The rise of hybrid working models has created a need for teams to be able to collaborate and share ideas, regardless of their physical location. The good news is, this can be achieved through virtual collaboration. According to Adil, MyPrep, the concept of employees working closely with other people who may be on-site, off-site, or moving between the two, is new to most companies and requires careful management.
We asked 34 entrepreneurs what their thoughts on the best practices to manage hybrid teams in 2022 are, and these are what they said:
#1. Build An Intentional Culture
"One of the most challenging aspects of running fully distributed teams is to create an engaging and vibrant culture. To do this, we make sure to design rituals so that all team members get to interact in ways that go beyond their daily work-related activities. We also have created a "fun" channel on slack where employees post memes, pictures of their pets, or even funny videos. Afterward, we are thinking of even hosting digital events, contests, and other ideas that our team might enjoy."
Thanks to Emily David, Mens Leather Jacket.
#2. Use a Tool Like Time Doctor
"We are using different tools to manage our employees. Our favorite tool is time doctor which is a remote employee monitoring software. It is an affordable tool for all sizes of firms. The software helps to keep track of employee work hours and shows their productive and idle times to analyze performance. By sending periodic pop-ups, it also allows you to keep employees engaged at work."
Thanks to James, grow your small businesses better.
#3. Be Available for Your Remote Team
"For our Bridesmaid Dresses selling website, we use to manage our remote employees by trying to be available for them and listen to their issues 24 hours. There are times when remote employees try to reach their reporting manager and discuss work-related challenges. Whenever they fail to connect with their superiors, they often have to make a decision. It could create management issues, so it’s better for any platform to be available after business hours too."
Thanks to Laura Jen, Bridesmaid Dresses.
#4. Focus on Trust and Output
"Some people think that the best way to effectively manage remote teams is to install software that records their screen or prevents them from accessing some sites. In my experience, this barely ever works (if anything, it is counterproductive). Instead, we have created a system that revolves around trust, and our team's ability to deliver high-quality work on time. This is the reason for our business related to Leather Jackets to rise to the peak."
Thanks to David Park, mens leather jacket.
#5. Keep One on One Discussions
"You won't have time to discuss concerns with your teams because you'll be working remotely. So, give employees more one-on-one time, and allow them to contact you via Skype or any other app without regard to time zones. Turn on your availability because your employees will have no idea when your door is genuinely open. This open communication can help strengthen trust between employees and managers."
Thanks to John Webster, Website Development Company.
#6. Trust and Communication With Employees Is Crucial
"Running a successful hybrid model can be simple with a few boundaries set in place. When it comes to hybrid working, trust and communication with employees is crucial. The whole idea of hybrid work in my company is to offer flexibility and a good work life balance. Ensuring workers are both doing this and excelling in their job come hand in hand. In this day and age, providing employees with freedom and comfortability in their job leads to them wanting to do well, instead of having to do well.
To keep contact regular and effective, we optimize all softwares available to us. These include slack and google meetings. We also ensure there is atleast one day in the week where everyone is in the office. I personally think having this day reduces the feeling of isolation, keeps workers in the loop with one another and offers a chance for face to face interaction."
Thanks to Andrew Drow, WellPCB
#7. Establish Clear And Open Communication
"We could start with the basics of managing remote teams and then go further. To me, the basics are:
- Establish clear and open communication.
- Create an 'accountability culture.'
- Provide the right tools for your team.
- Empower the team.
These topics above are basic and important, but here at talentify.io and sabido.com- same company, different departments- we also care for diversity. For instance, imagine how good the decision-making process can be when there are people with different cultural backgrounds, gender, religion, and others in a remote team.
They provide the manager with different viewpoints, ideas, and perspectives. In our experience here, when remote teams see their views are taken into consideration, even if the final decision is not exactly in their "way," it triggers that sense of "being part of," so hard to get when working "away" from the company."
Thanks to Ricardo Luís Von Groll, Content Manager, Talentify.
#8. Facetime vs Face time
"Avoid falling prey to 'proximity bias,' which favours team members with whom you have more frequent face-to-face contact. Proximity bias can also influence our perceptions of productivity and performance, leading us to believe that the employee we see is working harder and delivering more than those we don't. Your attitude and actions as a manager form the team culture, and your perceived bias may increase conflict between remote and onsite employees. Employees were more productive when everyone worked from home, according to research conducted during the pandemic. As a result, the assumptions based on proximity bias are disproved. Keep this in mind when you manage and evaluate each employee's contribution."
Thanks to Jamie Opalchuk, HostPapa.
#9. Transparency and Trust
"Employees feel most secure when they know what's going on and why choices are made. This is especially vital during a time of crisis, when many people are feeling isolated due to physical distance. Even as employees gather on site, managers should be aware of this persisting need. Keep in mind that employees want to know what's coming next, even if it means receiving bad news from the organisation. Employees want more than simply organisational transparency.
