Hybrid Teamwork – hybrid is the future

Hybrid Teamwork

Hybrid work has become a mantra of the next normal, and effective Hybrid Teamwork is what will drive successful progressive businesses.

But what does working in a Hybrid Team actually mean and how does it differ from Virtual Teamwork?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that hybrid is not virtual or telecommuting. Virtual teams were connecting in remotely for several years before the 2020 COVID Pandemic. What has changed since then is that many workplaces that would not contemplate virtual working away from the office are now encouraging it, a lot of workers are demanding to be able to retain the flexibility that regular working from home or anywhere offers them. The most visible positive may be reduced commuting time, but the real benefits are far greater.

Hybrid workers sometimes work remotely and when needed or appropriate attend the office. It is a mix of multiple modes of working. This is a far more complex system than just all working in a virtual team that often never meet in person but is assembled to work on specific project and then disbanded.

Hybrid is a new long-term flexible way of working.  As a result, there are some incredible breakthrough opportunities as well as challenges for organisations to get hybrid work right and Hybrid Teams re-energising to deliver on their true potential.

The strategic distance measured in miles or time is not the key challenge. It is the emotional and affinity distance affecting connection, commitment and caring that is the real distance to be closed.

Don’t slip back into old ways as more and more people return to the office. Leveraging Hybrid will require forward looking leadership skills, future looking expectations, new collaboration norms and team relationships. Done right this can create high performing teams combining the best of in-person and virtual work worlds.

Let’s build forwards five or ten years to a new vision of work. What would these work spaces look like to you?

Done right, hybrid will allow you to:

  • Bring in people who are critical to your success not who just happen to report to you
  • Deliver working flexibility to those with family priorities and well as work commitments
  • Offer people more learning experiences and peer-to-peer coaching
  • Build safe workplaces where candour and trust enable people contribute what they truly think, to be courageous and innovative
  • Have working environments where energy is self-regenerated, where people make tangible contributions and celebrate each-other’s success
  • Build collaborative groups that are accountable to each other, deeply bonded and committed

Hybrid working systems do this by re-contracting the meaning of work and teams, creating adaptable not physical boundaries, using all forms of co-creative environments for collaborative problem solving, building leaderful teams and transforming businesses.  No matter what your job you need to look out as well as in, connect to larger systems and networks. In the end we are all responsible for identifying needs to adapt and transform. As futurist and innovator Anders Sorman-Nilsson observes, disruption is a signal from the future that it is time to change. The future is Hybrid.

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