Guide

8 tips to transform people coordination in your hybrid workplace

From the complexity of managing a hybrid team and lengthy scheduling conversations to hoping you meet your colleagues when you come to the office – the hybrid hassle is more than people bargained for. 

How do you combat digital anxiety and facilitate people scheduling for a better hybrid collaboration? How do you create a hybrid work culture of engagement and productivity? 

Discover 8 tips that will help transform your hybrid working experience and create a workplace where people thrive in a successful, growing company. 

People Coordination

Employee wellbeing and engagement

Managing a team of people working at different hours, from different locations is challenging enough but there’s an even bigger obstacle to building a happy, productive workforce – digital fatigue and anxiety.

Close to three-quarters (74%) of American and British workers have seen an increase in the use of business communication tools. They now spend nearly half of their working day (47.5%) using these platforms. 

The consequences are considerable.

  • 60% feel the pressure to respond quickly on these channels, regardless of whether they work from home or in the office.
  • 49% link the increasing use of online communication tools with rising stress levels.
  • 48% suffer from anxiety.

Many have succumbed to the fear of returning to the office, worried about their health, maintaining a good work-life balance, finding a convenient workspace in the office, and accomplishing their tasks for the day, be it working without interruptions or meeting key team members. The solution to these challenges is trifold: policy, clarity, and flexibility. 

Tip #1: Don’t rely on the company policy alone

To be clear, you absolutely need one. Just don’t make the mistake of stopping there. Be strategic about it: 

  • What’s your long-term strategy and how does the new workplace policy fit into it? 
  • What’s the employee experience you’re building? 
  • Does it align with the business growth plans?
  • Will it help attract and retain the talent you’re looking for? 

Apple is a good example of a company-wide policy backfiring to a point where return to the office needs to be delayed several times. To escape a similar fate (and avoid becoming part of the Great Resignation), scratch all assumptions and talk to your people. For example, does the management understand employees’ true motivations to stay or to leave?

There are overarching principles that need to be set at the company level:

  • The chosen hybrid work model, including the choice of work modes and locations available. To facilitate meeting coordination, consider setting fixed hours when people have to be available for calls and meetings.
  • Curating a positive employee experience. It starts the moment a candidate applies for a job and continues to form throughout key moments and interactions every day: performance reviews, team meetings and events, the flexibility of working hours, the ease of finding and reserving a best-fit workspace in the office, etc. 
  • Recognizing effort and contribution, both professional achievements and other activities like helping to organize team building events. Workplace recognition provides a sense of accomplishment. It strengthens the feeling of being valued and appreciated and motivates engagement and productivity. 
  • Health and wellbeing support. 40% of Gen Z and Millennial workers want resources and access to wellbeing and mental health support. Few receive it. Survey your people to identify what they need the most, whether it’s self-care videos and meditation classes like at Culligan Water, or meeting-free Fridays Ă  la Intel.

Once these principles are set in the company hybrid work policy, allow teams some flexibility in how they’re implemented, to create their hybrid work culture and routines. 

Hybrid Working Policy Checklist for Workplace Managers

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Tip #2: Empower your people with Kadence

Setting up regular Kadence is a crucial element of effective hybrid collaboration. Workplace managers don’t have to force people to follow an artificially created workflow management and people scheduling process. Instead, they’ve given their employees a way to shape the perfect productivity routine themselves.

Book a desk near your teammate

For example, a team can build a recurring Kadence of weekly Tuesday meetings, or bi-weekly cross-team collaboration on a project. Each team member can also build a private routine around it, such as Social Fridays to catch up with colleagues, or informal coworking sessions with friends.

Tip #3: Mix synchronous and asynchronous collaboration

Consider this:

  • 51% of US and UK workers would prefer face-to-face meetings at least once a week.
  • 52% would rather have meetings in the office.
  • 70% of younger workers fear missing out on opportunities to socialize in the office if remote work becomes permanent.

Quite apart from its negative impact on their work relationships, most people believe that prolonged remote working would result in them enjoying their job less (59%) and even finding it harder to focus (63%).

The answer to the digital static-induced overwhelm, anxiety, and isolation is a healthy mix of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration. 

  • Set guidelines for how work is done, what requires a hybrid or on-site meeting.
  • Define what should be communicated via email, Slack, Zoom, and your project management tool. 
  • Limit the number of meetings. When you do hold them, make sure everyone’s clear on the agenda, and a moderator is assigned to help reach the meeting’s goals effectively.

5 steps to make your hybrid meetings more inclusive

Read more to find out how you can run hybrid meetings as effectively as possible

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Scheduling automation and the workplace experience 

Workplace managers have yet to test whether people use the office as planned or, as in the case of Microsoft, less than a quarter of the time they intended to be there.

