Team Dynamics in a Hybrid Working World

Picture of Glenn St. John-Colgan

Glenn St. John-Colgan

Founder & Managing Director​

Since 2016 we were 100% office based. On 16 March 2020, we became 100% home based. Today, we are 100% remote based with hybrid working, but….. it’s not enough.

Why is it not enough – because we are pack animals by nature. That doesn’t mean to say that we must rush back to the office, goodness no! That time has gone! But we still need interaction on a human level, encouraging positive team dynamics in a hybrid working world.

The meeting culture remains necessary, but with cameras on, of course, you wouldn’t turn up to a physical meeting with a bag on your head. But what we found was missing was the human touch – the pre- and post-meeting chatter between colleagues: How’s the kids? How’re your parents? Is your mum okay after the operation? What did you think of that? Did you speak to ‘Jeff’ about ‘that thing’ you were struggling with?

Then there is more. Who are we as individuals, as a team, as a group? What are our values? What makes us tick? What makes us laugh? What upsets us?

Time for Team Dynamics to step forward.  

Earlier this year I moved from south Hampshire to North Yorkshire in a bid to reinforce the work:life balance, living somewhere I wanted to explore and enjoy. That left me a looonggg way from the largely southern team, although we are scattered now across a very wide area. With new starters joining us and a change in the business structure, communication was key with hybrid working. And to make our move stick and be successful for me and my family while supporting the team, their personal objectives and the business, a different approach was needed. And it can’t be all work.

So, once a month, we meet in a part of the country that is convenient for the majority. We structure a series of workshops to explore our creative ideas on all things about the business, from marketing to service lines, to customer exit and their satisfaction. We share knowledge, learning and ideas. We have 121s and 122s, where we can seek counsel, advice, more personal feedback, and growth. It is great! But it still isn’t enough.

Now is the time for the team social to take a bow.

Without exception, even in a small company such as ours, the ability to meet outside of work, whether bowling, escape rooms, or bingo, every single member of the team enjoyed ‘meeting’ each other. Sharing personal tales of hilarity and sadness but sharing all the same. We laugh, we eat, and we may even raise a glass or two – but that’s not essential. We grow.

We grow as individuals. We grow as a team. We grow as a business. This opportunity to learn more about each other builds friendship, respect, trust. It builds a team. And we are better for it.

That 36-hours is expensive. Despite trying to meet our social responsibilities in carbon footprint, it takes effort and time to successfully employ hybrid working. But this is offset ten-fold by individual and team happiness. A happy team that is motivated with purpose and challenge is a high-performing team. This is an investment not a cost. An investment in your team brings huge business benefits in effectiveness, efficiencies, improved productivity, improved communication, quality, customer satisfaction and consequently on the bottom line.

Win. Win. Win.  

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