They also value leaders who admit when they don't have the answer to a question. Or are willing to share a personal narrative about overcoming adversity or making a mistake. Managers are sometimes hesitant to be transparent because they fear it would ruin their image or cause people to doubt their leadership abilities. Transparency, on the other hand, generates trust, and trust encourages employee involvement, according to workplace studies."
Thanks to Sara Johansson, Customer Success Manager, Onsiter.
#10. Create Unified Workflows
"The key to managing a hybrid team is to create unified workflows that enable team members to stay productive regardless of their location. Building out centralized hubs for communication - through the use of platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams - is essential to the success of a hybrid team. You can leverage these platforms to keep everyone on the same page."
Thanks to Andrew Griffith, Garden Furniture.
#11. Cross-team Communication Is Critical.
"When it comes to effectively managing a hybrid team, I believe cross-team communication is critical. This can make or break a hybrid team. If you cannot get those who are working remotely on the same page as those in the physical office, this can affect productivity and stall growth. To ensure team communication is strong, you can set up team-building activities to break down barriers between team members and foster working relationships."
Thanks to Mark McShane, Managing Director, Skills Training Group.
#12. Kill Arbitrary Rules
"You don't have to bring in all of your employees at the same time. Some people work best at 8:00 a.m., while others work best at 10:00 a.m. Implement flexible scheduling as soon as possible if your business enables it. Make most of the opportunity to work from home. If employees can complete reports from the comfort of their own homes (perhaps in their pajamas), don't have them fight traffic every day and wear a business suit to the workplace. Consider automating repetitive chores so that your employees may focus on the most critical and useful jobs. Finally, establish a culture of openness and trust. Encourage your staff to engage in or contribute to a project."
Thanks to Veronica Miller, Digital Marketing Manager, VPNoverview.
#13. Encourage Regular Interactions
"In a hybrid working model, on-site and remote employees must engage with each other for the smooth functioning of the office. In my organization, managers of all the departments, through video conferencing daily, bring together all the team members where for 15 minutes office work is discussed and for rest 15 minutes nothing related to the office is discussed. It keeps all the team members engaged and involved, leaving no employee feeling left out."
Thanks to Rahul Vij, CEO, WebSpero Solutions.
#14. Use The Same Platforms To Access Tasks And Make Appointments
"All of our team members -- whether in-house or remote -- use the same platforms to access tasks, make appointments, set meeting requests and report on activities / completed assignments. Our systems are very transparent, so it allows everyone to stay on task and see where other team members are in the process. We also ensure that our remote workers can enjoy the same benefits as our in-house teams. Creating a great place to work, with a fun, but hard-working atmosphere also ensures we retain the employees we have invested in."
Thanks to Jessica Shee, Owner, iBoysoft.
#15. Delegate Responsibility/Ownership of Deliverables To Individuals In The Remote Location
"We delegate responsibility/ownership of deliverables to individuals in the remote location. Then, communicate this to the other team members as well as any stakeholders with whom the remote team might interact. We develop training materials and project documentation for the remote team members, and spend time training them in ground rules for communication, frameworks for time, scope, quality, and cost management.
Apart from work, we also hold informal virtual meet-ups like, ‘coffee sessions’, ‘games hour’, etc. to help the team take a break from work and de-stress. This helps them get back to work with a fresh perspective."
Thanks to Tony Maldonado, 10beasts.
#16. Establish Attainable Goals
"To ensure that all your employees are on track, you need to establish clear and attainable goals. This way, employees will have a clear insight into what they are working to achieve. When evaluating your plan, you must have the 'SMART' acronym. This will help you determine if the goals are specific, measurable, achievable, and time-restricted. By setting these goals, your employees will have a clear direction and focus."
Thanks to Sara Trezzi, Gathering Dreams.
#17. Trust And Engagement
"It's essential to learn to trust staff rather than micromanage them if you want them to be productive and engaged. Employees are reconsidering their work relationships. With a new generation of workers entering the workforce that want corporations to be more flexible and sensitive to personal needs, placing your trust in your employees is one of the most critical things you can do as a hybrid team leader.
Another critical component that leaders must cultivate in their teams is employee engagement. Many managers overlook the sense of disconnection that many employees have with their teams and the business. They fail to recognize that there is no finish line or day when everything will return to normal and that employees must "hold on until then," but that the way we work and engage is shifting to a hybrid model, and that new activities, exercises, and processes will be required to boost employee engagement."
Thanks to Matt Woodley, MoverFocus.
