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Hybrid Team Building- Is It Possible?

As a leader, what are you going to do to celebrate being back in the office and all of the benefits of face-to-face connection? Giving your team the opportunity to get to know each other in 3D is a no-brainer after a tough year but making it happen for a hybrid workforce takes some consideration.

A study from Harvard found that post-pandemic interactions among close team members increased by 40 percent, but at the expense of more casual acquaintances. Now that some of the team is heading back to the office, it’s time to think about how to increase interactions overall.

The first way I like to think about team building for a hybrid team, with some people in the office and some not, is considering if it's going to be coordinated or asynchronous Particularly in a hybrid workforce, finding ways to drive rapport and camaraderie and connection in an asynchronous way will be paramount. With people in disparate locations, it’s hard or even impossible to do something all at the same time and have it be fun for everyone. Zoom pizza-making classes just aren’t that fun at 5 am.

Another factor with asynchronous events is that it can be harder to get people to act silly or be vulnerable because inherently you have to save the proof and share it access time zones. This is why Snapchat was so successful, people are much more willing to share things if their video dies in 24 hours. Thus asynchronous isn’t great for emotional team building events, but it can be good for light-hearted competition or driving repeatable 1:1 engagements.

Asynchronous Ideas

  • Visual bake sale. The team bakes something off of one recipe in an effort to come up with the most visually appealing. Those in the office can taste test, but the winner is for presentation. Points also awarded for the biggest failures!

  • Great for virtual-only, a scavenger hunt designed for teams that are mixed between home and office ensures people are mingling despite location

  • Coffee Donut in Slack, an often noted application over the pandemic, but much better when there’s a chance for a real, barista-made coffee

Concurrent ideas

  • Magicians and other entertainers who have pivoted their shows to virtual are now offering combo performances, where they perform live in the office but professionally recorded so those at home can experience it as well.

  • Some classes can work in a hybrid situation, such as cocktail making or a virtual painting class. It’s not quite the same for people at home but it does allow everyone to enjoy their output.

  • Meyers-Briggs and other personality or work style assessments. While the inputting of the survey is alone time, understanding how different styles work together via a facilitator works just as well in person and virtual.

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