Hybrid teams are offices that have employees working in and outside of the office. One of the biggest challenges hybrid companies face is how to effectively manage communication between teams. You may experience a communication gap between team members, which can have a negative impact on your business.
To assist you, we’ve created a short guide on some of the best practices for internal and remote communications. You’ll learn how to balance everyday interactions and understand the challenges your team faces.
Why is Communication in Your Hybrid Team Important?
Lack of communication in a hybrid team can lead to more human error when working on projects. It can also increase employee stress and anxiety, especially when they’re left to work on tasks without guidance. You’ll also experience low productivity and performance from your team.
On the other hand, when team members have effective means of talking to one another, they can successfully collaborate on projects. Furthermore, talking to your team ensures that they stay motivated and that they’re in the loop with all changes and decisions that get made.
Sales teams especially need proper forms of communication because they work closely with your customer and client base. The CRM software monday.com is a popular system for remote and internal sales representatives. It helps boost your profits as well as build strong relationships with your customers or clients.
How to Manage Communication Within Your Hybrid Team
- Ask Team Members About Their Preferred Communication Methods
When working with a hybrid team, you’ll quickly realize that not every member works the same way. Employees will have different preferences when it comes to communication. Some team members will prefer to talk via telephone. Others may want to communicate via chat apps such as WhatsApp.
Ask your team about their preferred way of talking to you and members of your team. You may have employees who get distracted by too many messages, so they’ll fall behind on their work. So understanding how they prefer to communicate can ensure your hybrid team doesn’t lose focus on their tasks.
- Utilize Team Management Software
Sending out emails to 10 or 50 staff members to collaborate on a project will take up too much of your time. It will clog up your emailing system, and you may miss questions from your employees.
The only way to save time and get work done successfully with a hybrid team is through team management software. With the right software, you can invite team members to your list and assign each person a task. You can provide detailed instructions on each project and track their progress.
Your team members can also ask questions, attach documents and update the status of a project. Use tools such as Asana, Slack, or even Microsoft’s To-Do.
Both your internal and remote teams can use these platforms to communicate and collaborate on projects.
- Have Team Meetings Once a Week
Since some of your team members aren’t working in the office, it can be difficult for them to voice their concerns and frustrations. To find out if everyone is happy and working well, you should conduct a team meeting over Skype or Zoom once a week.
Ask your team members how they’re coping and if they’re experiencing any challenges. If your team is facing problems, provide ways to solve them. For example, if your team is suffering from mental health problems, offer them online therapy sessions.
Or, if they’re facing challenges with specific clients, you can assign them to work with people you think they’d get along with. Sometimes certain people work better together than with others. By having meetings once a week, you’ll start to understand your team more and how to assist them in innovative ways.
- Be Clear About Communication Expectations
Remote employees may not always be available to talk on the phone when you need them. They may take advantage of being at home by going out when they should be working.
You must have ground rules for employees working from home. They must always be available to talk during their working hours. To ensure all team members understand your expectations, you can write up rules and regulations for communication.
With these regulations, you can set boundaries for when it’s the appropriate time to speak to employees via chats or telephone. For example, you could make it a rule that employees aren’t entitled to respond to messages during their breaks or after working hours.
- Utilize Presence Indicators
Platforms such as Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams have presence indicators. This is simply a colored dot on the screen that shows whether an employee is available or not. Your team will then know when someone is busy working or if they’re available to talk.
Presence indicators prevent employees from bothering each other or breaking someone’s concentration when they’re working. Communication would be more effective if both parties are available to chat.
With these communication practices, your hybrid team will become a powerhouse. Use this guide to improve the way your team talks to each other and with their clients.