This year has drastically shifted the landscape of remote work. In March, more businesses than ever before sent their teams home with their equipment in hopes they could still produce the same quality of work and keep them afloat amid the global pandemic. It took establishing entirely new procedures, a whole lot of patience and a go-with-the-flow attitude. Surprisingly, some managers and leaders are finding their teams thrive while working from home. The quality of work is either equal to working in-person or in some cases above average for the circumstances.
Now, as some teams are willingly going back to the office while others remain at home, you might find yourself managing a hybrid team — which comes with its own new set of challenges. Here are four hacks that will help you manage a successful and productive hybrid team:
- Set Expectations
With locations of teams shifting, roles could also shift as well. For example, your marketing team is staying remote, but your product development team is back in the office. You’ll need to ensure expectations of each are set and there’s a designated person that works with both teams to ensure a solid crossover. If your teams are in different locations, it’s critical that you don’t create silos or extra barriers for them.
- Make a Transparency Pact
It will be difficult for remote workers to stay in the loop in you don’t keep them in the loop. If the majority of your teams are back in the office and especially decision makers, those people are going to be aware of company updates to policies or procedures before remote workers. Make a pact to your team to be very transparent with everyone – no matter if they are in the office or working remote. Consider sending out a weekly newsletter, email or have a scheduled call to keep everyone on the same page with company-wide updates. These could even be a great platform to highlight key team members or positive actions by your organization.
- Dedicate Time for Team Building
Team building is still extremely important – even if half of your team is remote! Get creative with new team building activities that allow for online participation. Maybe it’s a zoom happy hour or maybe an online multi-player game tournament (after hours of course). In fact, as a recent survey from Chumba Casino has found, 34% of online gamers deem relationship building to be their favorite part of this hobby. Capitalize on this and plan something unique to strengthen the bond your team shares.
- Optimize Schedules
For those who are still working remote, their schedules might look different than those in the office working 8-5. It’s important to coordinate and optimize schedules. Consider getting a shared calendar among your team if you don’t have one already. That way each team member can be aware of other team members scheduled calls or prior obligations. It can drastically improve communication and the workflow between remote and in-person team members.
This year has taught us adapting to change pushes us, but it is totally possible and can be extremely beneficial. Take this approach to managing your hybrid teams and you’ll be a pro in no time!