When it comes to managing hybrid teams there are plenty of unique situations, conversations, and challenges that can arise. The hybrid team structure is becoming increasingly popular as organisations continue to offer remote working options to their employees, while also encouraging team members to work from a shared office space when desired or when required by job function.
To get the most benefit from moving to a hybrid team structure, read on to discover our top tips and techniques for managers.
Managing hybrid teams | How to manage your hybrid team effectively
#1: Regularly check in with both remote and in-office team members
It can be very easy for a manager to find themselves spending more time connecting one on one with team members that they see face-to-face while working from a shared office space. To ensure you’re spending a similar amount of time connecting with every individual in your hybrid team, make it a habit to book 1:1 catch ups on a regular or semi-regular basis. This may mean a fortnightly catch up with each team member for 20 minutes – while this may seem short, having this standing meeting time will allow you address key issues that may arise.
#2: Ensure that information is shared across the hybrid team easily and quickly
Collaboration and communication is often one of the greatest fears and challenges in managing hybrid teams and remote teams. 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.
The more that information can be made visual through digital tools, the more likely it is that all team members will be able to access the information when it’s most relevant to them.
#3: Delegate tasks across the hybrid team fairly
An unfortunate and often unintended consequence of managing a hybrid team can be that new tasks or projects are delegated to those working in the office – purely by virtue of being seen. This can happen for a variety of reasons but there are really only two ways to combat it.
Firstly, it’s worthwhile having a digital tool to make the workload of everyone in a hybrid team visible. This will help managers to determine who has space to take on additional tasks, whether or not they are sharing an office space. This team-wide visibility can also aid in encouraging collaboration where team members notice there’s a task on someone else’s list they can assist with.
Our second suggestion to avoid over-delegation of tasks to one group is to be mindful when assigning tasks – consider who is available based on their workload and who would be best suited based on their unique strengths.
#4: For important announcements, bring the hybrid team together
Another communication conundrum that can arise in a virtual team is when important announcements are made at different times. What can tend to happen is those who are working co-located will be brought into a meeting room or shared space to hear of an important announcement. That piece of information is then shared hours or even days later to those working remotely, often in the form of an impersonal text-based update.
This can create a perception of co-located team members being more important, so it’s important as a manager to do what you can to involve all team members in important announcements.