• Westwood International

The Importance of Building Connections in A Hybrid Team

Updated: Jul 8



The verdict is out; hybrid teams are here to stay. Many teams were forced to transform their teams and workflows to be fully remote or hybrid when the pandemic began. In July 2020, more than 75% of leaders confessed that they have never managed a remote team before, and many are still figuring out how to.


We reached out to our community of leaders and asked, “What’s the hardest part about managing a virtual team?” and 44% said building connections.*


So let’s get to the bottom of this-- what’s the problem, what’s being impacted, and what can you do about it?


What’s all the fuss around building connections? I just want to go to work, to work.

We get it; you want to be productive! But did you know that personal connections can positively impact your productivity? It’s been proven that it can spark creativity, increase productivity, encourage a healthy work-life balance, and improve overall well-being. Want to learn how to improve both your own and your team’s wellbeing? Take the Wellbeing Survey to see what aspects of your life need more attention.



Your team is missing something.

Ask them. Before beginning to plan and strategize, find out what your team needs. Provide a space for your team to share what folks struggle with individually to better understand what big-picture changes need to happen. The best strategies are the ones that are thoughtfully created with purpose and intent. Offer a safe space for people to share how they are genuinely doing and how they might be struggling by sending out an anonymous survey. Not sure what to ask?


Here are a few ideas:

  1. What do you like about working from home?

  2. What do you like about working in the office?

  3. What do you need to feel productive?

  4. If you could implement anything, what would it be?


What’s being impacted?

How did you connect with your team when you were all in the office? What about onboarding? How did you check in with your new employees and coworkers? How could you spot when someone was struggling emotionally or professionally?


When you remove the power of face-to-face interactions from the equation, connections, relationships, and communication are negatively impacted. For example, in the office, work-related conversations are surrounded by light banter and emotional check-ins. So, again, remove the social and emotional check-ins from the equation and put yourself in your team member’s shoes. How would you feel if, for 8 hours every day, your conversations exclusively revolved around what people need from you and constant feedback? The answer is burned out.


Now that you have a solid grasp on what your hybrid team is missing, here are 10 creative ways to foster connection and enhance work culture in a hybrid team.



*Data collected through a poll on LinkedIn.


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