Turning a team into the A-team: Making groups work effectively in a hybrid environment

Our culture before the pandemic was ingrained with a set image of how to collaborate as a team.

Turning a team into the A-team: Making groups work effectively in a hybrid environment

Our culture before the pandemic was ingrained with a set image of how to collaborate as a team. Popular movies and TV shows are full of iconic boardroom scenes and brainstorming sessions, but the pandemic has changed our culture and the way we work completely.

Hybrid working has brought greater flexibility and autonomy to the workplace, but it has also raised new challenges relating to how managers and teams coordinate and communicate with each other. However, with 57% of workers preferring hybrid working, companies need to learn how to support, inspire and push their teams to achieve any goal, wherever they are.  

Here are three ways businesses can create effective, focused teams by combatting the most common challenges workers are facing in the digital workplace.

Be transparent: Set clear expectations 

Organisation and clear expectations are crucial to increasing efficiency and reducing frustration in a virtual environment – especially during group work. A recent study found that not only do 56% of participants say that their well-being has suffered due to mismanagement of their time, but 67% consider quitting their job at least once a month because of it.

In practice, effective deployment of collaborative work platforms and tools is essential to help towards compensating for face-to-face interactions. Smart tools can also encourage building healthy and productive virtual relationships when deployed with a hybrid environment in mind.

Introducing these can help each team member get both real-time updates as well as efficient asynchronous communication that can better propel the progress of each project element. This kind of technology can also help promote greater collaboration and clarity in the team as a whole and removing the frustrations of blurred responsibilities saves time to do more.  

Combatting these frustrations through technology can introduce greater transparency in how we communicate roles and expectations for each member of the team. It can also help eliminate challenges that occur due to low visibility – especially when teams are sometimes relying on multiple communication channels.

Make an impact: Foster connectedness in your team 

Group work, especially in a hybrid environment, is a difficult thing to get right, especially in larger teams. The distributed nature of hybrid working means that strong management and a detailed communication strategy are especially important to build a feeling of connectedness within your team. 

This lack of connectedness can therefore lead to a lack of motivation around team individual contribution to the project. This is why managers should actively try and foster tight-knit teams. 

In the same vein, businesses need to encourage better relationships between leaders and their individual team members. When it comes to knowing the needs of your team and how to use them properly, this is a must. Achieving this can be done by checking in with your team regularly – whether it be virtual or face to face – and creating an open channel where you can receive or provide feedback. This helps leaders to change what they are doing according to what is working and what is not. Additionally, it gives team members a feeling of control over their career and an active role in the goals and direction of the company and their department. 

Celebrate success: Recognise the achievements of your team

Implementing a supportive culture that celebrates the successes of the team is a crucial part of what makes a team effective, and this increased visibility over each other’s achievements is especially important in a hybrid environment. 

Part of this, for managers, is ensuring that throughout all group work, they not only celebrate the achievements of the whole group but also recognise the accomplishments of well-performing individuals as well. This recognition helps employees understand that their efforts are indeed appreciated and an important part of helping the team read their end goal.

Aside from making people feel good, it can also boost productivity and result in a higher quality of work in the future. 

These recommendations can help create a vision for building a strong culture of transparency, ownership and communication, and technology is the scaffolding that can help businesses achieve that goal. Combining these, any team can achieve great things together.

Naveed Malik
Naveed Malik

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