Right now, many of us are dipping our toes back in the office pond. Some of your team may be really keen to return to city centre lunches, post-work drinks and having that clear divide between work and home. Others, however, may be less keen to attempt the commute and are quite happy to remain at home.
This next period will see a real learning curve for managers up and down the country because you may well find yourself juggling the needs and wants of a ‘hybrid’ team. It can be hard to maintain that upbeat company culture when you are perhaps only seeing someone over a Zoom call. The important thing is to – wherever possible – attempt to keep the team engaged and motivated, however they choose to work.
So, how can you achieve that? Here are my top tips for engaging hybrid teams.
Ensure everyone feels included
You’d be amazed how quickly people can feel excluded from office chit chat or lunches. Try to ensure that you don’t favour a particular team member just because they happen to be sitting opposite you. Try to retain the same level of professionalism that you did when everyone was either in the office or at home. Proximity bias is a real thing!
Present plenty of opportunities for collaboration and communication
On a basic level, is everyone comfortable communicating on a specific platform? Would it be easier to switch to another? However you choose to work together, it’s important that everyone feels comfortable using the tech. From there, try to ensure that – where it is possible and practical – your team have plenty of opportunities to collaborate on projects together.
Promote a healthy work / life balance
Back in the office, it can be all too easy to slip back into bad habits of skipping lunch or staying late. Try to encourage your team to take breaks and commute home at a sensible time. Equally, for those working at home, there may be even less of a work/life divide. Minimising things such as out of hours emails or calls could be a big help in restoring that balance.
Attempt social gatherings
Would your remote workers feel safe gathering for a team meal? If so, it would be a real morale boost to organise one. If not, Zoom quizzes and happy hours are still very much a thing. No matter what the activity is, the important thing is to get your team together and socialising – i.e. not just talking about work.
Reward and recognise hard work
Rewarding well executed work is a huge boost for employee engagement. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a financial reward (although, those are always nice!) – an email around the team calling out someone’s efforts is a really nice touch. We’ve all had a tough year or so and any chance to highlight how much you appreciate a team member should be maximised.
If you need help attracting great talent in the Office Services, Call & Contact Centre or Marketing space, or are looking to make a career move, don’t hesitate to drop me an email
to set up a chat.