HR and team managers struggle to have visibility over employees’ work schedules and locations. Your employees’ workplace experience can soon turn into a series of hybrid hassles:

  • Never knowing when to be in the office (and which one) to meet the right people
  • Time-consuming meeting coordination and an entire Slack thread of scheduling conversations
  • Difficulty finding a workspace that matches their needs (something a quarter (25%) of US and UK employees worry about)
  • Locating their desk in the new or repurposed office space
  • Not finding a free desk in the workplace app only to discover that half the office is empty upon arrival

The list goes on.

Arguably, nothing is more unpredictable than people. Yet, in a work environment, the way people navigate their workday has a domino effect on the entire organization. That’s why getting scheduling right is so important.

Tip #4: Take the guesswork out of planning office time

Half the hybrid hassle and anxiety go away with a powerful people coordination and scheduling process that includes:

  1. shared team schedules so you know when and where your teammates plan to work
  2. visualized all in one place so you don’t have to switch between dashboard and lose track of data along the way
  3. putting a face to the name as they show up on the floor plan so you know who’s who if you’ve never met them in person
  4. real-time visibility into people’s movements to coordinate meetings easily

workplace preferences

No second-guessing your office days, time-consuming meeting coordination, or time and money lost commuting to a half-empty office – just an instantly better employee experience!

Create the best hybrid working experience for your people

Discover how you can give people the flexibility in a hybrid workplace, while keeping it easy to set flexible working expectations.

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Tip #5: Prioritize a hassle-free user experience

Even the world’s greatest workplace policy will fall flat without employee scheduling software that delivers both the functionality and the design to make a workday easier. In fact, 40% of British and American employees quote having the tools to find and book meeting spaces easily as one of their priorities.

You can deliver that with a desk and room booking app that:

  • Provides the information employees need: real-time updates on the desk and room availability, the amenities in different rooms and areas to choose from, and their booking schedule displayed all in one place.
  • Ensures employee safety with health screening, and policy settings to adjust the office layout and capacity.
  • Streamlines people coordination by giving managers a view of their team’s schedules, advanced filters to find the ideal meeting time and location, and enabling them to book spaces on behalf of others.
  • Is easy to use (even for the least tech-savvy in the team).
  • Saves everyone time with useful integrations with other workplace tools. 

Tip #6: Get space usage insights to optimize workplace experience

Rome was not built in a day. Circumstances, people, and their preferences will continue to change and evolve. The only way to uncover those and spot new opportunities is by building feedback into the company culture. That includes:

  • Surveys, which, when done right, help you determine what different hybrid working personas value most in the workplace and evaluate how well your policies, office spaces, and the overall employee experience meet their needs.
  • Using the space usage insights provided by your desk and room booking software to nurture communication, cooperation, and employee wellbeing. Real-time check-in data and historic space usage insights can help you 
    • uncover work patterns among teams and individuals; 
    • forecast and prepare for future demand;
    • improve desk availability with advanced features like auto-desk release;
    • evaluate whether the office is used as intended; 
    • optimize and adjust the workspaces accordingly.

Do more with less space to facilitate your people’s best work

Discover how Kadence can help you manage spaces smarter, and make better decisions for future space planning

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People coordination for hybrid collaboration

  • 67% of Gen Z and Millennials have difficulty making friends and maintaining relationships with colleagues while working from home.
  • 71% say that prolonged remote working has caused them to drift apart from workmates.
  • 81% of younger workers would feel more isolated without time in the office.

Remote work may come with many perks but it takes a toll on the company culture, employee wellbeing and engagement. It has already led to a fall in cross-team communication and can increase the risk of employees feeling isolated and over time, unappreciated and disengaged. Here’s how not to let it happen in your organization.

Tip #7: Balance remote and office time

The constant use of business communication tools drains employees of the energy to socialize. Over half of US and UK workers would choose face-to-face meetings at least once a week, preferably in the office. 

Working from home full-time might be convenient for some but for others, it’s a recipe for loneliness. To get hybrid right, you need to balance digital work with a healthy dose of face-to-face interactions.

Tip #8: Use Kadence to promote engagement and collaboration 

Chance encounters with colleagues in the office make people happier, more creative, and motivated at work. Unsurprisingly, organizations that support these spontaneous interactions in the workplace have seen the biggest rise in productivity and customer satisfaction during the past two years. 

Give people the tools to curate more chance meetings and cross-function collaboration by:

  • creating group bookings for work as well as team building and socializing;
  • facilitating informal collaboration sessions with an interactive floor plan showing co-workers in the office in real time;
  • using the visibility of Personal Kadence to check in more regularly on those working remotely.

All you need is a people-first employee scheduling software that’s built for engagement and collaboration – find out more here

Get started with Kadence today

Book a demo with our team to discover how we can help you create a hybrid workplace for your people.

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