Remember how simple everything was back in the day? To have a quick brainstorming session with your team, all you had to do was ask everyone to gather in the conference room, and that’s about it.
Things were just so smooth. And then, something very unexpected happened.
Yeap. The Pandemic.
We had to shift to remote work in no time. We would all agree to the fact that we were not prepared for it. It took us a lot of effort to get used to the remote work environment, and by the time we got comfortable to manage hybrid teams or working remotely, the pandemic entered a new phase.
Businesses have started opening up again, which is nothing but another challenge to deal with.
While some of your employees can’t wait to get back to their cubicles, some might have health issues that do not allow them to return to in-person work; some employees may have other reasons to work from home.
Thus, you have a couple of employees working on-site, a few of them wish to work from home, and some might want to come to the office once or twice a week.
This situation might raise loads of questions in your mind. How are you going to manage hybrid teams? How will you keep everyone on the same page? What practices are you going to follow to ensure that people working from the office are in sync with people working from home? How can you help your employees to deal with transition?
Hybrid team management can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.
Let’s look at what you need to know to ensure that your employees are satisfied and productive irrespective of where they wish to work.
What are hybrid teams?
A hybrid team is a flexible style of working that comprises two different categories of employees: those who work remotely and the ones who work from the office.
A hybrid work environment provides employees with the freedom to decide where they wish to work from.
The concept of hybrid teams with a mix of remote and in-house workers was already popular, and it will be a new normal as a result of the pandemic.
Thus, it is clear that the future of leadership will be managing hybrid teams, which is why it is critical to learn how to manage a hybrid team.
The increased adoption of the hybrid work model is primarily due to people’s conflicted sentiments about returning to work at this time.
According to a recent report, Accelerating Digital Agility, March 2021, about 57% of workers expect to be in the office ten days or even less every month. 98% of people believe future meetings will include remote participants. And most importantly, 97% of the employees said they want changes to make the office safer before returning to work.
Therefore, it’s about time we shift our gears to accommodate and manage hybrid workplaces and teams.
Looking for a solution to keep your in-house and remote team on the same page? Start using ProofHub today.
How to manage hybrid teams?
The hybrid work environment is the newest definition of the modern workplace. Most businesses have successfully adapted to the new style by focusing on the right resources and technologies.
Businesses that are still looking out for ways to deal with this redefined work style need to adapt to the processes and technologies that bring employee engagement, collaboration, participation, and inclusion.
The appropriate technology helps bridge the gap and create a workplace that allows workers to work from home, in an office, and anywhere else in between smoothly.
For a hybrid team, it is super important to have a platform where they can manage tasks, share files/documents, track progress, chat or discuss critical issues immediately rather than wasting time waiting for email responses.
A team collaboration software like ProofHub can help you solve several challenges your hybrid teams face, like ineffective communication, weak collaboration, poor progress tracking, improper task management, and more without breaking a sweat.
What will hybrid working look like in future?
The future of hybrid working is a constantly evolving and rapidly changing scenario. The essential focus will be on workforce development and related issues, such as; “how do you retain talent? How do you cultivate diversity in your team? To name a few key questions that will need to be addressed in the near future of hybrid team management.
Hybrid working is a radically different working style that brings with it its very own challenges. Changes in work paradigms brought on by the pandemic have produced a variety of opportunities and difficulties, including the best ways to recruit, engage, and keep employees while providing them with the value and meaning they now demand from their jobs.
There are rising worries that fundamental company culture is being lost as hybrid teams become the norm when it comes to the structure most companies follow.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with a hybrid team?
The hybrid work model is a stellar advancement in culture and technology from what we had in the previous decades of human labor. Nonetheless, nothing is ever without its advantages and disadvantages; hence here we are at the top of both when it comes to hybrid team working:
Advantages of Hybrid Teams:
1. Increased Job Satisfaction & Engagement
Most people base their decisions on what will enable them to live comfortably, effectively, and happily. Therefore, for many employees, having the option to work remotely or on-site is empowering.
2. A Better Corporate Culture
Executives are quite concerned about how a hybrid model will affect the corporate culture they have worked so hard to create locally. A quarter of executives believe that in order to sustain a good corporate culture, employees must be present at work every day. But this is not at all the case.
3. Reduced Operational Expenses
A hybrid team is much better than a regular team when it comes to cutting down on your operational costs. Why you may ask? The answer is simple, each individual of the team acts as a self-sufficient unit. Ergo, you no longer need desks, computers, printers, and other office equipment along with other overhead expenses to operate your business.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Teams:
1. Remote Team Collaboration
There isn’t a perfect virtual replacement for impromptu conversations at the water cooler or bump-ins at work. The human-to-human connection is something that will suffer when you make the switch to a hybrid team. One way to counter this downside is by employing a robust team collaboration software that enables you to connect and collaborate with your team effortlessly.
2. Employee Burnout
Even under a hybrid team management, the culture of burnout can infiltrate the workplace if allowed unchecked. Your hybrid team may put in more time and take fewer breaks than those who work on-site. They might even feel worse about taking the afternoon off for themselves and overcompensating by staying at work longer.
