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Work in Hybrid Mode, 10 tips to live it well!

For work in hybrid mode to work, you have to be well organized and put in place a clear methodology, have the right tools, and adopt the right attitude: Being well organized means having established a mode of operation and simple and easy to follow procedures.

If there is one subject that has caused a lot of ink to flow at the start of telework, it is precisely the question of productivity. Would our colleagues and employees perform as well at home? Plusieurs études et sondages révèlent qu’en fait, les gens à la maison ont généralement travaillé un plus grand nombre d’heures, menant du même coup à un essoufflement pour certain(e)s.

With the arrival of new hybrid working methods, it is time to regain control over our schedule in order to ensure healthy productivity. According to a survey of our community, nearly 65% of people will generally work from home while 19% will go to work more frequently at the office; Only 2% think they will return to 100% face-to-face versus 9% full-time telework. The ways of doing hybrid work will therefore vary from one organization to another. However, no matter how you work, implementing best practices will help make hybrid mode a success for you and your organization. In this article, we deliver 10 of them!

Tip #1: Leverage the workplace

When you’re in the office, it’s the perfect time to organize meetings with your colleagues. The interaction is always a little different in person, so these are suitable times to brainstorm, settle outstanding questions, take stock of a project and also to spend time with your team. Do not hesitate to go eat together or simply take a break around the coffee machine to get to know each other better. In the office, collaboration and social life should be at the heart of your concerns. If you work solo all day in the office, chances are you’ll be wondering at the end of the day: Why did I waste time commuting today?
On the other hand, when you are teleworking, take the opportunity to schedule tasks that require more concentration. This is the time to focus on the work that is done well alone. Try as much as possible to reduce the number of meetings during these days and take the opportunity to advance your deliverables. If you do not have all the flexibility and freedom necessary to choose your dates and work locations, you could propose an internal code to let the team know when everyone is concentrated and when they are more dedicated to collaboration.

Tip #2: Reduce Digital Load

Working in hybrid mode can have a significant impact on our digital workload! In fact, we have become very dependent on technology to keep in touch with our colleagues. Thus, the amount of messages sent to speak to those who are in the office or at home has increased tenfold. It is therefore more important than ever to find tactics to manage this flow of information and thus preserve your concentration time and your productivity.
A good practice would therefore be to automate as much as possible certain rules or filters in your mailbox so that you only receive essential messages in real time and the rest, at the appropriate time. This will avoid the temptation (sometimes very strong) to succumb to emails at any time.
For this to work well, it is important to inform your colleagues or indicate, in your signature, that you answer your emails at the end of the morning, for example.
If you are physically at work, rather than sending an email, get up and go see your colleague in person! It sounds very simple, but it can significantly reduce the number of virtual exchanges and boost your sense of belonging!

Tip #3: Review team standards

With the hybrid mode, you will once again have to adapt your ways of working, your rhythm, your schedules, your way of collaborating, of serving your customers, etc. To put the odds on your side for this new transition to be positive, think about reviewing your team standards… as a team! the first track is the following.

your colleague is in the middle of a period of concentration and it is better not to disturb him? Thanks to a color code on your Teams or your Slack? Via your shared calendar?

How will you know that If you are in the office, what code will you adopt? One suggestion is to use small colored flags to hang from your screen: green for I’m open to collaboration and red for Please don’t disturb me. The important thing is that the standard is discussed and shared as a team.

Tip #4: Become aware of your biases

One of the most important factors related to demobilization is the feeling of inequity. In a hybrid work mode, it is important to consider whether everyone will be treated the same, while some are in the office and others are remote. Team dynamics – where everyone feels contributing and included – should remain a concern at all times.
The first thing to do is to become aware of your own biases, those that could benefit some colleagues at the expense of others.
First is proximity bias, where people you see working are thought to be more productive than those at a distance. Such a bias could have the impact of assigning a mandate to a person with whom you have more contact than someone you see less often, for example.
A second common bias is confirmation bias, which is the risk of interpreting new information in order to confirm what we already think about a person. From a distance, you might therefore continue to like people you already like or continue to avoid people you like less. Even if it reflects human nature, it is not desirable within a team: the fewer interactions you have with certain colleagues, the less you will give them the chance to change the opinion you have of them or of them.
Becoming aware of your biases is therefore the first thing to put in place to promote good team dynamics.

