Did you know 74 percent of U.S. companies are using or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model, according to Zippa? That means the majority of workers across the country are having to learn how to make their hybrid teams effective.
Hybrid work is gaining popularity because employees can work how and where they want, which promotes productivity. But hybrid work isn’t without its challenges too. One of the most persistent challenges for hybrid companies is creating effective collaboration strategies between employees.
Here are five strategies that you can implement to create effective collaboration across your hybrid and remote teams.
1. Centralize Your Data for Easy Access
You’re in a finance team that needs to work on invoice approval, an HR team working on onboarding paperwork, or any other team across the organization that collaborates on reports and projects. The common denominator here is that most teams heavily rely on collaboration when it comes to document-related work. And in a hybrid situation, it’s more important than ever to properly store your documents so everyone can access them as needed.
We’ve all been there, searching high and low for a specific file. Did someone share it via email, Google Drive, or your instant messaging platform? The point is that having access to all these different files in different locations with no standardization can delay the completion of any project. Information needs to be easily accessible to be successful when you have a handful of employees both in the office and working remotely.
Using a system like Rubex by eFileCabinet for your documents can help you establish productive collaborative habits. Instead of accessing documents on a number of different systems, all of your documents can be accessible in one centralized location. Rubex also comes with other features that make collaboration easy such as a Microsoft 365 integration, audit trails, and more.
2. Fit Every Meeting Room with Remote Capabilities
Remote employees are often left out of important decisions when they’re last to join meetings with primarily in-person attendees.
You can collaborate more effectively by equipping each meeting room with remote capabilities. Ensure that every conference room has a camera for video conferencing that can be started easily—without IT’s assistance. Show employees how to prepare for a meeting with both in-person and remote attendees so that no one misses a thing and your collaboration’s effectiveness doesn’t suffer.
3. Schedule More Than Just Work Meetings
Plan a team lunch or a team-building activity. One way to improve the way your team collaborates is to give them opportunities to communicate outside of their usual work responsibilities. Remote employees are often neglected because they miss out on the casual conversations that happen in a physical office setting.
How can non-work conversations solve this problem? Team unity comes after you’ve built relationships across your team. In order to have effective collaboration, you need to create a cohesive team that trusts one another—which doesn’t always come as natural in hybrid environments.
4. Set Communication Expectations
Collaboration is nonexistent without communication. Within your hybrid teams, your employees will have many questions about what level of communication is expected of them to be successful.
- What should be communicated through email?
- What should be communicated through instant messaging?
- What warrants a video call?
- What will my check-ins look like when starting a new project?
- How often should I check in?
Setting expectations upfront about the type and frequency of communication on collaborative projects can solve many of your hybrid work problems.
5. Be Flexible
These things are all tips that can help make your hybrid workforce better, but it’s not one and done. The best thing you can do is be willing to adapt. Try out new things. Get feedback from your employees. Accept that some things that have worked for others may not be your solution.
It’s all about what works for your employees and what will help them feel valued and do their best work.
Hybrid work creates many problems. With the direction that our workforce is headed, you can’t afford not to learn how to better manage your hybrid workforce.
If you’re ready to get top-notch collaboration on all of your document-related work, let’s talk.