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How Do You Engage Employees in a Hybrid Work Environment?

Over the last year, there has been a lot of talk about implementing a correct Return-to-Office Strategy, as some offices started welcoming employees back to in-person work. Although there is no one approach that will work for all employees, we are finding that many companies have opted for a hybrid work environment. While the specifics of this configuration vary based on each business and the vertical they operate in, we wanted to share a few tips on creating a cohesive, positive hybrid work environment where employees are engaged and motivated.

Prioritize onboarding of new employees

Starting a new job used to mean going into the office to meet all your colleagues, gathering around the watercooler, or grabbing a coffee, to learn about what people do at the organization, and experience the informal interactions that allow people to develop trust and understanding of those they work with. With a hybrid work environment, this has become more difficult, as employees may not be in the office at the same time and informal interactions can be less frequent. Instead consider having your whole team gather at the office for the first week a new colleague joins the team, or schedule one-on-one time for the new colleague to meet with each team member outside of regularly scheduled meetings just to get to know each other.

Focus on the importance of social connection

If your company is requesting employees to be in the office a specific number of days per week, we recommend working with your team to designate these days and keep them consistent. If employees choose a day to come in and don’t find anyone else in the office, they may feel disappointed, or even worse, alone. Since the point is to allow for in-person brainstorming and meetings, designating specific days will create opportunities to bond and connect. When everyone comes in on the same day, employees share the mundane activities of commuting and have a chance to see many people, boosting morale. Plus, this allows for organic connections like water-cooler chats or coffee talks in the kitchen.

Remember virtual social connection, too

When working in a hybrid environment, fostering social connections between employees is very important, both in person and virtually, especially if you have team members who can’t be there in person when the rest of the office gathers on the designated days. Although sharing a morning coffee while talking about the day ahead or grabbing lunch with a colleague can happen in person, it can also happen virtually, and it’s important to still think of both options as time well spent for your team.
For further guidance on developing an engaging hybrid workplace for your employees, please contact us at