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Articles 8 Winning Hybrid Communication Strategies To Implement This Year

8 Winning Hybrid Communication Strategies To Implement This Year

Communication and Collaboration
Bitrix24 Team
11 min
161
Published: July 11, 2024
Bitrix24 Team
Published: July 11, 2024
8 Winning Hybrid Communication Strategies To Implement This Year

Optimizing hybrid communication in the workplace is what separates companies that take remote work seriously and those that claim to adopt it just to stay relevant. 

By now, the benefits of flexible formats are clear for all to see: 

  • Hiring from a global talent pool

  • More satisfied workforces 

  • Cost savings on commuting and overheads

  • Increased productivity with no office distractions

  • Flexible schedules for better work-life balance

However, effective hybrid communication is tricky when you lack nonverbal cues, have no guidelines on what tools to use, and overlook cultural sensitivities. 

In this article, we’re going to look at eight communication best practices to thrive in a hybrid environment. We’ll cover the transition to digital collaboration tools, communication strategies for remote teams, accommodating individual preferences, and more to improve productivity no matter where you’re working. 

1. Leverage verbal and nonverbal cues to enhance understanding

Starting off with the obvious, the main thing that remote work communication lacks is the nonverbal aspect. Body language, facial expressions, and gestures have been a crucial part of how we interact since the dawn of humanity. 

Clearly, these cues are on the decline in the digital age, but video conferencing tools are a great way of reducing miscommunication. A wry smile tells you your colleague is joking, and a furrowed brow suggests someone hasn’t understood you. 

Hybrid communication in the workplace is much easier if everybody is on the same page and training materials that cover nonverbal communication are the best way to achieve it. Each company is different, but simple rules on sitting up straight and not being distracted by other tabs or devices are good examples of universally accepted effective habits. 

Using a blend of verbal and nonverbal cues is even more important when speaking to external stakeholders like clients or investors. In an online setting, you can’t always vocalize agreement, so encourage nodding and smiling to transmit positivity. 

You can also leverage dedicated tools for hybrid communication, such as a thumbs up or emojis within your video call. This allows you to offer support and encouragement without interrupting the speaker’s flow.

8 Winning Hybrid Communication Strategies To Implement This Year

2. Blend synchronous and asynchronous methods for non-stop collaboration

Since the introduction of hybrid communication in the workplace, there has been a lot of talk about synchronous and asynchronous communication methods. If they’re new to you, here’s a little explainer:

Synchronous communication happens in real-time, like an in-person conversation, instant messaging, and video calls. 

Asynchronous communication involves a delay, such as emails, social media posts, and instant messaging if the recipient isn’t at their desk. 

Remote work communication doesn’t automatically force you into a 100% asynchronous format. Effective hybrid communication requires a blend of both methods, respecting the work-life balance of employees in different time zones, while still opening up space for focused collaboration.  

Sure, it can be frustrating to send an instant message and not receive a response right away. For effective hybrid communication in the workplace, you need a switch in mentality, whereby people respect their colleagues’ schedules, but also do their best to reply as soon as possible. A little bit of understanding goes a long way, and employees perform much better when they don’t feel like they have to be permanently on-call. 

Project management systems play a crucial role here. They give you a birds-eye view of how each task is going, so nothing falls through the cracks between non-aligned schedules. Set notifications to keep everybody involved on track, and forget about sending hectic, rushed messages to a stressed-out workforce. 

3. Fuse digital platforms with traditional methods to reach diverse audiences

Hybrid doesn’t mean fully remote; we’re talking about unified communication platforms, not throwing away traditional methods. 

It’s not just clients who may prefer the personal touch of a phone call or a face-to-face meeting over an email back-and-forth. They’re great for building trust with both clients and colleagues. So although it’s great to have rules and guidelines on how to use digital collaboration tools, a bit of flexibility means more people are happy.

Of course, the more apps you have, the messier record-keeping can become. That’s why modern businesses are opting for unified communication platforms that run all these methods under one roof. With your emails, instant messaging, phone calls, and calendar meetings all recorded in a customer relationship management system, you can track all of your interactions and maintain control while still offering flexibility. 

