Moving from Office First to Remote First is not an easy task. It's hard. There are so many new concepts to digest, new things to try. We made many mistakes along the way. One of them where hybrid meetings. Let's dig into why they didn't work and what we did to fix them.
Remote People Felt Left Out
Even before the pandemic, which forced us all into remote anyway, we had some employees working remote. An asynchronous work model was only an idea at this time. So we had meetings. Plenty of them.
Remote people would participate using some video conferencing tool, while the rest of us would sit in a meeting room. Not only did it not work, it was a disaster. The people remote felt left out, the people in the room constantly forgot about the others. Even when we invested in better equipment, it took forever to discuss a topic. A lot of non-verbal communication missing. Everyone got frustrated.
How We Fixed It
We introduced a new policy: A meeting is either remote or in person.
Even when half the people are at the office, everyone would participate as if they are remote too. Or the remote people would come to the office for the meeting. Same conditions for everyone. It felt a little weird at first, having a meeting sitting or standing in front of your computer at the office.
But eventually, it became natural. It was also a good preparation for when we moved remote altogether.