The hot topic at the forefront of the conversation across companies both big and small these days is “hybrid workforce.” According to a recent survey by PwC, 55% of executives expect that most of their workers will continue to work remotely after the pandemic subsides. Before the pandemic, the reported percentage of remote workers by the same executives was just an estimated 39%.
Managers are figuring out how to balance a roster of employees that can head back to the office to work in person, with those who can – or prefer to – remain remote.
It won’t be an easy transition, but there are some important basic tenets that exist that will help employers and managers navigate this unprecedented situation and bridge the gaps between the virtual and in-person workforce.
Think About the Common Experience
Presenting employees with some kind of equal playing field or common ground that allows everyone to join together and enjoy a shared experience at work will be critically important during the transition from the virtual office to in-person or a hybrid approach.
Consider the idea of the common experience from the perspective of learning and development: some people prefer to engage in in-the-moment classroom-based learning, while others opt for pre-recorded content through online lectures.
If a class or lecture is held in person and also recorded, there is a level playing field that exists for both groups. No matter how a student prefers to learn, at its core, they are experiencing the same lessons and gaining the same knowledge and key takeaways.
Managers are implored to take action by actively cultivating feelings of solidarity and a shared mission across the workforce – something that has proven to strengthen team bonds and trust.
How to Create a Common Experience for Virtual Teams
From a teambuilding perspective, things look a little different.
It’s difficult to exactly replicate a virtual version of the bowling alley or happy hour social that we might be used to enjoying with our teams to build morale or camaraderie, so it’s important to consider what can be done virtually to elevate a team building experience, making it possible for both in-person and virtual attendees to participate and benefit.
For those who can’t – or prefer not to – participate in person, consider how you can bring the common experience to them. Think about shipping or sending elements from your in-person event to remote attendees to foster a sense of unity and give all participants a taste of the same experience, like a snack, ingredients for a fun drink, or all the materials they’ll need to participate in a friendly team competition.
Managers and owners should also consider virtual team building activities that can scale to provide in-person and remote employees with the same experience, regardless of their location, learning style, or participation preferences to provide that sense of unity.
Involve Employees in the Conversation About the Future of the Workplace
Above all else, it’s crucial that managers and owners involve employees in discussions about the common experience in the workplace and the future of in-person and remote teams.
There isn’t necessarily one answer out there that will work for all teams, organizations, employees – that’s why it’s important these discussions are open to those who comprise them.
Things don’t simply have to go back to the way they were before. Teams can take the best of the traditional workplace and the best of the modern, remote workplace to create work and team building experiences that lead to increased employee satisfaction, team cohesion, and morale.
Plan A Virtual Team Building Event for Your Team
Contact Think Quick Events to learn more about our virtual team building options and discover the best event for your team today!