How to Collaborate Remotely in a Hybrid Workforce

Many businesses are evaluating the value of returning to the office or having employees continue to work from home.

The conclusion often results in creating a hybrid workforce where employees have options to work remotely, go into the office, or some combination of both. While many employees and leaders enjoy the flexibility and freedom that come with a hybrid workforce, there are complications that arise when it comes time to collaborate and work together. Remote collaboration requires team members to openly communicate with each other and find new ways to build relationships while not being in the same place.

 

Why Remote Collaboration Matters in Today’s Working World

Online collaboration is becoming more and more commonplace in today’s workforce. While virtual meetings and work from home days were once optional choices for businesses to implement, they are now everyday occurrences that businesses need to adapt to. 

Because remote and hybrid workplace environments are regular parts of the modern business world, it’s important for leaders to learn skills that will bring teams together. While it’s easy to gather a team or share a message in an office, having remote team members means that changes need to be made to ensure that teamwork is being built effectively.

 

Common Pitfalls of Remote Work

While remote work environments provide employees with more freedom, help them get the most out of their home life, and cut out lengthy travel and commuting times, there are some common downsides that appear. These downsides are especially apparent when it comes time to collaborate remotely at work. Those downfalls include: 

    • No clear boundaries between work and home life
    • Out of sync communication and missed messages
    • Difficulties managing decision-making and hierarchies
    • No opportunities to collaborate and work together on projects 
    • Office culture and comradery deteriorate

 

9 Tips to Collaborate Remotely

Getting teams together and establishing the right channels that are necessary to facilitate collaboration is essential to today’s modern business world. Let’s take a look at some of the tips you can implement that will help you build a strong hybrid workforce and create effective cooperation. 

 

1. Establish Effective Means of Communication 

Communication is key when it comes to effective remote collaboration. After all, if your team members don’t know how to contact each other or share important information, things are going to fall through the cracks. Set up clear guidelines on how you want your teams to communicate and what channels are preferred. 

 

2. Use a Project Management System with Rocks and Sprints

A project management tool can do a lot to help remote teams collaborate effectively. Try a platform like Asana or Click Up, where you can include rocks, or clear, long-term milestone goals, sprints, the weekly tasks that are needed to achieve those goals. By setting up rocks and sprints, team members know they are working towards the same outcome and know exactly how they can work together to achieve those goals. 

 

3. Set Reoccuring Meetings

Have you ever tried to set up a meeting with a team and struggled for minutes trying to find a time that fit into everyone's schedules? Setting a recurring meeting can help eliminate those difficulties by creating a non-disturbed block in everyone’s schedule where important information, weekly updates, sprint planning, or even fun activities like networking conversation ideas and story sharing. 

 

4. Turn Cameras On

Video chat is a great way to keep everyone engaged in a meeting and help teams work together face to face. However, an overabundance of meetings and Zoom burnout has led to a rising trend of keeping cameras off during meetings. Encourage your teams to turn the cameras back on and engage in direct communication with each other. 

 

5. Message on Apps like Slack

Instant messaging apps designed for the workplace like Slack can help keep the chatter that would normally be found in the office going strong. That helps build team comradery and daily communication outside of planned meetings, and gives employees a place to engage in the "water cooler talk" that would usually take place within a traditional office. 

 

6. Encourage Real Friendships

Office friendships are an important part of creating a functional and thriving workplace environment. Those friendships can last for years, and help employees want to work together effectively. Encourage opportunities to build friendships in a hybrid office with tactics like worktime clubs and activities or virtual events

 

7. Leverage Your Virtual Environment

A successful virtual working environment, just like a successful webinar, needs to be optimized for the space it takes place in. Take advantage of the tools provided in your virtual and hybrid platforms to make virtual spaces more inviting and engaging for employees. 

 

8. Learn to Be Adaptable

The work environment is still changing, even as you read this. That means that it’s important for teams to learn how to be adaptable and take on new challenges with flexibility. Try to reskill your team to adapt to new platforms or styles of working so that they are always prepared for what comes next. 

 

9. Recognize Collaborative Achievements 

Working with remote teams is a challenge, without a doubt. When your employees and teams manage to come together to achieve important goals, you should take the time to recognize those successes and let them shine as an example of what can happen through hybrid collaboration and teamwork.   

 

Creating a Hybrid Team that Wants to Work Collaboratively 

There’s no doubt that hybrid work environments and work from home roles are going to continue to be commonplace in the business world. Learning to build your corporate culture in a virtual venue isn’t an optional skill for those who want to bring their businesses to the next level and remain relevant. 

Thankfully, there are clear steps that you can take to create a team that not only can work collaboratively when requested, but wants to work together better as often as possible.

 

For more information on how you can create a more collaborative work environment, whether employees are in the office, working fully from home, or dabbling in a combination of the two, contact us or request a platform demo today. We’ll help you set up a virtual workspace like you’ve never seen before!


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