In today’s fast-paced business world, many companies are capitalizing on the benefits of hybrid teams. With remote workers, in-person workers, and contractors all working together, these teams can offer a wealth of talent and diverse perspectives.
However, bringing these different groups together can also present unique challenges. Communication, goal setting, and team culture are just a few of the areas that require careful attention in order to maximize productivity and collaboration.
Here are four actionable tips for improving productivity in hybrid teams so that businesses can thrive in this new era of work.
Embrace Remote-centric Tools
Putting the right tools in place is foundational for creating an effective hybrid work team. Cloud-based tools ensure all team members, regardless of their location, have access to what they need. Additionally, these tools operate in real-time; the days of Word Docs attached to back-and-forth emails with version titles are over.
Some essential remote-centric tools include: project management tools, instant communication tools, password security platforms, remote employee trackers, and time trackers. Set aside time to audit and revisit your choices annually to determine whether they’re still the best option for your business.
Establish Clear Goals and Expectations
For a hybrid team to be effective, everyone should be working toward a shared purpose. Take the time to establish company-wide and individual employee goals to create buy-in for the team. Ensure that everyone understands how their daily tasks contribute to overarching company goals and how accomplishing those goals benefits them.
Putting clear expectations and policies in place also helps employees and contractors understand their roles and responsibilities. Consider posting a team handbook in a centralized location (like your project management program) so everyone is welcome to revisit these goals and policies at their leisure.
Fostering a culture of transparency goes a long way when working with hybrid teams. Vision plans and leadership should feel accessible to employees to improve their connection to their team and company to keep them engaged and productive.
Foster a Positive Team Culture
Create opportunities for team members in different locations to interact positively by fostering a positive team culture. Creating cohesion can be challenging in hybrid teams. However, there are some tools and strategies to help get people interacting and sharing gratitude and appreciation.
Create opportunities to share recognition with team members. Consider using an app like Matter to trigger “Feedback Fridays” in your company’s communication app. This feature provides everyone a chance to nominate and recognize team members for their efforts.
It’s also beneficial to create team-building opportunities to bring everyone together without the sole focus of work. This could be a virtual coffee hour, book club, or a monthly class or activity.
The more positively your team interacts with each other, the more comfortable and productive they’ll be when collaborating on shared efforts.
Encourage Flexibility and Autonomy
Give your hybrid team as much flexibility and autonomy as possible without impacting business activities.
For example, you may not be able to let everyone choose their hours due to normal business activities and time zone differences. However, you could provide a flexible range or the ability to take a few hours off during normal business hours to make up later.
Talk to your team about what they need and be open to experimentation. If something isn’t working, you can revisit and adjust as needed.
Implementing these four strategies can help you create a productive, collaborative hybrid team that takes your business to new levels of success.