Hybrid Team Building - How To Engage Your Hybrid Team

Written by:
Collin Waldoch
March 26, 2021

Team building activities are crucial to developing a healthy culture for teams that are newly hybrid.

Hybrid work is the new remote work. The pandemic presents leaders with twin challenges: how to effectively manage remote working environments amid the uncertainty of today, and how to appropriately prepare for the hybrid working infrastructure of tomorrow. The solutions to these challenges must be rooted in building team culture.

Going forward, we envision a harmony between remote work and in-person, creating “hybrid” teams. The data confirms that the future of the workplace will be hybrid: a recent survey found that 77% of the workforce wants to continue working remotely at least once per week. To avoid a talent exodus, you must embrace the hybrid model. As such, to succeed over the next few years, it’s critical to think about how to engage a hybrid team.

Planning for a hybrid future can be nerve-wracking, we get it.

Here’s the questions we’ll tackle:

  • What are hybrid teams?
  • Why hybrid remote working?
  • How do you manage hybrid teams?
  • How can you engage hybrid teams?
  • What are the best hybrid team building activities?

After reading our thoughts on hybrid team building, don’t hesitate to get in touch with specific questions. We’re eager to hear about the challenges hybrid teams face. And, of course,  when it comes to developing a robust culture for hybrid teams, we want Water Cooler Trivia to be part of the solution.

What are hybrid teams?

A hybrid team is a partly-distributed workforce consisting of flexible workers. These workers have the choice of either working from an office, remotely, or a mix of the two. This flexibility is very appealing to employees that are trying to juggle the challenges of their personal and professional lives. For instance, being on a hybrid team may appeal to working parents.

We don't recommend standing on your laptop.

There are many companies and organizations giving employees the chance to work away from the office for a few days each week. Sometimes, team leaders will let employees break up the day by spending the morning in the office and the afternoon working from home. With these options on the table, many teams can now be considered hybrid teams.

Why hybrid remote working?

As the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end, employees will start returning to the workplace. Some organizations may limit the capacity of the total workforce showing up to the offices by having employees come into the office on a rotational basis. This will pave the way for a hybrid structure where some team members will work remotely, while others will arrive at the office. Additionally, the pandemic opened many teams' eyes to the benefits of mixed time in and out of the office.

How do you manage hybrid teams?

While the hybrid model adds flexibility to the calendar for team members, it also comes with complexities for team leaders. How do you effectively manage a team that is stationed in different physical locations without prioritizing one group over the other? When team leaders are based out of the main office, it is easy to prioritize those in the office.

For team leaders to manage hybrid teams, they must divide their attention across office workers and remote workers - without feeling like they are managing separate workforces. 

It's ... all downhill from here? Well, after a little more uphill.

We’ll be frank: it’s a challenge. Hybrid teams will benefit from daily briefings and brainstorming sessions to keep everyone on the same page. Regardless of whether a team member is physically present in the office or working remotely, they must have the same level of access to the rest of the team. 

This is all surprisingly achievable through the use of new tools such as Zoom and Slack. In particular, we recommend asynchronous tools like Yac and recommend looking at the playbook from remote pioneers Gitlab.

How can you engage hybrid teams?

Hybrid team building activities are vital to boosting team culture. No matter how far apart team members are, you must operate as a cohesive unit. Build the hybrid team on strong foundations by prioritizing team culture - and infuse lighthearted fun into the working environment. With Zoom and Slack, hybrid team building activities bring everyone together. Speaking of which...

What are the best hybrid team building activities?

If you’re looking for the best hybrid team building activity, we recommend starting with Water Cooler Trivia. Crafted by best-in-class trivia professionals, handwritten quizzes come in weekly. These can be distributed across the hybrid team and submitted around their schedule. Once the results are in, these will likely spark conversations among hybrid team members.

When you’re working as a hybrid team, we encourage the team leader to create conversations around the answers to specific trivia questions. These conversations could either take place at the beginning or end of your most recent Zoom call. Our trivia quizzes come fully customized to meet the needs of your hybrid team, allowing you to handpick relevant topics of interest.

Ready to boost your team culture with hybrid team building activities? Get started with a free four-week trial of Water Cooler Trivia today!