Handling Communications with Your Hybrid Team

Here are some top tips to make sure your team members are on a level playing field - no matter where they're working.

During the past year - with the sudden rise of remote work and the dismantling of a 9 to 5 routine - the challenge of team communication is front and center. As a business or organization leader, what happens when some of your team is working in the office, while others work remotely?

Before the global pandemic's impact on the marketplace, it wasn't uncommon for teams to operate across time zones and implement flexible scheduling. Many companies had already begun to move away from the quintessential office space format featuring obedient employees working at desks with a supervisor monitoring the noise. Instead, the rise in mobile technology, business travel, and WiFi had opened the gates to the "work from anywhere" lifestyle.

Those companies that had not yet adopted flexible workplace routines were suddenly forced into the WFH world when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most businesses and forced employees home. With that sudden shift came the realization that most companies were not prepared to handle a new way of communicating when they couldn’t rely on seeing each other face-to-face.

So in a world that increasingly sees employees operating remotely, or even those who may have a flex or hotdesk strategy, how can business leaders increase team engagement and make sure everyone is on the same page? Here are some top tips to make sure your team members are on a level playing field - no matter where they're working.

Make Important Information Findable

With a move to remote digital workplaces comes the need to adapt your office communication methods to match. When you may have gotten away with a message board or watercooler flyer, those who work remotely may miss important messages if they aren't in the office. Make sure you have a single place where everyone can access updates and news as it comes.

Extend Perks To In-Office & Remote Teams

Hosting an event or meeting in the office that comes with a free lunch or swag items? Take the extra step to make sure remote workers feel the same love. Any perks that you offer to your team that works in-person should extend to your remote teams too. Even if it takes a bit more planning and preparation, your business will benefit from the increased team unity and morale when you go above and beyond to involve everyone.

Include Remote Workers In Meetings

Just because they aren't in the building doesn't mean they shouldn't be involved! Make sure you increase the sense of unity and clarity on your teams by inviting remote team members to join in-office meetings - whether in-person or virtually. Use the right tech to give them a chance to get their voice heard too. It's frustrating and alienating to try to be heard on a speakerphone when everyone else is in person. Ensure that in-person and remote attendees have a chance to contribute their ideas and opinions to the group and add a sense of ownership to meetings and projects.

Mix Up Pre-Recorded & Live

Just because you aren't all together doesn't mean every meeting needs to be a face-to-face video conference. Take advantage of pre-recording your all-hands meetings to pass along important information and updates that employees can access and watch on their own time. Where you can, try to prevent forcing everyone to conference in - the more video conferencing you do, the more likely you may face audio issues and dropped calls along with dreaded "Zoom fatigue." Pre-recorded messages can help everyone get important messages.

Set Up Shared Dashboards & Goal Trackers

There are dozens of online project management tools that you can use to help you manage projects and track company goals. With a centralized dashboard where everyone can see data in real-time, you can ensure that everyone on your team is in sync with the latest updates, changes, and notifications as they come in.

Never Skip the 1:1

Finally, no matter where you or your team is located, never skip the one-on-one meetings. Nothing on this list can quite match up to the confidence you can build in your team members when you invest intentional time conversing with them face to face or screen to screen.

Make sure to schedule your 1:1 meetings ahead of time, and prepare beforehand with the list of items you wish to cover. Don't be afraid to ask your team members how their current setup is working for them. They may give you insight into different ways your communication or management style could help them achieve more.

Supercharge Your Team Communications With Breve

Are you looking for an integrated solution that will help you increase your organization's unity and synergy? The team at Breve has built innovative remote team solutions that will help everyone on your team move forward together with clarity and clear communication. Better informed teams make better decisions. Help your team make better decisions and hold more effective team meetings with Breve. Schedule your free demo or get started with your first update today.