Tip #5: Pay special attention to meetings

The first observation about meetings in hybrid mode is that it is really not easy. Indeed, it is difficult to prevent side conversations and innuendo, to ensure that the sound is good and that everyone feels included. In fact, a hybrid meeting should happen as a last resort!
However, when you have little choice, a first piece of advice is to put all the participants on the same videoconferencing tool as soon as a person is remote! So everyone is equal. The same goes for speaking time: try to make it the same for everyone. Therefore, do not hesitate to appoint a person responsible for speaking time in order to ensure this.
Otherwise, the facilitator plays a crucial role in maintaining engagement and momentum in a meeting. By starting the rounds with people who are remote or less frequent or by causing frequent interruptions to solicit them, the person in charge of the animation can really make a difference. Even better, share the animation between one person in the office and another at home!
Finally, the end of the meeting must correspond to the end of the discussion. Otherwise, if choices are made after the fact in an informal way, people at a distance may experience it badly and no longer be encouraged to participate again.

Tip #6: Aim For Fair Relationship Time

To keep track of your interactions and ensure that you are nurturing your various relationships at work, keep an Excel file or list nearby to list the connections you have with your co-workers. Thus, you will thwart the proximity bias and avoid thinking only of those you see more regularly.
On this grid, write down the times when you had an individual meeting, the projects you have in common, the feedback you exchanged, their strengths, etc. Having this list in front of you allows you to have a more objective view of your relationships and to ensure a team dynamic where everyone feels included.
If you don’t feel like using a tool or list, you can just do a mental check-in once a week: Who haven’t I interacted with in a long time?

Tip #7: The Spider Web

Another trick to make sure everyone uses their right to speak fairly is the spider web activity.
Imagine yourself in a meeting. The facilitator draws a circle and connects people according to their interactions over the course of the meeting. At the end of the chat, you will have a visual representation of your interactions. You will see who is overused in a meeting and who is underused. You can easily optimize your next team meeting!

Tip #8: Reduce the amount of virtual information

Many of us have found a great use of the time freed up by commuting time! We train, we sleep more, we have a little more time to take care of the children and their departure for school.
With work in hybrid mode, we are forced to reshuffle everything. If meetings in hybrid mode are to be kept as a last resort, virtual meetings are here to stay.
Studies show that the amount of information collected by our brain during multiple video conference meetings goes beyond the natural. Normally, in face-to-face meetings, we listen and decode the non-verbal language only of the person who is speaking. In video conferencing, everyone looks at each other eye to eye and dissects everyone’s non-verbal at the same time, including oneself. This creates an overload of information that can be tiring in the long run!
However, here are some simple solutions to put in place to remedy this:
Exit full screen mode to reduce the size of faces and the amount of information to process
Hide self-display
De cette façon, vous passez plus de temps à écouter vos collègues qu’à vous analyser ou à vous juger.

Tip #9: Establish white times

White time is the time you leave your mind to wander without a specific objective. For the brain, it is an extremely rejuvenating and invigorating activity. Admit that you have already had genius ideas while taking your shower or on a country road?
Here are some tips to make more room for blank times:
Have meetings of 50 minutes instead of a full hour
On your way to the office, look at the landscape on the train or on the bus, or listen to music while clearing the air in traffic
Use your lunch hour to dine away from your computer
For the brain, periods of inaction are rejuvenating. Although it is not easy to do nothing, try it! You will see that it does you good.

Tip #10: Train your skills

Even before the pandemic, your team certainly had skills to develop in order for its members to thrive. However, in hybrid mode, you will need communication skills, empathy, psychological safety, benevolence, feedback, recognition and courage more than ever. Few people are prepared for this challenge.
To ensure that everyone evolves in a positive way, do not hesitate to put in place practices to develop yourself as a team: co-development, team challenges or development paths can be good solutions.