Artificial intelligence has made digital and traditional blended communication even easier. For those old-school clients who want to stick to phone calls, AI now transcribes the entire call to have a reliable record of the meeting. Modern AI assistants will then organize your conversation into key talking points and create tasks so you can get straight to work on the next steps.

Bitrix24 is the best workspace to maintain teams of all formats!

How to manage your remote team the best? Create a virtual office with trackable working hours, clear communication channels, and shared workspaces.

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4. Balance formal and informal tones to suit varied contexts

Looking more at the style than the delivery, part of hybrid communication in the workplace is knowing how to speak to different profiles. You wouldn’t address a prospective client in the same way as you would your friend who sits next to you whenever you’re in the office, and missing the mark could end up in a lost lead. 

So there are no mistakes, store a living document of dos and don’ts so nobody on your team drops the ball. As a manager, you should be the only one allowed to edit the shared document, but others can add suggestions. For example, if a customer service agent accidentally makes a cultural faux pas with a client from a new market, they can suggest an addition to the document for you to approve or clarify later. 

Your guidelines should cover specific situations for formal or informal communication. An informal tone is great for brainstorming sessions and showing support for colleagues on your intranet. However, a formal tone is more suitable for writing appraisals and making company-wide announcements. 

5. Incorporate visual elements to improve engagement 

In all this talk about hybrid communication in the workplace, it could be easy to forget that a picture tells a thousand words. An emoji can convey approval without breaking your flow to write a more considered response. Using visual elements alongside text and speech can speed up potentially time-consuming processes, but also help with understanding and retaining information. 

Here are a few ways you can use visual tools for hybrid communication: 

  • Infographics are elite at showcasing data and statistics to potential clients, board members, or your team. Especially useful as part of a presentation, they break up monotony and stick in people’s minds.

  • Video tutorials used to be a specialist skill, but now, anybody can do it. Both your phone and laptop cameras can make a visual explanation or you can record your screen so the recipient can follow your steps to the click. 

  • Interactive training materials can hook learners into topics that they may otherwise find a little dry. Clickable diagrams show how different concepts link together and create a natural narrative arc. 

  • Accessible displays with high contrast, alt text, and large fonts are ideal for those with visual impairments. Furthermore, AI can instantly turn text into speech and vice versa to promote more inclusive communication strategies for remote teams. 

8 Winning Hybrid Communication Strategies To Implement This Year

6. Adapt to individual preferences without sacrificing group dynamics

When you’re behind a screen, it’s not uncommon to lose the personal touch and treat your entire team the same. Making the effort to incorporate blended communication styles can help potentially isolated remote workers feel heard and included, which is great for productivity

So how do you find out what people actually prefer?

Employee surveys and feedback are essential to keep teams united and uncover suggestions and grievances that people may not raise in the busy day-to-day of their job. Reach out to everybody in your company to see what communication styles they like. Perhaps the introverts among you would appreciate not having their camera on for video calls, while others may think there is an unproductive reliance on long email chains. 

No team has a magic formula, and there is no way for everybody to be perfectly content with hybrid communication in the workplace. However, showing that you’re willing to hear suggestions and implement them is great for fostering stronger group dynamics. 

Luckily, we live in a time of customizable software, and many companies are even attempting to use automation and alerts to move away from time-consuming meetings and toward more streamlined working days. Notification-based communication means you only hear what you need to and nothing more. So take a good look at what automation your software provides and allow each individual to curate their own news feed. 

7. Structure communication frameworks while remaining adaptable to evolving circumstances

Structuring your communication has a series of advantages, from speeding up simple interactions to avoiding needless arguments. Here, we’ll look at some simple frameworks that have a positive impact on hybrid communication in the workplace.

Standardized templates speed up your response times to clients and colleagues. Don’t write emails for your sales journey from scratch — save templates to insert into emails and ping them to your leads at a much quicker pace.

