Are your hybrid employees feeling disengaged? Scared they’re losing that spark at work?

Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

The shift to a hybrid work environment can stir up a whirlwind of emotions, and the fear of losing touch with your team’s motivation and connection is understandable.

But that doesn’t have to be you. This article will equip you with 10 strategies for keeping hybrid employees engaged.

A recent Gallup poll revealed that 60% of employees prefer hybrid work, this arrangement comes with its fair share of challenges. And when these challenges go unaddressed, hybrid employees often feel disengaged.


Quick Summary

The 10 strategies you need for keeping your hybrid employees engaged are as follows:

1. Empower communication for hybrid workers.

2. Give hybrid employees a voice.

3. Combat zoom fatigue.

4. Engage in one-on-one interactions.

5. Build a community.

6. Recognize and appreciate your employees.

7. Foster a culture of well-being.

8. Set a company vision and goals.

9. Promote employee development and growth.

10. Leverage technology for seamless collaboration.


Why Are Hybrid Employees Feeling Disengaged?

The nature of a hybrid work environment can pose certain challenges to employee engagement levels. Those challenges include a lack of social connections, not having a ”traditional” work schedule, and losing a sense of belonging.

  • Lack of social connections: Before the pandemic started, most employees worked onsite with their colleagues; they may have eaten lunch together or regularly gone out for after-work drinks. This provided plenty of opportunities for socialization — socialization that went away once lockdowns went into effect. Not seeing people in the office everyday can leave many hybrid workers feeling disconnected.

working from home

  • Disruption of a “traditional” schedule: Employees had to adjust to working remotely during the pandemic lockdowns. And now that restrictions have eased in many places, they have to get used to going back to the office again. This constant adjustment can take a toll on employees.
  • Losing a sense of belonging: Hybrid workers can lose a sense of belonging when they’re not always in the same physical location as the rest of the company. They often feel disconnected from key decisions, leading to ingroups and outgroups, where onsite employees are often favored at the expense of those doing hybrid work.

10 Proven Strategies for Keeping Hybrid Workers Engaged

Transitioning into a hybrid work environment can be tricky. To do it successfully, leaders need to be proactive and intentional about keeping hybrid employees engaged. Here are ten ways to do just that:

#1: Encourage Communication with Hybrid Workers

Communication regarding the future of post-pandemic work hasn’t been great at most companies.

It’s absolutely crucial to foster a culture where open and frequent communication within the organization is the norm. That includes mastering asynchronous communication.

proper communication

There are several ways to do this, including:

  • Encourage team members to share their preferred communication channels, such as email, chat, and video calls.
  • Promote a culture where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas, asking questions, and providing feedback, regardless of their location.
  • Schedule weekly or monthly company-wide virtual check-ins to give leaders an opportunity to share important updates or upcoming events and help employees feel more connected.

Don’t forget to establish clear guidelines for response times and availability — and stick to them.

#2: Listen to Your Employees

Transitioning into hybrid work requires input from leaders and employees alike. Here are a few ways you can show your employees you take their contributions seriously:

  • Establish clear communication channels.
  • Communicate roles, responsibilities, and expectations transparently.
  • Encourage employee feedback, and take it into consideration.
  • Lead by example.

#3: Combat Zoom Fatigue

The average Zoom meeting lasts 54 minutes. That’s a pretty long time, and employees can quickly burn out if they have multiple meetings per day or prolonged screen time.

Employees can “reset” between hybrid meetings if they have time to get up, stretch, and step away from their computer for a moment. Then, they can begin their next meeting feeling recharged and ready to contribute.

Here’s a few more ways to combat Zoom fatigue:

Helping your team connect can be fun, and it can help break up a long workday.

#4: Engage in One-on-One Interactions

The ability to form personal connections has always been significant in the workplace, but it’s especially vital now in hybrid environments.

Recent Gallup data showed 32% of employees who reported having a best friend at work were extremely satisfied with their place of work amid the pandemic. However, only 2 in 10 employees in the US report having a best friend at work.

Your employees don’t necessarily need best friends to be engaged at work, but they do need a manager who cares. The same matters for fully remote employees.

Here are some tips for managers to effectively engage with individual team members:

  • Schedule regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings to discuss goals, challenges, and career aspirations. These meetings offer an opportunity for managers to address employee concerns, provide guidance, offer support, and build trust.
  • Provide timely, constructive feedback.

zoom call

#5: Build a Community

If you’re serious about keeping your hybrid workforce engaged, building a community should be your top priority.

Here are some creative approaches to fostering collaboration among hybrid teams:

  • Organize virtual team-building activities, such as virtual happy hours or online games. These activities can help hybrid workers bond and build relationships with their colleagues.
  • Establish online collaboration platforms for sharing ideas and working together on projects.
  • Since social connection and team building are important for a hybrid workforce, schedule regular team meetings to build rapport and maintain team cohesion.
  • Encourage cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing to give employees a sense of unity and encourage them to see themselves as part of a larger community.

Want to know how a real company did this?

