Jun 7, 2023

How do you Keep Your Team Productive in and out of the Office?

Blog post about hybrid office

The hybrid work model motivates employees who want influence over their schedule and the ability to work independently. Meanwhile, employees who work in the office prefer a friendly and flexible workplace. Managers have to ensure that everyone is performing at their best to achieve business goals. Great teamwork and a comfortable office setting are crucial for keeping things running smoothly.

Improve team productivity  

Managers need to ensure that everyone has what they need to be productive. This task can be quite overwhelming, especially when leading a team of 15-20 people.

The team leader or manager should take the opportunity to get to know each team member and understand the team's strengths. It is also a good idea to learn more about the employees' personal lives and preferences. What is their family situation like, and what are their hobbies? Is there anything you can do to make their lives easier? People often juggle chores and family obligations, such as picking up kids from school and taking care of elderly parents.

We all have different work styles. Some people enjoy thinking outside the box, while others prefer working with spreadsheets. When everyone brings their knowledge and expertise to the table, the team grows stronger.

Make every team member count

Besides identifying the needs and skills of every employee, it's important to encourage team members to get to know each other better. Not everyone can be best friends, but sharing a few laughs can help remove possible grudges. When people work closely together, it's only natural to have disagreements.

Team building exercises can be useful in this regard. If you have a hybrid team, some meetings can be arranged online to ensure everyone feels included. If the in-house team occasionally gets together after work or goes on field trips, why not invite the remote team members to a yearly trip where they can hang out with the rest of the group?

Peer coaching raises the bar

Another way to enhance team spirit is to organize peer coaching sessions, where employees can learn from each other. It provides a perfect opportunity for seniors to make juniors feel welcome, and in turn, juniors can bring a new and fresh perspective to the team.

When the team is built on trust, team members will realize that it is okay to make mistakes and feel comfortable asking for help when needed.

Simplify the daily workflow

Long-term goals can only be achieved if the daily work runs smoothly. Each employee should know their responsibilities and role. Provide the team with access to guidelines about work processes and tasks.

Task rotation can ensure that everyone is treated fairly. It can include various responsibilities, such as buying Friday breakfast or writing a weekly report.

Project management creates a productive environment

A project management tool helps employees stay on top of their tasks and know what is expected of them. By implementing a smart task management system and providing access to an intranet, no one will miss out on important information. They can easily identify high-priority tasks.

Task management systems like Trello or Asana allow the team leader to assign tasks to individuals. Everyone can track the status of tasks and deadlines. Having an overview of all the tasks makes it easier to prioritize and delegate. These subtasks contribute to achieving larger goals and make the workload more manageable.

Uploading important files and pictures in the cloud enables easy access. The notes and comments in the task management system also prove useful when summarizing meeting notes for the weekly or monthly team briefing. These meetings provide a great opportunity for everyone to share their progress and be transparent about any challenges or issues.

When remote, hybrid, and in-office employees work together, an efficient instant messaging or email program is essential. It ensures effective communication across departments and keeps everyone informed about projects and tasks in advance.

Less interruptions - more team efficiency

Interruptions can be time-consuming and hinder workflow. Here are potential roadblocks to consider:

  • Multitasking with multiple tabs open.
  • Frequent checking of notifications from social media and other apps.
  • Constantly answering emails.
  • Meetings without a clear agenda.
  • Distractions such as online browsing or engaging in gossip with team members.

One of the biggest issues is multitasking, which can lead to unnecessary mistakes and lower quality output. By focusing on one task at a time, it becomes easier to concentrate and adhere to deadlines and agreements.

Managers should be aware of daily interruptions and are recommended to keep a record of them. Some of these concerns can also be addressed in meetings. It is important to remind employees about company guidelines. Sometimes, excessive emailing and gossiping may be symptoms of underlying issues. By offering solutions to address these issues, interruptions can be reduced.

Create a healthy work environment

Recent studies have shown that the office environment has a significant impact on how employees feel about going to work and their overall work experience. With the rise of hybrid work, people have become accustomed to the calmness of their home environment and now prefer a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing office. A busy and disruptive office can have a negative effect on motivation and productivity.

