Since the pandemic, remote and hybrid work is on the rise, and it’s here to stay. Employees value the flexibility and work-life balance that remote and/or hybrid work offer, but as employers and employees adapt to this evolving work model, best practices have emerged in the process. Tsedal Neeley, professor in the Organization Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School, recently gave a TED talk, entitled “4 Ways to Make Hybrid Work Better for Everyone.” Using her 20 years of research and advisory work, she shares four tools and skills that make the most of hybrid/remote work situations.

First, she recommends coordinating “anchor” days. This means overlapping our in-office days with other coworkers. If our colleagues aren’t there when we show up, in-office days are no different than remote days – we just have a different view from our desk!

Second, Neeley says we should plan spontaneity. Although it seems contradictory, “structured unstructured time” allows for more casual chatting on a personal level. Some examples she gives include setting aside a few minutes of a meeting to discuss non-work matters and scheduling virtual or in-person lunches or coffee breaks.

Third, she suggests we use the right communication tools to meet our objectives. Is there a complex problem or immediate need? A tool that supports real-time discussion should be used. Is there an abundance of information that needs to be processed? Perhaps sending an email is the best way to relay the info while giving time for the other party to digest it.

Fourth, Neeley stresses the importance for management to commit to the new culture, meaning their words, actions, and attitudes need to align with the hybrid model they’ve chosen. In other words, create consistency between policy and what’s expected.

These tips can be used to create a more cohesive company culture that works better for everyone involved!

Catch Tsedal Neeley’s aforementioned TED talk below!