As we explored in a recent global survey we commissioned from Economist Impact, employees around the world are looking for new ways of working and connecting with each other and their organizations as remote and hybrid work models continue to evolve. Creating a blueprint for more inclusive and collaborative meetings can help teams feel more connected—wherever and however they work together.
If you work with people in other time zones, then you know scheduling can be a logistical headache. At Google, we follow a few guidelines to optimize participation.
Only invite those who can contribute: If you aren’t sure, invite less meeting-essential teammates as “optional.”
Choose dates and times that work for more people: For teams in distant time zones, add other timezones to your calendar to schedule global meetings well in advance and discuss alternating host time zones for regular calls.
Add an agenda to the Calendar invite: Let people know at least 24 hours in advance what a meeting will be about — for example: “This meeting will be successful if we leave with four great ideas from the brainstorming session” — so participants can prepare. And don’t forget you can schedule send the agenda to arrive right before the meeting or at the correct time for different timezone attendees.
Encourage RSVPing with location: Have attendees share whether they will attend “in a meeting room” or if they are “joining virtually” so everyone, including the organizer, knows what to expect.
Rotate facilitator and note-taker roles: Having team members alternate roles lessens the burden on one person and gives everyone a chance to participate more fully.
Prep with Spaces
Spaces is Google Workspace’s central place for team collaboration. It works closely with tools like Gmail, Calendar, Chat, Drive and Meet so coworkers can digitally work on projects, share ideas and even connect on a personal level better. Participants can prepare for meetings by reviewing documents and presentations side-by-side and collaborate with questions and suggestions, with everything saved in Spaces for future reference.