#18. Over Communication
"In my opinion, over the internet, it can be hard to tell how someone is feeling or sounding, even if you are on a video call. Silence doesn't always mean that you agree with your coworkers, especially if they are more reserved. If you suspect one of your team members didn't feel free to speak during a meeting, ask for comments and follow up privately. Don't utilize chat apps to discuss sensitive topics. To end a personal chat thread, suggest a video call or a face-to-face encounter."
Thanks to Corrigan Duffy, Owner, Corrie Cooks.
#19. Use Technology To Get Around Geographical Barriers
"Being a seasoned business professional, I believe this is the best way to manage remote employees. Chat and team collaboration platforms (e.g., Slack), video conferencing software, screen sharing tools, project management systems to keep track of crucial tasks, time tracking apps, and more are all essential tools and technologies for managing a remote workforce. The same technology that allows your organization to allow remote work can also be used to create a community. Create venues — such as separate instant messenger channels or online forums — where employees can discuss non-work-related issues during breaks using tools that encourage greater face-to-face contact. Another option is to make a remote version of anything you're doing locally. If you have an in-office tradition of singing "Happy Birthday" to staff, make sure you do the same for remote employees by convening the team for a video chat."
Thanks to Josh Pelletier, BarBend.
#20. Selecting the Most Effective Collaboration Tools
"Collaboration tools enable teams to communicate more effectively and work more efficiently on joint tasks and projects as a result of their use. The tools that your team will require will be determined by how you intend to collaborate. Teams with in-house employees, for example, might have very basic requirements for collaboration tools, but teams with remote employees will rely far more heavily on them for even the most basic of communications and group tasks.
Unlike any other team communication platform on the market, Slack is capable of transforming instant messaging into a true productivity tool. Google Drive may be sufficient for the most basic document sharing and collaboration needs you may have."
Thanks to Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager, Buyer's Guide.
#21. Offer Training To Remote and On-site Employees
"As most companies are implementing a hybrid work setup, we as founders must learn how to provide our employees a healthy work environment. Offer training to remote and on-site employees. This will surely help them perform better than letting them adapt without proper knowledge about the tools or systems you provide for them.
Also, make healthy communication be part of your company culture. Encourage everyone to connect with their team members. It will not only build trust but also the cooperation of everyone for every task given to them.
Thanks to Vlad Mishkin, Founder, WebScraping.AI.
#22. Freeing Company Culture
"To improve remote work experience for employees, I recommend creating a freeing company culture, and tracking results rather than hours. At our company, I've implemented Performance Reviews each month to discuss individuals' performance but also ask those hard questions to figure out if anything is off! Listening is a huge part of maintaining connection with employees. Additionally, I began using goal setting to keep people focused towards the right tasks. This type of strategy can’t be implemented overnight, but just as-long as there is attention towards it, and you follow with action - it will happen."
Thanks to Dr. Frederik Lipfert, Founder & CEO, VPNCheck.
#23. Employee Obsession
"Be obsessed with your remote employee’s welfare and everything will follow. At our company, I made sure to focus on improving my team’s remote work experience by becoming obsessed with them. I gave them a voice. Understanding what they really wanted was the key. I conducted regular surveys and even set up anonymous suggestions. Listening to them allowed me to see areas that needed improvement. Then I focus on enhancing those areas to build an outstanding remote work experience that results in better collaboration. Once you sort out the real essence of team collaboration, you’ll enable your team to look at the bigger picture.. It’ll not only teach them to go beyond their comfort zones but will certainly let them take your business to the next level as well.
To further improve my team’s remote work experience, I made sure to organize the team to get more things done. I use Proofhub. It enables me to gather everything in one place and gets everyone to work together. With it, everyone is on the same page and confusion is eliminated. And a seamless collaboration and communication is not only your takeaway but an outstanding remote work experience as well."
Thanks to Admir Salcinovic, Co-founder, PriceListo.
#24. Engender Team Spirit
"My best tip is to make sure that you still engender a team spirit as part of your company culture. If you don't do this hybrid workers can easily become demotivated. One way we've done this with our hybrid team is to mandate that everybody come into the office on Wednesdays, and after work we all go for company drinks."
Thanks to Marc Bromhall, Founder, StorageBuddy.
#25. Troubleshooting and communication Optimization
"Troubleshooting and communication optimization are the keys to successful hybrid real-time collaboration. Challenges must be anticipated, and adequate measures should be taken to prevent them. On the other hand, good communication will aid in getting everyone on the same page with new frameworks and process updates.
Enforce Software Access: This is critical because employees must be able to do their duties successfully whether they are on-site or working from home. To avoid continuity conflicts, they must also use the same software."
Thanks to Esther Strauss, Stepbystepbusiness.
#26. Stop trying to recreate the office!
