Last March, the majority of companies were forced into supporting a remote workforce because of the pandemic. Fast forward to today, and things are finally turning a corner for the better. As we continue to enter this new normal, many employers are supporting both a remote and an on-site team to optimize production and adhere to essential safety protocols. If your team is struggling to handle this new transition, here are a few tips on how to effectively manage a hybrid workforce.
Set clear expectations
With a split team, it is essential to establish clear expectations for both remote workers and your on-site staff. With a hybrid team, it can be more challenging to communicate and frequently check in to see how things are going. If expectations for your staff are clear and effectively communicated, it will be easier to hold everyone accountable. If you set expectations, your team will better understand what you are expecting from them, and thus, there will be less confusion and disparities amongst your team.
Clear communication is essential
When it comes to managing a hybrid workforce, you must facilitate clear communication. With your team in different regions and possibly in different time zones, communication can get messy. As a result, your company should invest in communication technologies such as Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. These communication tools will help enable solid communication and ensure your team is always on the same page. These tools will make it easier to check in with your staff, conduct regular meetings, and share project timelines.
Be flexible and open-minded
If you are managing a hybrid workforce, you must be flexible and open-minded. Your workers in the office will have a little more structure and rigidity. However, your staff working from home will have different distractions; they will be managing their personal and work lives simultaneously and maybe working nontraditional hours. If you plan on this hybrid team being successful, you must practice patience and understand that flexibility is key. Your remote staff may have to step away from their computers for a few minutes to tend to their kids or pets. Being flexible will help your team from reaching burnout and ultimately make them more productive.
Watch for signs of burnout
If part of your hybrid workforce has been working remotely for a while, they may be inching closer to burnout. Your in-office staff likely has more structure, and it’s easier to leave work at work. However, for your remote staff, it’s easy for the lines between work and home to get blurry. As the leader of your team, you should be looking for signs of burnout. Lack of motivation, late-night emails, employees who are always online, and less-than-perfect performance are all signs an employee may be on the verge of burnout. The expectations you set for your team will help mitigate this, but that may not be enough.
Encourage your team to share how they feel, regularly check in with them one-on-one to see how they manage this newer working environment, and listen to their concerns. Also, urge your staff to use their time off, especially those who are remote. It can be easy to let those vacation days stack up while working from home. Stepping away from work is essential to your team’s mental health and performance, and leaders must support that.
Emphasize cybersecurity best practices
Cyberattacks are on the rise for your employees that are working remotely. Your team is accessing company documents, systems, and other valuable information on personal internet connections. As a result, it is vital to establish IT best practices. It’s a good idea to regularly send emails with your company’s IT policies and procedures to reduce your risk of these attacks. Keeping your staff, and ultimately, your company secure from the additional working-from-home vulnerabilities will help your team remain safe and secure.
Managing a hybrid workforce is not an easy feat, but if you follow these guidelines, you are on your way to a more productive, happier team.