Hybrid work is the new type of remote work. The pandemic has definitely changed work and personal lifestyles, but it has also been scientifically proven that 77% of the workforce would like to continue to work from home once a week even when the pandemic ends(1). We know that it’s been difficult for companies out there that struggle to manage a team remotely. That’s why we’ve come up with 15 different ways to improve your team with a new form of team management.
What is a Hybrid Team?
Hybrid teams are made up of members on a team that divide their between the office and working remotely in other places beyond office space. Ultimately, it’s the best way to describe the expression, “working from anywhere”. It provides a sense of freedom and a set of boundaries at the same time. In the end, it’s all about prioritizing tasks and what can be done at one’s own pace.
15 Ways to Manage a Hybrid Team
Listen to What Experts Say
Living during a time like this has proven to be quite a challenge. However, working with a hybrid team where members are both working locally or remotely can face many obstacles. According to Linda Hill, a Harvard Business School professor and coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader, it’s important that leaders make a critical decision to lead with compassion(2).
Offer Support to Your Team
Not only do you have to be a great communicator, but also provide support to your team when creating a hybrid team. It is better when everyone can be on the same page, which is why offering support to one another as a team should be one of the strategies to consider.
Set Up and Create Expectations
Yes, there’s freedom to work anywhere, but there’s also a set of expectations from a workplace. Just because you’re technically on your own vacation doesn’t mean you really are on vacation. It’s important that your company sets up regulations and what’s expected of from your employees.
Be Flexible with Your Priorities
One of the perks of being a part of a hybrid team is flexibility. This could be a benefit for your team members, but it can also mean that everyone will have completely different working schedules. To prevent any disagreements or miscommunications, be flexible with your availability, along with the rest of your priorities that are dedicated towards the team.
Inclusion Should Be Emphasized
It is important to create a fair workspace for your hybrid teams. Despite the different workspaces that everyone works in, leaders should emphasize the idea of inclusion. It isn’t fair when other members of a team share ideas when remote members aren’t present. Hence, you must consider all of your members of a hybrid team as one unit.
Strive for Equity
Equity should be encouraged, especially when you’re working in a hybrid environment. It’s never okay to sell one employee too short and give another employee the benefit of the doubt. Always think about how you can equalize treatment between you and all of your team members from a hybrid team.
Watch for Signs of Burnout
Being a good team leader also includes looking out for all of your team members. Working in a hybrid can be exhausting and overwhelming, which can cause a person to easily burnout. Understand your team members and be transparent with them. A few signs to look out for with burnouts are: anxiety, detachment, reduced work performance and productivity, and the lack of creativity.
Make Your Hybrid Teams Fun
Who said jobs couldn’t be fun? Taking your hybrid teams seriously won’t get you anywhere. You want to create new ways on how to make a positive environment for your hybrid teams. The key factor to a successful team is communication. Engage your team in a few team building exercises and other exciting events that aren’t work related.
Take It to Heart
They say that great things take over time. Managing a hybrid team perfectly doesn’t happen overnight. This entire process of adjusting to this new way of life will take lots of patience. Just remember that it can pay off once you learn how to stand your ground and be humble.
Principles to Remember
Here are the do’s and don’ts that leaders should implement into their hybrid teams.
Hire Thoughtfully – This mainly refers to who you want to recruit for your hybrid team. Thinking about who is the right fit for your team should be a key factor to hiring members to be onboard a hybrid workspace. After all, working with a hybrid team isn’t for everyone.
Support Your Team – You want to be a likeable boss that everyone can go to and rely on. Showing your team that you support them as well as rewarding certain employees for their good work ethics is another principle to keep in mind.
Keep an Open Mind – Because you’re working in a hybrid work environment, hearing out every team member’s opinions can help decide what’s the next best decision to move forward. Being transparent in this type of workspace will help you ease with the other challenges that come with working in a hybrid team.
Abandon Burned Out Coworkers – The last thing that a team member in a hybrid team wants to go through is feeling alone in their situation. Everyone burns out, and that’s totally fine. As a leader, you have to understand and watch the signs of burn outs. Always check in with your team and recognize any changes in behaviors.
Be Uptight – Being that one uptight manager in a hybrid team will not help you succeed with management. Working with an uptight mindset closes you off from the rest of the other team members. It’s less welcoming, and possibly creates more problems along the way. Working in a hybrid team is already a challenge. Don’t make it any worse with a rigid attitude.
Build Stronger Communication
Every person on a hybrid team comes from different working experiences. If you want to manage a hybrid team effectively, then we suggest building stronger connections with your teams. After all, a healthy work environment starts with good communication.
Focus More on Information Parity
Information parity revolves around giving information to prospective parties who have just the right amount of information as the other party. It’s a good practice to focus more on this aspect of a hybrid team because this mainly focuses equally distributing the same amount of information that will keep everyone and everything consistent.
Establish Interpersonal Skills
Having social skills will allow you to keep up with managing a hybrid team. Because you have to heavily communicate with your team members in a hybrid team, you want to establish a set of excellent interpersonal skills to get through any type of situation. Remember, every person on your hybrid team is either working locally or remote.
Provide Clarity on Working Hours
Depending how you run your company, providing clarity on the hours you should be working is an effective strategy to keep hybrid teams on track. Yes, everyone can work in a flexible time frame, but it’s a good practice to plan out a working schedule to maintain a structured foundation.
Stop Creating a “Them and Us” Culture
“Them and Us” culture can be extremely toxic to the workplace. It creates a tension where comparisons constantly get made. We live in a time where age, culture, gender and other flaws should be embraced with equality. On top of that, working with a hybrid team creates more of a challenge.
It’s safe to say that hybrid teams are convenient for workers that hail from the most populous generation being the Gen-Zers and Millennials. It’s shown to increase more demand in flexible work hours(3). Not only has it given opportunities for people to work from home, but hybrid teams have provided the advantage of having the “best of both worlds”.
Dividing time between home and the office should be deemed as one of the most positive outcomes from this pandemic. It gives your team the opportunity to work beyond the office, create their own rules, and provide a distinct way of working.