It’s clear that hybrid work is here to stay and as a leader, you know your your team management doesn’t fit neatly into a traditional workstyle and since the pandemic, some of your new employees are fixed at HQ while others are scattered throughout the United States—and even the world. Understanding your newly created hybrid team will allow you to better manage them.
Understanding your Hybrid Team
A hybrid workplace features teams composed of local and remote employees, being aware that locals and remotes have vastly different work experiences every day.
While locals commute in, have coffee conversations, attend meetings in conference rooms, hear the buzz of the office and may have free food almost daily, remotes don’t commute, might enjoy a coffee conversations with a kid or partner, eat whatever is available in the refrigerator, and might have the best small talk with the Amazon delivery driver.
Here are 4 tips for managing a hybrid team to boost team dynamics, collaboration, and performance:
- Technology can make things all the better.
If anything has enabled my team to work well together, it’s social technology tools such as Slack, G-Suite, and Zoom.
These tools don’t just facilitate better communications, it has helped us all to build stronger relationships. The ability to work through issues, have informal conversations, and make each other laugh (Giphy and emojis are particular fun) creates a shared environment of team cohesion and awareness throughout the day.
They also make collaboration easy, offering the ability to quickly and seamlessly have conference calls via Zoom or Meeting Owl—we’re able to work closely together even when we’re miles apart.
While it can’t all be done on Slack, Gsuite or ZOOM, it helps build a good communication rhythm.
- Include Remotes like they’re in HQ.
Local employees will often get pulled on cross-functional work because they’re more visible and therefore considered for inclusion, which might make them less productive. Meanwhile, for remotes, it’s a case of out-of-sight-out-of-mind, maybe making them feel isolated and forgotten.
To avoid this problem, we’ve worked hard to align each team member to different projects, cross-functional teams, and initiatives. Everyone on the team is a point-of-contact for topic areas or project work. By doing this, remote employees have been much more involved in cross-functional matters as well as more visible across the company. And local employees have had the freedom to focus on their own work more often.
- Flexibility is now a desired benefit
Really good benefits to being at HQ include access to people, social events and even free food – remote employees have their own benefits too. They enjoy a number of different benefits such as more work-life flexibility, less noise and distractions, and freedom to work in their own unique way.
While many strategies often focus on making remotes feel more connected to HQ, it’s also important to give local employees a chance to experience their own work flexibility. For example, local employees work more flexible work hours or work from home from time to time. Not only does this create some goodwill, but it also helps local employees understand the experience of remote employees.
- Focus on information parity.
Growing companies move fast, making it easy for remote employees to feel disconnected from critical information, events, or other ongoing activities.
Job-sharing information from executive meetings in the form of notes that can be read by all employees can help mitigate the disconnect. Videos covering complex topics and spending a small amount of time in every meeting or on one-on-ones covering broader topics can be important on impacting the team to ensure everyone is on the same information playing field.
Awareness makes management easier
Maintaining awareness that remotes and locals have different experiences, reacting to level the playing field and keeping strong team dynamics, will allow companies successfully manage their hybrid team.
With the use of great technology, strong communication and information sharing practices, clear assignments and responsibilities, and flexibility with schedules, a hybrid team can really perform in amazing ways.