Promoting psychological safety is not a one-time effort but a process of communication and understanding, as well as responsiveness and decision making.

When looking at how technology affects psychological safety in the workplace, it is important to consider the entire picture. These days, even retail design jobs are affected by the after effects of the pandemic. The traditional workplace psychological safety considerations need to expand to envelope the hybrid environment. An employee who feels safe psychologically will make more contributions and be more creative in the workspace.

How Does the Hybrid Workplace Affect Psychological Safety?

As some design jobs move to hybrid models, many are beginning to consider psychological safety in a new light. When considering the hybrid work model, managers need to rethink what this looks like. This is because psychological safety has been shown to be one of the best predictors of an effective team.

In the past, employers have aimed to make candor and dissent acceptable qualities in the workforce. But with hybrid models, these characteristics must be tempered with a great deal of tact and understanding. Hybrid workforces are making the boundary between work and personal life fuzzy. Therefore, more personal details are shared and need to be considered.

Kick Your Team Off Right

Host an online or in-person meeting, as cliché as it sounds, discussing any challenges everyone has, including challenges those in leadership are dealing with. The point is to find common ground and share the problems so the team can best find solutions. Frame an effective work environment around the idea that everyone shares their problems in the hope of finding effective solutions.

Keep Remote and In-office Team Members on the Same Level

As the hybrid model is being adopted everywhere, one of the most important items to consider is making sure to treat your on-site team members and remote members the same. Provide the same opportunities to each, ensure regular communication between both parts of the team, and establish safe places to provide feedback.

Understand those employees in the hybrid environment are naturally going to start disclosing more areas of their personal life. You may learn more about their children and state of health than in an otherwise traditional work environment. These considerations need to be made when developing a path to psychological safety in the hybrid workspace.

Be Watchful and Positive

You cannot assume everyone has the same belief systems or faces the same challenges. As your team moves forward, have leadership share how the increased transparency will help individuals, as well as the team, meet goals. It is not about sharing information indiscriminately, but about brainstorming for resolutions to challenges for continued growth.

The main takeaway: Don’t create pressure to conform, but instead resolve any challenges and keep communication flowing.

On the other side of this coin, be watchful. This process can take time and can be destroyed in seconds by a flippant comment at the wrong moment. Making sure that sharing is done in an absolutely safe environment will encourage more people to share regularly. Being aware and encouraging people to be mindful of how they phrase things is important in keeping this path open.


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