The pandemic has opened avenues to hybrid and ‘work from home’ models. Businesses are trying to explore new possibilities that can improve productivity as well as employees’ mental well-being. However, there are instances when you can get confused between the roles and responsibilities of hybrid teams. To lead a team efficiently, you should be aware of your team type to understand team members’ concerns. In her blog article, Johanna Rothman talks about the different kinds of teams and what exactly makes them different.
Terminology of Teams
Talking about her book ‘From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams’ that she co-authored with Mark Kilby, Johanna Rothman mentions that hybrid teams can be specifically categorized into four different types. Let us learn more about them:
Rothman describes collocated teams as a cross-functional group of employees that sit within 30 meters of each other. Being a part of a collocated team, you can see all your team members and interact in the same geographic space. It makes the cost of communication relatively low. However, the pandemic has made collocated teams very rare, and a significant proportion of offices have shifted to a nebula structure.
In nebula teams, people work in their own geographical locations and are not bound by space for collective work and team-based tasks. Nebula teams often have considerable hours of overlapping to establish communication between different team members. If you have enough overlap and text backchannels, your team will be able to define its own collaboration time.
A satellite team is a combination of collocated and satellite teams. It contains some members working in the vicinity of 30 meters, while others work in different geographical locations. Satellite teams are a prime example of hybrid teams, whereas the other model is cluster teams.
Cluster teams have various groups of people working in different time zones, while some employees work as a collocated team. They have enough space and resources to facilitate communications irrespective of the differences in geographical locations.
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