Create An Equal Playing Field For In-Person and Remote Employees

Oten, remote employees feel like they’re not getting an equal experience to employees that work in the office.

  • Take meetings, for example. Face-to-face communication is typically easier and more seamless than virtual conversations. So, when you have employees attending a meeting both in person and remotely, it can be easy for in-person employees to dominate the conversation. 
  • So, for the meeting example, you might have “employees in the office also call into the meeting remotely to equalize the experience,” says Keswin.

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Conflict Management Strategies For Hybrid Teams

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Set Clear Expectations

A lack of clarity can lead to issues in hybrid teams; if employees don’t know who is responsible for what or what’s expected of them, both individually and as a team, it can cause conflict.

So, if you want to better manage conflict on your team, make sure you’re setting crystal clear expectations from the get-go—particularly if your team is still adjusting to working in a hybrid environment.

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It’s easy to give recognition to employees that share your office space via a “great job on that project!” as you walk by their desk. But those spontaneous opportunities for recognition and acknowledgement don’t exist for remote employees. 

There’s a risk of remote employees being ‘out of sight, out of mind’. This can make remote workers feel undervalued or like they’re not getting the same recognition as in-person employees—which can lead to conflict on the team. 

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When you have team members working in different locations, communication can be a challenge. In-person employees might spend the bulk of their day talking to their co-worker in the next cubicle over—while remote workers struggle to form a real connection with their team members.

That’s why, if you want your hybrid team to function harmoniously, you need to create opportunities for frequent communication.

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If there’s no trust within your hybrid team—both in leadership and in fellow team members—you can pretty much guarantee there’s going to be conflict. 

If you want to effectively manage conflict with your team, building trust is a must—and that means investing time in getting to know your team.

When you understand your team members and how they function, you can foster better interactions, both with leadership and other team members—which can lead to a higher level of trust within your hybrid team.

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Embrace conflict

Don’t avoid conflict or pretend nothing has happened as it usually will only get worse.

  • If you notice a conflict between employees, encourage them to work it out.
  • If a conflict develops between two teams, improve interdepartmental communication.
  • If you have a conflict with one of your employees, address it head-on and in private.  

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6 Strategies to Resolve Conflict at Work

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The challenges of hybrid teams

Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.

For example, in hybrid teams, remote employees are often left in the dark. Office workers are often heard, recognized, and promoted, while remote workers are forgotten.

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How to be Remote-First When You Still Have an Office

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The transition from WFH to the office
  • Strong HR strategies. Not only can an HR team connect and support individual employees, but also use their platform to teach employees how to support each other, creating a positive chain of office-based encouragement.
  • Taking the transition back into the office at your company’s own pace is also vital if you want to prioritise mental health on the return to work.
  • When your team has returned to the office, a great way to reinitiate team bonding and introduce staff members to the post-pandemic working future is the introduction of wellbeing workshops.
  • Ergonomic care, too. Prioritizing ergonomic welfare is often forgotten within the office, leading to a whopping 86 percent of office workers sitting for up to 8 hours a day.
  • Prioritize those still working from home. As 30 percent of the corporate workforce still remains at home in 2021, it’s important for employers not to exclude them from post-pandemic well-being schemes

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