December 16, 2023 - 6 minutes read time
We work from home, make our first call on the way to the office, plan hybrid meetings and holidays turn into workations. How, when and where we work has definitely changed. And hybrid work combines the best of both worlds: While we maintain personal contact with colleagues in the office, we enjoy flexibility when working at home.
With the increasing demand for flexible working models, the challenges are also growing - for the company and its employees. In order to continue to promote the corporate culture and strengthen cooperation in the future, successful team building is more important than ever. After all, team building creates a familiar working environment in which communication works well, innovative ideas emerge and employee commitment grows.
In this article, you will learn more about the challenges and opportunities of hybrid working models. Find out why active team building is essential, especially with flexible working models. In addition, we provide tips on how to successfully promote team building as well as ideas for sporty team activities.
According to The Way We Collaborate Report 2022, 9 out of 10 office workers assume that digital collaboration between remote, in-person and hybrid workers will prevail. 83% state that virtual meetings are already part of the corporate culture. And even if the number of people working entirely in the office again increases - 36% in 2022 vs. 25% in 2021 - 83% of employees worldwide consider a hybrid working model to be ideal (Accenture Future of Work 2021 & 2022).
In order to remain attractive as a company on the job market, there seems to be no way around flexible working models. However, hybrid work requires practice. In order to be successful, hybrid teams need to function - and this brings a number of new challenges, but also opportunities.
For many companies, hybrid working models are necessary to attract and retain qualified employees. A flexible working environment is particularly attractive to young, sought-after talents. Offering hybrid work also provides access to a larger talent pool, which means that the required skills can be covered more effectively.
Hybrid work can make employees happier, more motivated and more satisfied in their position: 61.9% of respondents (Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study 2022) state that they were less likely to look for a new job. Allowing employees to work flexibly reduces employee turnover and minimizes recruitment and on-boarding costs at the same time.
Most employees are happier, healthier, wealthier and have stronger family ties: In a large-scale study conducted by Cisco in 2022 with 28,000 employees in 27 countries, 78% stated that their wellbeing had improved as a result of hybrid work.
Remarkably, 68% report that they also feel physically fitter. This is mainly due to the fact that there is more time for workouts: seven out of ten respondents exercise more when they work from home - on average 2.5 times more per week. That's 130 extra workouts per year!
Rethinking the digital-first culture! Companies must ensure that the technological requirements are provided for flexible working models. Communication and collaboration tools that are used by office staff and remote workers alike are crucial for successful hybrid teams.
Deciding which information is passed on when, to whom and on which channel can already be a challenge if all employees are at the same location. This is even more difficult with hybrid teams, as information asymmetry is quickly reached. In addition, there is a lack of interpersonal communication: people who work from home are not part of the so-called "water cooler conversations" and therefore miss out on informal conversations that play an important role in building work relationships.
The majority of employees believe that hybrid work has improved their work-life balance. However, flexible working can still be challenging: according to Cisco, 70.9% of respondents across all age groups agree that it is more difficult to switch off from work in hybrid settings as the boundaries with private life become too blurred. It is important that supervisors or team leads set a good example and demonstrate a healthy work-life balance. You can find out more about work-life balance in this article.
Employees who are not or only rarely in the office find it more difficult to get to know colleagues from other teams and become part of the "big picture". Furthermore, remote workers have less personal contact with superiors, which - according to the so-called Proximity Bias - can in turn have a negative impact on their professional development.
Even if many of us are already used to hybrid work settings, strengthening our sense of belonging is often easier when people are together in the same room. Scheduling fixed, regular appointments for joint activities can improve the team's bond - and these are also possible remotely, such as virtual after-work drinks or joint livestream workouts. Also, offering fringe benefits that can be used equally by all employees can be beneficial for hybrid teams. Discover myClubs Corporate Fitness now.
Hybrid work is here to stay. But how can we combine the valued individuality and flexibility with the important social component? How can we ensure that hybrid teams are successful together and that the individual team members feel a sense of belonging in the team?
The cornerstone for successful hybrid teams is - as with so many things - trust. After all, joint success does not depend on whether we sit together in the office or work from different locations at different times. The most important aspect is that the results are consistent. The days of employees killing time at their desks are definitely over. When team building is done right and flexibility in the workplace is truly lived, employees feel more connected and a sense of belonging regardless of their location.
Not only do individual employees benefit when team members trust and understand each other, but it also has a positive impact on the company.
Companies that master team building benefit from better communication, stronger employee motivation and more effective collaboration between employees.
Team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns, which leads to better, more creative decision making and problem solving.
A positive team environment also fosters a sense of community and increases morale. Team members are more motivated and committed when they enjoy their work.
And: High team morale can contribute to lower staff turnover! Employees are more likely to stay in an organization where they feel valued and supported by their colleagues.
In addition, teams that collaborate well often deliver better results, which can improve the company's image. This, in turn, can attract more talented employees and customers to the organisation.
There are countless things you can do for team building - in this article we are focussing on sport and fitness.
Training together with others automatically strengthens group cohesion. And according to this study, training together is even more effective and motivating than doing sport alone. Last but not least: sport releases happiness hormones, reduces stress and is simply fun!
Promote a sense of community and team morale with the following sports:
Bouldering and climbing requires teamwork as team members have to support each other by planning and securing routes. It also promotes communication and trust, as instructions and assistance are required.
Kayaking is all about coordination! Team members need to be in sync in order to progress successfully.
Paddle tennis - the trend sport from Spain - combines communication, strategy and coordination. It promotes team spirit and cooperation.
Yoga and meditation are not just about physical fitness, but also about mental relaxation. The stress-free atmosphere promotes a positive feeling within the group.
Intensive workouts such as HIIT or spinning classes require perseverance! In the group, you motivate each other and can be proud of having completed this challenge together.
You can find these sports and many more at myClubs. With the corporate fitness offer, you can provide your employees with flexible workouts, no matter where they are working from - including livestream classes!
Successful team building is indispensable in the hybrid work era. Flexible working models offer opportunities such as expanded recruiting possibilities, increased well-being and an improved work-life balance. However, there are also challenges such as communication barriers and feelings of not being part of the team. With the right team building strategies, companies can overcome these hurdles. Effective team building does not only promote individual satisfaction, but also improves communication, encourages more creative decision-making and strengthens team spirit. Sporty team building activities, such as bouldering, kayaking and yoga, not only offer physical benefits, but also boost employee bonding and motivation.