10 Tips to Effectively Manage a Hybrid Workforce
You are probably juggling in-office and remote teams for the first time or haven’t mastered how you can manage your hybrid workforce effectively. Read on for tips to effectively manage your hybrid workforce.
Establish Core Work Hours
Talk with your teams about the best time to work synchronously, when they should all be online regardless of where they are working from. Determine how much flexibility you are ready to allow when your teams are working asynchronously and communicate this to the employees.
Assess the business needs to identify those that need consistent work hours. Ensure the teams working on these tasks set consistent work schedules.
Have a Common Calendar Management Model
Your calendar management model should enable you to communicate effectively concerning when you are available or not. When working with teams in different time zones, you need to let everyone know when to schedule appointments.
Limit this to the core working hours so that those working in a different time zone from yours can avail themselves. It is more convenient for them to avail themselves rather than expect you to be available when the teams from different regions are working.
Establish a way for your teams to communicate when they are unavailable during core working hours due to business-related or personal commitments. This is excellent as it helps team members set their schedules.
Regulate the Use of Messaging Apps
Messaging apps are helpful for collaboration, but they can also be distractive. Set a status indicator your team members can use to show when they are available for collaborative engagements or not.
The members can also indicate if they prefer emails or messaging apps for specific types of information. Emails are better for sharing information you may need to refer to later when messaging apps are perfect for sharing short project updates in real-time or quick questions.
Set Your Meeting-Free Period
Have a common time when there are no meetings throughout the organization. Employees can use this time to work independently and focus on their individual projects.
This helps your employees become thoughtful about when to schedule meetings. It may eliminate unnecessary meetings and promote sharing of information through other communication channels.
Facilitate Open Communication
Even after a discussion on a topic, confirm with the members if you understand the issues the same way. Some, like introverted employees, may choose to remain quiet even when disgruntled or not in agreement.
Ensure they get a chance to express their views, even if it means reaching out to them privately. In addition, avoid discussing sensitive information publicly, such as on messaging apps.
If a discussion veers to a sensitive topic, terminate it or follow through with it on a more private channel. Determine topics to discuss on messaging apps, in person, or using video calls.
Expect your team members to get emergencies that will keep them away from work occasionally. Your teams in other regions may also be affected by disasters that you are unaware of, such as flash floods and power failure due to heavy rains.
Establish an effective emergency communication system where teams can report when faced with emergencies. Ensure the safety of your employees in emergencies. Establish efficient ways of mobilizing the search and rescue of your team members in the event of an emergency.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Remote workers may find it difficult to disconnect from work. They may spend endless hours working at the expense of other commitments. However, others may not know how to evade disruptions when working from home, affecting their work-life balance.
Encourage your employees to set work schedules when they are on duty. When they are not on duty, they should avoid handling work-related commitments.
One way of doing this is letting teammates know when you expect replies to emails. Allow only urgent communication when off duty to give yourself time for your personal interests.
Facilitate Opportunities to Connect
In-office teams may get unexpected opportunities to connect during lunch break, at the water dispenser, or when they meet at the canteen. During these off-the-cuff meetings, they may share ideas and get updates on project status.
Remote teams may not get such unexpected opportunities to connect, but you can create them for them. Take advantage of online games to have fun as a team. You may consider family-friendly apps like Quiplash that have various settings for parental guidance to suit different ages.
Encourage your hybrid teams to widen their circles of engagement. They can use apps that pair people randomly to engage for about 30 minutes to get to know each other. Being intentional about creating virtual fun times breaks the ice amongst teammates to enrich your organizational culture.
Evaluate and Update Team Norms Regularly
Your team composition, needs, and priorities are dynamic. Have regular discussions to get opinions about the norms employees would want to be changed and their preferences.
Encourage the teams to share what is working for them and what is not. They can also share their experiences for others to pick learning points to implement for better experiences. Use the input from your ‘ways-of-working’ discussions to update your team norms.
Help Teams Evaluate How They Work
Individuals take time to evaluate their physical activities to see where they began and where they are. You can use a similar model to review how you work.
There are online tools with information to guide your teams evaluate how they work. With the tools, they can tell if they are more productive when working remotely or in the office.
Workforce productivity analytics solutions provide critical insights and summaries of collaboration time, multi-tasking time, and focus time. This information can help you evaluate how teams and individuals are affected by changes in communication strategies, team norms, and work location.
Employees can use the data to decide the adjustments they need to make to be more productive and focused. Productivity and focus may depend on many factors.
However, as a manager, it is upon you to provide the right environment for employees to be productive. Set a culture of transparency and encourage managers and in-office and remote employees to have clear expectations in managing confidence, comfort, and performance.
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At Palindrome Consulting, we offer fully tailored IT services to meet your business needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment.