As we move out of bulk remote working into a hybrid remote approach, there are a number of significant things to reconsider. One of these issues is the potential of your hybrid groups to have very different work experiences. Working at parity of team experience needs to take place on a number of different fronts, but here are three areas to start with.
Ad-hoc impromptu meetings
When we are all together it the same space, it’s pretty easy to call an impromptu meeting. We just wait until everyone is around and call people together for a huddle. If this is a regular occurrence, then it’s super important to consider how you cover that meeting content with the rest of the team who are currently remote working.
This doesn’t mean that you have to drop all impromptu get-togethers (after all it would be a shame to remove some of the helpful spontaneity of working in the same place), but you do need to catch up with the others in a planned way.
However it’s worth recognising that on some occasions you will need to make the meeting more formal and call a place and time so that everyone, wherever they are, can have chance to attend.
Use of Cams
One best practice approach for hybrid teams is to continue use of remote conferencing even when some of the team are located in the same office. Experience suggests that having half the group on a singe cam (for example in a meeting room) and all the remote workers on their own individual cams simply does not work well.
It is much better to continue the practice of one person, one cam for everyone whether they are in the office or not. This brings a far greater parity of experience, but also makes simple things like seeing and hearing much easier.
Sharing of day to day information
Keeping everyone up to-date with activities and progress remains very similar to good remote working practice. That is, you need a robust team reporting mechanism that is shared on a regular (probably weekly) basis. We favour the long-standing ‘Quad Reporting’ technique, a 10 minute activity that everyone takes part in once a week; sharing the same agreed information to put everyone fully in the picture. We recommend the following quad headings:
- Achievements over last week
- Outlook for next week
- Issues and risks for escalation
- Team specifics
Taking care to make sure the whole team feels included and part of the group takes time and effort when working within a hybrid model. This of course may change from one hybrid model to another (read here for more of the different hybrid models).