Hybrid teams are set to become the next big trend in workplace structure. After years of flexible working practices increasing in popularity across the world, organisations are beginning to embrace the benefits of this non-traditional approach with open arms.
For the organisations who need to retain an office or ‘home base’, creating hybrid teams is the best option out there.
Here’s everything you need to know about hybrid teams.
What is a hybrid team?
Finding a hybrid team definition can prove to be a little tricky. This is because hybrid teams differ slightly in structure depending on the workplace and industry. Overall, hybrid teams are made up of individuals who work both from a shared office space and remotely. In some cases, hybrid teams consistently work in differing locations or they rotate between office and remote work on a set schedule.
How to create a hybrid team structure:
Creating a hybrid team structure requires some careful planning and consideration. It’s not enough to randomly assign team members to work from the office and another set to continue working remotely. Depending on your organisation you may need specific roles to be completed on site, whereas others are more able to alternate between working from a shared office and working remotely.
You’ll need to establish your own unique ‘rules of engagement’. How will you decide who works in a location of choice and who works on-site? Will you rotate teams so that everyone gets the opportunity to work in both settings, or will it depend largely on what department or job function an individual belongs to? These rules of engagement will form the foundation of your hybrid team structure.
We’ve got plenty more tips where this came from. To dig into this further take a look at our other article on how to create a hybrid team structure from scratch.
Tips for managing hybrid teams
Check in regularly
If you’re managing hybrid or virtual teams while working from the designated shared office space, you may find yourself speaking with on-site team members more regularly. To make sure you’re keeping in touch with all members of your team, make time in your calendar for regular fortnightly catch ups. Even a standing meeting of 20 minutes a fortnight is enough to discuss any issues or challenges team members may have come up against.
Make information sharing easy
One of the core challenges of hybrid teams is miscommunication and ultimately, a lack of information being shared across the team. To combat this you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the communication channels set up and used effectively by all members of your hybrid team. To avoid having important information slip through the cracks, you’ll need to ensure that the purpose of each communication channel is clearly defined, understood, and reinforced.
Again, if you happen to be managing your hybrid team from the shared office space you may end up delegating tasks to on-site team members more frequently. Be mindful of this bias when delegating tasks to ensure that you’re spreading the workload evenly across your hybrid team.
Keen for more? We’ve got plenty more tips for managing hybrid teams up our sleeves.
Considerations when leading hybrid teams
Hybrid teams have a lot of moving parts – both literally and figuratively. In this team structure one of the most important things leaders can provide is clarity of direction and expectations. With so much autonomy and flexibility on offer in a hybrid team, leaders need to be able to provide their people with the direction they need in order to self-manage and complete tasks to a high standard.
Expectations may include things like when flexibility is okay and when it is not okay, work hours, response times and performance outcomes.
Another consideration when leading hybrid teams is workplace wellbeing. This is particularly important if you’re transitioning your organisation from a co-located team structure to hybrid work for the first time. Workplace change of any kind can throw a spanner in the works of an individual’s wellbeing. When your team isn’t working at their best, it will have an impact on performance across the board. Encouraging your teams to establish daily routines that incorporate time for recovery is imperative to achieving peak performance.