Must-Knows for A Sustainable Hybrid Workforce and Connected Culture – 4 Critical Workplace Realities – Part 2

If you’re already moving toward the Hybrid Workplace as your Next Normal, Part 2 of this 3-part series focuses on 4 Critical Hybrid Workplace Realities to factor into policy and practice, regardless of how office- or home-centric your hybrid workplace will be going forward.

Regardless of options, focus on Flexibility! Flexibility! Flexibility! IT, HR, Facilities, and others are all partners in balancing office space usage, integrated networks, work-life balance, managing change, and all the other components of an aligned and flexible hybrid workplace.

Technology – Technology has come to be a partner instead of our master. It’s become WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) – User-friendly and easily integrated even at the small, budget-sensitive business level. Do a technology audit to see what you have, what everyone uses, and what potential is untapped. Discover and innovate what moves your culture toward connection without complexity by leveraging the tools.

As consumers we already use social networks and the internet, it isn’t much of a leap to better connect technically for work, both synchronously (live) and asynchronously. Many experts and executives continue to push the position that collaboration only happens in person. This is a myth! Technology truly has become the enabler, but people seeking to connect and collaborate are still the key. Pick the right platform and tools to get people working better together when together or apart.

Leadership – Develop leaders as coaches who connect on purpose and seek ways to expand collaboration when together and apart, open doors, make introductions, facilitate career connections. These are the leaders who consistently get great results from co-located, virtual, and hybrid teams. They use technology to co-manage work so they can focus on developing and supporting strong relationships throughout the organization – connecting on purpose and letting the technology tools keep track of employee and team activity.

Culture and Climate – A healthy and aligned culture starts with a climate of inclusion and belonging. Help leaders create a climate of safety and trust that is critical to get high-performing virtual teams. Trust really is the operating system when working virtually, especially for newer team members who are joining a team that is already working virtually. When teams are working in different environments, the remote workers will be out of sight, out of mind unless the leader becomes intentional about considering the whole team, not just people nearby.

Share the responsibility to keep the trust cup full and ensure everyone supports the team and each other. This is a cultural commitment from everyone – individuals, teams, leaders, and organizational groups/functions. Trust is the operating system of a hybrid workplace. Start with swift trust and keep that trust cup full by assuming everyone is competent, committed, and reliable. We must all do our parts to keep everyone connected across geography and moving forward in helping the organization and individuals achieve their goals.

Support connected cultures by bringing clarity and facilitating communication. Clarity develops trust and confidence – Who needs to communicate with whom about what and who else needs to be involved or informed, and HOW will we connect and collaborate?

Keep the mechanics SIMPLE and standardized with the goal to connect team members to

-the org,

-the leader,

-the team,

-the customer’s perspective if not the customer,

-the strategic priorities, and

-the rest of the organization.


Do the little things. Send physical care and swag bags to reinforce belongingness, appreciation, and celebrate together.

Easy transformation opportunities come when leaders cull the learning from the COVID WFH era to identify what are the best practices to lead virtual teams in your organization.

Just ask, “How can we do better? Where is the transformation needed as a focus for our reentry?

Part 3 will share the 3 critical pathways that elevate culture and performance in hybrid and WFH workplaces.

At The SMART Workplace, we can facilitate any or all aspects of these strategic and operational decision-making processes, from strategic facilitation to help with templates, structural guidelines, and best practices. We can be involved with your change team or be your guide on the side, coaching HR, Facilities, IT, and change leaders to operationalize the transformation with stakeholder involvement. Or if you simply need training, group coaching, or an inspirational and practical webinar or keynote, be in touch!

For More About Trina Hoefling and The SMART Workplace

Trina Hoefling

Author, Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile Workplace, 2nd Edition

Thought Leadership and Knowledge Center,

Trina’s website,