Since COVID gave people a taste of remote work, roughly 74% of working professionals don’t want to return to the office. Across various industries, people want to continue working from home.
To be honest, I don’t blame them. Working from home clearly comes with a lot of perks. And it isn’t entirely a bad idea, if you ask me, as long as productivity and efficiency aren’t compromised.
The only point of worry is how will organizations ensure teamwork and collaboration between the group of workers working from home and those coming to the office?
As it is, traditional methods of communication and collaboration may no longer be applicable in this sort of arrangement. So, how do you ensure all your workers are on the same page in a hybrid work environment? Let’s find out below.
6 tips to enable collaboration and communication in a hybrid work environment
1. Ensure there’s an everyday breakdown of events/activities/tasks.
Considering some employees will be working in-house while others will be working from home, you need a detailed description of daily events to ensure everybody is on the same page.
You mustn’t assume that workers are supposed to know what they have to do on each work day. Instead, you should have a detailed breakdown of the day’s activities and how each worker comes in.
To clarify things, you can use a flowchart maker to create detailed swimlane diagrams. A swimlane diagram is a type of diagram that visually showcases tasks and the people/department responsible for them. With it, your hybrid team will be clear on who’s handling what, who’s collaborating with who, who’s answering to who, and so on. Finally, these types of diagrams are easily shareable. This means you can get everyone on board by creating a swimlane and sending it to everyone’s emails.
2. Connect a remote worker with an in-house worker.
The work-from-home group in a hybrid work environment is usually at risk of missing out on important information and updates.
When things happen in the office, it may take a while before the message is relayed to the group working from home.
To tackle this challenge, team managers should ensure every work-from-home worker is paired with an in-office worker. That way, everyone has someone to keep them updated on the happenings at the workplace.
3. Invest in the right tools.
Technology is everyone’s best friend in a hybrid work environment. In order to make everyone feel connected and on the same page, you must equip workers with the right gear and tools. This helps prevent time wastage, mistakes, and deadline misses.
Furthermore, the right tech tools can also help prevent workers from feeling disconnected from one another or the tasks at hand.
For example, if you run an SEO agency, investing in a tool like Trello can help keep your at-home and in-office workers together. With it, someone working from home can see what tasks others in the office have completed. And vice versa.
4. Enforce core working hours and make sure everyone sticks to it.
One of the biggest challenges faced in a hybrid work environment is the issue of scheduling. As it is, people won’t be on the same schedule, and that might cause some problems.
For example, a person working from home may decide to take a nap when someone working in the office might need their attention.
It is important to set up core working hours to prevent such situations. That way, all employees – regardless of where they’re working from – will know when to be actively available and when to take a break.
5. Encourage cross-group communications.
In traditional work settings, workers regularly communicate with one another. Often, workers would leave their desks to share a gist with another worker at his desk.
As much as such habits may be frowned upon professionally, it is one of those things that keep a workplace going.
In the hybrid work model, it is important to keep such communications alive. It shouldn’t be work, work, work all the time. Team members should be encouraged to communicate and gist with one another, whether that’s via Slack, Facetime, text messaging, or email.
When this is allowed, workers will happily work together as a team rather than as a separate group of professionals.
6. Schedule regular meetings.
Another way to ensure your in-house and remote team are in constant communication is by scheduling regular meetings.
Meetings will bring everyone together to share ideas and thoughts. And with that, relationships will be developed, and bonds will be built.