Why do we need to start working in hybrid teams? Does a hybrid team represent a better team management system? These are divisive questions for employers that require strong arguments to foster the inclusion of hybrid teams in the workplace. Today, leaders realize the significance of the demand for creating better workplaces where hybrid teams work successfully. The problem is that the majority of employees feel redundant or disengaged at work, absolutely disconnected from their team members, rejected by their managers, and even thinking about leaving their offices. It's quite clear to forward-thinking leaders that there's a real need for rebuilding relationships across teams in a hybrid workplace.
Let's speak more globally about the best practices for management hybrid teams in this article. As the COVID-19 pandemic promoted revolutionary changes in the workplace, the issue of how to lead hybrid teams should not be left unnoticed.
Hybrid team meaning
What is a hybrid team? Don't you know the answer to this simple question?
First of all, let's see the meaning of this expression. The term “hybrid team” means a flexible work framework that is based on a two-mode scheme of employment. A team of this type can perform well in the workplace, with some employees working from home and another group of staff members working in the office, and with some of them alternating between the two.
Second, let's refer to the analysis of the role of hybrid teams in the modern business world. A hybrid workforce can work smarter than traditional teams as this work structure provides better work-life balance, health and safety, and psychological adaptation. Third, to lead a hybrid team well means organizing successful work in a distributive environment. The use of reliable strategies helps build, train, and retain top-quality, engaging hybrid teams in a new working space.
How to manage and lead hybrid teams
Do you agree that it's not easy to make good progress in managing hybrid teams? Researchers state that managers and team leaders should take into consideration every aspect of hybrid team management, including:
These four aspects are essential for the efficient leading of hybrid teams. They provide a framework for the foundation of the best hybrid team in which people behave and act in accordance with the company's strategy. There are many case studies that show the benefits of hybrid teams and their impact on organizations. Put simply, for those people who are engaged in managing hybrid teams, training is of primary importance. It should be based on the recent reviews and experiences that highlight the development of best practices for managing and leading hybrid teams.
The challenges of managing hybrid teams
Although hybrid work teams enjoy great popularity in today's business environment, it's critical to bear in mind some aspects of this working scheme that can lead to low organizational productivity. Leaders responsible for managing hybrid teams should consider these factors to measure performance strategies for remote and hybrid teams. Let's take a closer look at these points:
- Poor communication
Because some team members are in different geographical locations but some are in the same office, there is a need to rely on technology to achieve positive communication outcomes. Improper technological support can lead to misunderstandings between colleagues, which can be eliminated only during physical interaction. This is one of the hybrid team challenges that results in non-compliance with the set deadlines or the failure to meet the established regulations. Having the right tools to increase effectiveness at work is the number one priority for any leader. All-team meetings
conducted with the help of new technology can improve communication.
- Improper team engagement
Some team members work remotely while others work in the office, so they may have a feeling of low connectivity to the company's culture. Poor engagement is a sign of an unfair and inequitable workplace. If a leader has expectations for people working in the office but ignores the possibility
of capturing the attention of virtual employees to the project, the team's participation inequality will grow. Video conferences organized regularly by hybrid team leaders can increase the motivation of all members of the group to achieve common goals.
- Ineffective coordination
Some hybrid team leaders forget about the need to handle stress shaped by the consequences of the global pandemic. The company's focus on the hybrid work model increases their stress levels to a great extent. As a result, leaders fail to coordinate their actions to ensure smooth task sharing, the
provision of relevant support to everyone who needs advice, and managing their expectations. For some teams, hybrid mode is associated with impaired collaboration, if their leaders are untrained to handle the abrasive relationships between members, which can disrupt their teamwork ability.
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Best practices for leading and managing a hybrid team
Thousands of organizations have already launched successful teams in the hybrid work landscape, including Google, Facebook, Fujitsu, and more. By adopting the best practices to manage hybrid teams in 2022, you modernize the ways and means of your company's success in a competitive worldwide market. Leaders should consider the following:
- Develop relevant leadership for your hybrid team in order to promote productivity, engagement, innovation, and collaboration
- Support the creation of a sense of community to ensure that all team members are highly motivated, confident, and connected
- Build organizational transparency
- Communicate your ideas clearly
- Provide conditions for cross-cultural development through increased cultural awareness
- Reflect on the needs of both remote and on-site employees to achieve equality of provided capabilities
- Rely on innovative digital infrastructure to support team building and design hybrid team events
- Provide flexibility in planning work schedules to ensure that employees at all organizational levels are connected with one another and ready to grow together in a hybrid work environment.
What tools are used to support hybrid teams?
Because of the use of new technologies and the inclusion of social dynamics in daily workplace interactions, the hybrid work phenomenon has altered the traditional approach to team functioning in a post-COVID economic environment. Only the team members who possess the proper skills and master the proper culture are thriving in a flexible hybrid work context. Effective hybrid team tools provide massive opportunities for the development of the necessary skills. They also help to create the right organizational culture to foster hybrid team management.
- Video conferencing tools (Zoom, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, and Skype for business hybrid teams, to name a few).
Thanks to the use of this technological solution, it's easy to conduct regular virtual meetings aimed at resolving problems and exchanging ideas between members working remotely and those working in the office. Hybrid meetings with teams make it possible for the participants to share online resources to maximize collaborative practices.
- Messaging apps (MS Teams, Twist, Google Chat, Slack, and others).
These are useful chat tools for hybrid teams that contribute to increased team collaboration and productivity. Their features allow users to stay connected with one another, improve daily management practices, and foster the organization of joint activities. Messaging apps allow team members to track their working stages without effort and complete projects on time.
- Reliable tools for sharing files, folders, and documents (Google Drive, OneDrive, Hightail, WeTransfer, and MediaFire, and more).
Using secure file and document sharing software is necessary for effective team collaboration in a hybrid work context. These tools offer appealing features for work-flow activity. Among them are authentication, unlimited storage, e-signatures, data loss protection, threat detection, and integration with other services.
- Desk scheduling software
This amazing hot desk booking tool allows employees to plan their on-site activities based on the reservation of office space on a timely basis. Thanks to the data provided to leaders, it's possible to improve the optimization of working processes.
- Online meeting scheduling tools
Having employees who work remotely from all parts of the world, it's critical to plan meetings considering multiple time zones. With this software, it's easy to find the most appropriate time for hybrid team meetings. The list of the participants with all the timing details will show the ideal time for a planned event.
Hence, the major goal of the above-mentioned tools is to help business owners create powerful workplaces where human resources and companies thrive. Whether you work at a small company, a mid-sized venture, or a large enterprise, you should be well-prepared to lead a hybrid team that you have already built and set the stage for your people to become highly productive.