Proper office desk lamps and softer lighting in larger spaces can enhance employees' well-being. Introducing elements like fresh air, plants, and stylish furniture can also elevate the office atmosphere. Maintaining tidy spaces with the right equipment and clean bathrooms is also crucial. Some companies opt to hire an interior designer for office layout, but there is also ample inspiration available online.

In addition to the physical environment, employees appreciate an office culture that discourages bad attitudes and office politics from dominating the workplace.

Short breaks help people stay focused

Working non-stop is not a recipe for success. Just as a kite needs air to take flight, team productivity can improve when employees are given the opportunity to relax for about 15 minutes, in addition to the regular lunch break. This also applies to remote workers, as working from home tends to blur the boundaries between work and personal time. They need reminders to take breaks and unwind. Incorporating micro-breaks can help prevent fatigue, burnout, and inefficiency in the workplace. Consider scheduling reminders for all team members to stretch or enjoy a coffee break. Some offices even form teams that work out together or go for a run in the afternoon before resuming work.

Effective communication

To ensure effective meetings, strive to have a clear agenda and stick to it. We recommend that meeting organizers always send a meeting outline in advance to allow attendees to prepare. Keep the meeting duration as short as possible and make remote employees feel included.

If you plan to cancel a meeting, always give advance notice to avoid disrupting people's schedules. Doing so will help reduce stress levels.

Standing meetings

When working in an office for 8 hours a day, it's perfectly normal to feel tired and sluggish in the afternoon. Why not introduce standing meetings and encourage people to incorporate more movement into their day? Many great ideas are formed when you activate your body. Additionally, this presents a great opportunity to have a chat with remote employees who might be walking from a café back to their home office.

Hot desking

Another example that promotes productivity is hot desking, where employees can book different desks and meeting rooms in the office throughout the week. This flexible solution can certainly ignite creativity. For instance, you may choose to work from home on a Tuesday and then meet up with three of your closest colleagues on Wednesday. By utilizing Flowscapes' solutions such as the FlowPlanner, you can easily find an available desk or room and allow your colleagues to book a seat next to you.

A work culture based on ownership and autonomy

No one enjoys being micromanaged or receiving constant messages from the boss throughout the day. Most people work better when they can concentrate and get into a state of flow. When managers maintain a low profile, individuals are able to handle tasks independently and in their own way. When people feel trusted, they are more likely to put in effort. However, employees also need to feel that their managers are available to answer questions or provide guidance when needed.

Keep employees motivated

It's easy to feel like another brick in the wall, as Pink Floyd would say. Managers should consider rewarding high-performing employees and make them feel valued.

Remember to prioritize rewarding quality over quantity. For example, you might have an employee who has answered 50% more emails than others but has received negative customer reviews.

Take the opportunity to follow up with the employee in a one-on-one meeting and provide specific examples of why their work is appreciated. Don't hesitate to visit their desk or send a spontaneous cheerful message to keep the atmosphere lighthearted. A simple "thank you" from a manager is often appreciated. In addition to acknowledging their efforts, it's recommended to implement some form of incentive program, such as bonuses, extra time off, or free lunches.

Highly skilled professionals who value autonomy appreciate workplaces that offer training programs and opportunities for growth. Ensure that the company provides them with the chance to expand their skill set.

The feedback process is a two way street

In order to grow and develop as a manager, it is important to regularly gather feedback from employees. They can provide valuable insights on improving the office environment and work processes.

Start focusing on team productivity today

Team productivity walks a fine line between achieving tasks and being mindful of stress and toxic work environments. In a team, every individual is unique. By ensuring that everyone has a clear role and receives adequate support, a hybrid team can thrive.

Creating collaborative and comfortable spaces adds an extra touch for in-office employees, while project management systems keep remote employees well-informed. Before you know it, the results will surpass all expectations!

Seeking guidance on how to set up your hybrid office for success?

Don't hesitate to schedule a meeting with one of our product experts. They can provide valuable insights into our solutions and how technology can help streamline your office processes without disrupting employees' daily work.

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