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Insights for Working, Leading, and Learning Remotely

10 Practices of Productive and Inclusive Hybrid Teams

 

Sixty-nine percent of companies intend to involve some sort of “hybrid” in their workforce location plans for the fall of 2021 and into 2022. Yet, these setups are uncharted territory for many teams. Finding what works for your organization will involve experimentation. But, you can learn from those who have done this before. We reached out to experienced hybrid teams to ask about the practices they’ve established to ensure their teams are inclusive and productive.

We specifically wanted to focus on how teams overcome challenges that can make hybrid work harder, such as:

  • In-office vs remote workforce inequities
  • Remote employees left out of decision-making
  • Unprepared leaders
  • Executives out of touch with workplace realities

Here are some routines from a wide range of teams worth considering as you experiment with your own setups.

 

“At Loom, our very own asynchronous video messaging tool is foundational to how we communicate, collaborate, and...

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7 Actions for Effective Async Communication and Collaboration

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 30 seconds

 

Organizations continue to tackle remote and hybrid work challenges like overwork, Zoom fatigue, burnout, disconnection, and interruptions. Leaders, managers, and their teams recognize that finding the right balance between async and sync communication is critical. But coming from a work context where decision-making, creative thinking, and connection all take place in a co-located office environment, professionals often struggle to shift to this new paradigm of async-first work.

Before you start to learn how to implement asynchronous communication and collaboration, it’s critical to understand both:

But HOW can teams implement impactful async communication? Here are the seven fundamental steps to implementing effective asynchronous workflows, collaboration, and communication:

 

1. Establish a Placeless...

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Keys to Successful Remote Performance Management

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 25 seconds

 

"If someone comes in five days, and another person three days, let me tell you I'm giving a promotion to the five day and I'm sidelining the three day." This sentiment is further reinforced in The Atlantic’s reporting of a series of studies that revealed “people will assume that those who put in a lot of office time are go-getters, even if they’re not.”

Unfortunately, leaders feel more comfortable when they can “see” employees working. If this is the leadership mindset when shifting to a flexible, hybrid, or fully remote structure, your organization is set up to fail.

Instead, organizations that are concerned with remote employee performance should evaluate the impacts of:

  • Too many synchronous meetings
  • Inefficient work that lacks async structure and practices
  • Interruptions due to lack of boundaries or documentation
  • Disengagement stemming from overwork and a lack of autonomy

Our ...

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24 Tips for Inclusion on Hybrid Teams

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 30 seconds

 

“I’ve been doing this for over a year, I’ve got it figured out and don’t need to develop skills.” This is the 2021 fatal mindset flaw for managers of remote employees. Reminder: emergency remote work doesn’t develop the same habits you’ll need for sustainable remote work. And critically important as offices reopen, hybrid is harder than everyone working fully remote.

Hybrid teams have an increased risk of inequitable experiences between in-office and remote team members. Establishing policies, practices, rituals, skills, and benefits that actively level the playing field and focus on inclusion will prove critical to the health and success of hybrid teams. Here are important themes and helpful ideas to get started.

Craft policies with clarity and intention.

One attendee referenced the quote “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.”

1. As we emphasize in our Placeless Playbook,...

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Experienced Advice for Leading Hybrid Teams

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

 

Have you heard? Hybrid’s the word.

Hybrid’s the word (is the word, is the word that you heard)

It's got a groove, it's got a meaning

Hybrid’s the time, is the place, is the motion

Hybrid’s the way we are feeling

via GIPHY

 

Most executives still see the need for some in-person interaction and physical offices—63% according to this PWC report. This increased presence of hybrid work requires shifts in working practices and behaviors, especially for leaders. To unlock proven practices for leading hybrid teams, we welcomed Meaghan Williams, Remote Work and Inclusion Program Manager at HubSpot and Scott Wharton, VP & General Manager, Video Collaboration Group at Logitech to share advice at our most recent Networkplaceless event. 

In the words of Meaghan, “Hybrid work requires us to pivot from a reliance on in-person communication and collaboration towards a more intentional, asynchronous, and...

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Hybrid Teams: The Best or Worst of Both Worlds?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 20 seconds

 

Hybrid work is in demand. A recent study by Slack found that 72% of surveyed employees want a combination of office and remote, with only 12% wanting to return to the office full time. 

But what is the optimal arrangement? Is hybrid a better alternative to fully co-located work? Is a fully distributed team better than hybrid? 

Your answer depends heavily on your individual experience. Company culture, location, individual choices, and personal circumstances naturally influence work environment preferences . The structure you were familiar with prior to the pandemic influenced the quality of your remote work experience, which in turn influences your working model preferences moving forward. 

Evaluating the effectiveness of remote work based on experience during COVID-19—at an individual or company level—is inappropriate because:

  • Companies were forced to adapt quickly, without time to shift their...
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Expert Advice for Solving Hybrid Team Challenges

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 27 seconds

 

Buffer and AngelList’s 2020 State of Remote Work reveals that 43% of companies are hybrid, meaning part of the team is full-time remote and part of the team works out of the same office. However, an additional 24% of companies allow individuals to work from home on occasion. That’s a total of 67% of companies who are navigating the complexities of remote vs. in-office dynamics. We wanted to understand in more depth the challenges that these hybrid-remote teams face on a daily basis. 

 

At our Networkplaceless event, we specifically asked attendees, “Does your company have a plan in place to address hybrid team communication gaps?” Thirty percent of respondents said yes, 39% said no, and another 30% said not sure. (Note: if your team members aren’t sure, it’s probably time to revisit your policy and make communication improvements).

 

In order to provide solutions to some of ...

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Top Challenges of Hybrid-Remote Teams

Remote work is growing—rapidly. Work-from-home roles have grown by 173% since 2005. But that remote work trend means different things for different people, and for different organizational structures. Some teams are 100% remote, but more often we see teams that are a mix, or hybrid of different working models. 

So when we refer to different working models, what do we mean?

  • Co-located: A company or team whose employees all work in the same location.
  • Distributed: An company or team whose employees all work remotely (also referred to as “fully distributed” or “remote-first”).
  • Hybrid: A company or team with some employees who are co-located and some who work remotely (also referred to as “remote-friendly” or specifically as “hybrid-remote”).

You can reference all of this terminology in our remote work dictionary

 

Within a hybrid team model, there can be variances of experience: if there’s only one remote...

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