The hybrid team structure gained popularity during the pandemic. After the COVID-19 restrictions eased a little, companies preferred a hybrid model over remote and completely in-office. That’s because it proved to be the best of both worlds. At the time, it wasn’t safe to travel to work, so this presented a challenge for employees and employers. Thus, modern-day problems require a modern solution.
On the bright side, COVID-19 restrictions eased, and offices opened. But many companies switched to a hybrid work model. They set up equipment budgets to provide quality PCs for at-home employees. They addressed communication and collaboration problems the workforce might have faced in their daily routine. That’s how we entered an era where there is no turning back. Hybrid companies are accepted with open arms.
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What Are Hybrid Teams?
A hybrid team compromises employees in-office and at home. Remote workers can be anywhere in the world. This opens up opportunities for potential candidates to work for renowned companies.
They don’t have to relocate to join them. As a result, it helps organizations meet their DEI quota because of this newfound flexibility. Also, hybrid work environments aren’t restricted to anyone. Everyone can reap the benefits, even if they are part of the in-office team. They can ask their managers to switch.
However, companies should be mindful of ensuring that employees have access to the latest technology and resources. This helps remove any disparity between hybrid employees.
How to Manage a Hybrid Team?
Managing a hybrid team comes with its own unique set of challenges. Some might overlap with previously known ones, but not all. So, managing a hybrid team requires a leader to “learn, unlearn, and relearn” old practices. This can help them overcome issues like communication, collaboration and engagement.
It’s not an “us verse them” situation. On the contrary, everyone must work together for a successful hybrid work model. That’s because everyone is working from a different geographical location. At points, your flexibility may allow people from different time zones to work for your company as well. It’s just the beauty of hybrid teams.
Here are a couple of ways to manage a hybrid team:
Set Achievable Expectations
It’s the most important step while creating new policies and measures. So, you need to take your entire workforce’s opinion into consideration. As a result, you gain valuable insights into what is most suitable. This will help create an inclusive office culture.
Remember, you can’t set these expectations without reaching a compromise. Don’t shy away from confrontation or feedback. It helps set healthy guidelines for a successful hybrid work model.
Equity is a Priority
A hybrid environment can’t be successful without providing employees with sufficient resources. So, it’s the employer’s responsibility to hand out the equipment budget for all remote workers. It helps the hybrid team stay connected and collaborate effectively. Pay close attention to the needs of your employees and provide an environment where they succeed.
Keep a Close Eye Out for Burnout
Here are a couple of signs of burnout:
- Low productivity
- Change in behavior
- Lack of motivation
- Negative outlook
- Reduced sense of accomplishment
How to Work in a Hybrid Team?
Working in a hybrid environment isn’t difficult as long as everyone is on the same page. You need to communicate your available slots with your team. It helps them set up meetings and keep everyone updated on what’s going on. Without regular updates, it’s difficult to work as a team.
Creating a shared group calendar can help share work schedules. This improves visibility and promotes transparency. Workers can ask for help from their fellow team members when they see a slot. It further improves teamwork and reliability among hybrid employees.
That’s not the only way to keep everyone in the loop. You can’t make decisions without consulting your remote teammates. You can’t make a proxy decision for them if they’re not in the office. Remember, all decisions should be made collectively. Only then can you successfully work in a hybrid team.
Tools for Managing a Hybrid Team
Managing a hybrid team without the right tools is harder than one can imagine. You need to cover all your basis: collaboration, communication and time management. Without anyone to supervise an employee, you may have low productivity. So, ensure you adopt tools and software that help remote and in-person workers communicate effectively.
Technology is the key to success in managing a hybrid team. It can empower employees while they take full advantage of the flexibility offered at work. You may have come across platforms like Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams as a means of communication. Others like Trello are must-haves for project management and collaboration.
What are the Best Hybrid Work Tools?
Here are a couple of tools you should consider for managing your hybrid team:
- Collaboration tools (Hypercontext, Google Drive)
- Communication tools (Slack, Loom)
- Employee engagement tools (Donut, Bonusly)
- Project management tools (Trello, Notion)
- Time management tools (Jibble, Calendly)
The Future of Hybrid Work Environment
The right resources and software can help optimize a hybrid work model. But there is a long way to go. This is just the beginning of a hybrid work environment. It still lacks in some areas like off-the-chart employee engagement and productivity levels. Even though we have come quite far along, especially in the pandemic.
But forming meaningful relationships isn’t that easy. Organizations need to adopt a growth mindset for utmost success. It’s best to outline your digital transformation plan. It can help you gain your footing in a hybrid setting.