Supporting collaboration and teamwork in a hybrid workplace

As the economy opens up, there is a lot of demand to maintain the flexibility and advantages of a remote workplace without sacrificing the opportunities and bonding that happens when teams are physically together. Rather than choosing one or the other, many companies are opting for hybrid workplaces, where employees flex between in-office and remote working.

The tricky thing with hybrid workplaces is that not everyone has equal facetime with managers and coworkers. Focusing on how your remote and in-office team members can collaborate together will help your hybrid office run more smoothly. Thought leaders used Prezi Video to share their takes on collaboration in a hybrid workplace and to surface new ways for you to support productivity and teamwork.

Promote trust 

Trust is a fundamental part of a collaborative hybrid workplace because it gives your team the comfort to take positive risks, like asking for and sharing feedback, addressing conflicts, and making better decisions. 

So how do you build trust in your team? Liane Davey, Ph.D. and author of The Good Fight, recommends focusing on four key elements of trust: 

  1. Predictability and a sense of connection with others.
  2. Confidence in one another. Each person knows and trusts that everyone else can accomplish their tasks. 
  3. Reliability. Your team knows the others will deliver and can depend on them coming through.
  4. Integrity, vulnerability, and transparency in your work.

Watch Liane’s video for more about the role of trust in a hybrid workplace:

Be aware of distance and recency biases

When you see the same group of people everyday in the office, it’s not uncommon to develop unconscious biases that favor those people in your immediate vicinity. This is a distance bias, and you can see it rear its ugly head when in-office team members are given more opportunities than their remote counterparts.

Similarly, you’ll want to watch out for recency bias, which occurs when we put more value on people and things that we’ve interacted with more recently. A good example of this is placing more significance on an employee’s performance which faltered in the last quarter instead of their consistent performance leading up to it. 

The best thing you can do is be aware of these biases so you can identify and cut them out when they’re starting to slip into your interactions with your team. Christa Hurchalla, Sr. Director of Client Services and Training at Virtual Work Insider, discusses unconscious biases and other secrets for successful collaboration in a hybrid workplace in her Prezi video:

The team at Virtual Work Insider also provides free resources for hybrid work that are helpful for any company new to the hybrid model.

Be real and authentic 

If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that it has pushed us to be more authentic with one another. By now, we’ve seen glimpses into our coworkers’ homes and met their dogs and roommates. That level of authenticity has become the norm and will continue to be expected, even after employees return to the office. 

Stay connected while you work remotely with Prezi Video

Carson Tate, Managing Partner at Working Simply, discusses authentic leadership and the future of work in her Prezi video. When you’re real with your team, you recognize the stress and limitations that your team might be dealing with, and you cultivate an environment of trust and vulnerability that ultimately drives more engagement.

Watch her video for a deeper understanding of authenticity and how it plays out in your day-to-day work life:

Be proactive at every phase of team building

Your hybrid team won’t become a well-oiled machine overnight. It takes time and effort to develop your team, and a good leader is proactive at each phase of team building. 

Jana Piske is a coach for remote and hybrid working teams and the founder of Fairlinked. She breaks down the hybrid team development process into 5 phases:

  1. Forming – The beginning of a project with a new team.
  2. Storming – Creating new processes and establishing what collaboration will look like.
  3. Norming – Putting into practice the ground rules you’ve established in the storming phase.
  4. Performing – At this point, you have a high-performing team that works efficiently and effectively.
  5. Adjourning – The end of a project, where you reflect on your work and say thank you for the hard work.

In her Prezi video, Jana outlines each phase of the team development process and also defines the leader’s role. Watch her video for more:

What’s the role of your office?

Nadia Harris, founder of RemoteWorkAdvocate.com, discusses several tips for effective hybrid workplace collaboration in her Prezi video. One of her tips is to define the role that your office plays and think strategically about how you’re using the space to hold meetings.

While it’s tempting to default to holding all meetings virtually because not everyone is in the office, Nadia advises against this. When you urge your team to be intentional about the meetings that they hold in the office versus the ones they hold virtually, they’ll have more effective meetings overall.

Watch Nadia’s full video here for more on collaboration and hybrid work:

The future of work is hybrid, and the way you react to the changes and new workplace trends will help your team collaborate and be more productive. Discover more tips and advice on hybrid work when you view our Video Gallery.

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