Employees are caught between a strong need for more flexible work and an equal desire for face-to-face collaboration. While the hybrid workplace and hybrid teams may be seen as the great compromise of the future, companies that do it right will gain a significant competitive edge.
Organizations now need to provide remote or hybrid work options to attract and retain top employees. Flexible employment options, however, are not without their drawbacks.
Employees should be able to manage the blurred lines between work and personal time; stay connected as a virtual team, and be productive even while working across time zones to make a hybrid work model succeed.
For leaders, it also necessitates a clear concept of what flexible work entails for teams, as well as knowledge of the necessary skills to ensure that everyone succeeds in this new environment.
Leaders should focus on the following three essential aspects of a successful hybrid work environment:
Hours of operation should be flexible
The best hybrid or remote teams perform as efficiently apart as they do together in the office, however, all team members may not work within the same set of typical working hours. Businesses should request that employees plan their weekly schedules and be open about sharing their availability with the team while also respecting others’ out-of-office times.
The ability to hire employees from nearly any location is one of the advantages of remote employment. Unfortunately, differing time zones make scheduling meetings difficult. Businesses should strive to plan crucial team meetings during the 9-5 workday for every time zone they work with to ensure that geographically distributed employees feel equally comfortable and integrated into the firm’s culture. Trading off between locations for optimal meeting hours helps to create a healthy, productive, and flexible workforce culture.
Technology and data literacy
Virtual collaboration tools, video conference platforms, asynchronous messaging apps, and other tools are required for hybrid and remote work, depending on the business and the work focus of individual team members.
For hybrid teams, online project management is a vital technology skill. This is especially essential for new hires because it gives them visibility into the rest of the team’s workload and goals. Team members can go forward while waiting for feedback on work that is under review thanks to a shared running task list with up-to-date status notations. Also, it gives managers insight into where process bottlenecks including their own might be addressed to avoid bottlenecks.
Build technology training into the organization’s on boarding process to ensure organizations are establishing tech-savvy teams that can hit the ground running when bringing on new team members. This enables new team members to become familiar with the technology they require and effortlessly integrate it into the process. It can also aid in the reduction of shadow IT and duplication of applications.
In today’s competitive market, it can take weeks or months to discover qualified candidates, hence, cross-skill, reskill, and up-skill training is more crucial than ever. Employees can advance in their careers and transition to different teams and specialties when appropriate by including these training sessions into the management plan.
Businesses should make it a team expectation to learn new things on a regular basis. Also, provide regular opportunities for employees to discuss what they have learned in small groups, such as virtual office hours or lunch-and-learn gatherings. These forms of informal learning activities promote teamwork and encourage teams to develop as a unit.