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Dos and Don’ts When You’re Managing a Hybrid Team

Hybrid Team

As the modern workplace continues to evolve, the concept of a hybrid team – where employees work both remotely and in the office – has gained significant traction. This hybrid model offers flexibility, improved work-life balance, and access to a wider talent pool, but it also presents unique challenges for managers.

To lead a hybrid team successfully, managers should follow some best practices to maintain a balance between remote and in-office workers, ensuring communication, collaboration, and productivity remain uncompromised.

DO: Ensure You’re Using the Right Email Client

Communication lies at the heart of any successful team, but it’s even more important for hybrid teams.

With team members working from different locations and time zones, email remains a fundamental channel for communication, and using the right email client can significantly enhance your team’s connectivity and efficiency.

A suitable email client for hybrid teams should do more than just let everyone send and receive emails. It should also offer additional features that promote seamless communication and collaboration.

For example, look for clients that provide cross-calendar syncing, integrated group chat, built-in video meetings, collaborative to-do lists, priority inbox sorting, and robust search capabilities.

DON’T : Rely Solely on Email

While email is a valuable communication tool, it’s essential not to rely solely on it for every interaction.

Extensive use of email can lead to information overload, lost messages, and a lack of real-time engagement (although using the right email client can offset these issues somewhat).

Instead of relying too heavily on email, leverage a variety of communication channels to suit different purposes.

Instant messaging apps, project management tools, and video conferencing can enhance collaboration and help maintain a sense of camaraderie among team members.

Adopting a mix of communication tools ensures that each team member can engage in a manner that suits their preferences and work style, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and productive work environment.

DO: Set Clear Communication Guidelines

In a hybrid team, miscommunications can easily occur due to the lack of face-to-face interaction. To counter this, establish clear communication guidelines that address various aspects of remote collaboration.

For instance, outline expectations for response times, preferred communication channels, and etiquette for virtual meetings. This empowers your team to align their efforts effectively, irrespective of their physical presence in the office.

Additionally, encourage the use of video calls for important discussions to facilitate more personal and engaging interactions, bridging the gap between remote and in-office workers.

DON’T: Overlook Inclusivity

In a hybrid team, it’s crucial to ensure that remote workers feel included and valued. In-person meetings and discussions with people in the office can unintentionally exclude those who are not physically present.

To avoid this, make an effort to include both remote and in-office team members in important meetings and discussions. When scheduling meetings, consider time zone differences and rotate meeting times to accommodate various schedules.

Encourage all team members to contribute during discussions and provide opportunities for remote workers to showcase their expertise.

By fostering an inclusive environment, you strengthen the bonds within your team and promote collaboration across all geographic boundaries.

DO: Cultivate a Culture of Trust

Trust is the bedrock of any successful team, and it becomes especially vital in a hybrid work setting.

Managers should work to cultivate a culture of trust by focusing on outcomes rather than micromanaging every process.

Encourage your team members to take ownership of their work and make decisions independently, regardless of their location. Regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings can help build rapport and allow team members to share their progress, challenges, and ideas.

By demonstrating your confidence in their abilities, you not only boost their morale but also enhance their sense of responsibility towards the team’s objectives.

DON’T: Forget To Invest in Technology

Technology serves as the backbone of a successful hybrid team, so make sure to equip your team members with the necessary tools and resources to collaborate seamlessly, regardless of their location.

This includes providing access to cloud-based file storage, VPNs, essential apps and platforms, and reliable hardware and equipment for both company offices and everyone’s home offices.

You should also regularly assess the technology stack to ensure it meets the evolving needs of your team. Periodically review the performance of communication platforms, security measures, and other tools to guarantee uninterrupted workflow and data protection.

The Bottom Line

Managing a hybrid team requires implementing a strategic blend of communication, technology, and company culture.

While the dos and don’ts discussed above are just a few of the ways you can ensure the hybrid team you manage communicates and collaborates well, following these tips is sure to help you keep in-person and remote workers on a level playing field, ultimately boosting your team’s productivity.