We’ve all been doing it for over two years yet very few of us have mastered it. Read on to learn our tips on how to master hybrid-working.
We’ve all been doing it for over two years yet very few of us have mastered it. And there's a reason for this: hybrid working is just really hard. From cultivating a cohesive team culture to navigating remote management, this new way of working comes with all the usual challenges but is made 1000x harder because everything is remote.
That’s why we’re back with another of our how-to guides. In this article we’ll cover topics such as setting up for hybrid success, building a hybrid team culture and upskilling your remote managers. Read on to learn more.
According to a Mitel Study, just 8% of businesses have a hybrid-first mindset when making organisational and operational decisions. Hybrid working requires intentional planning and some top notch technology. You can’t rely on meeting your colleague at the water cooler to catch up or oversee your team's work by simply stepping over to their desk.
Take time in your next strategy session to outline what your team may need from you to be successful remotely, and ensure these things are provided. For example, do they have the right tech set up? Does additional security need to be put in place if information is taken out of the office? What will happen to previously office focussed benefits like commuting vouchers? By organising this basic support, you are providing your teams with a solid foundation on which they can build success.
Cultivating a healthy and productive team culture has never been easy. But remote and hybrid working has certainly done its part to make it more difficult.
We can, and will, write a full blog post on building a cohesive hybrid culture, but for now, here are some starting points.
Build social time into the week.
Working remotely can be lonely. Imitate “water cooler” chats with 15 minutes catch ups with your team. The key here is not to focus on work: so talk about your weekend or the latest celebrity gossip. Do what you can to engage your team.
Be hyper conscious of biases
Be sure not to place undue emphasis on the work of people you see the most. Studies show that while hybrid working is encouraged in most companies, raises and promotions are still more often given to those who work from the office. To avoid unintentionally discriminating against working parents, those with disabilities and others who simply prefer working from home, make a conscious effort to decouple output and suitability for a role from time spent in the office.
Encourage and support healthy work boundaries.
There will always be times where we have to work longer hours, sprinting towards a deadline, but this should be the exception rather than the rule. If you were to see a coworker in the office until 9pm every night, you would be concerned; don’t let hybrid work be any different. If you see teams working prolonged hours, check in to see if they need help planning their workloads. On a wider scale, encourage employees to take evenings and weekends off. And to the greatest extent possible, practise these boundaries yourself. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean your homelife stops existing.
Once the day-to-day operations are sorted, the next step is upskilling your hybrid team. It’s providing your team with the training to be the best they can.
The first step is to find remote training that works with your team's schedule. Forcing employees to come into the office for a two-day seminar will just lead to them resenting the training and forgetting the content. A virtual, bitesize programme will likely learn best.
Secondly, ensure the training is right for the individual. Gone are the days of “one size fits all” training. If someone has recently been promoted or is struggling with a certain skill, offer training for that. Empower your teams to become the best version of themselves.
Hybrid working isn't easy but it also isn't going anywhere. Use these tips to set the foundation for your team's success.