How to Collaborate in Today’s Remote or Hybrid Workplace
Remote jobs are here to stay. A recent Robert Half survey concluded that 85% of workers are interested in hybrid or fully remote positions. And they have options: 22.9% of all new job postings in January 2023 were advertised as remote, up from 20.6% a year ago. [i]
This is great news for both employees and employers. But there are some challenges to overcome if this trend is to succeed for both parties.
Let’s consider together three important aspects that can make this trend a success story:
- The challenges of remote or hybrid workplaces
- What you need to succeed
- How we can help
The Challenges of Remote or Hybrid Workplaces
Think for just a little about three of the challenges facing those working from home.
Culture and Relationships
When you’re working remotely, it can be difficult to stay connected with your colleagues. Communication isn’t as free and spontaneous as it can be when you’re working side by side in the office or talking in the hallway. You don’t see the smiles or the frowns, so it can be more difficult to “read the room” or feel the energy of the team.
As home and work can sometimes start to merge, work-related stress and anxiety can increase. Employees can begin to wonder whether they should take time off when they need to, or if they need to always be “on call”. Since they’re not being directly monitored for productivity, they can start to wonder if they truly have their employer’s trust, and therefore feel under pressure to compensate by working extra or taking on that last-minute request.
Dealing with Change
Changes happen in your work situation, in your team strategy, in team membership, in deadlines, and the list goes on. Dealing with change is inevitable but doing so while alone in a remote location can be especially difficult. Employees can feel isolated and unable to air their feelings and thoughts freely, or to brainstorm for new solutions.
These challenges might, on the surface, seem insurmountable. But they’re not. Each of them can be overcome if you put a few simple strategies in place.
What You Need to Succeed
Professional skills such as communication, team building, and time management can be invaluable.
How, exactly, can they help? Let’s see:
Good Communication Skills
It’s been said that communication is the lifeblood of any relationship, whether at home or on the job. It’s also the lifeblood of any meeting, project, or organization. You need to be able to communicate openly and honestly, to share information freely, and to cooperate. When you can make that happen, you can overcome even the biggest challenges. But how do you make it happen? You need to connect regularly. If that connection can’t be made in person, think of ways to make it virtually.
Create opportunities to connect informally, such as virtual coffee breaks, lunch and learns, or happy hours. Make sure to keep the overall feel of your online meetings fun and relaxed.
- Connect virtually and frequently
- Virtual coffee breaks or lunch and learns
- Virtual happy hours
- A friendly, relaxed atmosphere at online meetings
Good Team Building and Collaboration Skills
A strong team can be a powerful force. But a strong team doesn’t happen by accident. If they’re not done right, team building projects can feel like a waste of time where people spend more time talking about doing things than getting things done.
Meet regularly but try not to add many additional meetings to someone’s already busy schedule. Set a meaningful agenda and have someone take good notes so that you don’t have to meet and discuss the same topics over again for clarification. Can you discuss things in a meeting that is already scheduled, instead of setting a new one? Recognize that people have different communication styles and needs, so allow for the fact that some may like to keep in touch with dozens of text, voice, or video messages in a day, but others may find that overwhelming.
- Meaningful meeting agendas
- Keep meetings on topic and keep good minutes
- Recognize that people have different ideas on how often updates are needed
Good Time Management Skills
The two hours many people used to spend commuting was usually time wasted. But that doesn’t mean that we now miraculously have lots of extra time in our day to just play with. When we work remotely, our schedules are often more at variance with those of our colleagues. As we stated above, a common challenge is balancing work and home life.
Start your day with a plan. Take a few minutes to think about your goals for that day and how you plan to reach them. Increase the use of technology to coordinate your team activities as people move to more flexible work arrangements. As an employer, let your staff know that you appreciate and trust them. Dignify them with the feeling of confidence that they are free to attend to necessary matters; that you know they will get the work done anyway. By doing that, you will help them maintain a healthy work-life balance, reduce the stress they feel, and their performance will naturally increase as a result.
