Technology and the catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic bring many changes to everyday lives, so much so that they created a new normal.
Today’s technology has made these things fairly easy, from online shopping, ordering food, or working from home. We can order anything from our phone, receiving it at our doorstep.
The same concept can now be seen with employees working from home. These employees and employers create an online shared workspace accessible by authorized personnel. When COVID-19 struck, people shifted to remote working. However, some occupations such as surgeons, cab drivers, front-line defence, and construction workers still have to come to the site to work.
While some people prefer working from their homes, others prefer a well-built workspace with all the facilities necessary to fulfil their duties.
This employment model is more popularly known as Hybrid Teams, meaning team managers and employees working from different locations irrespective of the time difference or the size of the team. Employers use this concept in many ways, say employees can choose when and where they want to work from, or the team manager sets out the days of the week to attend office.
These working preferences gave rise to new challenges for managers who have been working in the office for such a long time, as managing hybrid teams would be a new thing for them as well. Let’s look at what challenges managers face and how to manage Hybrid teams.
Managing Hybrid Teams
Hybrid teams still have the same employees before but with different preferences. Therefore we need to keep in mind that we still need to satisfy their needs and expectations.
There may be reduced costs because we would need to provide less working space, but with employees in different locations, it could be very problematic and challenging to handle them.
1. Different Mentality
Most company workforce comprises employees who favour working from home and some who oppose the same idea.
For managers, catering to these different mindsets and providing an optimum working condition can be challenging. Hence, it is important to understand that there will always be a level of demotivation among employees.
Some traditional processes may fail in this hybrid work environment; hence, management must rethink and redesign some aspects for better team management.
The manager might need to adopt a different style for each employee based on whether he is working remote or on-site. Managers should surely set different targets for each group i-e remote and on-site.
Clear communication of an objective or a task is key to achieving a certain goal. Follow-up communication and reassuring employees are also very important.
To avoid miscommunication, the manager needs to be very clear and precise in his communication, especially for remote working. Not only will keeping clear communication help keep all employees on the same page, but it also improves employee morale.
4. Time Allocation
Since many employees have adopted this work-from-home model, their family members need to be aware that they have an allocated time and will be unavailable during that time.
Alternatively, working from home also doesn’t mean that they are working round the clock, but rather be looking out for the deadlines, reports, meetings, and projects.
It is the manager’s responsibility to sustain the productivity levels of employees. Balanced supervision and empowerment can greatly improve the overall morale of employees.
That said, there will always be employees going off track with distractions or low professional ethics. So a supervisor needs to know when to monitor employees closely or give them the freedom and leeway.
6. Availability of Information
Remote and on-site employees would both need all kinds of information. The manager should ensure that all the employees have access to all the required files to do their work conveniently. Cloud storage is a prominent option to tackle this problem.
7. Employee Turnover
Employee turnover has always been an issue for managers, as an employee deciding to leave the company raises a question on the manager’s leadership style.
Potential recruitment candidates often look at employee turnover metrics of companies before accepting their job offers. Hence, a high turnover rate will hurt the company’s overall image.
In light of the new work-from-home culture, there is a potential risk of companies having a high employee turnover rate. That is because working-from-home gives employees more time and freedom and the opportunity to look for a passive income. If managed correctly, employees may decide to jump-ship and climb the entrepreneurial bandwagon.
8. Employee Wellbeing
Employee wellbeing has a lot to do with providing the right facilities to keep employees safe and motivated. Many employee wellness programs comprise gym memberships, motivational workshops, and team-building activities.
On-site, this may not prove to be as challenging as working with a hybrid team model. In the case of a hybrid team model, most companies have to rework the policies to cater to their employees who work from home by providing office equipment and relevant supplies.
A hybrid Team can be a great motivator to many employees. It empowers employees to be accountable for their responsibilities while giving them the latitude to work at their own pace.
While it should be promoted and practised, managers also need to be ready to face the challenges and update themselves regarding hybrid teams’ needs and problems. This concept could boost employee productivity while maintaining the present work culture.
Disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of IdeasPlusBusiness.com. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
For questions, inquiries and advert placements on the blog, please send an email to the Editor at ideasplusbusiness[at]gmail[dot]com. You can also follow IdeasPlusBusiness.com on Twitter here and like our page on Facebook here. This website contains affiliate links to some products and services. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.