One of the items on the agenda for today’s leaders is that of managing teams working on a flexible basis including from the office and also home. It is important to note that the concept of remote working existed prior to the pandemic, however has increased dramatically following COVID-19.
Several people working in business expect the remote working trend to continue on even after the pandemic becomes an endemic. In this article, we shall be discussing some tips on how to manage hybrid teams, with different combinations of employees working both remotely and at the office.
Parameters for engagement and daily rituals
When you are managing people working in a hybrid manner, it is important to set up clear parameters of engagement. Daily meetings taking place at a specific time are just one example how you as a leader can allow the team to engage. Such a meeting would allow you as a leader to gain daily updates and assign tasks based on exigencies. Through such an approach, team members would identify what issues need to be discussed via a meeting versus others that can be tackled by an email or an instant message. In the context of remote working, team leaders need to be disciplined when it comes to checking in on their employees, for multiple times on a daily basis.
Giving employees the right tools
As a team leader, it is one’s duty to ensure that employees are getting the right tools to accomplish their tasks. Some team members for example may require laptops, Wi-Fi allowance, headsets and webcams. It is also necessary to consider the individual needs of the different team members.
Cater and plan for equal inclusion
Enabling inclusion of all team members is necessary for productivity. It is easy to have a situation where those who are working remotely find themselves excluded from impromptu and informal meetings, simply because of their lack of physical presence. In this regard, it is important to seek the feedback and participation of those working remotely. This is to be kept in mind even for online meetings, where interjecting or providing your opinion from a remote location might be more difficult. This also applies to informal chats and brainstorming sessions, where ideas can be exchanged. In this regard, it is necessary to leverage the use of technology such as chats and as much as possible transition discussions to these platforms.
In view that hybrid teams are here to stay, leaders need to continue honing their skills in managing them. With experience, practical steps can be implemented to tackle the barriers and enhance productivity.