybrid meetings are some of the most difficult meetings to manage as you can neither rely on everyone having access to the meeting technology nor on people all using sticky notes or other tangible resources. Experts on remote teamwork often recommend this rule: if anyone is virtual, everyone is virtual; meaning that any meeting with remote participants should be moved entirely into the virtual meeting space.
The Hybrid meetings will be a mainstay of how work happens for millions of people around the world. Across the Google Workspace team, we spent much of last year improving the hybrid experience within our tools, especially in Google Meet. New features like automatic noise cancellation, new virtual backgrounds, and automatic light adjustment have helped keep the focus on people and ensure that everyone can be seen and heard in a hybrid meeting no matter how and where they’re joining.
Putting Companion mode to work in hybrid meetings
You can now use Companion mode on your laptop while you’re in a meeting connected to Google Meet hardware. Companion mode, which begins rolling out in general release today, allows you to access interactive features and controls such as chat, screen sharing, hand raising, polls, host controls, and more while keeping your video and audio off to avoid feedback with the conference room hardware. Additionally, you can enable captions and translations in your preferred language and view presentations up-close on your own device.
How to schedule Hybrid meetings
With so many distributed teams and time zones, scheduling a meeting window that works for everyone can be a logistical challenge.
Choose a date and time that will work for as many people as possible. When scheduling with regions in far-flung time zones, alternate which teams have to stay late or start early to make the call happen. You might also choose one day a week when global meetings happen so people can plan around that day.
Include only those people who need to be a part of the conversation, but cast a wide net. When in doubt, invite people as optional and ask if they’d like to attend.
Provide an agenda in the Calendar invite at least 24 hours in advance to ensure people can decide whether to join and have a chance to prepare accordingly. I like to include the goal of the meeting in the agenda.
Encourage people to specify their location when they respond to the Calendar invite. If they accept, they can do so by choosing “in a meeting room” or “joining virtually.” This helps everyone, including the organizer, know what to expect.