Remote workers benefit if ‘hybrid’ meetings are not used too often, an expert has claimed.
Wayne Turmel, a columnist on management-issues.com, admitted that this type of meeting – when some people attend in person and others are present via a phone link – is sometimes unavoidable, but stressed that they can cause damage to an organisation.
He explained, citing advice from blogger Dave Rolston, that people working from home can feel like ‘stepchildren’ who may feel hard done by at times. As a result, the best thing to do is establish some basic ground rules on how to ensure an inclusive atmosphere; for example, by aiming for timezone equality if people from different countries are meeting.
Mr Turmel added: “At least once in a while, it’s important that everyone be connected virtually. First, it will increase participation in the virtual component of the meeting, secondly it will just make the ‘stepchildren’ feel less divorced from the rest of the team.”
For Mr Rolston, writing on his workingnowhere.com blog, the important thing to remember is that everyone in the group forms part of one team. If management can keep this in mind and be pro-active about binding a virtual team together, then the damaging effects of the so-called stepchild syndrome can be avoided.
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