Many businesses are choosing to continue to offer flexibility post-COVID, with a mix of in-office and remote working. However, there are still some potential problems and issues with working as a dispersed team, such as communication, creativity and visibility of progress.
In this article, we take a look at what you can do to create collaborative workspaces for your hybrid team that help you overcome these challenges.
Provide the right tools and equipment
While your team may have adjusted well to remote working over the past 18 months, the tools and equipment they need for hybrid working might be slightly different.
If you’re expecting your team to travel into an office a few days a week then you need to ensure that it’s set-up with everything they’re going to need each day including a keyboard and mouse (here are some good options), second screens, and any other equipment they use every day.
All the systems, tools, and files you’re using should be cloud-based so that they’re accessible from anywhere. Your team should be able to work-from-home (WFH) on something one day and then pick up where they left off in the office the next day.
Talk to your staff
When you’re switching to hybrid working it’s important to talk to your staff to understand their requirements and expectations and get their input on how it can be implemented effectively. There’s a lot of variation in hybrid working models, including:
- Leveraging flexible office and coworking spaces that allow access to private office spaces and meeting rooms on an as-needed basis so employees can choose when and where they work
- Split-weeks with employees working set days at home and sets days in the office
- Choosing between office or remote working permanently
- Alternating who’s in the office on a week-by-week basis
Some of these options provide more flexibility than others, so you need to consider what works for your team and how your business operates. For example, your team might need more opportunities to work together in the same place or there might be certain times when you have more deadlines and focusing at home will be better.
Create a productive home office space
It’s important that your team’s home office is as productive as it can be so that they can focus. However, you also need to understand that not everyone will have the space to create a dedicated work area.
Consider putting together a home workspace assessment that identifies how and where your team is working and what you can do to improve their set-up.
For example, if they’re crammed into the kitchen or dining room then you might provide them with some support to find more suitable dining room furniture that provides them with more space to work on. There are lots of affordable options for furniture such as these that can also be adaptable for home life as well.
Investing in your team’s home office space is going to help them to do their work better and provide them everything they need to improve collaboration with the rest of the team.
Focus on team communication
Focus on making sure each team in your business can work well together, wherever they’re based. Organize team-building activities and internal staff training sessions where they can improve how they work together and communicate.
In the office space, provide an area where teams can sit together and collaborate on projects. Encourage them to come in once a week or once a month to meet up in person. If certain teams are based away from your main office, consider flexible office space providers that offer hourly meeting rooms that are more convenient.
It’s important that your teams have plenty of opportunities to get together and work collaboratively to ensure that individuals aren’t working in silos and things don’t get blocked or forgotten about.
Bridge the gap between remote and in-office workers
With some staff in the office and some remote, it’s important that you have everything set-up so that your team can communicate seamlessly. Employees that aren’t in the office shouldn’t be at a disadvantage when there are meetings or training sessions going on.
Make sure that you have a suitable space to set up video calls, where the camera position allows remote workers to see and hear everything that’s going on. Use a video conferencing tool that allows everyone to not only participate, but collaborate effectively
These tips will help you to set up a way of working that encourages communication and productivity. Hybrid working offers a lot of flexibility, but it’s essential that you spend time planning out your workspaces in the office and at home so that your team can work collaboratively.
If you’re looking for a hybrid solution for yourself or your remote team members, find a Pacific Workplaces location near you.