Hybrid Meetings Are a Work in Process

Greg Thomas
3 min readJul 31


Two years ago, I could go to a meeting on-site with just a notebook and I could make it productive (even if the meeting as a whole wasn’t). That’s not to say all my meetings were value-driven, but for the most part, I’d say 80% were.

Then we went to remote all the time meetings and getting this rolling with the team was painful, to say the least. There were a few missteps, but learning what did and didn’t work and getting everyone to an acceptable cadence let us get back up to that 80% value-driven goal.

Being Aside.

When I like to approach all my meetings with the question — “What value am I giving or receiving from this meeting?” — starting there helps me determine if I will be a help or hindrance to this meeting and whether I should politely decline or become more active within it. I aim for 80% because there are some meetings that are completely out of my control but I get the request to “be there just in case”. My personal hope is that if I’m hitting that 80%, then perhaps the things we are doing as a team in those meetings start to spread to the other 20%.

End Aside.

And now, here we are, with Hybrid meetings and those ones are definitely throwing us for a loop as we all struggle to get on the same page as to what is being discussed not only that, ensure that we have the same experience.

Some challenges we have run into the last few months;

  • Using whiteboards in the room but sharing with those online (without cameras being hoisted up in the back corner).
  • Connecting hardware to random rooms hoping it just works. (because you never know who will accidentally unplug a cable)
  • Local audio devices connecting to meetings. (we have too many options)
  • Background noise depends on who is in the office. (there aren’t enough meeting rooms for all of us).

This is where the Hybrid experience breaks down as we try to merge these different modalities and bring everyone into the conversation and ensure we’re all being heard and getting the most out of the interaction. Personally, I get distracted when I’m online, looking at a meeting room of people from the viewpoint of a camera that is far away from everyone or high up…



Greg Thomas

Software Architect, Developer, Author and Leader helping organizations build scalable software delivery teams and implement cloud-based solutions