What Is a Hybrid Meeting Room?

June 10, 2024

Hybrid meeting rooms are increasingly popular in the UK, combining in-person and virtual meeting capabilities. Equipped with advanced technology, they ensure smooth interaction between remote and on-site participants. These rooms enhance collaboration, increase efficiency, and adapt to the evolving needs of modern UK workplaces.

The way we work has changed dramatically over the past years. From working exclusively in offices, we moved to working remotely, and today, the two have merged into a novel, adaptable concept—the hybrid workplace.

However, this new way of working has its unique challenges, notably inclusivity. Microsoft finds that 43% of remote employees and 44% of hybrid employees don’t feel included in meetings. The reason for this is the lack of required technology and infrastructure.

Hybrid meeting rooms are here to change that. Enhancing standard meeting rooms to fulfil the needs of a modern workplace, these rooms are a core requirement for today’s businesses.

This article discusses everything you need to know about hybrid meeting rooms, from their characteristics to their benefits and challenges. We also give you seven actionable tips to help enhance your hybrid meeting room experience.

What Is a Hybrid Meeting Room?

A hybrid meeting room is a conference room that is specially designed to facilitate remote and in-office employee participation in events and meetings. It elevates the standard meeting room experience through technology and the necessary infrastructure, resulting in a space that meets the needs of a hybrid team.

In other words, a hybrid meeting room is equipped with technology that allows remote participants to stay audible and visible while being able to see and hear those physically present in the meeting room, all in real time.

What Are the Characteristics of a Hybrid Meeting Room?

Here are some features of a hybrid meeting room:

Large Display Screen

Hybrid meeting rooms facilitate collaboration between in-office and remote employees. A key requirement is a large display screen to view all the participants. This can be a monitor with conferencing software or a smart screen with built-in software like Zoom Rooms for Touch or Microsoft Surface Hub.·

Audio and Visual Systems

Hybrid meetings typically involve multiple participants, those who work remotely and those present in person. If all the participants cannot hear and see each other, communication and productivity can be hampered. This is why hybrid meeting rooms are equipped with high-quality audio and visual software. An omnidirectional multi-mic array is often preferred for hybrid meeting rooms.

Sufficient Space

Small meeting rooms work well for daily check-ins or stand-ups but are inadequate for hybrid meetings. Even with a small in-office attendance, the room must have adequate space to accommodate a large screen to view remote employees, and have the necessary AV systems for seamless communication.

What Is the Importance of a Hybrid Meeting Room?

According to Travel Park’s survey, more than 40% of respondents’ companies have moved to a hybrid model after the pandemic. The hybrid workplace model was initially seen as a stop-gap and a return to pre-pandemic norms was envisioned, but it soon became clear that employees preferred the hybrid work model. In fact, Accenture finds that 83% of employees prefer a hybrid work model.

As a result, companies have to invest in technology and infrastructure that can sustain this favoured mode of working. A step towards this is offering a hybrid meeting room that allows all employees, regardless of their location, to connect, communicate, and collaborate comfortably. The cost of not having a hybrid meeting room is a lack of proper communication between employees, employees feeling excluded, and, ultimately, poor productivity.

Why Do You Need a Hybrid Meeting Room?

Here are some benefits of a hybrid meeting room:

  1. Enhanced Collaboration: Facilitates seamless communication between in-office and remote employees.
  2. Flexibility: Allows participants to join meetings from any location.
  3. Increased Participation: Makes it easier for remote employees to be actively involved.
  4. Improved Productivity: Minimises travel time and enables quick decision-making.
  5. Cost Savings: Reduces the need for large meeting spaces and travel expenses.
  6. Better Work-Life Balance: Supports flexible working arrangements for employees.
  7. Advanced Technology: Utilises the latest AV systems and software for a smoother experience.

What Are the Challenges of a Hybrid Meeting Room?

Here are some challenges that you may face with hybrid meeting rooms:

  • Promoting Inclusivity 

Remote participants are often treated as observers or one-time speakers rather than active contributors. The only way to overcome this is to take measures to make them feel heard and seen. In addition to a high-quality AV system, an ideal hybrid meeting room invests in a reliable network to support technology, such as large screens that enable all remote participants to be seen.

  • Ensuring the Same Level of Convenience of Collaboration Across the Board

Lastly, hybrid meeting rooms must facilitate the same level of convenience of collaboration for all employees, whether participating remotely or in person. For instance, in-office employees must not rely on a notepad or whiteboard to share ideas. Instead, a virtual whiteboard must be employed to offer a standard experience to all.

Some Tips to Enhance the Hybrid Meeting Room Experience

Here are seven tips to help you enhance your hybrid meeting room experience:

  1.  Integrate High-Quality Audio and Visual Systems

The efficiency of a hybrid meeting room depends on its audio and visual system. To ensure a smooth and productive meeting, invest in high-quality software.

  1.  Ensure a Robust Network

A hybrid meeting room requires substantial infrastructure and, as a result, an efficient and robust network that can support it. Be sure to integrate a network that can ensure cybersecurity, protect privacy and host the software you require in your hybrid meeting room.

  1.  Facilitate Wireless Connectivity

Integrate wireless systems in your hybrid meeting room. By allowing participants to share ideas and content across devices, you eliminate the need for jumbled wires, facilitating a productive and smooth experience.

  1.  Adopt USB-C

A USB-C is a cable that allows users to present content on different displays, connect USB devices, transmit audio, connect to a specific network and even charge their devices. It eliminates the need to have separate wires for each function. However, since the technology behind it is still evolving, consider keeping HDMI + USB-A and other wireless connectivity options available as well.

  1.  Adopt an ‘Open by Design’ Approach

This approach involves integrating specific components from different manufacturers to promote scalability and flexibility. You will have to install the appropriate collaboration technology to bridge the gap between software and hardware solutions while also minimising disruptions that can result from technological mismatches.

  1.  Specify a Meeting Methodology

Hybrid meeting rooms must choose between a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach and a platform-based approach. In the case of BYOD, meeting organisers bring their own devices and connect them to the meeting room’s technology. In the case of a platform-based approach, the meeting room has a dedicated conferencing system, such as Zoom Room or Microsoft Teams Room (MTR), that organisers can use to run the meetings.

  1.  Integrate Advanced Tools

Consider integrating AI-based transcription, interactive whiteboards, physical whiteboards supported with smart collaboration cameras, and meeting summarisation software. This will help participants drive productivity and optimise communication.

Find Well-designed Hybrid Meeting Rooms in London at GO (Garden Office) Bermondsey

Discover GO (Garden Office) Bermondsey’s bespoke hybrid meeting rooms, designed to meet your specific needs. Our spacious meeting rooms are equipped with top-notch audio-visual gear, making meetings seamless and productive. Our hybrid meeting rooms are perfect for presentations, client meetings, workshops, or team-building activities. They have everything you need to succeed. Plus, you can book these state-of-the-art rooms by the hour or for the day, depending on your needs. Elevate your meetings with GO (Garden Office) Bermondsey.

To know more about our office spaces and amenities, book a visit today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Equipment Is Needed for A Hybrid Meeting Room?

How Can Hybrid Meeting Rooms Enhance Collaboration?

What Are the Best Practices for Managing Hybrid Meetings in A Hybrid Meeting Room?

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