As many organisation move to hybrid working, problems may arise that they have not had to deal with before. One prime example of this is team dynamics.
Team dynamics play a big part in how an organisation functions. If colleagues don’t communicate efficiently and work well together, problems begin to arise. Poor communication leads to mistakes and delays, strained relationships lead to an unwillingness to ask for or offer help, which can lead to a poorer quality of work produced.
So strong team dynamics are important, but achieving this can be a challenge, especially when your team isn’t all in one place.
During the pandemic it was expected that teams who would normally be in an office setting together, would now communicate over video calls instead. Whilst this might not be the most ideal situation, it’s one that most people were in, they understood and made the best of it.
But now office spaces have opened up again for many, and hybrid working has been implemented across many organisations. Hybrid working is a great solution to allow your staff the benefits of home and office working, but what effect could it have on teams?
Depending on the type of hybrid model put in place, it’s quite likely that during certain team meetings there will be team members together in an office, and team members working remotely.
There are a couple of potential problems that could arise from this. Some staff members could feel left out of the loop if the majority of their colleagues are together in an office whilst they are working remotely. The conversation might not flow as well if some people are in one room talking to one another whilst some are joining via video or phone dial in.
An obvious solution to this could be that in your hybrid rules you state that team meetings should be held in person, so if someone has a team meeting that day they make sure they go into an office. However this isn’t possible for everyone. Since the start of the pandemic many organisations have opened themselves up to job applications from people across the country, and even in other countries.
This makes sense as many organisations have seen that staff can work well remotely, and by restricting applicants to a small location you are unlikely to get the best person possible for the job, especially if it’s a specialised position. So they allow people from any location to apply and pick the person to fill the job on merit, not location, assuming they will be a remote worker.
This makes a lot of sense, but it means that it might not be possible for every member of a team to travel to an office space for every team meeting. So how can you get team dynamics back to how they were if not everyone is in an office together?
The way many people work has changed, which means team dynamics may not ever be the same again at some organisations. That doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to make teams as in sync as possible.
Ensure that meeting rooms are well equipped to accommodate virtual joiners. If there is a mix of people joining a meeting virtually and in person, ensure those joining virtually can hear, and be heard clearly by everyone. It’s very frustrating joining a call virtually and barley being able to hear what others are saying, then talking only to not be heard. If having the right set up in meeting rooms isn’t possible, it may be better to ask all members to join team calls at their desks on separate PCs, this way no one feels shut out of the conversation.
Introduce weekly kick off sessions and weekly wind down sessions. If your team doesn’t already have a least a couple of regular meetings each week, now may be a good time to implement this. There might be a fear from those who are working at home whilst others are in an office together that they are missing out on important information, either work related or not.
A good plan to combat this is to hold kick off sessions at the start of the week to discuss what projects people are working on, swap ideas, ask for any help that might be needed etc. then have a wind down session at the end of the week to see how it all went. This allows for everyone to feel in the loop about work goings on.
As well as covering work matters, allow for some time in these sessions for a social catch up, find out what everyone did at the weekend, catch up on general life news and so on. Whilst it might not seem important, social conversations help to build a better team dynamic, and those who are not going into offices with their co-workers might feel like they’re not a much a part of the team because they aren’t able to interact on a social level with them.
Allow your staff to give and receive real time feedback. By giving your staff members a platform on which they can request, receive and give feedback with their co-workers, you are further opening the door to honest communication. This can validate when someone is doing a good job, which could otherwise be left unsaid if people aren’t in the same location, and call out issues people need to work on moving forward.
Ensure that all managers are regularly communicating with their team, both those who are in the office and remote workers, letting them know they are equally important and heard wherever they are. This can be best achieved by having set check-in session around once a month, this way any blockers / concerns can be addressed early.
Want to see how Clear Review can help you?
If you want to see all the benefits of Clear Review, book a free demo.