As our teams, workplaces, and policies continue to evolve as part of a concentrated effort to better support hybrid employees, our modes and means of communication have to evolve too. Communication is the backbone of any successful organization - from the way that employees communicate with each other and the tools they use to dictate everything from team dynamics to collaboration best practices to remote employee workflows. Without taking the time to establish communication guidelines at your organization each employee will create their own individual practices, which can quickly lead to disarray and miscommunication— especially for hybrid teams.

Speaking of hybrid teams, hybrid communication is no longer reserved just for those employees who split their time between the company office and their home office. Whether your workforce is composed of primarily in-office, remote, or hybrid employees your organization will benefit from a focus on hybrid communication.

What is Hybrid Communication?

Any communication that connects an on-site worker with a remote worker is hybrid communication. In 2021, the emphasis on hybrid communication best practices in the workplace has been reinforced by the return to office post-COVID-19. With many companies around the world navigating the shift to remote work and now the shift back to the office all together, there has been a global emphasis on the need for hybrid communication. Without establishing company-wide communication standards, employees who are new to remote work (and for those employees who joined the workforce in 2020 and have only known remote work, are new to in-office work) may be left to feel unsupported or stranded in their efforts to connect with their distanced teammates.

How to Create Hybrid Communication Strategies

Hybrid communication has never been more prominent than it is today. However, this shift didn’t happen overnight. There are many companies that have been fully remote and have allowed their employees to work on hybrid and flexible schedules long before COVID-19 and the great remote work migration. This is great news for companies who are experiencing this shift now, because instead of carving out the path for hybrid communication standards they can learn from the hybrid experience of companies who came before them and adopt the policies and protocols that are known to successfully support hybrid teams. 

But remember, just because a hybrid communication policy is working for another organization doesn’t mean it will be a cure-all for your company. To create sustainable standards of hybrid communication at your company, take the time to survey your hybrid employees and collect data to gain a deeper understanding of the specific flavor of support they need and want. The makeup of your hybrid teams— how many employees are fully-remote, how many are fully-in-person, and how many are somewhere in-between thanks to flexible scheduling— will dictate the communication best practices you instill at your company. Without taking the necessary time to ensure your practices are aligned with the needs of your employees you could find yourself drafting policies that make the lives of your hybrid teams harder instead of easier. 

To determine which hybrid communication strategies will work the best for your teams, ask them questions such as:

  • How do you communicate daily with your teammates? 
  • How do you conduct 1:1 conversations?
  • How do you conduct full-team meetings?
  • How do you communicate general company information?
  • How does your strategy change depending on where yourself and your team members are working from on that day?
  • What tools do you use when communicating remotely? What about in the office?
  • What synchronous communication tools do you use? What about asynchronous?

Once you’ve gathered and assessed your employee’s responses to these questions you can begin crafting hybrid communication best practices that support their experiences and don’t distract from their daily responsibilities, regardless of where they are working from.

Synchronous and Asynchronous Hybrid Communication Best Practices

When it comes to hybrid communication (and let’s face it, all workplace communication in general) there are two modes: synchronous and asynchronous communication. Every high-functioning team uses a unique combination of the two in order to stay connected while they work and collaborate from anywhere.

Synchronous Communication for Hybrid Teams

First things first, synchronous communication is any communication that happens in real-time. Like:

  • Phone calls
  • Video conferencing
  • Face-to-face conversations
  • Live instant messaging

In a typical office setting— one where all employees work on-site all of the time— the majority of interpersonal interactions are synchronous. However, hybrid teams will need to primarily schedule their synchronous communication moments, especially when it comes to communicating with remote teammates. Because of the added scheduling element, synchronous communication is not as popular with hybrid teams than in-person teams, but that doesn’t mean that creating synchronous moments isn’t worth it for distributed teams.

To get the most out of your synchronous communication, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Have everyone run regular tech-tests of any software being used to ensure your teams can make the most out of schedules synchronous communication time and not waste it tinkering with the tech.
  • Make sure your meetings and calls are necessary before scheduling them, for hybrid teams synchronous communication should be reserved for necessary occasions.
  • When scheduling multiple remote meetings each week, consider holding them all on the same day to allow for meeting free days (a policy desired by 80% of employees) where employees can focus more on independent work.
  • Make time for more casual synchronous moments, like hybrid team happy hours or end-of-week team wrap up meetings to ensure remote employees feel connected with their distanced teammates.
  • Remember to note any different time zones when scheduling team meetings with remote workers.

Asynchronous Communication for Hybrid Teams

The flip side of the communication coin is asynchronous communication AKA any communication that does not happen in real-time. Like:

  • Email
  • Delayed messaging
  • Collaboration tools
  • Shared documents
  • Voice and video messaging

Asynchronous communication is a popular alternative to real-time interactions because it allows for more flexibility and freedom for remote workers. For teams that skew remote-heavy, the asynchronous communication strategies you use can make or break the productivity of your team. Without taking the time to put sustainable systems in place, hybrid teams may find themselves scrambling to connect with one another or being totally out of sync on projects. 

