Communication Makes for a Successful Hybrid Work Environment
A hybrid work environment can be a great benefit to both you and your employees. It gives your team members who want to work from home more freedom and flexibility with their time, since they don’t always have to commute. If you don’t have all employees in the office all the time, you may be able to reduce overhead and the size of your office space.
Rethink your team communications
When combining in-office and remote workers on a team, the first thing to consider is how you will communicate to your entire team, when they’re rarely or never in the same place at the same time. Emails alone aren’t enough to keep your team feeling well-informed and connected to each other and the business.
There are various problems with relying too much on emails. They can get buried under other emails. The wording can be interpreted in various ways. Not everyone will read the email at the same time.
Meetings take on greater importance
Moving all-team meetings to a virtual platform allows remote and in-person workers to attend and allows you to keep everyone aligned around the same information more effectively. Use these meetings to deliver complicated or important messages and provide an opportunity for participants to comment or ask questions. In these conversations, it can be helpful for everyone to hear feedback – something that’s not possible with emails. Virtual meetings are also a good opportunity to reinforce email messages and to give advance notice about emails your team will receive in the future.
Reinforce your culture
Logistics aren’t the only drawback to relying more on emails to communicate to a hybrid team. When all your employees work in the office, even if you rarely held all-hands meetings, nearly everyone interacted at some point. When a workplace has both in-person and remote workers, there’s a risk of two camps forming. When team members feel left out or out of place, their productivity can suffer.
Virtual all-hands meetings can help to maintain a positive work culture, strengthen collaboration, and make new team members feel welcome. Think about incorporating some time for casual conversation or even a fun ice-breaker activity to allow your team to engage in the kind of chatting they used to do at work during breaks, or when they arrive or leave work.
Set clear expectations
There may be new practices and protocols in place to coordinate workers in the office with team members working remotely. Even something as basic as who takes what calls and transferring calls can get complicated in a hybrid situation. Use one-on-one meetings to clarify new goals and expectations.
Good workplace communications have always been important, but a hybrid work team requires different methods to maintain productivity, engagement, and alignment.
If you would like to learn more about how this might apply to your business, let’s talk: