- Changing to a remote/hybrid work model takes time, training and perseverance.
- It requires all stakeholders to commit to efficient collaboration, whether in-person or virtually.
- These 3 keys will enable teams to work flexibly and productively, without missing out on in-person interaction.
The future of work is hybrid. By now, it’s hard to deny the many benefits and perks that remote work has to offer:
- No commute
- Increased flexibility
- Fewer distractions
- Lower business expenses
- Increased productivity
- Business resilience and continuity
- Improved customer satisfaction
The list can go on and on. However, most workers still want to go back to the office — at least part-time.
Surveys have found that employees miss the office; specifically, workers miss face-to-face interactions, including collaborating with peers in-person.
Part of the reason workers miss collaborating in person is because the switch the digital work is not an easy one; the situation created by the pandemic doesn’t do employees any favors, in fact it only makes it harder.
But, if companies hope to be successful with remote work, and if employees want to continue working remotely, even if just part-time; it will require for all stakeholders to collaborate more efficiently, whether in-person or virtually.
How to Make Remote + Hybrid Collaboration Work
1. Embrace platform integrations
Just because your company chooses a collaboration software doesn’t mean you have to stick to that software alone. There’s a reason integrations are possible, and part of that reason is to make collaboration more effective among team members.
So, let’s say your company decides to use Microsoft’s SharePoint. This doesn’t mean that you should only use SharePoint’s apps (Teams, Microsoft365, OneDrive, etc.). In fact, SharePoint can be easily integrated with Salesforce, Asana, Trello, Mailchimp, HubSpot, and Zoho, to name a few.
These integrations make it easier and more effective for teams to collaborate in the following ways:
- They help save valuable time
- They can help create workflows
- They facilitate and improve communication
- They allow for automation.
This is the beauty of many modern collaboration platforms: they work easily and seamlessly with third-party applications.
2. Don’t Forgo Training
To ensure successful collaboration among hybrid teams, it’s crucial that companies provide sufficient training to employees.
While most modern collaboration platforms are fairly intuitive, to truly reap the benefits that they offer, employees need to fully familiarize themselves with them. One way to ensure this happens is by providing training opportunities.
Training can take the form of:
- In-person or virtual training classes
- On-demand videos.
Company-provided training can serve two main purposes. The first is to teach employees how to use the platform correctly and which purposes it serves within the company. The second is that training also sends the message that use of collaboration platforms is mandatory.
Without training, it’s possible for employees to think that use of collaboration platforms is voluntary; if not all employees use the collaboration hub, then effective collaboration is unlikely to happen.
3. Foster Life-long Learning
Modern collaboration hubs are ever-changing. New features are added on a regular basis, while old features are regularly taken out.
Because of this, fostering a culture of life-long learning within an organization is key to effective collaboration, now and in the future. Employees that are curious and are eager to learn are the ones that will take collaboration hubs to their maximum potential.
By providing regular training opportunities, companies can foster life-long learning with their teams. Today’s digital world makes it easier than ever for people to learn about any subject, including collaboration hubs. Learning can take place through:
- Discussion boards
- Training classes
- Playing around with available software platforms.