Looking back at previous blog entries, we see that we have often focused on groups that are completely virtual in nature. That is, every individual works remotely. Yet many of our clients have a different mix to that. A hybrid one. One where some team members are based in one or more offices and others work from home. And these are brought together as one team within what can best be described as hybrid virtual meetings.
Often (though not always), those in a particular office all join from a single conference room in that office. If there’s more than one office involved, then those based in the other offices will probably act likewise, joining from their own conference rooms. And truly remote team members join the hybrid virtual meeting from their own locations, of course.
If there’s an issue with that style of meeting it is that those in remote locations find it harder – psychologically and logistically – to play as full a part in the meeting as their co-located colleagues. The quality of the chairperson makes a big difference to the quality of the meeting. An excellent chairperson will ensure that remote members get the same opportunities to contribute as those within the office.
Of course, the quality of the chairperson is also important for the quality of 100% co-located meetings! But for hybrid virtual meetings, the word “vital” applies. A chairperson of lesser quality can lose remote team members completely during the meeting. And, crucially, affect remote team members detrimentally post-meeting too.
A key aspect in delivering well-run hybrid virtual meetings is delivering a session that is both productive and enjoyable. Having a team activity of some kind can help a lot in achieving both of those. A fun team activity will certainly increase the levels of enjoyment for the group. A well-designed activity can also provide the participants with learning that enables them to be more productive as a team post-event.
Overcome the risk
Many chair people choose to include a team activity of their own design and delivery. Yet that takes time to get that right for the group. And it comes with the danger that, if it fails to inspire the team, it can actually have the reverse effect than that intended. It can lower the quality of the meeting and demotivate the team. A well-chosen, professionally designed and delivered activity can overcome that risk.
If you’d like our professional advice for an upcoming meeting, please feel free to contact us.