Collaboration for hybrid teams can be a challenge, but that’s not to say that other teams don’t face similar or the very same challenges in the pursuit for excellence.
Collaboration is a long-standing, never-ending conundrum for many of us. But with hybrid teams navigating having half of their team working remote with the others working co-located, it’s a structure that presents a whole new set of roadblocks.
Today we’re going to explore some of the strategies and tools your hybrid teams can use to improve collaboration and make incredible work as a collective.
Collaboration for hybrid teams
Communication, communication, communication
Communication is at the heart of every good collaboration strategy. You’ve got to be able to clearly communicate when you want to collaborate with a team member, for how long your collaboration session will last, and how you’re going to approach the collaboration process.
It’s a lot to think about, we know, but a lot of this is innate in our businesses. It’s the stuff we don’t write down on paper, but rather spend hours mulling over while sipping coffee and writing emails.
Rather than springing collaboration on unsuspecting hybrid team members, in this team structure you’ll need to up your communication game to ensure you get the best outcomes possible. One step you can take today to improve hybrid team communication is implementing a SOCS process.
Mark your calendars
So, we mentioned not springing collaboration on your hybrid team members willy nilly. That’s because hybrid teams often have conflicting schedules or work in shifts. There’s also the challenge of choosing times where co-located teams are uninterrupted, which as we know in a co-located office can be few and far between.
That’s why collaboration in hybrid teams often relies on careful forward planning. By making your daily calendars viewable and shareable hybrid teams can block out time for dedicated collaboration sessions. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and able to focus on the task at hand.
Get the right tools
Hybrid team collaboration can quickly fall victim to the challenges of distance, want to know how? Think about this scenario for a moment.
You join a Zoom call with a couple of your co-located team members, and as you sit there on the other end of the computer screen you watch them writing on post-it notes, adding them to the wall and having off-the-cuff discussions that you can’t quite hear.
And just like that, you’re disengaged and probably feeling like the collaboration session is a little one-sided.
How do we mitigate these challenges in virtual collaboration? Well, here’s a few ideas.
- Make sure you’ve got high quality audio and visual equipment so that team members dialling in can clearly hear discussions being had
- Make use of a virtual brainstorming tool like Miro so that virtual team members can add their own ideas directly to the shared team space and avoid feeling left out
- Assign someone to be the host of the meeting who can keep everyone on track and quickly table any co-located discussions that are getting off-track
- Make sure that at both ends of the screen the lighting is good so that non-verbal communication can be picked up on throughout the discussion
Make it easy
The more complicated the collaboration process, the less chances you’ll actually make it happen in your hybrid team. Between the tools we’ve discussed and the strategies mentioned you should now have a good base to start forming your hybrid team collaboration approach off of.
The simpler and more straightforward you can make this process, the better. We’d even recommended filming some videos with Loom to help explain the process, tools and strategies for new team members to help you stay on track long-term.
Now it’s time to get out there and make collaboration for hybrid teams a part of the way you do business. If you need some help taking your hybrid team to new heights, we’ve got a dedicated hybrid team development program to help you on your way.