4 Hybrid Team Challenges and How to Solve Them
Getting hybrid work right for your organization means overcoming challenges and building a cross-functional approach that blends your office, your remote work collaboration tools, your company policies, the right KPIs, and an agile mindset.
While we don’t pretend to have easy, cookie-cutter solutions for your organization’s unique challenges, we’ll begin with one foundational truth: having the right hybrid work platform will make your life easier. That's because of what it enables: scheduling, space/desk booking, resourcing, planning, data analysis, and engaging employees with your office.
Your organization’s workplace experience team needs the right toolbox on hand, along with the know-how to understand what tools to deploy in order to overcome hybrid work challenges.
4 Hybrid Work Challenges and Solutions
Challenge #1: The office needs a purpose.
Have you ever been asked to do something with no real reason behind it? It never feels quite right. In fact, it can be quite demotivating. Many workplaces have asked people to come back to the office part of the time without explaining what motivates these kinds of policies.
The solution is bringing teams together. People give the office its purpose via in-person collaboration, culture/community-building, and exposure to leadership. We are “social animals” who want to interact with each other IRL. A few findings from the Robin report, Employee Motivators: How to Get People Back in Office, make it clear that the office is about people:
- 64% of surveyed employees were more likely to come into the office if they knew their team would also be there;
- 70% of employees say they enjoy their time in the office or are indifferent/neutral to remote work.
A Future Forum report finds that three out of four workers (74%) would come into the office in order to: collaborate with co-workers/clients, build camaraderie with colleagues, and have meetings in-person.
Challenge #2. It's difficult to plan for flexible work.
No one wants to commute into an empty office. Or, worse, you show up to the office only to find a lack of resources: no desks, bad work arrangements. Chances are you won't want to journey back to the office again. On the other hand, for workplace experience managers it can be hard to plan for fluctuations in office demand. How do you ensure positive employee experiences in the ever-changing hybrid workplace?
The solution. In order to feel the benefits of hybrid work you'll need to enable simpler processes for employees to interact with the physical workplace. Think of the office as the meeting ground for team members. Make coming into the office a convenient experience with solutions for desk booking, room scheduling and employee coordination. Hybrid work should be enabling productivity, so lean on workplace analytics to empower high performance. You can make that a reality with a better employee experience strategy that addresses the challenges of hybrid work.
Challenge #3. Hybrid teams are siloed.
In the pre-pandemic office, someone from the Sales team could walk down the hallway to grab coffee or lunch with someone from Finance. Without being in the office, people don’t have as many informal interactions across departments. Cross-functional collaboration, innovation, and trust can get eroded without these touchpoints. Leaders risk a higher likelihood of people getting stuck in a pattern of communicating only within their own teams.
The solution: Your people can use Robin's web dashboard and mobile app to schedule/plan trips to the office based on connecting with the people they want to see, including meeting up with people from other departments. You can also provide opportunities for people to connect through Robin's office activities feature, allowing you to easily plan, share, and join social, cultural, and community events at the workplace. Activities serve to encourage informal, cross-departmental connections in the office.
Challenge #4: Having the right data to iterate hybrid work.
Leaders can’t base important workplace decisions on their “gut,” but instead need workplace analytics to inform decision-making. Whether that’s deciding how much office space you require to serve the needs of your people, or how to optimally configure your workspace (hot desking, anyone?), decisions need to be based on data and employee feedback, not hunches.
The solution. Organizations need a hybrid work platform that generates and shares relevant data in a timely manner to support decision-making. They should also team up with an experienced and knowledgeable partner who can help them interpret workplace data and make ongoing business decisions aligned with the right KPIs (productivity, employee experience, office utilization, and more).
Addressing the Challenges of Hybrid Teams
The good news is that organizations are already beginning to move in the right direction:
- 87% of organizations have fully or partially implemented room and desk reservation tools that share data, according to a recent Robin report
- 66% of organizations have adopted space and occupancy tracking, according to that same report.
Meeting your hybrid team challenges requires having a workplace technology platform that’s ready to scale and flex with your organization’s specific needs. You need a great toolbox and an experienced partner who can help you deploy it.
For help with your hybrid workplace, reach out to schedule a demo.