Around 40% of managers surveyed by the Harvard Business Review said they don’t have the skills they need to manage a remote team.
Still, remote work is now common and popular because of the pandemic and because new technologies have made it easier to work from anywhere in the world. Many companies now let their employees work a few days remotely or let some teammates work remotely full-time while others work on-site.
Now that more companies are using this hybrid remote work model—sometimes called WFH 2.0 because it’s the model many companies are adopting after an entire year of remote work—team leaders need to tailor their management techniques for these teams’ unique characteristics to ensure their companies continue to thrive and grow.
1. Normalize a hybrid remote work model
Managing a hybrid remote team effectively requires setting clear expectations to avoid misunderstanding and built-up resentment. Some colleagues might feel uncomfortable continuing to work remotely while others are returning to the office. Others might struggle to include their remote colleagues once they’ve returned to office work.
To make the transition as seamless as possible, brush up on communication techniques to keep things as transparent as possible. For example, consider establishing company policies that allow people to work remotely two days a week, or require that people who work remotely full-time obtain special permission from their managers.
Here are a few other ways to build a healthy hybrid remote work model:
- Set out transparent and equitable rules for who can work remotely and when, then make sure that everyone on your team knows the company policy. You can do that by emailing everyone a memo or posting the rules in an online channel that everyone uses to communicate.
- Don’t make remote work a privilege enjoyed only by your most senior teammates. That could cause some teammates to feel like you don’t trust them enough to allow them to work remotely. Remote work shouldn’t be a privilege, but rather an integral part of your company’s hybrid remote work culture.
- Normalize remote work by encouraging team leaders and managers to work off-site at least some of the time.
- Recruit and onboard employees remotely. Ensure that the process is the same for everyone, so you don’t accidentally create discrepancies between the way people are hired or shown the ropes. The goal is to standardize the process for everyone and avoid creating inequality.
Darcy Boles, an expert in remote company culture and the Director of Culture and Innovation at TaxJar, argues that companies should be “going hybrid with a remote-first mindset.” That means operating like a remote team even when many of your employees are working in the office.
“Spend at least a few days working outside of the office,” Boles suggests to managers. “Put yourself in the position of the people you’re managing.”
2. Create a cohesive work culture for your hybrid remote team
To create a healthy hybrid remote work culture, you must put extra effort into creating a connected culture between remote and office workers and strengthening the bonds between everyone, no matter where they are located.
Your company’s work culture can make or break your business. Nearly half of all job seekers surveyed said a good work culture is the number one thing they’re looking for in a prospective employer, according to a survey by Jobvite. And 88% of people surveyed said it’s a significant factor when deciding where to work.
One key way to create a connected hybrid remote work culture is to make sure that no one feels left out from the decision-making or creative process. That means ensuring everyone—remote or not—has an equal opportunity to participate in meetings, make decisions, and feel heard. Read more
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