3. Scheduling Difficulties
Your employees’ schedules will be more varied as you have greater flexibility. You can experience resource problems if there isn’t a reliable and straightforward way to maintain track of personnel scheduling. Additionally, it can be challenging for workers who arrive on site to determine which of their teammates will be there during hybrid team working.
Top tips for managing a hybrid team
Managing hybrid remote teams is not an easy task in the slightest. Managers need to operate at the top of their respective games while working with two radically different working styles at the same time. While you have your remote employees working from different locations and your in-office employees who are right next to each other.
Multinational teams are nothing new to some managers. Others find that managing remote or hybrid teams significantly changes from how things have always been done, even without the time zone barrier. That makes us ask the question how to manage hybrid teams?
How can you, regardless of the composition of their teams, establish alignment and foster a fun and effective work environment for all team members, wherever they may be located?
Here are the top five tips to help manage hybrid teams:
- Create a team calendar for effective time management.
- Integrate a work management and team collaboration system.
- Always over-communicate, the distance can leave many things unsaid.
- Be prepared at all times, you must expect the unexpected.
- Make sure that your remote employees are following a balanced working style, so not to cause burnout.
How to make hybrid team management a breeze with ProofHub?
It is believed that a hybrid work environment involves many tools to keep all the employees on the same page, but in reality, it doesn’t have to be like that.
Using a complete package like ProofHub, teams can eliminate their need to use many tools and simplify the entire process. It combines all of the necessary tools to foster better team collaboration and stay on top of your tasks.
With the ability to manage countless projects and provide efficient team communication, ProofHub is perfect for both in-house and remote teams. It assists you with nearly every project and team management function like managing tasks, keeping track of team progress, time tracking, managing files, communicating with your team, generating project reports, and more.
Let’s take a closer look at why ProofHub is a comprehensive work management solution for hybrid teams.
It is challenging to keep track of work when you have a distributed workforce. You don’t have a clear understanding of how your team is actually working. Effective task management is crucial if you want to manage hybrid teams successfully. It helps your team keep track of their priorities and keep up with the deadlines.
With ProofHub, it is super easy to assign tasks, set priorities, track progress, avoid bottlenecks and stay on top of your team’s work.
Mentioned below are ProofHub’s core task management features that will help you manage your hybrid team’s tasks effortlessly.
ProofHub’s Kanban boards are the most effective way to plan your tasks and projects. They are a visual representation of the overall status of your project and team’s work.
The board view provides you with a clear insight to map your team’s workflow, check status and progress and make way for transparent team communication.
It splits your tasks into different sections known as stages, for example, to-do, in progress, and done. You can always customize your workflows as per your project requirements.
Thus, it will be easier for you to identify what tasks are presently in progress, how many tasks are done, whether there are any bottlenecks, what needs to be done next, the priorities, and so much more.
Thus, using kanban boards is a must if you wish to optimize your hybrid team’s task management.
Hybrid team management is somewhat similar to juggling multiple balls. You are constantly juggling between your in-house and remote employees, projects, tasks, communication, and much more. The moment you miss out on something, everything can go into vain and have crazy consequences.
That is why it is essential to have a visual overview of how things will map out over time. This is where the Gantt chart comes into play.
A Gantt chart is a visual timeline of projects, related tasks, and resources over time. It displays tasks against time and gives you a clear insight into who is assigned to which task, the duration of tasks, how long the person took to complete a specific task, dependencies, and overlapping tasks.
It is safe to say that the Gantt chart is the perfect tool for planning, scheduling, and managing tasks to meet deadlines.
Managing data with a distributed team can be overwhelming. Just like your teams, you end up having all of your important information spread all over the place.
ProofHub Table view lets you manage data in one place and gives you the bigger picture of all your work at a single glance. It allows you to plan and present project-related information in an organized manner.
Assign tasks, share important details, and ensure that every critical data is in the right place. The table view gives you the flexibility to sort data based on the priority and arrange your work just the way you like so that you never miss out on important information.
You can also track and capture information pertaining to your project through custom task fields and configure your tasks according to project prerequisites.
Get all the essential tools your hybrid team needs to work efficiently under one roof. Sign up for ProofHub.
Communication & Collaboration
Establishing effective communication and collaboration within your team is one of the most challenging aspects of hybrid work. It will be a lie if we say that we do not agree with the fact that collaboration works better where everyone is either co-located or digital.
With some people being on-site while others working remotely, it can be pretty confusing and frustrating to figure out an appropriate way to communicate and keep both teams on the same page.
Yes, we agree that all those video calls and audio calls are just amazing for active communication, but passive communication i.e. emails, texts, reports, and more, plays an equally important role in team management, especially in hybrid teams. It is very easy for passive updates to get lost in a hybrid work environment.
Thus, with a company-wide collaboration and communication software like ProofHub, keeping your office-bound as well as remote teams in the loop is a piece of cake.
