Aug 03, 2022
By Kate Camerlin

How to Build a Workplace That Sets Up Your In-Person and Remote Teams for Success

Executive teams are rethinking the definition and purpose of the workplace.

Traditionally, providing an adequate working environment meant simply providing employees with a physical space: a desk, chair, phone, and computer. However, it is increasingly important for executive teams to implement strategies that go beyond this; by ensuring workers have access to the individual learning and career opportunities they need, companies can boost employee satisfaction and engagement, increasing retention and recruitment.

This is especially important, as with the rise of remote and hybrid working scenarios, workers have more flexibility than ever to choose when and how they work. Executive teams need to embrace this flexibility but also ensure that both their remote and in-person employees have the resources and support they need.

This includes considering different collaboration strategies and working styles, providing adequate learning and mentoring opportunities, redefining leadership, and listening to feedback from employees.

In-Person Collaboration

With more employees going back into the office, it is essential that organizations rethink how they use their buildings and facilities. When setting up collaboration spaces, they need to make sure they’re building empathetic spaces. Working styles differ between individuals, so it’s important to create opportunities for employees to contribute in ways that are most productive for them.

As Peter Mostachetti, Director of Organization, Learning & Inclusion at Beauty for All Industries, states in a recent podcast, “When you’re thinking about brainstorming ideas, and you’re doing design thinking and user-centric design, make sure you’re thinking about making space for people to talk verbally, but also making space for people to write things down…Give them a chance to write or speak the way they’re most comfortable working…. It’s also about thinking on how people best contribute in a way that’s most meaningful to them.”

This requires considering different collaboration styles—thinking about the ways your team members interact with each other and then actively finding ways to accommodate those different needs so that everyone can contribute meaningfully.

Learning and Mentoring Opportunities

With the increase in remote workers, there are fewer chances for learning and mentorship opportunities to arise organically. Employees might not bump into each other in the halls as often, and there are fewer spontaneous conversations that might lead to project or career development.

According to Gartner, “Lack of transparency on career paths, next steps to promotion and lack of mentors/career support make it difficult for underrepresented talent to ascend to more senior positions. Employers need to provide a viable networking infrastructure that enables underrepresented talent to build growth-focused networks and for mentors to better understand the barriers to advancement they are facing.”

By setting up remote and in-person workshops and learning sessions, management can make sure employees are equally able to learn from senior team members. And by facilitating mentorship programs or conscientiously providing the infrastructure needed for networking, the company can create paths to career growth and progression, leading to more productive and engaged employees.

Redefining Leadership and Soliciting Feedback from Employees

It is increasingly important for leaders to foster a sense of curiosity, authenticity, and empathy—especially when thinking about team dynamics and considering how individuals best contribute.

“Authenticity matters, behavior matters,” says Peter Mostachetti. “It’s not about what you say. It’s about what you do. And, again, if I’m looking at leaders endemically, the most valuable skills that a leader can have are emotional intelligence and authenticity.”

When thinking about building an equitable workplace, effective leaders should become more like coaches—modeling the right behaviors, asking productive questions of team members, communicating vital objectives, and ensuring everyone feels empowered to work toward shared goals. This enables teams to be more productive and strategic, and it ensures that no matter where or how their team members work, everyone is connected and has the right tools and support.

This also requires asking employees for their thoughts (such as through surveys or suggestion boxes), listening to that feedback, and then being able to act on that feedback. By enabling employees to participate meaningfully in decisions, companies can help nurture a sense of inclusion and engagement.

Looking Toward a More Connected Workplace 

It’s clear that the way we think about the workplace has changed over the past several years. Organizations can provide their employees with the opportunities, resources, and support they need—no matter how or where they work. This helps companies ensure they’re both attracting new talent and providing meaningful experiences that keep employees motivated, productive, and engaged.

Interested in learning more?

Watch our podcast series, Connected Conversations, for insights and inspiration from industry experts. Or read about what Connected Workplace is and how it can help during the transition to a more equitable and employee-focused workplace.