The global pandemic changed everything, including the way we worked. Although extremely difficult for many, the pandemic changed attitudes towards how we work and allowed for a worldwide experiment on remote working. Before the lockdowns, many of us could only dream about working from home… two years later, we are only just starting to go back into the office.
The growing pains of transitioning to full virtual communication have become memes and jokes worldwide (how often can one person forget to unmute themselves?!). Still, in all, everyone settled into the new home office routine very quickly. The consequence is now many people are advocating for a hybrid working dynamic that allows a blend of being in the office and remote work. Amazingly, employers are listening.
As positive as that is, one of the issues with remote working is a lack of connection. You miss out on building rapport in person, sharing ideas as you make a coffee, or overhearing information that can be relevant to your work just by sitting in the same room as everyone. So how can you maintain a good connection with your team when in a hybrid workplace? We’ve got some top tips for you.
1. Keep in touch
We all have a little bit of Zoom fatigue, but maintaining regular meetings with your colleagues makes a considerable difference to your well-being and work satisfaction. Seeing another human being at the end of your screen reminds you that you’re all in this together. Make it a priority to have lunch over a video with a coworker now and then or have a morning weekly catch-up to check in. You might miss your colleagues, so putting time into the calendar allows you to nurture these working relationships and keep up the team morale.
2. Virtual social events
Similar to the above point, make time for fun! Life is all about finding the balance between work and play. If someone’s birthday is coming up or you’d like to get together for a quiz, organize it as a social event and invite everyone. Even 20 minutes of genuine human connection and fun can make a massive difference in nourishing working relationships and culture.
3. Plan regular check-ins
But with the goal for genuine conversation and listening! We can all talk about work, and sometimes we risk only connecting with colleagues to discuss the latest project or provide a team update. Take time to talk about your lives and how you’re feeling every now and then, especially if your company plans to maintain a hybrid workplace.
According to PwC’s US Remote Work Survey (January 2021), the hybrid working model “embraces the flexibility that most employees—and some employers—crave after working from home for months. It’s also a complicated way to organize the workweek and is likely to transform a company’s culture, employee engagement, the way the work gets done, and how office space is used.” Prioritizing connecting with staff helps combat the downsides to a team not being in the office together five days a week. It’s worth it, we promise.
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