The hybrid workplace introduces a number of new challenges for managers. Identifying and understanding unconscious biases in the workplace is one of them. Unconscious biases are beliefs about individuals or a group that would be considered to be unfair, such as beliefs about the effectiveness of remote workers vs. in-office workers.
New strategies to manage hybrid teams for success
Most Canadian employees like the idea of a hybrid workplace that gives them the flexibility to stay at home or go into the office when needed. Over 71% of employees surveyed believe a hybrid workplace, or hybrid office, should be the standard model for all organizations, according to a recent KPMG in Canada survey.
However, the survey also found that these same employees worry about how well equipped their employers are to handle this reinvention of the workplace – 81% expressed concern that their bosses aren’t prepared nor equipped to manage hybrid workplace models. They have concerns about being treated differently or overlooked for job opportunities if they wanted to keep working remotely.
As a manager, how confident do feel about being able to take on the challenges of managing diverse teams in this new environment? What steps should you take to offset employee concerns and be better prepared to move into this new age of hybrid working?
Effectively managing hybrid teams comes down to being fair and inclusive with all members of your team, regardless of where they are working. Here are five strategies to help you manage your hybrid team over the long-term.
1. Establish clear expectations
Ensure that all members of your hybrid teams can work together productively by setting clear expectations and accountability for each role. That way everyone knows what is expected of them and who is accountable for doing what.
2. Share work schedules
If you have staff scattered across different physical locations and time zones, make sure everyone knows when each team member is working and accessible. Create a shared group calendar so employees can indicate their daily work schedules.
3. Keep everyone in the loop
Recognize that remote employees will miss information that’s shared through face-to-face interactions in the office. Implement strategies to ensure project information and company decisions are shared equally with everyone, either in meetings, on video, or through team collaboration tools.
4. Ensure everyone is treated fairly
Many employees worry that their managers may treat them differently or penalize them if they don’t go into the office every day. Think about how you will measure performance in a fair way that is based on quality output versus physical presence in the office. You also need to ensure that career progression paths are fair and equal for both office-based and remote staff.
5. Discourage an ‘us vs. them’ mindset
As a manger of a hybrid team try to be on the lookout for unconscious biases towards one group or the other. For example, you don’t want your office staff thinking they work harder than their remote teammates. Also, if you work in the office, you may feel more connected with your office-based staff. Try to ensure you value all members of your team regardless of location. This will help you avoid creating an ‘us versus them’ mindset.
At Virtual Team Builders we specialize in training leaders and managers how to enable virtual and on-site teams to work together successfully in a hybrid workplace. Our training course “Managing the Hybrid Workplace for Success”, is designed to give you the skills you need to enable greater productivity, connectivity, and long-term success and satisfaction for your hybrid teams. Contact us at email@example.com
For more insights into how to effectively manage hybrid teams, read Are you ready for hybrid work? Managers face new realities.
Want personalized advice for how to take your hybrid team to the next level? Complete our Hybrid Team Performance Survey and get a FREE 45-minute consultation with our training team!
Research shows that employee burnout is on the rise after such a lengthy period of working from home. People have been trying to balance personal lives and professional responsibilities for many months now while dealing with the challenges of the pandemic, and it has taken a toll on their physical and mental well-being. Burnt out employees lack energy, are more negative about their jobs, and aren’t as productive at work.
Gradually, more and more remote workers are heading back into the office. Over three in five Canadians say that they want to return to their physical workplace or office, according to a recent KPMG survey. But there are still many people who prefer to work from home at least a few days per week. While the evolving hybrid cultures will differ from place to place, company leaders share a common concern – how to maintain high productivity levels from all their team members, regardless of their working location. They wonder if employees will continue to collaborate and be as effective in a new hybrid environment when they are no longer working together in one place.