Studies indicate that workplace ties play a massive role in innovation, work-life balance, job satisfaction, and productivity. However, hybrid work arrangements are slowly diminishing these ties.
So, here are ways to improve and maintain them while splitting time between the office and at home.
For “weak ties”
In a work setting, “weak ties” are contacts who do not work closely together and have relatively infrequent interactions — maybe only several times a year. Though not directly connected to your team, these ties could offer access to information that can spark new ideas and insights.
To keep them strong, companies should learn to:
- Facilitate more opportunities for spontaneous interactions among employees
- Coordinating employees’ in-office days
- Orchestrate short bursts of innovation activities with other teams/ departments, and
- Set up short in-person rotations of employees across sites
For team ties
Team ties must be deliberately cultivated when employees are not always physically together. Managers can help strengthen them by using these ways:
- Conveying interest and support for their team members, including their personal lives
- Foster team discussions about processes, expectations, effective collaboration
- Creating opportunities for employees to spend regular time together
- Providing structures and tools to help them grow closer
- Modify team designs to one where people can repeatedly interact with one another, and
- Conduct facilitated discussions among small groups of employee
Leaders can help create a hybrid workplace that offers the best of both worlds by giving more attention to cultivating employee relationships and network ties.