Are our teams experiencing as much hybrid productivity as they could? ? Many teams express frustrations. The sexiness of working from home may be wearing thin for many and hybrid does not fix this. Is hybrid productivity replaced by hibernation in some cases?
The downside of being a species that desires community and connection is that we need them to thrive and excel. Thus many workers are missing the casual interactions and team chats that build team spirit, collaboration and fun.
My experience is that some remote team’s productivity has indeed gone into ‘hibernation’.
Sure, some people would argue that this new ‘virtual age’ has been a winner bringing in productivity gains – but not for everyone. Good software and technology platforms certainly facilitate quality communication and workflow management, but are they addressing all the team needs?
Waking Up From “Hibernation”
Recently I worked with a state team where most work independently in their own area and they are widely spread geographically. They face “hybrid productivity” challenges like many “remote” or “distributed” teams.
With the whole team spending 3 days together at a conference centre, the changes in how people saw each other, and perception of team culture (rated very low) were palpable. When people have fun with each other, you can see the lights come on. The brains become free to come in from the organisations’ car park.
These experiences always provide productivity gains that return the investment many times over. The highlights of the changes include
- Increased level of team engagement
- Increased sharing of ideas and solutions
- Stronger connectedness between team members
- Evaporation of perception of ‘silos’/”us” and “them”
Having Fun As A Team
Foundational to Bridgeworks are the words often attributed to Plato
You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
That (fun) formula has worked magic for the Bridgeworks process over the years. According to Hahn (see our post Nature, Great Healer And Team Ally), play and having fun are key to ‘anchoring’ the learning. At Bridgeworks “fun” is one of the key ingredients to the programs’ continued success.
Hybrid Work Can Deliver Sustained Productivity, Innovation, Wellbeing
Research at Swinburne University found that
remote technology has allowed service delivery to continue with minimal disruption, but empty offices have huge cost implications and bring new challenges: those of sustained productivity, innovation and wellbeing.
An expectation gap is emerging between workers and organisations. To adapt and thrive successfully, businesses must understand the current state of hybrid work, and how workforce needs are shifting as a result.
We can’t turn the clock back to full face-to-face collaboration, however teams need to factor-in opportunities to come together in person.
Yes, with hybrid work, many people may feel personally more fulfilled and productive across work and personal life.
Additionally employers need to have strategies to nurture engagement, a positive culture and hybrid productivity. Opportunities to “learn by doing” together in person reinforce the human element and critical nature of ‘team spirit’ and moving together as one professional team.
Time For Fun And Learning?
Maybe the time is right now for you to bring all your team together face to face to have some fun and move them from a ‘team of professionals’ to one ‘professional team’.
If that is your team, let’s talk through the options.