Adapting to the Loss of Office Osmosis: How Hybrid Team Managers Can Succeed

Managers can't rely on office osmosis in a hybrid working world
June 26, 2023

The role of a hybrid team manager has become increasingly complex as more teams work remotely, leading to the loss of the valuable learning experience of "office osmosis." Without being physically present in the office, managers find it challenging to  lead their hybrid teams effectively.

To address these challenges, hybrid team managers must invest in a hybrid training program that equips them with the skills to communicate and lead remote team members effectively, maintain team cohesion, and ensure everyone is on the same page. By doing so, they can navigate the complexities of hybrid work and lead their teams to success.

Office osmosis refers to the natural learning process that occurs when colleagues work together in the same physical space, allowing individuals to absorb information and culture through observation and conversation. With remote work becoming prevalent, this learning experience is not happening as frequently, limiting personal growth and development.

Simply requiring team members to come into the office a certain number of days per week does not necessarily ensure that office osmosis is taking place. Instead, hybrid team managers must find other ways to share information and learn from one another. They can achieve this by making implicit knowledge explicit through a Team Agreement, a living document that captures essential information and agreements on how the team works together.

A well-structured Team Agreement should include details on how team members will work together, communication protocols, and tools needed to complete tasks. This document creates clarity and helps to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. It is also a great tool for onboarding new team members and can be used to resolve disputes.

In summary, hybrid team managers must find ways to adapt to the loss of office osmosis in a remote work environment. A hybrid training program can equip them with the necessary skills to lead their teams effectively. Making implicit knowledge explicit through a Team Agreement can help create clarity, avoid conflicts, and improve onboarding. By investing in these solutions, hybrid team managers can bridge the gap between remote and in-person team members and create a cohesive, productive team.

Let us help you develop a hybrid work culture that unlocks the full potential of your flexible work environment. Get in touch today to learn how we can help your organization thrive in the new world of hybrid work.