Hybrid work environments are much more common than they used to be, and they’re only likely to increase in popularity. Allowing team members to work part-time in the office and part-time remotely can be beneficial. Many businesses have an easier time finding and retaining great talent when they offer flexible scheduling.
However, there are also some challenges associated with managing team members who aren’t in the office at the same time. It’s easy for employees to become less engaged, less productive, and less communicative when they’re working from various locations. Fortunately, there are strategies you can adopt to facilitate optimal team cooperation, organization, and productivity. From achieving strategic alignment to valuing all member input equally, here are a few ways to keep your hybrid team in sync.
When it comes to hybrid work arrangements, autonomy goes with the territory. If you don’t trust remote workers to be productive and complete their tasks independently, the whole model falls apart. But in order for those individual tasks to advance organizational goals, there’s one other component that is necessary: strategy alignment. To stay in sync, hybrid team members need to know the company’s overarching objectives and how their work fits into that vision.
Once the organization’s strategic direction has been determined, alignment requires identifying the initiatives that will make it a reality. Leadership can then break these initiatives down into projects with specific assigned tasks. When team members have clearly defined duties and objectives, they’re empowered to work more cohesively together. This is true even for hybrid team members who are rarely in the office at the same time.
While having a clear direction is necessary for organizational success, it may not be entirely sufficient. Enlisting the right tech can ensure that all team members know who is responsible for which tasks and when they must be delivered. A robust project management system can help teams capably wrangle the granular tasks of which business goals are made.
Meetings are essential for all types of teams, but they’re especially critical for hybrid teams. If you don’t gather regularly, your team is more likely to lose cohesion and become less productive. It’s easy for team members to feel isolated and uninvested in the company’s success when they don’t see their co-workers periodically.
Unfortunately, scheduling meetings often leads to cumbersome email chains with dozens of back-and-forth email communications. Finding a time that works for everyone can be a headache-inducing process.
If you’re serious about keeping your hybrid team in sync, ditch the awkward and outdated email scheduling process. In its place, use a convenient calendar automation platform for all your scheduling needs. A meeting scheduler streamlines the process of setting up regular meetings with your hybrid team members. Choose a scheduling platform that easily integrates with Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or any other video conferencing app your hybrid team uses.
As helpful as regular virtual meetings can be, they can’t fully take the place of interacting in person. Team members may feel more involved and engaged when they meet together at least once a week. Many employers like to give their hybrid employees a great deal of flexibility when it comes to their remote work hours. But requiring employees to overlap one day in the office each week can be highly beneficial.
It’s no secret that working with other team members in person can boost collaboration. Good collaboration is still possible while working remotely — especially when the business is strategically aligned and well supported with appropriate technologies. But there is certainly something to be gained from in-person communication and cooperation.
To keep your hybrid team in sync, designate one day each week as an in-office day. This is the day for brainstorming sessions and peer mentoring engagements. It’s also an ideal time to hold one-on-ones, so employees can ask managers questions or express concerns about assigned project tasks. Consider ordering a complimentary lunch or engaging in team-building activities on your in-office workday. These activities can boost morale and help team members get to know each other better.
It’s easy for hybrid team members to feel less valued than team members who work full-time in the office. If hybrid team members don’t feel as heard during meetings, they will eventually stop participating fully. As a manager or executive, it’s important to show your hybrid employees as much appreciation as you do all your other employees. This can be difficult if you’ve established a closer bond with in-office team members. You may need to shift your focus to create a fair hybrid workplace for all workers.
To do this, make a point of welcoming all employee input and opinions equally. Ask hybrid employees for their opinions during meetings and listen carefully to what they have to say. Ensure they have the same opportunities to speak as their in-office counterparts. As you strive to treat all employees equally, your hybrid team members will gain confidence and feel more in sync with the larger team.
Managing a hybrid team inevitably comes with challenges. But you can overcome these challenges instead of allowing them to derail your progress and profits. Use the strategies above to help your hybrid team members work seamlessly together and achieve company objectives with ease.