Overcoming Communication Challenges

in a Hybrid Work Environment

Good communication in the workplace is essential to the health and wellbeing of employees and organisations alike. The move towards hybrid, remote working and coworking has provided a mixture of positive outcomes for both parties in the workplace. However, maintaining strong relationships, boosting employee morale, and promoting collaboration across all departments are common challenges for many.

In celebration of National Flexible Working Day (21st June) and National Work from Home Day (27th June), we explore the challenges seen within a hybrid work environment and how organisations can overcome them to further productivity, enable employee engagement, and unlock a positive working culture.

What are the most frequent forms of communication?

Written communication remains the most generic form of communication within remote, hybrid and coworking setups. Whether this is through everyday emails, virtual messaging, memos, newsletters or via various documentation and files, communication should adhere to a consistent tone that neatly aligns with the organisations mission and values.

Other forms of communication include:

  • Formal communication: official meetings to discuss ongoing policy changes, updates to procedures, and memos to prospective teams. These all ensure that all parties remain aware of company expectations and long-term objectives.
  • Informal communication: this can occur in both formal and informal meetings, alongside various channels that can be used to share ideas, bring colleagues together and provide additional support.
  • Oral communication: informal conversations, general meetings, and one-to-one discussions to voice concerns and receive feedback.
  • Team meetings: opportunities to collaborate, boost productivity and raise employee morale.
  • External communication: publicly accessible communication that adheres to company standards, using tools such as the intranet, press releases or social media channels.


Common communication challenges with flexible working

Hybrid, flexible and remote working can provide employees with a healthier work/life balance, while organisations can make significant cost savings with reduced office space and related expenditures. However, poor communication can result in a breakdown in cultural values, costly errors, dissatisfied customers and lowered employee morale.

Here we outline the most common concerns organisations must address to support hybrid and flexible working, alongside strategies to communicate effectively across all service lines.

Reduced access to company information

Hybrid or remote employees that are not often physically visible may miss important company updates in comparison with on-site workers. They may also be late to learn about internal events or initiatives where they could have participated, which can often result in feelings of isolation, alongside various physical and mental health challenges.

Solution: employers should schedule regular team meetings once or twice a week to keep all parties updated, voice concerns and share weekly plans. A central intranet can be used to disseminate important information. Group channels and virtual chat tools can also help to promote inclusivity and enable colleagues to offer support, exchange ideas and collaborate effectively.


Without physical face-to-face interaction, it’s all too common to misinterpret written communication, such as an email and its contents, or a phone call which lacks greater context. Similarly, virtual chats and non-verbal communication can be challenging without the use of certain cues, such as facial expressions, body language or tone of voice.

Solution: regular face to face meetings should be arranged, including monthly onsite catch ups between teams so that all employees feel supported.  Regular one-to-ones should also be scheduled to allow leaders to address employee questions privately and offer further support.

Reduced visibility

With reduced onsite visibility, organisations may not be aware of the need to provide greater support to employees and be available when needed.

Solution: formal communication should be scheduled between employers and employees, alongside regular check-ins. Progress should also be monitored via a range of employee objectives to ensure all parties remain reliable, accountable, and concerns are resolved promptly.

Technology concerns

Technology is great when it works … until it doesn’t! A lack of Wi-Fi connectivity, access, and permission concerns, as well as system malfunctions can cause significant issues that prevent timely responses and affect the sharing of information.

Solution: organisations should invest in a robust recovery plan that features essential backups for all systems and devices. Employees should also report any issues regarding the use of digital systems, files, and documents to minimise disruption and potential downtime.

Siloed working

Building relationships with colleagues can be challenging for hybrid and flexible workers, with a lack of onsite presence often resulting in fragmented silo working which can lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Solution: teams should meet onsite once a month to build trusted relationships among coworkers and allow for networking opportunities. Organisations should also promote shared social initiatives and events to encourage employee participation and improve the health and wellbeing of employees.

Negative company culture

Creating and maintaining a positive working culture is an organic, ongoing process, but the benefits for employees and organisations remains substantial. A negative working culture can lead to growing staff turnover, reduced employee morale and a reduction in idea sharing and collaboration.

Solution: organisations need to define their workplace culture, set expectations, and communicate how each team members work contributes to its long-term vision and corporate ethos. Providing positive feedback and acknowledging great work can significantly increase employee morale, lead to improved staff retention and help to shape an engaged workforce.

Lack of training and development

For many organisations, training and development are often seen as a “nice to have”, but this should be essential for all employees, irrespective of whether they are ‘on’ or ‘offsite’. Staff should also be comfortable voicing concerns, have access to opportunities to further their careers and have a comprehensive onboarding experience so that they remain confident in completing the tasks at hand.

Solution: virtual training courses should be available for remote and hybrid workers, with regular one to ones scheduled to address any training needs or developmental opportunities. Each employee should also have a training budget to support their career progression.

Different time zones

As organisations grow, they may enter different geographical markets with varying time zones. This could lead to frustration for remote and hybrid workers who may be asked to attend meetings in inconvenient times.

Solution:  coordinate meetings at times suitable to allow all employees to fully participate to promote inclusivity and enhance productivity.

Invest in communication strategies

To reduce the risk of communication challenges in the workplace, organisations should invest in communication strategies for remote and hybrid workers:

Introduce hybrid or flexible working policies: whether employees are more productive in the office, at home or a coworking space, organisations should provide flexibility and develop policies that outline key expectations for workers, their role, responsibilities and the use of digital tools to enhance performance.

Schedule regular meetings: regular monthly onsite meetings will allow employees to provide feedback. One-to-one meetings can also highlight areas of training and development requirements, alongside additional support.

Promote inclusivity: embed a culture built on respect and understanding, ensuring all employee voices are heard is key to enabling strong relationships across all service lines.

Champion autonomy: allow workers to set their own schedule, deadlines and objectives. This level of confidence in your employees will enable them to further showcase their knowledge and skills, encourage innovation and the sharing of ideas that can boost long-term productivity.

Manage performance effectively: deploying remote performance management tools will enable managers to provide essential feedback. Personal objectives can also help workers to meet their goals.

Champion innovation: investing in a range of digital tools will encourage new ways of working, which can be implemented across various departments and teams, irrespective of whether workers are hybrid, remote or on site.


From beautifully designed coworking spaces to spacious meeting rooms and private offices, there are plenty of spaces to suit any hybrid or remote workforce at Adapt by Arc.