In 2020, organizations and their employees experienced some of the toughest times. Many businesses were ordered to shut down and employees were forced to work from home. An experience that, for most, did not feel natural.
Many employees, however, were able to quickly adapt to the changes and stay engaged and productive. It seems flexible schedules will become a more prominent part of company culture, even as things begin to normalize.
Employees might have finally settled in a good routine while working from home. For some, this gives a fresh and rejuvenated sense to productivity and a healthier work-life balance.
Businesses might leave the decision up to employees whether they’d like to return to the office, however, some employers might keep hybrid team policies in place to continue to protect the wellbeing of their staff.
One thing is for certain, everyone’s experiences are different, which creates unique needs for all employees. Here we explore 5 ways to successfully lead a hybrid team in the workplace.
The events of last year have had an impact on many. With so much uncertainty, employees have suffered stress and anxiety, shock, even depression. It’s important that managers continue to show support for their employees.
Scheduling zoom calls to check in with your remote employees and socially distanced conversations with in-office co-workers is a good way to understand what kind of concerns they might be having.
Learning about individual circumstances will better equip managers to tackle problems before tension begins to rise.
Set Clear Expectations For Everyone
In a world where things have been ever-changing, use this as an opportunity to set clear expectations for your in-office and remote teams. This might be a good time to review new practices and protocols that might have changed in the past 12 months.
Review schedules and communication strategies. Managers and teams alike should know who is working where and when. Sharing calendars and scheduling regular face-to-face or zoom check ins will help keep teams on the same page.
The only thing that is certain right now is uncertainty. Schools can close, guidelines might shift, things can change overnight.
It’s important that communication remains strong and managers prioritize work and deadlines with flexibility. Employees should understand how to prioritize their tasks in order of importance.
Communication among employees both in person and remote will allow for others to pick up the slack if the unexpected occurs.
Encourage An Inclusive Culture
With some employees working remotely and others in the office, there could easily be a feeling of resentment. Remote teams might feel left out and overlooked, or like they have a professional disadvantage. In person teams might feel their remote coworkers are working less hours or putting in little effort.
Encourage teams to build on their relationships like they would if they were 100% in person.
Measure Performance Fairly
The amount of hours spent at a desk is not a fair way to measure your employees’ success. Regardless of location, managers should have set objectives that can be measured for performance. Career paths and employee growth opportunities should be equal for hybrid teams.
Preparation Is Key
Working as a hybrid team won’t be easy for managers or employees. As we long to push past the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still uncertainties that remain. With work flexibility at home and in the workplace, the dynamics of teams might change from day to day.
It’s important as a leader that you’re able to maintain an awareness of how your team is working together. With strong communication, technology, and clear guidelines of assignment, hybrid teams can be ever so successful.