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How to create a seamless hybrid work culture

Hybrid work has surged in popularity in recent years, rapidly becoming the preferred model for countless organizations worldwide. This rise in popularity can be attributed to several factors, including advancements in technology that enable seamless remote collaboration, the growing emphasis on work-life balance, and the realization that hybrid arrangements offer the flexibility and autonomy that many employees crave. 

Our State of Hybrid Work Report tells us that employees want flexibility, with 25% of those surveyed saying that they’re willing to take a 15% pay cut for flexible hours. But we also know that flexibility doesn’t necessarily mean fully remote work. In fact, 94% of workers said they could be convinced to return to the office. As a result, many organizations are now transitioning to a hybrid work model in an effort to find the balance between employee satisfaction and productivity. 

While a hybrid work culture can’t be embedded in your company overnight, the work to create a truly effective hybrid working environment has already begun. For organizations that may feel unprepared for this shift, there is an abundance of tools and resources available to assist you in your journey towards a more flexible workplace. Let’s take a closer look at how you can begin implementing a better hybrid work culture. 

What does hybrid working look like?

Simply put, hybrid work is any combination of remote and in-person work. Companies with positive hybrid work cultures allow their employees to work on hybrid schedules — where they work remotely some of the time and on-site at other times — and have invested in technology that supports hybrid work, like the Owl Labs ecosystem. On paper, hybrid work is a clear-cut approach to melding all of the best qualities of both remote and in-person work. However, the realities of implementing an effective hybrid workforce strategy are much more nuanced than simply meshing these two styles.

When crafting your approach for embedding a hybrid sense of work into your company culture, it’s important to remember that no two companies can (or should) approach hybrid work in the same way. Depending on your company’s specific priorities, employee preferences, and limitations, hybrid work can look and feel like any number of things. The nature of hybrid work is inherently customizable, embracing this factor will allow you to create more natural and sustainable hybrid workplace policies at your organization than if you were to say, only implement hybrid changes that you’ve seen at other companies.

HubSpot’s  journey to hybrid culture

In today’s dynamic work landscape, the shift towards hybrid work models is more prevalent than ever. HubSpot, a leading global company, stands at the forefront of this transformation, reshaping its approach to work to empower successful remote and hybrid teams. Let’s explore key insights from HubSpot’s Chief People Officer, Katie Burke, on building a hybrid-friendly culture.

“Flexibility has been infused into how we work at HubSpot since the company was started, but it’s shifted into a new gear in the last two years,” says Burke. “The pandemic accelerated our decision to clearly define work preferences, which allowed us to create a clear menu of options and be incredibly transparent with employees and candidates about what flexibility is available to them.” 

HubSpot’s journey towards building a hybrid-friendly culture exemplifies a commitment to fostering collaboration, inclusivity, and employee well-being. By prioritizing transparent communication, addressing pain points proactively, and embracing remote work as a competitive advantage, HubSpot sets a compelling example for organizations navigating the complexities of hybrid work in today’s digital age.

Managing + supporting a hybrid workforce

A primary component of a strong hybrid work culture is how well a company supports its hybrid teams. No hybrid employee is an island unto themselves — no matter how far away they are from their teammates. And for hybrid employees who are new to the hybrid workforce, being a high-functioning hybrid teammate may come with a learning curve and require more hands-on attention than a company is used to giving. 

To ensure that the your organization is embracing effective hybrid workplace best practices, create an open line of dialogue from team leaders to leadership teams. Upholding communication standards is necessary for any type of company, but the more distributed your teams are, the more essential it is to make sure every member of your team feels heard. The moment an employee feels lost and unsupported is the moment their work performance begins to suffer. The other component of effective hybrid workforce solutions is technical support, mainly— being outfitted with all of the necessary tech tools and training to support a hybrid workforce.

There are two sides to supporting hybrid teams with tech: supplying them with the tools they need to work remotely and rewiring your office spaces to better support on-site hybrid work. When working remotely, the software and hardware that hybrid team members require include:

On the days when hybrid employees are working from the office, their technology needs don’t change. However, there are many ways you can revamp and refurbish your office space to create workspaces designed to embrace and enhance hybrid workforce solutions. Some of the ways you can rewire your office space to support hybrid teams include:

  • Creating tech rental stations so employees don’t have to lug all of their equipment with them on days that they work from the office.
  • Updating meeting rooms with cutting-edge video conferencing technology to make meetings feel as collaborative as possible, even if everyone can’t be in the same room. 
  • Redesigning your conference rooms to better support hybrid meetings, like swapping your long rectangular meeting room table out for a circular one to create a more inclusive conference room atmosphere.
  • Design meeting rooms with hybrid collaboration in mind, like by including smart whiteboards and smart video cameras
  • Install video conferencing phone booths for impromptu 1:1 virtual meetings between on-site and remote teammates

Redesigning your communal spaces to include more flexible furniture options, so teams of all sizes feel supported when they meet in person

Hybrid team management best practices

The art of creating a cohesive hybrid team culture comes naturally for some companies, but organizations new to hybrid work may find themselves struggling to piece together the perfect, most effective, hybrid workforce solutions. Then, once you have formed your super groups of hybrid workers, how do you keep them connected with your company culture when they are distributed? To ensure no hybrid employee goes unaffected, keep these best practices in mind when managing a hybrid workforce:

  • Create opportunities for casual connection, such as hybrid team happy hours on Fridays to celebrate the end of another successful work week or hybrid team coffee catchups on Monday mornings to bring everyone up to speed on expectations for the week ahead.
  • Create shared experiences that can be done anywhere. For example, hybrid teams can participate in community initiatives independently then come together virtually to share their experiences with each other.
  • Remember to celebrate hybrid team success through virtual celebrations, boxed events, or even themed days to foster camaraderie.
  • For distributed hybrid teams where no two employees live in the same communities, take turns doing “hometown tours” where each employee sends staples of their neighborhood to their teammates— like local craft beer, coffee beans from a local brewer, or even the recipe of a popular regional dish— and they all meet virtually to share in the experience.

The secret to building a hybrid work culture at your company that prioritizes the needs of your employees, while establishing a collaborative and trust-based environment is simple — listen to your hybrid employees. When crafting your hybrid company culture is approached as a joint effort that benefits every member of your organization, you will all benefit.