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) built a community with their hybrid workforce by using OfficeRnD Hybrid. The platform enabled IES to:

  • Analyze their team’s engagement.
  • Promote collaboration with smart scheduling.
  • Use in-app announcements and events to foster a sense of belonging.

For more inspiring workplace collaboration examples, check out Unleash Team Success: 4 Proven Workplace Collaboration Examples.

Last but not least, if you want to build a stronger community, you have to know how to overcome generational differences in the workplace.

#6: Recognize and Appreciate Your Employees

Employees are naturally more engaged when their hard work is recognized. Especially those hired in hybrid roles.  It can also improve work quality and inspire trust when employees feel appreciated.

There are several ways to recognize employee contributions:

#7: Foster a Culture of Well-being

According to McKinsey, employees who are facing mental health and well-being challenges are four times more likely to want to leave their organizations. And even worse, hybrid employees are more likely to be stressed. Therefore, creating a supportive work environment is paramount to keeping hybrid employees engaged.

Here are a few ways you can foster a culture of well-being:

  • Encourage work-life balance by setting clear boundaries and promoting flexible schedules. Even better, why not let them design their own schedules? Employees who contribute to their organization’s work design perform better and are less likely to experience fatigue.
  • Establish clear boundaries and expectations regarding work hours and availability.
  • Encourage breaks and time off to prevent burnout.
  • Provide resources and support for mental health and well-being.

You can also hire an employee experience manager to further help with all that.

hybrid employee working

#8: Set a Company Vision and Goals

What better way to inspire a sense of purpose and connectedness than setting a company vision?

Here are a few ways you can keep employees aligned with your organization’s vision and goals:

  • Cascade company goals and objectives to individual teams and team members to help them understand how their work contributes to the company’s main vision.
  • Help employees understand the context and meaning behind their work. Clearly explain how their work contributes to the organization’s goals and impacts the company’s vision.
  • Encourage regular goal setting and progress tracking.
  • Recognize areas of improvement and motivate your employees to grow

#9: Promote Employee Development and Growth

Businesses that are keen on keeping hybrid employees engaged shouldn’t ignore the importance of continuous learning and development.

office employees

Here are a few ways you can keep top talent by promoting employee development and growth:

  • Provide training opportunities to enhance skills relevant to the hybrid work environment.
  • Encourage employees to pursue professional development through online courses or certifications.
  • Use employee feedback surveys and performance metrics to assess the impact of training and development programs.
  • Tailor future initiatives based on data-driven insights.

#10: Use Technology to Your Advantage

Collaboration can be difficult for teams that work in different places. Fortunately, however, technology can help bridge the gap between people in the office and their hybrid counterparts.

Here are some recommendations for selecting and implementing the right tools:

  • Choose technology that facilitates real-time collaboration and document sharing.
  • Implement video conferencing platforms with features like screen-sharing and virtual whiteboards.
  • Consider security, ease of use, and integration capabilities.
  • Provide training and support to ensure your employees can use the tools effectively.

OfficeRnD Hybrid is a great example. It’s a powerful hybrid work management tool that has a powerful set of collaborative scheduling features. And it seamlessly integrates with your tech stack.

Müller wanted to encourage their employees to return to the office for collaboration and socialization.

When they started transitioning into hybrid work, they used manual processes such as Excel spreadsheets to manage their human and space resources. But thanks to OfficeRnD Hybrid, they were able to speed up their workflows and even expand their employee base.

Read more about Müller’s story.

muller case study

By using technology to your advantage, you can face the most common challenges of virtual teams.

Unleash the Power of Your Hybrid Workforce

Keeping hybrid employees engaged doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. In fact, it’s really quite simple.

Want to take your hybrid workforce to the next level?

Use the strategies above in conjunction with OfficeRnD Hybrid. OfficeRnD Hybrid works wherever you work, whether that’s on Microsoft or Google or other apps — just plug and play. It’s so easy to use that your team will be collaborating in no time at all.

Get started for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid.

FAQ

How Do You Keep Employees Engaged in a Hybrid Workplace?

Here’s how you can keep employees engaged in a hybrid workplace:

  • Foster open communication.
  • Provide opportunities for collaboration.
  • Promote a strong sense of belonging through virtual team-building activities and inclusive decision-making processes.
  • Inspire innovation

How Do You Motivate Employees in a Hybrid Workplace?

You can motivate employees in a hybrid workplace by:

  • Setting clear goals.
  • Recognizing and appreciating employees’ contributions.
  • Offering professional development opportunities.
  • Fostering a culture of health and well-being.

What Are the 5 Cs of Hybrid Work?

The 5 Cs of hybrid work are communication, coordination, connection, creativity, and culture.

What Makes a Successful Hybrid Workplace?

To run a successful hybrid workplace, employers must consider both fully onsite and hybrid employees’ needs and develop an arrangement that’s beneficial to all.

How Do You Keep Virtual Employees Engaged?

Keep virtual employees engaged by prioritizing communication, giving them a voice, building a community, and leveraging technology for seamless collaboration.

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".