How to Engage Employees in a Hybrid Workplace - theEMPLOYEEapp

How to Engage Employees in a Hybrid Workplace

How to Engage Employees in a Hybrid Workplace

The rise of hybrid work has transformed the way companies operate. While this flexible work model brings numerous benefits, it also presents unique challenges when it comes to engaging employees and fostering a strong sense of connection and belonging. In this blog, we’ll explore how to engage employees in a hybrid workplace to unlock greater business success. Let’s dive in!

Challenges of Engaging Employees in a Hybrid Work Environment

Employee engagement is already something companies struggle with. Only 23% of employees are engaged globally. While that number is up slightly from previous years, it’s still only 1 in 5 employees feeling engaged at work.

While hybrid working arrangements can lead to the highest levels of engagement—Gallup finds that engagement levels are highest for people who are hybrid or fully remote—you have to proceed with intention to maximize that engagement.

Gallup chart with title "engagement and burnout among remote-capable employees, by remote work status".

Let’s explore some of the barriers to engagement for a hybrid workforce.

1. Communication Gaps and Misalignment

There is an increased chance of miscommunication in a hybrid work environment. With employees working from different locations, it can be difficult to keep everyone on the same page and having access to the same information. 

Over time, miscommunication can lead to confusion, frustration, and decreased engagement. 

To address this, companies should prioritize clear and transparent communication channels, leverage technology solutions for seamless collaboration, and establish regular check-ins to keep employees informed and connected.

2. Building Trust and Connection

Maintaining a sense of trust and connection among team members can be more challenging in a hybrid work environment. Remote employees may feel disconnected from their in-office colleagues, leading to decreased engagement and feelings of isolation. Without regular face-to-face interactions, it’s crucial to find alternative ways to build relationships and foster a sense of belonging. 

To overcome this challenge, organizations should encourage virtual team-building activities, provide opportunities for social interactions, and promote a supportive and inclusive culture where all employees feel valued and connected.

3. Balancing Workload and Expectations

In a hybrid workplace, it can be challenging to ensure a fair distribution of workload and manage employee expectations effectively. The absence of physical presence may make it difficult for managers to gauge the workload of their remote employees accurately. 

Employees may also struggle with setting boundaries between work and personal life, leading to burnout and disengagement. 

To address this challenge, organizations should establish clear performance expectations, provide resources for time management and work-life balance, and promote open dialogue between managers and employees to ensure a shared understanding of priorities and workload.

three hybrid employees working together. Two are in office and highly engaged with each other, but are ignoring the third employee who is remotely dialed in.

Unique Opportunities: How Hybrid Can Revolutionize Your Culture

Hybrid work offers numerous benefits and has the potential to revolutionize and modernize company culture. Here are four ways embracing hybrid work can take your culture to the next level. 

1. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

One of the standout benefits of hybrid work is the flexibility it provides. The ability to work remotely allows individuals to better balance their professional and personal lives. By reducing commuting time and offering more control over their work environment, employees can manage their schedules and responsibilities more easily. This enhanced work-life balance leads to increased job satisfaction, higher levels of engagement, and improved overall well-being.

2. Employee Autonomy and Empowerment

Letting employees work from home sends a powerful message. It says, “we trust you.”

And trust is critical to high engagement because it is so empowering. This increased independence fosters a stronger sense of ownership and accountability, as employees have greater control over their workflows and productivity. 

When individuals feel trusted and empowered, they are more likely to take initiative, innovate, and contribute to the company’s success. This also promotes a culture of self-motivation, where employees are encouraged to set goals, make decisions, and take ownership of their work.

3. Diverse Perspectives and Collaboration

A hybrid work environment allows companies to tap into a broader talent pool by eliminating geographical constraints. This boosted diversity enriches collaboration, sparks creativity, and fosters innovation within teams. When employees from varied backgrounds and perspectives come together, it creates a dynamic and inclusive culture that fuels growth and drives success.

But it’s important to elevate these diverse voices. If you’re embracing a hybrid working model, lean into it! Embrace the many ways that your company can evolve to not just be more engaging, but a better place to work.

4. Agility and Resilience

Hybrid teams are more agile and adaptable to changing circumstances. This flexibility can be very helpful in times of crisis at your organization. Not to mention, the ability to navigate challenging situations with resilience strengthens the overall company culture and builds trust among employees.

text graphic that says how to engage employees in a hybrid workplace in four steps, with an image of a remote worker dialed into a meeting on their laptop

How To Engage Employees in a Hybrid Workplace in 4 Simple Steps

So, how do you unlock these levels of high engagement and tap into the benefits? Take these four steps to engage employees in a hybrid workplace.

Step 1: Foster Open and Transparent Communication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of employee engagement in any workplace. But it’s especially important when a portion of your workforce isn’t physically on-site at all times.

Improve your transparency by:

  • Establishing communication channels that all team members have access to, regardless of their location. 
  • Encouraging managers to schedule regular check-ins, team meetings, and one-on-one conversations.
  • Leveraging solutions, such as video conferencing and instant messaging platforms, to bridge the distance and create opportunities for real-time interaction. 

By prioritizing communication, you create a sense of connection and ensure that employees feel more valued and included.

Step 2: Cultivate a Sense of Belonging

Building a strong sense of belonging in the workplace is crucial for engaging employees in a hybrid workplace. Here’s how you do it:

  • Create opportunities for virtual team-building activities and social interactions that bring remote and in-office employees together. 
  • Consider virtual coffee chats, team-building games, or online recognition programs to foster camaraderie and strengthen relationships. 
  • Encourage cross-team collaboration and provide platforms for knowledge-sharing and idea exchange. 

By fostering a sense of belonging, you create a supportive and inclusive culture where employees feel connected and motivated to contribute their best.

Step 3: Offer Growth Opportunities

Investing in the professional development of your employees is key to their engagement and retention in a hybrid workplace. Currently, there’s a lot of talk about proximity bias. This is when workers who aren’t fully on-site are more likely to be passed up for promotions and development opportunities. That’s a huge mistake. Instead:

  • Provide access to training programs, workshops, and digital resources that enable employees to enhance their skills and expand their knowledge. 
  • Offer mentoring or coaching programs that provide guidance and support for career advancement. 
  • Encourage employees to set personal goals and create tailored development plans with their managers.

By prioritizing their growth, you show your commitment to their success and foster a culture of continuous learning and development.

Step 4: Recognize Hybrid Employees’ Contributions

Employee recognition is one of the easiest ways to boost engagement. The same is true for hybrid workers, except they might not get as much appreciation thanks to proximity bias. That’s why you need to:

  • Implement a formal recognition program that acknowledges the achievements and efforts of both remote and in-office employees. 
  • Celebrate milestones, outstanding performance, and teamwork to foster a culture of appreciation. 
  • Encourage peer recognition.
  • Regularly express gratitude and provide constructive feedback to employees, highlighting their valuable contributions to the company’s success.


By showing appreciation, you create a positive and motivating work environment where employees feel valued and motivated to excel.

How to Use Technology to Engage Employees in a Hybrid Workplace

Our final tip is to make technology your friend. The right tools and internal communication platforms make a huge difference in how your hybrid workers feel at work.

Employee engagement apps like ours provide a comprehensive and user-friendly platform that lets you share relevant and timely information with all your employees. Whether it’s delivering important updates, sharing company news, or facilitating collaboration and feedback, theEMPLOYEEapp empowers companies to engage employees effectively and create a connected workplace culture.



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