Leading teams in a hybrid environment – the issues you probably DON’T know about

Lately we’ve been running 2 hour workshops on leading teams in a hybrid environment. And there are many reasons these workshops are so popular.

While there are many benefits to hybrid working, there are also some challenges which don’t just solve themselves. Some challenges are quite obvious, but others are less obvious which means you often just see the symptoms rather than the causes.

Let’s face it – hybrid working, in some form or another, is here to stay. And it’s becoming increasingly necessary in order to attract top talent.

Some of the issues leaders and their teams are finding about working in a hybrid environment include:

  • Communication can be much harder
  • People aren’t getting things done in the timeframes expected
  • People are exhausted
  • Team members can become a little snippier with each other
  • Never-ending email traffic

Often these issues or symptoms are quite obvious, but the root cause of these issues is less obvious. And unless we know the root cause, these issues will just keep continuing.

The good news is that with the help of neuroscience, the root causes can be identified, and then we can choose to do something about it, and better still, set up great frameworks so that all of these issues can be prevented.

So what are just some of these root causes?

The brain hates ambiguity

Our brains are accustomed to having more communication than we realise when we are all in the same room together. For example we can pick up “the vibe” more easily.

So now we are without a certain level of communication that we are subconsciously used to having. The brain hates this and tries to make sense it and quite frankly doesn’t always get it right. It often takes 1 + 1 and gets 5.

Hence people become a little bit snippier with each other and psychological safety can be eroded before you realise.

We’ve taken on a number of corporate clients recently where everyone as always gotten along really well, and now in a hybrid environment, they aren’t getting along so well. And often it’s because people haven’t had the full picture and not interpreted situations correctly.

Digital presenteeism

Do you get the feeling in online meetings that people are there, but not really there? Yep that’s because many people aren’t fully present. Granted, this can happen in meetings generally but when the meeting is online it becomes exponentially less effective.

And people often miss what’s expected them or didn’t contribute enough to push back on timeframes.

What a waste of time and money!

Continuous partial attention

In a digital environment it’s all too easy to think we are more productive by trying to work on multiple things at the one time just because we can bring up multiple things on our screens in front of us.

And our own reward system powered by dopamine doesn’t help our cause on this one. It makes us feel good, but it’s making us less productive and even impacting our breathing to replicate the effects of sleep apnea.

Yikes – so less productive, and less healthy. Damn that dopamine!

These are just a few of the root causes. Neuroscience tells us there are plenty more which we discuss in our workshops…

So having highlighted plenty of problems, when you understand more of the neuroscience as to why these occur, then we can get more creative about coming up with some easy to implement solutions for leaders and teams which can make all of the above issues, and many more, a thing of the past.

If you would like to know more about these solutions please reach out for a 15 minute complimentary consultation to discuss whether our interactive workshops might be a good fit for you and your team.