How to improve collaboration in the hybrid workplace

Hybrid teams are shaping the future of the workplace. At the beginning of this year, 84% of UK workers who were forced to work from home due to the previous pandemic stated that they planned to continue hybrid working in the future, with only 8% saying they plan to return to the office permanently. Similarly, 74% of US organizations are either already using or planning to implement a permanent hybrid working model.

However, despite so many organizations adopting the new way of working, the new distributed workforce raises one common concern across companies: collaboration. Collaboration can happen quite naturally in the office and many organizations spend years creating the perfect culture to inspire collaboration, but how can you ensure this continues when you’re hybrid?

Below are just a few of our tips for improving collaboration in the hybrid workplace…

Communicate your objectives

Collaboration happens when teams are working towards a common goal. A great place to start with this is ensuring that your organization has effective leadership. Good leaders will provide a shared vision for the team; regularly communicating business objectives and how each team contributes to the bigger picture to make sure that everyone feels like they are a part of the journey.

When operating with a hybrid workforce, it’s even more important to ensure this doesn’t get missed. Organize regular meetings across teams and the wider organization to discuss progress, goals and enable employees to share their thoughts.

Create an office space that inspires collaboration

Although the hybrid workplace is going to be the future, face-to-face meetings are still important and for certain projects, nothing beats collaboration in-person. Not always having your office at full capacity gives you the opportunity to reimagine the use of your space and design a workplace that inspires creativity and makes your team want to come into the office.

Create different areas for different types of projects. For example, breakout areas for colleagues to chat about ideas over a coffee, meeting rooms for planning bigger projects or quiet zones for when team members need to get their head down and concentrate.

Invest in tech

Find the communication tool that works for you

When it comes to collaboration, communication is key. Effective communication has always been important when collaborating with teams, but it’s even more important with hybrid teams when colleagues are not always regularly meeting up.

There’s so many communication tools out there, so whether it’s to share team updates or just for day-to-day conversations, find what works best for your employees. Some projects might require communication to be via email to keep a thread, particularly if working with an external partner. For quick questions throughout the day, a tool like Slack might be a better option.

Make use of video conferencing

We’re all familiar with video conferencing by now, be it Zoom , Google Meet or Microsoft Teams (to name a few). Video conferencing is another communication tool your organization could use, but when we say make use of it, we’re emphasizing the “video” part.

We’ve all been guilty of it when working from home - not putting the camera on because a haircut is needed, still in pajamas, or the kids are running around… But, for creative projects, utilizing video conferencing can be extremely helpful for effective collaboration and communication. Being able to see your colleagues when you’re talking to them allows you to read facial expressions and body language.

Get a desk/meeting room booking solution

Many organizations transitioning to a hybrid workplace, are now introducing hot desking/hoteling policies to make better use of their office space. To help manage this and make it easier to collaborate with colleagues, a desk or meeting room booking system is the perfect solution.

A room/desk booking app enables your team to see what spaces are free to use when coming into the physical workplace. Some solutions will also allow teams to see when their colleagues are going to be in or where they are sitting, enabling them to plan where to sit when they need to collaborate together.

Sign In App makes managing the hybrid workplace simple. Whether it’s providing your team with an app to sign in and out whether they’re in the office or working remotely, or providing an easy-to-use desk and meeting room booking solution. To learn more about our solutions, get in touch with the team. You can reach us via live chat, phone or email 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Contact us here.