The world of business has experienced a tectonic shift during the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees who started working remotely 2 years ago now state that they want to work this way until their retirement.
On the other hand, many companies around the globe prepare their teams for returning to the office.
While both sides have justifiable reasons for supporting fully remote or fully office-based work, both of these models have flaws.
Remote workers may often feel isolated from the other team members, missing out on the crucial social interaction with their co-workers. On the other hand full-time office work with fixed work hours might not be something that most employees would return to gladly, especially after experiencing the unprecedented flexibility that remote work offers.
It’s not surprising that a hybrid work arrangement that combines remote days with days spent in the office represents a favorable solution for both business owners and employees.
But, creating a tight-knit hybrid team that will remain highly productive can be a demanding task.
This is why we’ll offer you several tips to help you achieve this goal and create future-ready hybrid teams.
Build Trust Between Your Team Members
It takes time for employees to build trustworthy relationships even when they share the same office for 8 hours each day. So how can you expect your hybrid team to instantly create meaningful interpersonal relationships with coworkers they may have never seen before?
You may only need to change the angle of looking at this issue. Your employees will need to trust their colleagues “blindly” from day one. Their trust may be shaken from time to time, but in the long run, they will create strong interpersonal relationships because trust inspires trust.
There are two types of trust that employees can have between them. Cognitive swift trust stems from employees’ willingness to rely on their colleagues based on their proficiency and competence, without having to get to know them better.
For example, your remote marketing team member won’t hesitate to ask their colleague from IT support to help them with the tool they need to use daily even if they have never met before.
Emotional trust is based on the assumption that your colleagues and managers genuinely care for you and one another. When your hybrid employees reach this level of trust, you can be sure that you have a tight-knit remote team, ready to strive and achieve mutual goals.
You can help your remote and office-based employees create meaningful relationships by organizing various virtual or in-person social events like happy hours, lunches, or coffee breaks. You can also organize different fun activities where they can get to know each other and connected on a personal level in a non-work-related situation.
Eliminate Tech Fatigue
If you want to streamline business processes while running hybrid teams, you need to rely on digital communication and video conferencing platforms. However, packed meeting schedules and hours spent in front of a screen communicating with others may result in tech fatigue that affects employee productivity and their ability to focus on demanding tasks. Therefore, you need to avoid unnecessary meetings and limit the necessary ones.
You can also embrace asynchronous communication that will prevent your employees from jumping to check their email or Slack every time they hear the notification sound.
You can promote asynchronous communication in your Communication policy, determining the communication channels that require immediate response and setting them apart from those that don’t. By knowing that they don’t need to answer every email immediately, your employees will be able to spend more time on focused uninterrupted work.
Limit Digital Distractions
When it comes to digital distractions that lurk from everywhere threatening to disrupt your employees’ workflow and productivity, you can’t eliminate them. But you can learn more about them, minimizing their impact on employees’ performance. Software for employee monitoring can be of great help in identifying digital distractions, like apps and websites that your employees use daily. By tracking the time spent on these “unproductive” apps and websites, you can see how digital distractions affect productivity.
Once you analyze this data you can share it with your employees in one-on-one conversations, trying to find an effective solution to this issue. You can choose to ban access to specific apps and websites, but this measure can be intrusive and counterproductive. Try to reach the compromising solution instead, defining the time your employees can use to check on their Instagram pages or favorite news website.