Remote workers in the hybrid setup - Deepstash
Remote workers in the hybrid setup

Remote workers in the hybrid setup

There is a huge difference between being virtual like many were at the start of the pandemic, and the hybrid way of working that many companies are planning for.

With people split between the home and the office, companies will go from a situation where there is a single mode of communication to one where people are showing up from different locations, and potentially using different means of communication.

This could easily lead to meetings becoming confusing or tip the conversation in favor of those who are physically in the room. That could mean those who work remotely are overlooked.

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MORE IDEAS FROM How to stand out in virtual meetings

If they can, remote workers should seek out an "in-room buddy" who can act as an advocate and pull them into conversations. This could just be a fellow team member or friend who is in physical attendance.

It's also important to think about how you participate. This doesn't always need to be verbal. Using features like chat or "raise hand" present in most mainstream video call apps can also help to boost your presence.

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The "stunted" nature of virtual communication, can make it harder to read body language and other non-verbal cues.

So if you're remote, let people know how you're feeling about something. Actively verbalizing your emotions can help people to better understand the intent of your message if they can't easily perceive your non-verbal cues.

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How you look on screen is important. But it's not all about vanity, it's about having respect for your conversation partner.

Aside from ensuring that your face is evenly illuminated, other key things to focus on are how you're framed - showing your full face and a large part of your body to ensure that people can read your body language - and to ensure that your background is not too distracting.

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Ultimately managers have the overwhelming responsibility to create presence for everyone in the meeting, but attendees also have a responsibility to understand who is in the meeting. 

But regardless of who your manager is, it is important to create as much presence for yourself as possible. Keeping your camera on is an obvious basic essential.

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The hybrid workplace

The hybrid format is proving to be more than a passing trend. This shift is because most of the long-term effects of the pandemic are largely unknown, incorporating remote working into the business model is prudent.

Moreover, it’s in line with what employees want. Now that workers have had a taste of such a choice, flexibility comes up repeatedly, as one of the most important things for employees. And, as people become more conscious of the social and environmental impact of what we do, companies have a responsibility to cut unnecessary travel.

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The Niceness Trap

The reason so many of us find ourselves trapped in meetings we don't want to be in comes down to the fact that we don't want to offend anyone. But there's a real cost to being nice. We wind up wasting hours of our life going to meetings we don't need to be at.

This is an especially difficult trap when you're a leader and other people want or even expect, you to attend. By choosing not to go, you risk creating the perception among other attendees that the meeting isn't important.

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Speaking up in meetings

Group meetings may feel intimidating. Speaking up in meetings is an opportunity to impact developing ideas, but it can also show up your ignorance in front of a large group.

But there are real advantages to speaking up.

  • You may influence ongoing events.
  • Your comments may prompt new ideas in your colleagues.
  • Speaking up gives other people a chance to get to know how you think.

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