The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizations of all sizes to re-evaluate the way they do business. For many, that has meant a shift to remote work for most employees. But as many companies have started an RTO or Return To Office process, employees have pushed back on being in the office full time. Many employees have enjoyed the last two years of remote work and companies are compromising by offering hybrid work environments. What this means is that many are splitting time between working from home and working in an office setting. For many companies, hybrid work models—where some employees are in the office, and some are working remotely—will become the new normal. This can be a difficult transition for some, but with the right leadership skills, you can thrive in a hybrid work environment. Here are five things you need to keep in mind;
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to keep the lines of communication open. You need to be clear with your team about what your expectations are and what the company’s policies are regarding remote and on-site work, this is especially important in a hybrid work environment because employees may feel like they are out of the loop if they are not physically present in the office. Make sure to schedule regular check-ins with your team, whether that be through video conferencing, phone calls, or even just sending out regular updates via email. Obviously, open and effective communication is important in any work environment, but it’s even more critical when team members are spread out and may not have as many opportunities for informal conversations. Keep everyone in the loop and let them know that their voices are being heard.
One of the benefits of a hybrid work environment is that it allows for more flexibility when it comes to hours and working from home. As a leader, it’s important that you be flexible with your team members and allow them to take advantage of this flexibility when needed. If an employee needs to step away from their desk for a personal emergency or take a sick day, don’t hesitate to give them the space they need. Employees will appreciate this level of trust and will be more likely to go above and beyond when they feel like their needs are being taken into account.
Another important aspect of leading in a hybrid work environment is encouraging collaboration among your team members. It can be easy for remote workers to feel isolated and disconnected from their colleagues, so it’s important to encourage collaboration among all team members, regardless of where they’re located. With staff members working both from home and from the office, it’s essential that you create opportunities for them to collaborate virtually. This could be anything from setting up regular video chats to using project management software that allows for real-time collaboration. Whatever method you choose, make sure that your team members feel like they are able to contribute and have a say in the direction of the project.
Create a Support System
In any work environment, it’s important to have a support system in place for employees. This is especially true in a hybrid setting where employees may feel isolated if they are not physically present in the office. As a leader, you can create a support system by assigning buddy systems or peer mentorships. This way, employees will always have someone to turn to with questions or concerns. Additionally, you can create an open-door policy where employees feel comfortable coming to you with any issues they may be having.
Lead by Example
Finally, one of the most important things you can do as a leader is lead by example. If you want your team to be successful in a hybrid work environment, it’s important that you set the tone and lead by example. Show your team that you’re willing to put in the extra effort to make sure everyone is on the same page. Schedule regular check-ins with your team, use collaborative software effectively, and be flexible when needed. By setting the tone and leading by example, you’ll find that your team will be more likely to follow suit and thrive in a hybrid work environment. ;
A hybrid work environment can be a great way to promote flexibility and creativity while still maintaining some sense of normalcy. But it’s important to remember that managing a team in this type of environment comes with its own set of challenges. By being mindful of these challenges and taking steps to address them head-on, you can set your team up for success.