Intentional Communication Is the Key to Hybrid Work Working

I caught up with a founder friend today, and one of the things we talked about was hybrid work. His team is coming to the office a few days a week and working from home the rest of the time. He mentioned the importance of being more intentional about communication in the absence of physical proximity.

He shared that clear written communication has become more important. When you can’t pop by someone’s office, you likely send a Slack message, email, text, etc. These can be misinterpreted more easily, so it’s important to be precise when you compose them.

He mentioned that increasing the cadence of communication is important as well. Making sure everyone is aligned is always important. Absent daily in-person interaction, some people feel siloed or unsure what’s going on in the company. Sending updates more often and reiterating objectives helps keep everyone aligned. Things like weekly or every-other-week emails from leadership are good at maintaining alignment.

Having run a company that had in-person and remote team members, I agree with his observations. A lot of communication happens informally when people are together in one location every day. Keeping the team moving in the right direction and everyone feeling included is possible in a remote or hybrid environment, though—it just requires more intentionality.