Adjusting to Hybrid Work
Hybrid work is now real. The way teams work has completely changed over the past year. Offices were forced to shut down and working from home became the new normal. People had to reinvent their daily routines. We turned to technology and shifted to working digitally.
However, there might be a change coming as we slowly adjust with restrictions easing. This change is a hybrid work structure.
What exactly is a hybrid workplace?
This hybrid work environment includes a combination of working remotely and working in the office. Employees and teams have the freedom to choose whether they come into work or if they stay in their home office. The reality is remote work is here to stay and workplace flexibility is highly valued by employees.
In a study conducted by Zoom and Survey Monkey, 65% of participants said a hybrid work environment was their preferred work model. 61% of participants also wanted to partake in large group meetings remotely.
The way this type of environment operates depends on the structure the company chooses. Some teams might be on site permanently and then switch off every few weeks. All meetings could be in-person while all work is done remotely. Whichever structure is chosen doesn’t matter as long as leaders equip their teams with the correct resources and tools. Navigating this change might be hard for some.
Allowing employees to choose how they work gives them a better idea of how to structure their weeks, can increase productivity, and provide them with a better work-life balance.
Transitioning into a hybrid work structure
A hybrid work structure can be great when done strategically and effectively. We’ve put together a few tips to make the transition easier on leaders and teams.
Ask for feedback
Remember, not all employees are the same. Ask your team for feedback and ask for feedback on what they want to get out of this experience. It is important to be realistic on the types of changes that come with a hybrid work structure. Be sure to make yourself available to listen to any concerns or requests that might arise. One-to-one meetings would be beneficial during this transition as well, to get a feel for where your team stands.
Provide access to the right resources
We have the world at our fingertips thanks to smartphones and laptops. Embrace video conferencing tools and cloud based drives. This allows remote teams and in-person teams to have face to face conversations and stay connected. Make sure team members are provided with any information or resources needed in order to complete their job duties efficiently and effectively. This could include access to important meeting notes, files, calendars, and more. Whether they are in office or remote, each team member should be able to work to their full ability. For your team working in the office, items such as video conferencing and audio equipment might need to be upgraded.
Remember your culture
Don’t forget about your remote team members! There are no more chats at the coffee machine or conversations by the photocopier. Keep them in the loop with group chats, informal online meetings, and even virtual team building events. Record important meetings for team members to re-watch later in case they missed something. Your company’s values do not go out the window just because some of the team is working remotely. Make a list of your company’s values and which ones you would like to reinforce. Once that is decided, share with your team and ask for their feedback.
How do we build this hybrid work culture?
Piggy-backing off the last point, we understand it can be difficult for leaders to create a strong hybrid culture – especially with everything on their plates. Remember this is a big change adjusting from an in-person culture and it won’t happen overnight. There are a few things you can do to build that hybrid culture up!
Reworking what psychological safety means
We’ve talked about psychological safety in a past blog post but with some of the team working remotely, it takes on a new meaning. Team members are still dealing with many personal trials and adjusting their personal lives to this new normal. It is crucial for leaders to make the time to check in with their employees. Leaders must engage in those difficult conversations that touch on personal choice and values. Regardless of where your team is working make sure everyone feels included. Don’t underestimate the power of your people! When candid conversations are had with the team, they’ll discover new solutions to some of the existing tensions that are causing a damper on the team.
Realign team goals for the future
It is important for the team to have the same shared goal and end goal in mind, especially when some team members are not in the office. When the entire team has a shared goal it drives motivation! They will commit to their role and part in the long-term vision. Make the future happen and stick with the team goals. Host a meeting with both in-person and remote team members to discuss visions. This will allow all team members to feel included and heard.
Stay kind and patient
Tensions can run high when team members are not in the same room. But remember to stay kind and patient. A hybrid work structure is new for many people. This past year has been hard on everyone, don’t make it harder for a team member by losing your temper! Leaders, communicate these expectations with your team early on to establish the environment you want to create. Create a zero tolerance policy for negative behavior.
With trial and error, the hybrid culture you create can be great! Changing the way your company operates comes with a slew of challenges. Be prepared to make mistakes and be ready to experiment to make sure all team members are comfortable and happy. It is important to be adaptable.
Has your team transitioned into a hybrid work environment? What have you done to make it work? Would love to hear your comments below.
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