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I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

If you ask the people on screen how they feel about this meeting you will almost to the man/woman hear that they feel separate from those in the room. It is extremely difficult to feel part of those in the physical room, who can (and do) interact with each other in ways that excludes those on screen.

This is one of the greatest challenges that hybrid workplaces face. How do you prevent an us vs them culture from developing essentially resulting in a two-tier workplace?

If for whatever reason you insist on not letting go of the physical office safety net, then one way to solve the meeting dilemma (clearly visible in this picture) is to adopt a simply rule:

If one person is on screen, everyone is on screen

This way everyone whether remote or co-located will have an equal seat at the table. This will require the co-located individuals to dial into the meeting like those who are remote have to.

This will eliminate the “us” (in the room) vs “them” (on the screen) dynamic and dramatically improve the meeting for those not on location.

Hybrid work models are the hardest to manage and this is just one small example why.