Challenges faced during Hybrid Collaboration#

Collaborating in a hybrid setting presents a key challenge of establishing a consistent experience and equal level of inclusion for both online and in-person participants. This means overcoming the hurdle of bridging the gap between in-person and virtual interactions. Achieving this balance between online and in-person participants is crucial for fostering effective teamwork and maximizing productivity in a hybrid environment. Some of the challenges faced in hybrid settings are highlighted in this chapter.

Social networking in hybrid settings#

In a hybrid work setting, the task of building and maintaining a local network becomes more challenging due to limited natural social interactions and a systematic imbalance between in-person and online groups. It can also be a challenge for the in-person participants to simultaneously manage interactions with people online and people in the same in-person setting as them.

Communication tools used for hybrid environments#

The variety of communication tools used in remote and hybrid work presents challenges for inclusiveness and involves asynchronous communication. Different tools serve various purposes, such as messaging, video chat, collaborative software development, and traditional methods like email. Poorly organised hybrid events can isolate online participants, and incorporating physical tools into online streaming is complex. Hybrid meetings require different etiquette, and unequal access to communication tools may exclude some individuals, especially those at early career stage who might still be exploring how to navigate such spaces.

Lack of space to focus and be attentive#

There are disparities in facilities and services between in-person and online settings. Distraction comes easily with an online set up. When online, individuals may encounter higher levels of noise and distractions due to personal responsibilities that are not immediately apparent, such as caring for children or elderly family members. In addition to the communication challenges discussed earlier, individuals may not be aware of the support resources available to them and may struggle to ask questions or access the necessary assistance. This is particularly problematic for individuals with caregiving responsibilities who may lack a quiet space to participate in remote conferences, workshops, trainings, and events. In essence, the lack of essential facilities and support needed to participate attentively can discourage the online participants to continue attending the event online.