What are the best practices to managing employees in a hybrid work setup? Hybrid work has been a growing trend over the past years. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, more employers and employees were forced into this revolutionary setup. This work setup combines the traditional working from the office and working from home and relies heavily on cooperation.
After the pandemic, most employers started allowing employees to divide their time between the home and the office. So, employees can opt to work from home whenever their activities demand attention but still go to the office for meetings, orientation, project work, team-building, and many more.
A Full Transition
Although most businesses accepted a hybrid work setup to cope with the pandemic, some have continued to transition fully into the setup. You can understand why a hybrid work setup is getting more popular based on the advantages below:
- Compared to fully remote teams, a hybrid work setup allows employees to feel more involved, thanks to the possibility of face-to-face meetings.
- Even though remote working can be attractive, a hybrid work setup reduces isolation as employees can mingle once they go to the office.
- Employees who have to commute all the time waste a lot of time on the road. That time they lost would have been useful elsewhere. Businesses with a hybrid work setup allow employees to have shorter commutes, thus giving them more time to be productive.
- A hybrid work setup also allows employees to be more productive as they work from wherever they are most effective.
- Additionally, hybrid employment allows employees to pick work schedules that work well, thus boosting job satisfaction.
So since hybrid work setups are different, they’ll need new ways of managing employees. In this article, you’ll learn how team leaders can manage employees in a hybrid work setup.
Managing employees in a hybrid work setup
1. Encourage Great Communication
Having excellent communication with all employees is crucial when running any business. But maintaining contact can be tricky with team members from different locations who work predominately remotely.
As a result, you need to find ways of having everybody feel included. Excellent communication begins when you employ new employees. As an employer, you need to find fun ways to welcome new employees virtually, just as much as you welcome regular employees face to face.
One great way to maintain communication is by sharing work schedules with all employees. For example, you can set up a calendar where every team member can indicate where they will work each day. This schedule will ensure that you delegate work appropriately.
When communicating with team members who don’t frequent the office as much, consider using voice, video email, or chat as it makes staff feel included. One great communication option has to be a water cooler on teams that allows informal opportunities for employees to collaborate and solve problems, remote or in the office.
Maintaining excellent communication is instrumental in making significant decisions and minimizing any sense that other employees are not as important. In addition, it’s a way of ensuring every team member knows what is going on, especially decisions that might affect them.
2. Have Clear Expectations In Place
Once employees get increased flexibility, most tend to be self-motivated. But as much as self-motivation is ideal, it can reduce team efforts, leading to decreased performance. So establishing clear expectations is the best way to keep performance high.
The expectations will be for schedules, milestones, completion of expected jobs, and the best communication methods. When employees know what management expects, they will easily collaborate and work together to produce great results.
Setting expectations will also boost a sense of structure that prevents ill feelings amongst every team member. Additionally, employers and managers will easily coordinate tasks and stay in control of workflows.
Team managers must run virtual meetings daily or weekly when setting clear expectations. However, that can depend on the time flexibility. Having the right communication will allow employers to share their progress and finish their work without interruptions.
3. Set Strategic Meetings
For a hybrid work setup to be successful, employers need to trust that their employees can get work done independently. However, most managers tend to call meetings to constantly check in, which can feel like micromanagement to employees.
So when managers call for meetings, they need to be necessary and practical. These meetings need to handle status updates affecting employees’ work. However, managers need to ensure that the meetings they schedule are well managed. If necessary, they can opt for one-on-one conversations.
Business leaders need to plan hybrid meetings and conduct them well. As a result, managers must ensure all employees get to participate without the remote employees feeling left out. Team leaders need to find effective meeting facilitation with a common denominator. They should also stick to agendas and practice the proper meeting facilitations.
4. Equip Your Employees With The Proper Tools
As previously established, a hybrid work setup might have employees who don’t frequent the office all the time. However, they still need to work and might need tools and support like the office provides.
These tools will help employees engage with their leaders and colleagues. Say your business needs a specific technology to get work done, for example. You may need to provide your hybrid workers with the same technology.
As a manager, you need to understand every member’s unique situation and find ways to meet their needs using the right tools. For instance, you might need to provide better Wi-Fi, headsets, webcams, portable technology, smartphones, and appropriate internal software.
In addition to individual employees, managers need to get tools for each team’s unique needs. Teams need tools that will also facilitate successful meetings.
5. Find Ways Of Having Inclusive Employee Experiences
All employees need to feel included no matter where they work. As a result, you must concentrate on giving all employees a fair chance at promotions and rewards. For instance, if you buy lunch for employees in the office, you might need to find alternatives for those working remotely.
Additionally, if you organize a mindfulness class, you’ll have to stream it for remote workers. The management might also need to provide fair and equal progression paths for all staff. Finally, remember that rewards such as yoga classes, lunches, and discounted gym memberships for only employees who can show up will demotivate remote workers.
A hybrid work setup introduced a new way of working for which most employers might have felt unprepared. However, for this setup to work, managers need to let go of traditional management methods and embrace change that will work well for a hybrid setup.
Hybrid teams aren’t going anywhere based on the rise of their popularity. So it’ll be wise to engage, build a positive work culture, and harness the ability to manage employees regardless of location. Hope this guide will help you to managing employees in a hybrid work setup.
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