Managing a Hybrid Remote Tech Team
If you have a hybrid team, you probably noticed there are employees who prefer working from home, while others still enjoy visiting the office most days. Are you experiencing differences in the ways you manage each team?
First of all, don’t worry! Remote and office-based work are 2 very different work models, and so employees will have different needs. However, when it comes to managing your hybrid team, you need to ensure all these needs are met, and your teams stay connected.
If you need some assistance in this area, we can help! Here are some ideas to manage your hybrid remote team and make sure there is alignment and good communication within the team.
Keep your remote team connected
According to a Harvard Business Review study, remote employees in hybrid workplaces feel left out or “shunned” while they work from home. If you have a question while in the office, you can go up to your colleague’s desk and ask. Remote employees don’t have that advantage!
So, how do we make sure our remote team feels comfortable interacting with both their remote and office-based colleagues?
Encourage good working relationships between employees by taking advantage of regular video conferencing and company chats. You can even find software that resembles online offices so employees actually feel as if they’re all sitting together!
Tips for staying connected
- Less focus on the office: Just because most employees are in the office, it doesn’t mean all meetings should be in person. Remote employees can feel left out if they are the only member in a video conference. Have everyone connect to their Zoom meeting, even if they are sitting next to each other.
- Good communication: Implement company chats and video conferencing calls so they can call each other at any time. Just like going up to someone’s desk, but through message and video!
- Team-building activities: If you have any team-building meetings during the day, or any activity, make sure to keep remote employees in mind! Instead of doing a huddle in person, why not do it over Zoom?
- Regular 1:1 meetings: Hold personal meetings with both your office-based and remote employees to make sure they have everything they need.
If there is one thing people love about working remotely, it’s flexibility. Most of the time you’re allowed to do your own hours and organize your work around your life. And although you could technically have plenty of flexibility while staying office-based, you rarely see someone at their desk past 8 pm. So, all this to say, office-based and remote employees may have different schedules, so take it into consideration.
For example, keep this difference in mind when setting deadlines or meetings. Beware of times or dates where remote employees could be picking up their kids from school, preparing lunch, or dealing with other responsibilities.
Ensure good and transparent communication
When you’re managing a company, there are constant flows of information at all times. Now, when your teams are separated between remote and office-based employees, those flows may be interrupted.
Ensuring good communication between teams is an essential part of any company, but even more so in hybrid environments! Remember, your team member at home can’t go up to your desk and ask what’s going on. Besides, good communication will not only improve your workflow but also your employee satisfaction by creating trust between teams.
So, how do you ensure communication?
- Company chats: Online chats are a great, more lighthearted way to communicate between teams. You can use these to let people know if someone is absent, ask for help, or even give quick feedback. For better organization, keep different chats with clear purposes.
- Use of emails: Make sure all employees, both office-based and remote, share important information with the relevant team members through email. If something was talked about in person or during a call, let others know and make sure everyone is up to date.
- Regular huddles: Bring both teams together on a call from time to time to share information and make sure they’re all on the same page and no one has missed anything.
Beware of biases
In the past year, have your office-based employees got more promotions than your remote teams? Even if this isn’t the case, it is often common that “more present” employees are able to network and connect with other team members more effectively.
When it comes to advancing your teams’ careers, beware of any biases and wonder if you’re hiring someone because you see them more often, or because they truly fit the job.
And if you feel like you haven’t been able to see your remote employee’s potential, give them a chance to show it. For example, you could ask them for a piece of their work, have a video call with them so they can tell you about their projects, etc.
Create a feedback culture to manage your team more easily
Create a positive feedback culture and give everyone a voice, both your office-based and remote employees. By keeping regular feedback loops and measuring employee satisfaction, you stay up to date with how your team is doing and can gather information on how to improve your workflows. If something isn’t going well, you will know right away. Remember: your employees know best what fits their work!
But that isn't all: a positive feedback culture also allows employees to share their concerns with each other, which helps prevent conflicts and build trust.
Managing a hybrid team isn’t easy, so let yourself be helped! Bring your employees into the picture by allowing them to share feedback and ideas to keep them connected in a positive, effective way. Build a good connection between your team members, and watch your hybrid teamwork as one!
Company description: Nailted is a complete employee engagement platform designed specifically for tech companies and remote/hybrid/distributed teams that help you create the best possible experience for your employees.