"Accept that this is a new environment, approach it as such and move on—your hybrid team will appreciate it. Instead, ask them what they need to be productive. Is it the right tool or software? Is it 30 minutes daily where everyone breaks down what their tasks for the day look like? Whatever it is, do a little digging, and don't be afraid of the new things you find out about your team and maybe even yourself."
Thanks to Harrison Hosking, Marketing Manager, Keak.
#27. Create Employee Resource Groups for Remote Workers
"Employee would say that Employee Resource Groups [ERGs] are employee-led organisations that bring together employees who share common interests, backgrounds, or demographics. ERGs are an efficient technique to create relationships amongst employees that benefit both the team and the enterprise. Appoint an employee who is enthusiastic about team culture as the ERG leader. They will coordinate meetings with the group to discuss subjects such as efficiently working remotely or participate in team-building activities such as a virtual games night. Along with fostering team culture, ERGs may aid in overcoming the numerous obstacles associated with diversity and inclusion in the workplace."
Thanks to Véronique Raymond, The Good Choice.
#28. Make adjustments to your onboarding procedure
"Hybrid models are often long-term objectives. You must consider the individuals who are now on your team and those who can join your team in the future. In a hybrid team, bringing on new team members necessitates thinking through all aspects of your workplace culture and workflow that could have been communicated without consideration if employees worked next to one other in an office. If a lot of unwritten knowledge is required to be effective, the new team member will ramp up slowly or not find the new role fulfilling, while the rest of the team will miss out on the benefits of having a brilliant new person to assist them in getting the job done."
Thanks to Sergio Diaz, CEO of Keynote Speakers.
#29. Train for replacements
"While hybrid work has many benefits, it is critical to ensure that all responsibilities for the day are handled if a team member is unavailable or on vacation. Cross-training allows individuals to gain competence in new areas while also collaborating with members of other teams. Employees should be paired up and given training on their day-to-day tasks. Request that each employee produce a guide that outlines the procedure for a specific process and send it to the person they are training. This provides a chance for workers to get to know one another better, build understanding, and see tasks from a fresh perspective."
Thanks to Marvin Magusara, ISO Cleanroom
#30. Establish Efficient And Easy To Use Channels Of Communication
"One tip to manage a hybrid team is to establish efficient and easy to use channels of communication that are accessible and used by all members. This may involve utilizing a chat service like Slack, Teams or Zoom to exchange fast messages, scheduling frequent video conferences or phone check-ins, and utilizing a project management tool to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding what has to be done. Multiple communication channels enables employees to communicate effectively with one another and helps in ensuring that everyone is on the same track."
Thanks to Daniel Di Cerbo, Passive Real Estate Investing.
#31. Set Clear Rules of Engagement And Develop Daily Rituals
"When clear rules of engagement are established upfront, everyone knows what to anticipate, and productivity increases. Team members, for example, must understand which questions require a team meeting and which should be directed to an instant message or email. Managers must be disciplined about checking in even numerous times a day especially when staff is remote. Most collaborative teams need daily stand-up meetings, but they're much more important when they're not co-located. Whatever approach you use (Kanban, Scrum, etc. ), make sure you stick to it and communicate your team's daily routines clearly and consistently."
Thanks to Nurse Beth, Nurse Code.
#32. Requires Correspondence
"Openness is of the utmost importance for beating both those worries, and for forestalling groups telecommuting feeling disengaged, exhausted, and left out in the event that they aren't overseen appropriately. Correspondence cuts across everything in the work environment from the manner in which a pioneer deals with a group, to how a group cooperates and the innovation they're utilizing to do as such."
Thanks to Jennifer Curtis, Owner, She Cooks She Eats.
#33. Use Software That Allows Teams To Communicate
"Hybrid work models are used by 63% of high growth companies. What does this mean? It means that over half of fast growing companies have adopted a hybrid work model. Many developed these models before the pandemic but since the pandemic, even more companies have adopted some sort of hybrid work program. Using software that allows teams to communicate, share work, and work on projects together such as apps like Atlassian and Monday.com.
Having team meetings on Zoom or some other communication platform is key to properly managing hybrid teams effectively. There needs to be a way for everyone to communicate and reach out as needed, even during non-working hours. There are many other ways to manage hybrid teams effectively."
Thanks to Melanie Peterson, Co-founder, ConsumerGravity
#34. Recognize Employee Contributions
"For our online best time-saving tools and techniques, we value remote workers as remote workers tend to log in more hours as compared to in-office employees. They might feel unappreciated even after working hard. Don’t let this discouraging feeling sink in your employees. Make employee recognition your top priority. Regular recognition from managers and colleagues can boost employees’ morale, confidence, and productivity."
Thanks to Andre McNaughton, Simplelifesaver
What do you think are the best practices for the hybrid work model? Let us know in the comment box below