Hybrid work, which include both remote workers and those who are physically present in the office, can help businesses cut expenses, boost productivity, and become more agile in the face of adversity. However, managers who have been trained within the confines of the traditional workplace face new challenges as a result of this new structure.
Hybrid work is gaining popularity among business and technology leaders. It is defined differently by different companies; for some, it means employees work on-site part of the time and off-site the rest of the time. Others define it as a structure in which certain teams are completely on-site while others (within the same organization) are completely remote.
According to a 2021 study by Accenture, “The future of work: productive anywhere”, of over 9,300 professionals all over the world, 83 percent said they desire a hybrid work paradigm in the future.
Flexibility for both individuals and the business as a whole is a common denominator in all hybrid work models. However, “flexible” should not be mistaken with “improvised.” Any leader establishing or operating a hybrid workplace will agree that hybrid success necessitates well-defined frameworks and effective management. Businesses risk having two (or more) different organizations – one that operates on-site and one that works elsewhere – if they don’t maintain consistency and cohesiveness.
People who led in-person teams before the pandemic and then switched to totally remote operations in 2020, will need to reconsider and change some of their past assumptions and practices for the hybrid workplace.
3 best practices to manage hybrid teams
Although hybrid team management differs from traditional management, many of the same principles apply. Effective management has always required good communication; the only difference in hybrid teams is that communication has gone online.
For businesses managing hybrid teams here are the three crucial factors to consider.
Build a common framework for work delivery
Since the hybrid workplace is a new paradigm for many companies and people, businesses will most certainly need to devise new methods of operation. Processes and workflows need to be consistent across all work modes and locations.
Managing a remote workforce necessitates IT leaders to plan ahead, divide work down into parts, and empower team members to be self-sufficient and confident while working remotely. While innovation and experimentation are highly valuable, completely impromptu operations are rarely recommended.
When initiating new activities, hybrid teams should hold a kick-off call to verify that all participants have the same degree of awareness of the tasks at hand. Everyone should be aware of the general priorities as well as the mechanisms for identifying and resolving any concerns that arise.
Make the work noticeable
The antidote to mistrust is visibility. This does not imply that management should set up a virtual platform to allow for work tracking real time. In hybrid environments, managers do not need to become micromanagers. Rather, companies should ensure that their employees are aware of their duties and responsibilities and that they have a mechanism to track big-picture progress without becoming paranoid or creating toxicity.
Work should be visible in the workplace. This can be accomplished through the use of work tracking tools, and collaboration platforms. People are more likely to work asynchronously in hybrid work environments, therefore having an effective means for co-workers to verify the status of shared work is essential.
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Make changes to the onboarding processes
Whereas many businesses migrated to remote operations out of necessity in 2020, hybrid models are often long-term strategies. Businesses should consider not only the people on their current team but also those who may join them in the future.
In a hybrid team, bringing on new team members necessitates thinking through all aspects of the workplace culture and workflow that could have gone unnoticed if employees worked next to each other in an office. If a lot of unwritten information is required to be effective, the new team member will ramp up slowly or not find the new role fulfilling, while the rest of the team will miss out on the benefits of having a brilliant new person to help them get the job done.