Here are some of ProofHub’s collaboration and communication features that you and your hybrid team will love.
Team collaboration is incomplete without team communication and vice versa. Although there are various mediums available for you to communicate with your mates, finding the most reliable one is still crucial.
You can’t always keep video calling your team members for every little thing. It is essential to have a platform to quickly communicate with each other and get work done.
ProofHub’s inbuilt chat application allows you to get instant replies and makes direct messaging with your team members and clients easier. You can use the chat tool to communicate with your colleagues personally or through a group chat.
Many people believe that a perfect brainstorming session can only take place in person. Well, that’s not true. The world has gone all virtual now, and it is very much possible to have virtual discussions to generate ideas and come up with the most creative solutions to problems.
The discussions section in ProofHub lets you brainstorm ideas with your team to resolve a specific matter or develop creative ideas for the new project.
You can share ideas to and fro and ensure that every team member participates in the discussions taking place on a particular matter.
It also gives you the flexibility to create different topics and select specific people you wish to have separate discussions with.
It is very common for hybrid teams to deal with confusion. People often end up forgetting important stuff discussed in the meetings. They miss out on critical information.
For that matter, there should be a shared platform where all the team members can participate and share important stuff to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
ProofHub notes are here to the rescue.
Notes are one of the core features of ProofHub. They are easy to use and a perfect platform for teams to jot down every piece of information relevant to their projects and tasks.
It gives teams the freedom to capture minutes of the meeting, create Wikis, store project-related requirements, mention rules or guidelines for a specific topic, and much more.
Individuals can instantly capture their ideas, outcomes, and decisions made in meetings and refer to them whenever they want.
You would agree that it can be tedious to manage hybrid teams when you have creative projects in your pipeline. Without the convenience of face-to-face feedback, you often have to rely on guesswork, and things may get extremely confusing.
You miss out on minor but significant things, essential details go unnoticed, and you wind up in a never-ending circle where you only pay attention to the things that don’t even matter.
In that situation, ProofHub’s online proofing tool will be your best buddy and makes managing hybrid teams a breeze. It combines all of the necessary proofing capabilities to help you and your team streamline the design review and approval process.
It lets you provide actionable feedback on the files, designs, images, documents, or PDFs.
Team managers who relied on hallway talks, casual check-ins, pre-meeting chats to get an idea about how their team members are performing, what they are working on, what their schedule is, and the problems they are dealing with, are feeling out of place now.
They find it hard to adapt to this new working style because they cannot see the tasks being completed physically as all of their team members are working from different places.
For this, a team progress tracking software like ProofHub can be a great help.
Mentioned below are ProofHub’s core progress tracking features that will help you stay on top of your hybrid team’s work.
ProofHub provides you with detailed custom reports for an individual team member or the entire project to help you analyze project progress seamlessly.
It lets you visualize every little aspect of your project and the overall progress that has been made in one place.
You can quickly check the amount of work completed against the total work with a detailed burn-up chart. Not just that, you can also get an idea about the speed at which tasks have been accomplished.
Now that all your team is distributed at different places, it is more important to keep track of your team’s time.
Time tracking helps the team members master their own performance. It also enables you to analyze the overall work hours and assess the productivity of your team members. It provides you visibility, transparency and lets you manage resources efficiently.
ProofHub’s time tracker brings all your time data to a central place. You can add timesheets and set time estimates. You can even track time manually or use an automatic timer for it.
It is easy to keep track of who’s doing what while working out of an office, but it is literally a myriad of challenges when you have a hybrid team.
Every manager wants to have an idea about his/her team’s day-to-day operations without having to micromanage or interrupt.
The activity tracker in ProofHub provides insight into all the changes and updates being made in the projects. It notifies you about every little activity done by a team member.
So, if any of your team members complete a task, post comments, achieve a milestone, create notes, and more, you will get to know about it all automatically.
A hybrid workplace is an excellent opportunity to experience a new style of working. It will only help us develop new ways to make things work and stay prepared for any other challenge in the future.
All in all, managing a hybrid team basically means creating a balance between the in-house and remote workers and making way for more vital teamwork.
A hybrid team can function in extraordinary ways if provided with the right technology, excellent communication, information sharing methods, defined responsibilities and tasks, and, most importantly, a constant support system.
Keep track of your team’s work and stay productive regardless of where you’re working from. Give ProofHub a try.
What skills do you need to manage a hybrid team?
Top of the list are adaptability, proactive communication, emotional intelligence, and inclusivity. One quality that sticks out is the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently.
How do you effectively manage a hybrid team?
You may manage a hybrid team effectively by using time management techniques, integrating a task management and team collaboration system, and ensuring that your remote workers adopt a balanced working style.
How do you keep a hybrid team connected?
To keep a hybrid team connected you need to integrate team collaboration software with robust communication, and project mangement features.
Tips For Leading Effective Hybrid Teams.
Some top tips for effectively leading a hybrid team include selecting the right people with the proper temperament, keeping track of employee performance, and developing clear job objectives to establish accountability.