Collaboration is the key to building a hybrid workplace

The Secret to Building a Hybrid Workplace | Part II: Creating a Workplace Built on Collaboration

Emily GregorLast updated on January 2, 2024
4 min

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This article is a part of our series about building the ultimate hybrid workplace. Learn what a hybrid workplace is and how to hire hybrid employees.

Businesses that have successfully integrated hybrid workspaces in their business models experience three times the return of investment.

What makes a hybrid workplace successful? Collaboration.

According to McKinsey: “Healthy companies emphasize the free flow of information—knowledge sharing, performance transparency—as well as practices like role clarity and operational discipline.”

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How to Create a Hybrid Workplace Built On Collaboration

1. Trust Employees

Hybrid work means that you and other leaders will have less visibility on your employees. You can no longer observe them in the middle of their work or hold a random, casual conversation to check on them.

As a result, you have to put more trust in your employees that they’re getting the work done within the required deadline and standards. However, to build trust, you need to create a system that promotes safety and accountability. Here’s how:

  • Have regular check-ins so you can see how your employee is doing both personally and work-wise. This way, you start opening a line of communication that allows for collaboration.

  • Make it clear to employees what you expect them to accomplish by the end of a day or week.

  • Schedule team-building activities that in-office and remote workers can join.

  • Be available and responsive when an employee wants to contact you.

2. Optimize Scheduling

Employees will likely no longer work nine-to-five in a hybrid workplace.

Instead, their schedules will be more disparate and diverse. Make sure that you optimize your employee scheduling and employ a system that allows for better collaboration. For example, teams that have individualistic tasks can work at home. On the other hand, those who need to collaborate on a project report in person for better teamwork. You can also implement shifting schedules.

This way, you make sure that the team members working on the same project can efficiently and effectively work together. Additionally, you also level the playing field by letting everyone experience remote work and in-person work while improving the work culture.

3. Train Managers on Hybrid Workplace Management

Managing a hybrid workplace requires an entirely different skillset from remote and in-office work. Managers need to be flexible in implementing systems and processes that will support and strengthen both types of workers so that they can collaborate effectively. At the same time, they should be aware of the risks and limitations of a hybrid workplace. Here’s how:

  • Learn to recognize proximity bias by implementing systems that avoid this, such as KPIs that measure employee output rather than time.

  • Lead with empathy by practicing active listening and never make assumptions.

  • Understand the situation of each employee and help them find solutions for a more conducive work schedule and environment.

  • Ease employees into coming back to the office. This can look like allowing in-office part-time work and implementing social distancing measures and regular sanitation procedures.

4. Make Sure Leadership Is Onboard

A hybrid workplace requires you to rewrite the systems and procedures of your current business.

Thus, you can’t fully enact hybrid work without the knowledge and acceptance of team and business leaders. To do this, make sure that you:

  • Clarify your objectives

  • Align them with business goals and vision

  • Outline concrete steps you need to take to make it possible

It’s also effective to have realignment meetings every quarter so you can review what hybrid workplace strategies were effective and what needs improvement.

5. Ensure You Have the Right Tools for Both In-Person and Remote Employees

Remote workers face the extra challenge of gaining the right tools that allow them to work effectively at home. They face poor internet connection, technological limitations, and other such tools that are easily available in an in-office setting. As a result, they often feel left behind in terms of work and left out in terms of social events.

One way to solve this is to have team-building activities, so employees become more comfortable interacting with each other even when working remotely. Another is to provide tools such as a company laptop and allowance for internet connectivity, whether at home or at a nearby coworking space.

6. Incorporate Social Opportunities Into the Remote Experience

One of the shortcomings of remote work is that workers who aren’t in-office miss out on valuable social opportunities. One way to eliminate this problem is to employ tools that allow for private messaging between coworkers and group messaging across teams. This way, employees can interact with everyone without needing to connect work with their private and personal accounts.

Another is to leverage software that has breakout rooms so employees can still have private conversations during meetings. It also allows employees to have ice breaker sessions at the start of every meeting to establish better relationships and better future collaborations.

Leverage the Right Tools for a Fully Collaborative Hybrid Workspace

A hybrid workspace is the future of work, as it supersedes the shortcomings of both in-person and remote work arrangements.

However, a hybrid workspace doesn’t come without its weaknesses. To overcome these, encourage a culture of collaboration by empowering and supporting your employees with the right tools.

Aircall understands the challenges of collaborating and aligning teams with various work settings, which is why we don’t provide just any calling tool. We provide a calling tool that allows you to record and transcribe meetings in real-time so you gain full transparency even if you’re not attending the meeting. Plus, it has Business Hours Features that help employees maintain a work-life balance while having an optimized employee scheduling. Most of all, Aircall integrates with over 80 tools that help improve communication, streamlines team workflows, and more.

Want to unlock your company’s full potential when integrating a hybrid workplace into your business model? Schedule a call with us to find out how we can help.

Published on July 30, 2021.

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