With hybrid team structures set to be the next frontier in the new world of work, there’s a lot to consider and prepare for in order to make the shift a success. If you’re looking for guidance on how to create a hybrid team over the coming months, keep on reading to find out what steps you’ll need to take as you embark on the transition.
How to create a hybrid team structure
#1: Determine your unique hybrid workplace structure
No two hybrid workplaces operate in exactly the same way. This is because the decision to move to a hybrid team structure differs between organisations, and also between functional teams. For certain organisations there are limitations around who can work remotely and who is needed on-site, and when they will need to be on-site. In the pursuit to create a hybrid team structure, you’ll first need to consider what your organisation requires.
Embracing a hybrid team structure is the decision to sit in the middle of the continuum between being a fully co-located workforce (where team members are expected to work from and return to a ‘home base’) and being a fully distributed team (where team members work in various locations and never or rarely come together). Developing a hybrid workplace structure sits between these two in a way that best delivers on desired outcomes for the business.
Before moving to a hybrid team structure you’ll need to establish your own unique ‘rules of engagement’. How will you decide who works in a location of choice and who works on-site? Will you rotate teams so that everyone gets the opportunity to work in both settings, or will it depend largely on what department or job function an individual belongs to?
Hybrid teams by nature are a fluid structure and inherent in determining your unique structure is the ability to review and update the structure when required to ensure it meets the demand of work.
#2: Create hybrid working guidelines
You don’t have to write a 90-page document outlining every single detail of your new hybrid working structure in order to be successful. In fact, we’d actually recommend that you keep your hybrid working guidelines straight-forward and to the point. They shouldn’t overcomplicate things for your people, and should ideally be written in a way that’s easy to understand for anyone new who joins your organisation along the way.
Flexibility and adaptability is the upside of hybrid working team structures; guidelines around working in this style should reflect this.
#3: Adapt your communication tools
In order for your hybrid teams to become high-performing teams, you’ll need to ensure that your communication tools are up to scratch. This includes having the necessary equipment like access to reliable video conferencing software and collaborative tools as well as a clearly defined purpose for each communication channel.
It’s also important for the long-term success of your hybrid team to get into the habit of having all-team meetings using video conferencing tools to involve those working remotely. You may also need to consider how you actively involve those tuning in remotely, for example, you may use a tool like Miro during brainstorming sessions so that everyone can suggest ideas at the same time.
#4: Create opportunities for face-to-face experiences
One of the best things that you can do to strengthen the culture of your hybrid workforce and ensure that working relationships stay strong is to set up opportunities for face-to-face connection. Obsessing about the times when your people come together will reap rewards. Focus on relationship building and creating shared experiences – this is an investment that will strengthen trust and rapport across the hybrid team when they return to working in various locations.
A lot of hybrid working teams have found success in hosting quarterly or even bi-annual face-to-face gatherings. This is particularly effective for organisations who have workers spread across multiple countries who may otherwise never get the opportunity to meet.