To ensure that no messages get missed and everyone on your hybrid team feels heard, begin enforcing asynchronous communication best practices such as:

  • Embrace over-communication.
    Because the beauty of asynchronous communication lies in the recipient being able to respond on their own schedule, you should feel free to over-communicate and provide them with all the information they could possibly need so that when they do respond there is no need for clarification.
  • Outline the clear expectations that your team has for asynchronous communication tech.
    This way, team members don’t have to waste time wondering if the info they need is in an email or a Slack channel.
  • Set reasonable time expectations for responses.
    For example, distanced teams may find that it takes a few hours for an instant message to be answered and a day for an email to get a response. By setting expectations ahead of time team members don’t have to be left wondering if they are being ignored and can keep their attention focused on the work.
  • Fight the urge to turn asynchronous communication into synchronous communication just because you can.
    When you do, you may be diluting your team’s asynchronous communication expectations and undoing the work it took to set them in the first place.
  • Give your team time to adjust.
    For newer hybrid and remote teams, give your teammates time to adapt to these best practices and learn the technology required to do them. 

Remember, asynchronous communication is a gift for hybrid teams. The moment it begins to feel like a burden your best practices and strategies need to be readjusted. 

How to Support Your Hybrid Teams

As the world outside of your office walls continues to change, so do the employees who work within them (metaphorically of course— offices aren’t tied to location anymore). Regardless of whether or not your hybrid teams are new to the workstyle or have been working in the form for years, there are many things that can be done to ensure they have all the tools they need to succeed. 

To set your hybrid teams up for success:

  • Treat all of your employees the same regardless of where they are working from. The moment that your remote or in-person team members feel favored below or above their peers is the moment that you’ve created an uneven team dynamic.
  • Be sure to evaluate your employees with the same metrics as well. Just because you are seeing less of the remote team members than the in-person team members doesn’t mean they are working any less hard than their teammates.
  • Similarly, grant your in-person team members the same level of trust that you give remote workers. Abstain from micro-managing in-person employees just because you can’t look over the shoulder of your remote ones.
  • Be proactive about communication with all team members, and encourage them to do the same with one another.
  • Schedule informal meetings regularly, to foster a deeper sense of camaraderie on hybrid teams. This is especially important for teams who rarely ever meet fully in-person, to ensure remote employees feel like active members of the team outside of their professional responsibilities.

When building a hybrid culture, it requires more intentionality since culture isn’t built by in-person camaraderie in today’s world. Incorporate inclusivity into your company culture and create opportunities for socialization, employee resource groups, and giving back to the community that are accessible to all employees.

Collaboration Strategies for Hybrid Teams

In addition to creating communication strategies for your hybrid teams you will also need to establish some collaboration guidelines to lead your flexible employees toward successful hybrid accomplishments. Remember, collaboration and communication go hand in hand, draft your collaboration strategies along with your communication best practices to ensure you are creating a seamless hybrid work environment for your team members.

To get you started, the top collaboration strategies for hybrid teams include:

  • Create standard practices for collaboration between in-person, remote, and hybrid employees that benefit all parties regardless of location.
  • Set clear collaboration expectations for everyone in relation to the tech being used, project timelines, and inter-team communication.
  • Choose your collaboration software wisely and stick to it so all team members are able to develop a deeper understanding of the software and no one has to continuously take the time to learn new workflows.
  • Develop standards for when to use asynchronous communication and when to use synchronous methods during the collaboration process.
  • Remain open to evolving your hybrid collaboration strategies and methods as your team continues to grow.


Hybrid Meetings 101

One of the biggest hurdles companies face when they are transitioning to a hybrid work model is adopting a new set of expectations for meetings. But the truth is, hybrid meetings are not that different from in-person or remote meetings. Instead, when executed correctly they are a blend of the two forms that give all employees equal opportunity to participate regardless of their location. 

To begin running and leading successful hybrid meetings:

  • Make sure that all meetings are as inclusive as possible aka ensure that all participants have equal opportunity to participate to the full extent, without any parties feeling overlooked.
  • Healthy meetings are short meetings. Just because your calendar automatically blocks off time in half hour and hour increments doesn’t mean your meeting needs to run the full time to be successful.
  • Only invite attendees who need to be there because nothing kills the atmosphere of a meeting more than having a percentage of attendees who have visibly checked out.
  • Rearrange your hybrid meeting rooms to better accommodate the necessary tech. For example, consider swapping out your long, rectangular conference room table for a smaller, circular table that a smart video camera can be placed in the middle of to increase visibility for remote attendees.
  • Write an agenda and circulate it to attendees before the meeting so they can make changes and additions if they see fit.
  • Perform regular tech checks to ensure all hybrid meeting tools are performing to their full potential and not hindering the success of meetings.


Creating an atmosphere and workplace that supports hybrid communication is a necessity in the modern world. To ensure you are staying up to date on all hybrid trends when preparing your office for your newly flexible employees, here are all the Tools for Navigating the Return to Office.

Tools for navigating the return to office - download now