The pandemic has forever changed the way we work, and the hybrid work model is quickly becoming the new normal for many businesses. But navigating this new landscape can be challenging for employers. How do you manage a team that’s partly in-office and partly remote? How do you maintain productivity and team cohesion? Let’s dive into some best practices.
Remote Work Done Right
Take, for example, my team at LaunchUX. Some of our staff work remotely from Denver, and they’re just as integrated into our workflow as the folks who come into the office. The key to making this work is clear communication and the right technology stack. Regular video meetings and collaborative software tools can bridge the gap between in-office and remote team members.
Flexibility is King
Flexibility is another cornerstone of the hybrid work model. Some of my team members adjust their work hours to accommodate networking events like BNI meetings. This not only allows them to grow professionally but also brings new perspectives and opportunities to the team.
Then there are those who work “hybrid days” or “hybrid hours,” spending part of the week in the office and part working remotely. This model offers the best of both worlds: the collaboration and social interaction of office life, combined with the flexibility and autonomy of remote work.
Monitoring Productivity: Trust but Verify
One of the biggest challenges employers face in a hybrid work model is monitoring productivity. It’s a fine line to walk—knowing who can self-govern and work remotely effectively, and who might struggle without a traditional office structure.
Tips for Monitoring Productivity:
- Set Clear Objectives: Make sure every team member knows what’s expected of them.
- Use Productivity Tools: Software like time-tracking apps can provide valuable insights without being intrusive.
- Regular Check-ins: Weekly or bi-weekly one-on-ones can help you gauge how each team member is handling the hybrid model.
Maintaining Team Cohesion: The Glue That Holds Us Together
Team cohesion can suffer when everyone’s not in the same location. Here are some ways to maintain that all-important sense of unity:
- Virtual Team Building: Activities like online games or virtual happy hours can help remote team members feel included.
- In-Person Meetups: For those who can, periodic in-person meetings or team-building events can reinforce company culture.
- Open Communication Channels: Whether it’s Slack, Teams, or good old-fashioned email, make sure everyone has a way to communicate easily with each other.
Managing a hybrid workforce is a balancing act, requiring a nuanced approach that respects individual needs while maintaining overall productivity and team cohesion. By implementing these best practices, you can create a work environment that’s flexible, inclusive, and effective.
So, whether you’re fully remote, fully in-office, or somewhere in between, the future of work is undeniably hybrid. And with the right strategies, you can make this new model work for you.