Welcoming staff back to a hybrid work setting can present logistical and communication challenges for managers and workplace experience managers; however, by addressing a few common friction points, you can ease the transition and create a system that works for every employee.
The Right (Meeting) Tools for the Job
Getting technology and policies in place can ease one of the biggest transition challenges for teams:
- Use great meeting tools to create a seamless experience and establish good workplace norms for both in-person and distributed work. This includes corporate communication platforms (think Slack channels for teams and instant messaging for 1:1 comms) and teleconferencing options for more in-depth digital collaboration. These two technology categories alone can help employees mirror the experience of being in the office.
- For teams that rely on project management, organizing tasks and sprints around a platform such as Monday or Asana can bridge the divide in asynchronous work environments.
- Be sure that whiteboarding can play a part in your digital culture. Using digital whiteboards, online visual collaboration tools, and advanced meeting tools can recreate the collaborative vibe.
- Establish centralized file systems, information sharing, and wikis that ensure everyone has access to the files and sources of truth they need to be successful.
Establishing Virtual Workplace Norms and Etiquette
Not all meetings are created equal. In hybrid and distributed work settings, the temptation to “just hop on Zoom” is ever-present (and can be overwhelmingly counterproductive.) Having strong policies in place for scheduling and meeting etiquette allows them to serve their highest purpose.
The Five W's
When considering calling a meeting, it’s helpful to identify its participants, scope, and objectives in advance. One way to approach this is to agree upon the “Five W's” - The Who, What, When, Where, and (most important) Why that will serve as the framework for the session:
Who: What stakeholders are essential to the success of the meeting. Could others be included in meeting notes without being present in real-time?
What: Identify meeting objectives in advance, and establish what post-meeting references will be needed (notes, recordings). Create a centralized location for participants to access and use these notes.
When: When will teams meet, and for how long? Create firm boundaries around respecting start and ending times. Build in a few minutes of informal time for organic team-building.
Where: Where will participants meet? If meeting with a blend of distributed and in-person staff, should virtual-only workplace norms be in place to create parity between distributed work and in-office?
Why: What is the purpose of the meeting? Could the agenda be served in another way (Slack, or email?)
Want to create the best environment for your hybrid work team? Reach out to see how Robin can make your office experience smoother and more enjoyable for all.