April 24, 2023

Let’s talk about digital inclusivity

Here are five ways to utilize hybrid work tools to promote inclusivity in your work meetings.

In today’s world, whether your workplace is remote or not, companies rely more heavily on virtual meetings than ever before. While meeting virtually has many benefits, including the flexibility for distributed workforces and the ability to provide service to a global customer base, virtual meetings come with some distinct drawbacks. 

The challenges with virtual meetings: how to start unifying voices

Prominent voices have always dominated the meeting space, but virtual meetings exasperate those in attendance by creating single speaker environments. This can create a chaos of frustration as it does not give space to those who need additional time to process information. Furthermore, those who are introverts may feel more confident communicating in other ways.

As most of us know, meetings demand a lot of our time. Whether you’re in one geolocation or multiple, everyone is managing different schedules. On top of that, the demand for flexible work hours has never been higher and the urgency for  mandatory attendance is extremely high.

An obvious solution to these challenges is to facilitate asynchronous communication. Tools such as Slack and productivity management software can allow people to collaborate on their own schedules. However, asynchronous communication has yet to be perfected.

Written communication can miss important contextual cues including body language and emotion,  revealing how human connection still plays a massive part in our everyday interactions. Bigger decisions often require more in-depth conversations in a productive meeting environment rather than wasted time on back and forth messaging.

5 ways to promote meeting inclusivity

Now, how do we bring the best of both worlds together? We’re seeing more than ever the importance of being able to share informative moments from your meetings, giving everyone the opportunity to share their voice whether they were able to attend the meeting or not.  Here are the five ways to utilize hybrid work tools to promote inclusivity in your work meetings:

1. Hold smaller meetings

Large meetings with multiple topics are the enemy of effective collaboration. Here’s an example: In an hour-long meeting with 10 people, you’re only allowing each person six minutes of time to contribute to the conversation. By reducing your meeting’s attendance and the topics discussed, you’ll allow each participant more time to develop ideas and contribute to the conversation. 

2. Tag the people you need when you need them

Rather than asking everyone to attend a meeting, you can send the recording to those who only need to contribute to specific portions, allowing them to contribute asynchronously. The upside is to focus on the problems that need deeper discussion and attention in your meetings and let those who can participate asynchronously have their time back with using tools such as Notimo. 

3. Cater to every voice

Everyone learns and communicates in different ways, which means not everyone is at their best during meetings. While extroverts might work best in real time communication, introverts might rather digest information and respond later. You can cater to different voices by allowing participants to contribute through chat messages during the meeting. Providing people a way to contribute to discussions after the meeting allows people to digest information and respond effectively.

4. Give people in different time zones an equal chance to participate

Time zones can certainly affect being able to attend a meeting in real time. Asynchronous communication tools allow for anyone on your team to have the space to participate in important discussions at any given time. You can highlight portions of a meeting that need input, regardless of the time zone you’re in and people can review the recording at a later time to provide input when they are working. Normalizing the use of tools such as Notimo is going to positively change the ways in which we can learn and communicate as individuals and as a team in the workplace. 

Increase remote work collaboration 

With the increased shift to hybrid and fully remote jobs, it’s crucial we start maximizing the information being shared in meetings as it is the foundation for companies to solve problems, collaborate, and build on culture

Start using Notimo today to promote inclusivity and collaboration within your workplace, regardless of your attendance you can highlight important meeting moments for you and the entire team. 

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