We’re all starting to miss the occasional water-cooler talks and walking to lunch with our coworkers. As so many work in a remote or hybrid setting now, some might still prefer going into the office while others welcome the idea of working at home because they are able to better balance their priorities. The hybrid setting has become a popular working model, ideally bringing the “best of both worlds” of remote and in-office work, and offering flexibility, growth and productivity.
While the traditional office might look different today, it doesn’t have to feel different. Coworkers can still come together in a hybrid setting and continue to collaborate and bond even when some are remote, and others are together in an office. This is when team-building tips in a hybrid work environment will be helpful to promote a healthy workplace culture.
The first step to a successful hybrid environment is to understand the hybrid culture and account for your coworkers’ and team’s experiences, concerns and suggestions. A survey conducted by Gartner found that nearly one-third of business leaders are most concerned with maintaining corporate culture, while only 13% were worried about productivity. Bringing your coworkers and team together will help build morale and maintain a sense of belonging with the company.
So, how do we get our coworkers and employees together to make them feel connected and engaged with the team? Follow along for helpful ideas.
5 Team Building Tips in a Hybrid Work Environment
Check out these 5 tips to promote team bonding and building connections with coworkers in a hybrid setting.
1. Set clear expectations
Nothing should be vague. Goals and objectives should be set immediately and everybody in the company and team should know what is expected of them. They need to attend important meetings, know when their video needs to be on, and what and when their deadlines are. Additionally, beyond the scope of their expectations, you need to allow them to show up and deliver without micromanaging and keeping unnecessary tabs on them.
2. Focus on building trust within the team
Trust is the foundation of any successful team. Not only do your coworkers need to trust each other, but they also need to trust their manager to support them in times of adversity. Between trusting the team to make their deadlines, do their work even when they’re not at their desks, and giving them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to communication and expectations, your coworkers should feel like they are able to work together in a supportive environment without fear of walking on eggshells when they make a mistake.
3. Be the connector within the team
The last thing your coworkers want to feel is left out of the team. Whether it’s the manager or a team member, someone should act as the “connector” and make every team member feel clued into what’s going on, especially when it comes to projects and tasks they are working on. With every email or meeting, think about who else on the team will benefit from this communication and pass it on. This might feel small but will play a big part in keeping the team connected in the long run.
4. Turn presentations into games
Think about developing surveys, quizzes, and anything else that will promote engagement during meetings and presentations. The key is to get the whole team involved (and keep them attentive). Additionally, be open to any ideas or creative solutions from your team. For them to feel valued, they want to know that they are being heard and that their opinions matter.
5. Create a community
Having a sense of belonging comes from feeling like you are a part of a community. Build connections inside and outside the work environments and encourage social groups related to coworkers’ interests. Take initiative to plan group activities like volunteering, walking breaks, team-building activities, or anything else that can bring the team closer together. Of course, virtual groups hangouts are also encouraged!
Stay Inclusive and Promote Engagement
Trial and error will be your friend. Some ideas may work, and some may need improvement. Make sure to continue to be inclusive and supportive with your team members. Activities that foster connection and inclusivity will be key in keeping the culture alive even while some coworkers “go to work” through their screens.
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