Protocols for in-task communication avoid misunderstandings and boost efficiency. For example, only send updates and requests through a task card, rather than a blend of instant messages, emails, and in-person chats. 

Make guidelines for meetings, such as setting time limits, sending agendas out in advance, and transcribing all talking points with AI. This way, you stop sessions overrunning, keep conversations focused, and maintain a record for anyone who didn’t attend to view later.

Organize documents in the cloud with a logical hierarchy, categories, tags, a search bar, and uniform file naming formats. Remote workers can now find files for themselves without reaching out to their manager every ten minutes, which speeds up situations when you need a document ASAP.

8. Customize communication strategies in line with cultural norms and local nuances

In the age of AI, there’s no excuse for not having all your materials translated for international markets or remote workers in different countries. However, communication best practices dictate that you should go beyond simply translating words and instead localize content to include local references and cultural sensitivities. 

Clearly, you can’t expect everyone on your team to intuitively know about all local customs and what language to use with specific groups. Therefore, it’s your obligation as a leader to run training programs to help employees communicate effectively across diverse cultural backgrounds. 

A unified communication platform can come with guidelines and pre-written messages for certain situations. For example, if your customer relations teams receive a complaint of cultural insensitivity, a honed message that strikes the right balance is always better than a hastily written apology in the heat of the moment. 

On an internal level, a key part of uniting remote teams is setting standards for inclusive communication. Whether spoken in video meetings or written in private instant messaging channels, your policy for hybrid communication in the workplace should have zero tolerance for abusive or discriminatory language. 

Bitrix24: Your launchpad for hybrid communication in the workplace

Smooth communication has always been at the heart of the most successful organizations, and the remote revolution has only made that more prescient. 

With a full range of synchronous and asynchronous communication methods, Bitrix24 can bring teams together when they’re working from home and accelerate your processes when you’re in the office. On one unified communication platform, you get:

  • Instant messaging, video conferencing, and email for seamless communication across remote and in-office teams

  • Project management tools to collaborate, track progress, and meet deadlines efficiently

  • Document sharing and collaboration to work together on files and maintain up-to-date information

  • Customizable workflows and automation tools to streamline communication and reduce manual tasks

  • Social intranets, activity feeds, and employee directories to unite hybrid teams

So if you’re looking to take your first step toward seamless hybrid communication in the workplace, sign up for Bitrix24 today!

Bitrix24 is the best workspace to maintain teams of all formats!

How to manage your remote team the best? Create a virtual office with trackable working hours, clear communication channels, and shared workspaces.

Get Started

FAQs

What are the biggest challenges of hybrid communication?

The biggest challenges of hybrid communication are

  • Ensuring clear communication across time zones 

  • Maintaining engagement and collaboration 

  • Overcoming technological barriers

  • Addressing the diverse preferences of all employees

How can companies measure the success of their hybrid communication strategies?

Companies can measure the success of their hybrid communication strategies through:

  • Employee feedback 

  • Productivity metrics 

  • Engagement levels 

What are some tips for fostering a sense of community in a hybrid work environment?

Some tips for fostering a sense of community in a hybrid work environment are to: 

  • Promote regular virtual team-building activities

  • Encourage open communication 

  • Use collaboration tools to maintain connection 

  • Create inclusive policies

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Table of Content
1. Leverage verbal and nonverbal cues to enhance understanding 2. Blend synchronous and asynchronous methods for non-stop collaboration 3. Fuse digital platforms with traditional methods to reach diverse audiences 4. Balance formal and informal tones to suit varied contexts 5. Incorporate visual elements to improve engagement  6. Adapt to individual preferences without sacrificing group dynamics 7. Structure communication frameworks while remaining adaptable to evolving circumstances 8. Customize communication strategies in line with cultural norms and local nuances Bitrix24: Your launchpad for hybrid communication in the workplace FAQs What are the biggest challenges of hybrid communication? How can companies measure the success of their hybrid communication strategies? What are some tips for fostering a sense of community in a hybrid work environment?
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