How to Lead a Hybrid Work Team

Thousands of businesses have been forced to alter their operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, millions of workers have been forced to relocate out of the office and into a remote working environment. Although we are all currently working primarily in this remote setting, it is anticipated that many organizations will opt for a hybrid strategy post-pandemic. That means workers can work from home and part-time in the office, bringing the challenge of managing hybrid teams into sharp focus.

Many companies that have made it work have discovered that managing hybrid teams is not only possible, but can also yield significant benefits for the entire organization. For instance, expanded diverse workforces, improved employee engagement, and cost savings from commute benefits and office rent savings. 

Managing a workforce that is scattered over various locations presents its own set of issues. On the other hand, hybrid teams can function effectively if expectations are set and groups are held accountable. In the following, we will take a look at the best practices for leading a hybrid workforce. 

Ways to effectively lead a hybrid teamwork

Nurture social connections

We all know that social equity improves employee morale and is necessary for collaborative work. That is easier to accomplish when everyone is at the office. Hallway discussions, group lunch visits in the local vicinity, and scheduled (or impromptu) after-work social gatherings contribute to a sense of togetherness.

However, maintaining a sense of connection when colleagues are dispersed throughout an entire city can be difficult. You’ll have to work extra hard as a leader to guarantee that possibilities for connections remain available. However, it’s not as challenging as it sounds.

Group chats are an excellent approach to simulate a “hallway talk” situation. Slack, WhatsApp, and Microsoft Teams are examples of group messengers perfect for keeping in touch. Encourage employees to use the workplace humor and jokes channels while keeping emails more professional and work-related.

Technology and data literacy 

Depending on your business and individual team members’ job focus, hybrid and remote work necessitate virtual collaboration solutions, asynchronous messaging applications, video meeting platforms, and other resources.

For hybrid teams, online project management is a vital technology competence. That is especially essential for new hires because it gives them visibility into the rest of the team’s workload and goals. 

Thanks to a shared running task list with up-to-date status notations, team members can go forward while waiting for feedback on work under review. It also gives managers insight into where process bottlenecks can be avoided by addressing barriers, including their own.

Trust your employees with their responsibilities

Trust has always been a beneficial force in the workplace, but it is now a game-changer. Almost every decision managers and employees make in a hybrid working environment are based on trust. According to the Capgemini Research Institute’s recent report, The Future of Work, trustworthy work culture is one of the four building blocks for the new hybrid working paradigm.

People at high-trust companies, according to Harvard Business Review research, report:

  • 50% increased productivity
  • 106% more energy at work
  • 40% less burnout
  • 13% fewer sick days

Giving employees the freedom to take charge of their own responsibilities, make their own decisions within a set scope, and choose how and when they work flexibly and autonomously are crucial aspects of ensuring effectiveness when leading a hybrid work team. 

Praise publicly, support privately

Some employees demand regular praise to feel valued and seen, and while this is reasonably easy to provide in the office, it gets more complicated when some team members aren’t present to receive or hear that praise. It’s easy for dispersed workers to feel neglected and under-recognized in a hybrid work environment.

As a leader, you must continue praising colleagues at home in a public gathering. So, during your monthly virtual team meetings, try to single out employees who are doing a fantastic job or showcase some of their work so that everyone can see what they’ve accomplished.

You don’t want people who work from home to assume you’re giving extra support to those present physically. Make it a point to give equal time and attention to each person on your team, regardless of where they are located.

Ensuring inclusion

While group chats and video conferences can help keep the team connected, they can’t replace those random times when office workers meet together for a drink after work. There’s isn’t much one can do to change this, but it’s unavoidable that people working remotely will feel out of the loop in these instances.

The hybrid arrangement might soon devolve into a “this and that” mindset. Office workers may start to believe that remote team members have a more pleasant working environment or vice versa. 

As a leader, you must urge employees who work from home to come in for social events whenever possible. Set up organized events such as office picnics, hikes, volunteer work, or similar if you want to pull your staff together.

Managers must understand the differences between leading a hybrid team and a co-located team. They must realize their responsibility to set an example for the effective management of hybrid team behaviors. By utilizing the tips above, you will be able to more efficiently manage and lead your hybrid work team to achieve great success. 

Related Stories You May Like