Leading and working in hybrid teams: 5 tips for creating an effective workplace

Staff can use their existing competencies to create an effective workplace that addresses the hybrid work model. Learn five key tips to get you started.


While hybrid teams are not new, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of virtual teams across the globe. The hybrid workplace model (a combination of working on-site and at home) is being embraced by organizations and employees as a key productivity strategy that also supports work-life balance. 

COVID-19 has taught us a lot about alternative work models but, even though we have familiarity with remote work during the pandemic, the move towards the hybrid workplace will be a fundamental shift in how teams operate. 

With the Work From Home (WFH) Program announced in November 2021, teams across the university will continue to experience hybrid models throughout the year. As teams shift between multiple work locations, we need to reconsider processes, how success is measured, and new norms around communication, collaboration, and performance. 

Here’s the good news: Leading and working in the hybrid environment does not require new skills. Your competencies in accountability, communication, collaboration, team building, inclusion, and emotional intelligence will continue to be important regardless of where you’re working. How you demonstrate these competencies is key to thriving in a hybrid workplace. 

Wondering where to begin? Here are five tips to get started.

Reflect on change

The hybrid workplace is full of opportunities. To transition successfully, we all need to take the time to think about an approach that balances work needs and the flexibility offered by a hybrid work model. Careful thought needs to be given to when and how tasks are completed to support both work effectiveness and team needs and preferences. 

Be deliberate

Leaders will need to be more deliberate with the management and leadership practices you are already using. This may mean making adjustments to how you communicate, provide feedback and support inclusion and team building. Likewise, team members will need to consider how to leverage your skills, strategies, and knowledge in ways that will allow you to work well with your supervisor, coworkers, and colleagues.


The added complexity of hybrid teams means that you may sometimes be working with colleagues in-person and at a distance at the same time. Using this to your advantage and being strategic about when and where work takes place will support more effective collaboration and improve focus—and working from home will stay a source of energy and wellbeing. This will mean rethinking processes that allow for all voices to be heard to generate creative ideas and solve problems. Encouraging input and engagement from all team members, regardless of where they’re working, will be integral to team success.

Build trust

Trust is earned by building relationships and consistently aligning our actions with what we say. One of the ways trust is built is through informal conversations and connections. In hybrid teams, proximity may mean there are fewer opportunities for these interactions, and purposeful strategies to build trust between teams and their leaders will be important.

Trust is a key component of a psychologically safe workplace. It is a shared responsibility to create spaces that are equitable, inclusive, and allow everyone to share their ideas, questions, concerns, and mistakes without fear. Teams will need to be intentional in building inclusive practices into your hybrid team that allow everyone to fully participate. 

Create a workplace that works for you

Great teams don’t just happen. They’re all about making the best use of your key competencies, working toward common goals and building a shared mindset.

It’s important to remember we are transitioning from a temporary remote work period to a permanent hybrid one. Some aspects will feel very familiar while others will take time and work. You’ll be co-creating a whole new work environment which requires new strategies—but it’s also a great opportunity to reimagine how you can be even more effective as a team and to make the best use of the skills and competencies you already have. At first, things won’t be perfect, but taking the time to reflect on and adjust the approach will allow hybrid teams to thrive. 

What’s next?

Learn how to equip yourself with knowledge, tools, and mindset to co-create an effective, collaborative, and inclusive hybrid team with the Creating a Workplace that Works: Leading and Working in Hybrid Teams workshop series.

You can also visit the Strategies and Practices for Leading Hybrid Work Teams for on-demand resources, courses, and tipsheets.