The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Donahue Institute

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Helping a client go hybrid

Falling COVID numbers are driving most organizations to resume hybrid work arrangements where employees work a combination of days from home and in the office. An immediate impact of this new reality is the need for all of us to run hybrid meetings. A hybrid meeting (or learning session) is when some of the participants are meeting in person while some participants join the meeting virtually via technology like Zoom.

In one example, our Organizational Development and Learning Services staff offered hybrid workgroup meetings for the About the Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Network with virtual attendees joining the session via Zoom and in-person attendees meeting in the Shrewsbury, MA office conference center.  These quarterly meetings for the Survivorship Workgroup were held most recently in February 2020, due to COVID.

Setup: The meeting host creates a Zoom meeting to share with virtual participants and hosts that meeting from their laptop. Using the control tablet in the room and meeting ID, or with the help of on-site tech support, the room’s LCD screen also joins the Zoom meeting as a pseudo-participant.

Technology: The room is equipped with an LCD screen, wireless connectivity, and Zoom conferencing capability. Ceiling-mounted microphones and speakers allow remote participants to seamlessly interact with in-person participants with cameras mounted at the front of the room showing the meeting space. Preset controls allow you to easily toggle through a few suggested views. 

Preparation: Printed handouts were prepared for people in the meeting room, and handouts were available for download in the chat pod for virtual guests. The facilitator was seated in the front of the room closest to the camera.

The geographic location of the Shrewsbury office is centrally located within the state, an ideal spot to host meetings that expect participants from all corners of the Commonwealth. On-site catering is currently closed but a number of nearby restaurants deliver.  There is ample visitor parking on-site, subject to COVID health and safety protocols.

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The UMass Donahue Institute is pre-approved to offer a variety of options for streamlined, simplified contracting both within Massachusetts and at the federal level.

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UMass Donahue Institute

University of Massachusetts Amherst

100 Venture Way, Suite 9

Hadley, Massachusetts 01035

(413) 545-0001

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