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Many teams are transitioning back into in-person collaboration.

Whether it’s two days per week or two days per month, there are best practices and considerations in their transition to hybrid.

Here are four actionable steps to ensure hybrid team success in this new era of the workplace.

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Ensure Hybrid Team Success

Article written by Shauna Moran of Operate Remote

Let’s face it, the majority of us will always have an element of remote working in our working week. This means we have to consider how we support our teams regardless of which location they are working from. We have to level the playing field and create a culture that enables everyone to collaborate and be at their most productive, whether they are working from the office or at home. We must optimize our hybrid employee experience and provide our teams with the tools to navigate this new way of working.

We must optimize our hybrid employee experience and provide our teams with the tools to navigate this new way of working.

 

1. Understand Not Everyone Is Going To Feel The Same About The Office

Some of your team might be excited about collaborating in person again, some might be anxious and concerned and some might feel overwhelmed. Not everyone sees this in the same way and that’s okay. We need to hold space for different perceptions, views and experiences.

We need to hold space for different perceptions, views and experiences.

For some people, getting into the office once a week might add on a huge mental load. For others, it can be a source of inspiration. It’s so important that leaders are able to coach team members around whatever feelings are coming up for them in relation to the return to the office. Leaders that can support their team members in navigating change effectively help to ensure this transition is seamless and supportive.

 

2. Support Your Team In Using Two Locations As A Productivity Hack

The goal of a hybrid team should be to create environments where people can understand their priorities and workloads and have insight into how both of these options can support them in being at their most productive. For example, do your employees understand the tasks better suited to working at home versus the tasks that are more effective to collaborate on when working together in person? We’re not leaning into optimal productivity if we try to do more ‘focus’ work like deep strategic planning when we’re in the office with constant interruptions. To support your team, you can educate your team on the different types of work – shallow work, deep work, teamwork, and individual work. This offers your team a chance to build the self-awareness and proactive mindset needed to manage increasing and ever-changing workloads in this new environment.

Do your employees understand the tasks better suited to working at home versus the tasks that are more effective to collaborate on when working together in person?

 

3. Consider Your Team’s Processes

Office collaboration should be the cherry on top, not the foundation on which our team is reliant.

You want your team to be effective at home and effective in the office. What any organization doesn’t want is for their employees to ‘have to’ come into the office in order to get a decision made or to move a project forward. Office collaboration should be the cherry on top, not the foundation on which our team is reliant. This in-person collaboration should be used to strengthen relationships, leading to higher engagement and effectiveness when working in a distributed way as a team. Ensuring that your team’s processes around managing workloads, communicating through chat channels and emails, and how and when high-quality meetings are run will ensure everyone remains engaged and highly productive.

 

4. Reduce Proximity Bias

Proximity bias refers to our tendency to give preferential treatment to those in our immediate vicinity. Like many biases, proximity bias usually happens unconsciously. But if leaders aren’t aware of how it’s occurring, it can be quite harmful to employees and your organization.

Proximity bias can be damaging because it ignores skill or expertise in favour of location. If leaders give extra tasks or preferential treatment to someone just because they can see them, they’re letting their biases inform their decisions, not knowledge or data. To reduce this, organizations should revisit how hybrid meetings are run, what technologies are used and what best practices are embedded within your culture to ensure that the working environment is inclusive and fair.

Proximity bias can be damaging because it ignores skill or expertise in favour of location.

 

Connected Through Food

After an overwhelming demand for an experiential and connective experience that unites people through the universal power of food, Vancouver Foodie Tours worked alongside local artisans and restaurant owners to craft a memorable way for teams to connect through a passion for food. Founded upon a passion for flavors, people, storytelling, and a love of sharing our multicultural and diverse city of Vancouver, our team facilitates memorable experiences for your team, so you can sit back and enjoy every sip and bite.

We deliver fun, delicious food experiences that build rewarding company connections through our Granville Island Market Tour and Authentic Asian Eats Tour. Dining together radically bridges differences in teams, resulting in the ability to perceive others as equals, regardless of background or role, creating a more cohesive community (6). Imagine what a Foodie Tour could do for your team! Our tours start at CAD $89.99. If you are interested in our team building events, please contact us.

 

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About the Author

Shauna is a remote and hybrid team workplace expert, international public speaker, and author. Her award-winning executive coaching agency, Operate Remote empowers leaders and their remote teams to create and build more emotionally healthy, engaged and sustainable organizations- so they can scale and grow with confidence, regardless of locations. She created this guide to not only help you and your organization beat burnout, but to give us all the tools you need to mitigate the increase of burnout in our worlds. We hope this guide gives you the tools and guidance to be able to feel emotionally healthy and sustained in your work.

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