The traditional workplace is rapidly going the way of the dinosaur. Hybrid companies have emerged as the new normal, with these businesses employing a combination of on-site and off-site employees. A good percentage of people no longer work conventional 9 to 5 hours and, thanks to technology, they don't have to work in the same location or even country.
Chances are, you'll soon find yourself working in a hybrid situation either remotely or in the office. If you want to be the best hybrid teammate, you'll want to follow these best practices to help your colleagues feel welcome, included, and consistently in the loop.
Phone conferences are still used, but they can be awkward and somewhat impersonal. A video conference is a much better option because it levels the playing field, and no one is left out of new developments, strategies, or other pertinent business decisions that affect everyone.
To be a great teammate, you'll want to advocate for video meetings whenever possible, because it demonstrates to everyone that both in-house and remote employees are vital to the team. The result will be a more productive meeting, along with a consistently cohesive, functional and stronger performing group. Video calls are 33% more productive for communication than audio-only setups.
Even if you've never personally met one another, you'll feel like you know your teammates much better and they'll feel the same. If you're a remote employee, always be courteous and show up on time for meetings that have been accommodated to include you.
Keeping in close communication is important to any relationship. It's always a good idea to follow up online meetings on Slack or Google Hangouts, rather than exclusively in-person. This way, your colleagues will feel as if they included in the post-meeting discussion that so often takes place after a conference.
Plus, using electronic communications post-meeting ensures that remote teammates are kept up to date if any last-minute ideas or changes were discussed and made when exiting the conference room. Following up electronically also offers everyone to jointly share any other ideas, thoughts, or questions they might have after the conference has concluded and get them written down so no one forgets.
Sometimes, it can be hard to juggle conference times when different time zones are involved. To build stronger relationships with your remote teammates, be sure to be aware of their time zones so you don't schedule a time when they'd normally still be in bed, handling clients, or during dinnertime. Here's a handy guide to quickly schedule meetings across multiple time zones.
Being considerate goes a long way towards being a good teammate. If your teammates make the effort to accommodate your time zone, thank them for their efforts and be sure to return the favor if and when the time comes.
Even when organized meetings aren't scheduled, it's not uncommon for conversations to happen ad hoc in the office. If this does occur, as a considerate teammate, take the time to loop your remote teammates in by jumping on a Zoom call. They'll appreciate you made an effort to make sure they were included in any breaking news or important conversations that take place.
It's important to know not all video equipment is created equal. A more personal and inclusive way approach to video conferences is by using a 360° smart video conferencing camera. Many benefits come with this high-tech approach to breaching the location gap amongst colleagues.
Inclusive video conferencing technology, such as the Meeting Owl, contribute to better meetings, along with higher degrees of team cohesiveness.
There is no doubt about it, teleworking and remote employees are the future, especially as millennials (and soon Gen Z) workers dominate the workforce. Modern workers no longer view remote work options as a privilege associated with their jobs, hybrid team options are an expectation.
Aside from employee preferences, hybrid teams are beneficial to the business in many ways.
Top talent is going to be seeking positions that allow them the flexibility they crave. Being social is very much an important attribute of younger generations, and it's important to incorporate this into hybrid team structures. Feeling included is also going to be an important decision-making factor if the opportunity to job hop arises.
Teams that offer remote employees collaborative tools to help them feel like full-fledged team members will have the edge over competitive workplaces that don't treat their remote workers with the same equality as those in-house.
Want to be a great hybrid teammate? Following these approaches can ensure that you nurture these professional relationships like you would with co-workers you physically see every day.