24 May What’s The Best Way To Manage Hybrid And Remote Teams?
By now, we’re used to the idea of remote teams. In 2020, 39.5% of the employed population did some work at home. But what began as a temporary fix is now becoming a permanent model for many companies, bringing more change.
Instead of fully remote teams, the World Economic Forum predicts that hybrid working will become more popular. In a recent global survey of 800 corporate executives, 38% expected their remote employees to continue working from home one or two days a week post pandemic.
So as companies adapt once again to new ways of working, we look at how managers can get the most out of hybrid and remote teams.
Top Tips For Managing Long-Term Hybrid And Remote Teams
Be Clear And Consistent
Working from home means you can’t just pop over for a quick chat. To avoid misunderstandings, employees need to know what is expected of them and when, in concrete terms.
For hybrid employees, this means not saving new information and updates until they’re in the office, making those days hectic and overwhelming.
Choose Communication Tools
Your company will need to decide which platforms are the most appropriate for different types of communication. How do you want a remote team member to contact you about something urgent? Which tool is best for a daily check-in?
Remote communication tools are divided into several categories. For example, synchronous tools such as Zoom or Skype should be used when you need to connect in real time. Asynchronous tools like Teams and Slack let team members catch up in their own time. For more information, Forbes recently published an articlehighlighting the best types of tools for different needs.
Set Communication Expectations
When you don’t see employees regularly face to face, it can be easy to let catch-ups fall by the wayside. It’s important to let your team know when you’re most available and to plan regular catch-ups, so that everyone is in the loop.
On the other hand, micromanaging remote teams can leave employees feeling like a manager is constantly looking over their shoulder. Unfortunately, when it comes to how often you should catch up, there isn’t one correct answer. It depends on your projects, timelines, and how autonomous your team is. Finding the perfect balance might take a while, so make sure you’re clear with your expectations in the meantime.
Promote Remote Team Wellbeing
It’s all too easy for work and home life to merge for remote teams. Feeling like you’re always ‘on’ can be draining and affect mental wellbeing. Research from the UK government shows that people who did any work from home in 2020 did an average of 6 hours of unpaid overtime per week. Those who never worked from home only did 3.6 hours.
Check in with employees to see how they’re doing. Team members might have valuable suggestions about how to promote wellbeing and give valuable insights into remote working challenges.
It’s also important for employees to take regular breaks, even for a few minutes. For advice on promoting wellbeing at work, visit Mental Health at Work.
Support New Starters
Starting a new job is daunting at the best of times but at least in the office you can make small talk by the kettle or lean over to a colleague to quietly ask an embarrassingly simple question. When you’re at home, this all changes…..
New starters may only have one or two points of contact and communication can easily break down. Without regular contact, they might feel awkward bombarding you with questions or find themselves alone navigating new tasks and systems.
Setting up a plan for remote onboarding and progression will help new starters feel supported. For inspiration, why not research how your competitors and partners are dealing with remote onboarding?
Warning Signs To Look Out For
Lack of Progression
It’s much easier to spot exceptional work when the person is in front of you. Research shows that employees who mainly worked from home were less than half as likely to be promoted than all other employees between 2012 and 2017.
Are your remote team members coping well without in-person contact? As many of us know, working from home can feel isolating. Helping everyone stay connected and encouraging inclusivity can help combat isolation.
Unreliable technology makes working from home frustrating and less efficient. Making sure you’re using the best tools for the job will help your hybrid transition.
Of course, not all technology issues come from the platforms. Some employees feel less comfortable with technology and need a helping hand. Offering additional training will help them get to grips with things faster.
The Brentano Suite
Here at The Brentano Suite, we want to support your business to thrive, whatever working model you choose. We offer serviced office suites of varying sizes, with meeting rooms and post handling services. If there’s anything we can do to accommodate your business further, please just let us know.