- Start each day with a plan
- Use technology to coordinate your work with others’ timetables
- Build confidence and trust
Resilience and the Ability to Deal with Change
You can take concrete steps to make change more acceptable by enlisting the help of others, setting up plans, and managing stressors. Each of the three skill sets referred to above—communication, team building, and time management—can influence our ability to handle change as well. Try to see change as a basic element of the workplace and as something to accept rather than fear. View it as an opportunity for self-motivation and innovation. If strong team and leadership principles are in place, then so is the support system for any who are working remotely.
- Reach out to others for help when needed
- Manage stressors
- Acquire professional skills such as communication, team building, and time management
Simply put, to succeed you need a well-stocked toolbox of workplace skills. That’s where Great Canadian Training comes in.
How Great Canadian Training Can Help You in Today’s Workplace
You know us, and you know we can help. We offer training, consulting, and coaching to help you thrive in any workplace. For example, think about our various types of training.
Our top-quality software training helps you get the full benefit from the amazing collaboration and time management tools in software programs like Microsoft Teams and Outlook. We don’t just teach the basics; we show you the tips and tricks and how to get the most from your software. Check out our software courses here and benefit from our outstanding training.
Professional Skills Training
Our extensive selection of professional skills courses will help you communicate and build better teams – key ingredients in a successful remote or hybrid workplace.
For example, Understanding and Developing Effective Communication Strategy Skills is perfect for developing skills in asking questions and listening actively and empathetically to others.
Another one of our professional skills courses, Building & Leading Great Teams, will show you how to identify team social styles and motivators, how to promote trust and rapport, and how to build team dynamics.
Courses Specifically Encompassing Building Emotional Intelligence and Resiliency
Some of our professional skills training courses are especially geared towards change management and emotional intelligence.
As an example, Change Management – Change and How to Deal with It will help anyone who wants to deal confidently with change and turn feelings of resistance into resilience. As a result, you can understand why and how you are affected by change, build awareness of assumptions and beliefs, and change the ‘script’ by challenging any limiting self-talk.
Another one of our very popular courses is Emotional Intelligence – The Path to Professional Success. If you want to understand—and also manage—different emotions, then this is a beautiful course for you. It will identify common communication problems and teach you what non-verbal messages you are communicating to others. This is a great way to enhance your ability to handle difficult situations and deal with them persuasively.
Training Is Not the ONLY Answer
Sometimes, training may be only one piece of the puzzle. You may need additional keys to solve all the challenges. We realize this, and have you covered here too. We offer our consulting, coaching, and app development tools as well!
Or you may need facilitated coaching to help you work together—either in groups or one-on-one—to build better communication or to come up with solutions as you face your unique challenges head-on.
Why Great Canadian Training?
We are proud of our exceptional customer service and our commitment to provide top-quality training and consulting. We are confident that we can actually make a difference in your day.
Our customer service team is there for you every step of the way and will make sure that you can book the training you want with ease. Our training support staff is available by phone, email, and live chat to answer any of your questions.
On top of all that, we even offer guaranteed to run classes, where you won’t have to worry that classes might be cancelled if there are only a few participants. Our classes will run no matter how few are enrolled.
Then there’s our post-training support. Sometimes you realize you had just one more question after training has ended and you’re back in the office. We offer 30 days of post-training support to make sure that the lessons you learn connect and are complete. We stick by you even after the class is over.
We also realize that everyone has unique challenges. With that in mind, we’re happy to build a private course that’s customized just for you and that will cover the key topics most relevant to your daily role.
- Customer service that is truly superior
- Guaranteed to run classes
- Post-training support for a full 30 days
- Customized private courses
How to Get Started
Interested in training with us? Take a look at the courses we offer and register for public classes on our website! Click here to take a look!
Want to find out more about our training? Call Great Canadian Training at 416-264-6247, 613-235-6161 or 1-833-209-2624, or email us. We’re always happy to answer your questions!
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