The transition from a traditional work setting to a hybrid workplace has been challenging for many organizations and employees. Specifically, with employees split between working from home and in the office, communication has become a complex process that needs to be handled with care.
To ensure successful communication even when your team is spread out, here are tried-and-true methods you can implement. Follow them to ensure a smoothly functioning team, regardless of where each individual is located.
One of the most important strategies for communicating in a hybrid workplace is to understand that your team won't always be available at the same time and be okay with that. However, no one should feel left out of important conversations.
To ensure that everyone is on the same page, prioritize asynchronous communication (such as email) over synchronous communication (like real-time meetings) whenever possible. This allows all team members to be aware of the discussion and voice their opinions even if they're not physically present at the moment.
Of course, synchronous communication is still useful — it's great for brainstorming, feedback, and catching up with each other. But asynchronous communication is key for ensuring that everyone's ideas are heard and acknowledged.
When communicating digitally, it's hard to tell what someone's tone is and how they're feeling. This can be especially tricky when the team isn't together in one place. To prevent misinterpretations, make sure you take care of your written communication as much as possible.
Make sure to use positive language — instead of saying something is wrong, try reframing it to say what you want. For example, rather than saying, “This report isn't complete," you could say, “Let's make sure this report is finished by Friday."
Also, remember that remote team members don't benefit from non-verbal cues like facial expressions and body language, so be mindful of how your words can be interpreted. Take time to read over what you write before sending it off, and remember that it's always better to err on the side of being too friendly than too critical.
With hybrid work, it can be easy to forget that hybrid doesn't mean everyone is only working remotely. To ensure that everyone in the office and at home feels part of one team, allow those working from home to know who's in the office at any given time. With solutions like Tribeloo, your team can easily see who's in the office, when they're there, and where they're sitting.
This way, team members can coordinate meetups and book a hot desk alongside their colleagues who are in the office that day. Allowing both remote and in-office employees to connect face-to-face encourages collaboration, builds trust, and helps create a feeling of unity among the team – improving the workplace experience.
Just because you're no longer in the same office doesn't mean you can't have quick catch-ups over coffee. Scheduling regular virtual coffee breaks is a great way to keep your team connected. This could be a group chat, video call, or even just an audio call where everyone takes turns talking about what they've been up to.
It's also a great opportunity to have one-on-ones with remote team members, allowing them to ask questions or voice their concerns. Not only is it a chance for camaraderie between everyone in the hybrid workplace, but it can also help boost morale and productivity levels.
No single communication method will provide the right solutions for every situation. As a hybrid workplace, it's important that you use a variety of methods to communicate with your team.
For instance, Slack is great for quick messages and acting as a virtual water cooler for conversations. But if something more in-depth needs to be discussed, you should opt for video calls. Similarly, email may be better suited for sharing files and larger documents, while instant messaging might be preferable for smaller requests.
Take the time to think about which communication method will work best for each situation, and be sure to use a mix of methods across your team. A wrong communication method can lead to misunderstandings and even frustration, so it's important to make sure you've got the right mix.
Just because you're in a hybrid workplace doesn't mean you can't still celebrate team milestones together. Celebrations like these will help to bridge the gap between office and remote workers and make everyone feel part of one team.
These celebrations don't have to be elaborate — they could be something as simple as a virtual happy hour or a group video call where everyone gets to share stories and laugh together.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure to make it something that can involve both office and remote team members. That way, everyone can feel included and part of the same shared successes.
Hybrid work can be a great way to combine the best of both worlds; it's important, however, to make sure that your team has the tools and techniques they need to communicate effectively. Whether it's setting up office meetups through technology like Tribeloo or scheduling virtual coffee breaks, there are many ways that you can bridge the gap between in-office and remote workers.
The key to successful hybrid work is to communicate with mindfulness; make sure that everyone has equal access to information, that communication methods are appropriate for the situation, and that everyone has the chance to feel included in team successes. With these tips, you can help ensure that your hybrid workplace runs smoothly and keep your team connected no matter where they're working from.
Happy hybrid working!