As a direct result of the pandemic, hybrid teams have become the norm. It’s now standard for teams to work remotely, either full or part-time, for a team to comprise a combination of home and on-location employees, or for workers to be based across the globe.
Managing these teams in a way that boosts productivity involves unique challenges but significant opportunities. A well-run hybrid team tends to be more highly motivated, happier, and less likely to seek alternative positions.
If you run a hybrid team, here are the five easy steps to take to ensure that its productivity is at peak levels and staff members have excellent levels of job satisfaction.
Create Great Collaborative Processes
The trickiest thing you’ll likely need to address is how to create great collaboration within your team when it’s made up – either partly or wholly – of remote workers. Staying in touch, and keeping your team in touch with each other, is vital to this.
Video meetings are the perfect way to maintain a face-to-face connection and allow your team to connect and work together. A tool such as Spike video meetings makes for seamless collaboration, as users can flip from messaging to video chatting in-app to keep the conversation going and the workflow…flowing! Aside from a full-scale meeting, a quick video chat can also be a much quicker way of resolving a problem than sending endless messages back and forth and offering the personal touch, too.
Make the most of cloud-based tech as much as possible to allow your employees to work together, in real-time, on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more – and to negate the frustration of trying to keep track of which file is the most up-to-date.
Get Clear on Goals and Expectations
One of the most common issues that the managers of hybrid teams face is divisions within their workforce. Resentments can easily build among, for example, the in-office team who may believe they’re carrying the heaviest workload, and the remote team who feel isolated and out of the loop.
There are a few easy ways to prevent these situations from cropping up, which will also boost staff productivity. Firstly, create clear transparent processes so that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and those of other team members. Deploy viewable pipelines, so everyone can see exactly what everyone else is working on at any given time – this can help to foster an all-in-together workforce mentality and show how each person’s work affects the rest of the team.
Finally, arrange socials or informal virtual gatherings for your workforce to help build a sense of community. This could be a daily ten-minute communal coffee break via video call, or a monthly virtual quiz evening, taking on teams from other departments!
Cut Down on Distractions
Meetings are great, but too many unnecessary virtual meetings can be frustrating for staff members who just want to get on with doing their jobs and hitting their deadlines. Think about whether each meeting is necessary, and invite only relevant team members, rather than insisting that the entire team be present when a simple meeting summary is all that most employees require.
Encouraging employees to have designated focus time, during which period all colleagues know they shouldn’t be disturbed, is another great way of giving your time the space they need to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Introducing priority inboxes, which separate urgent messages from less-important communications, can help team members concentrate on a task without the distractions of constantly incoming emails.
Improve productivity easily and quickly by simply standardizing the processes your team uses. This can save lots of time, cut down on duplication, and identify where systems can be streamlined even further.
Consulting with your employees to develop a set of hybrid workplace rules is a great way to build a strong sense of team and further ensure that everyone’s singing from the same hymn sheet.
Keeping frequently used information, folders, and other digital documents in one central repository is a crucial part of this process. It’ll save staff the hassle of regularly searching for necessary information or forms.
Maintain the Work-Life Balance
Finally – one of the most important things you can do to increase your hybrid team’s productivity is to ensure each individual maintains a healthy work-life balance. Remote employees tend to be more at risk of burnout due to rarely switching off from the job. As opposed to clocking off and leaving the office at the end of the day, those working from home have a habit of accessing their emails at all hours or being tempted to take some time out of their weekend to put the finishing touches to a report or work on some accounts.
Protecting staff well-being is essential, and speaking with staff about the importance of the home-life balance is vital. Ultimately, the best way to get staff to do more is often to insist that they do less! Encourage staff to set boundaries and to resist sending or dealing with emails or phone calls after hours, to build a happy, motivated team.