Working remotely isn’t exactly a new concept. Countless employees who are capable of working from home or who have to travel for work have been doing so successfully for years. However, in the past, the number of in-office workers always outweighed the number of remote workers by fairly wide margins.
Now, because of the pandemic and the imposing lockdowns, the tables are turning quickly.
More people are working from home than from the office. As the promise of mass vaccinations by late spring and early summer looms in the air, many businesses will be faced with a major decision: do they continue allowing certain employees to work from home or will everyone be back in the office once again?
The other question is whether employees working remotely even want to go back to their old work routine. For those who are ready to return to the office, there’s a new normal way of doing business that may be feasible: hybrid teams.
Hybrid teams are a mix between employees who work remotely and those who work in the office every day. As a manager, it’s your prerogative to strike a balance and find a solution that works for everyone. Renting private temporary or virtual office spaces in Mississauga or Ottawa is an affordable way to accommodate your entire team and show true leadership skills. Here are a few important tips for effectively managing hybrid teams during these uncertain times.
Set Clear Goals for Your Team
In order for your team to work together cohesively, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page at all times. Opposing views on the direction or execution of a project are perfectly acceptable and should, in fact, be encouraged to cultivate creativity and a positive work culture. Ultimately, however, the objectives of each project should be the same for everyone. Don’t forget that each team member has an important part to play in the collaborative process that contributes to the success of the team as a whole.
Set clear goals from the beginning, so that your team can decide on the most appropriate course of action based on the information they’re given. Take advantage of virtual office services in Mississauga or Ottawa that also offer private office spaces, so that your in-office and remote employees can work together.
Don’t Bombard Your Team with Constant Messages or Memos
While it’s certainly important to keep all team members updated on any work-related news or changes that are happening around the office, try not to bombard them with too many messages, emails, or memos throughout the day. Your employees already have a lot on their minds and forcing them to sift through hundreds of emails every day before they even get to their actual work tasks can be overwhelming and stressful.
To the best of your ability, try to manage the number of emails and memos you send out each day and when possible, combine certain pieces of information that are related to one another in a single message. Keep your messages short and to the point as much as possible or schedule a videoconferencing meeting for tasks that require longer discussions.
Choose Appropriate Communication Channels
There’s no doubt that managing a team that’s split between working remotely and in-office has its fair share of challenges. Sometimes, it can be hard to keep track of who’s working from home and who’s in the office, especially if your employees have alternating in-office schedules due to COVID-19.
Ask your employees which communication channels they prefer for specific circumstances. You should also use your best judgment in each case. For example, if you just need to ask someone a quick question, then consider whether it can be done in an email or a private message rather than calling them.
For weekly or daily virtual meetings, make sure you have a secure Wi-Fi connection and are using a reliable videoconferencing platform. When you rent a virtual office space in Mississauga or Ottawa, you get access to unlimited IT support for both your in-office and remote employees. They can set up secure networks that ensure your team will always be connected and able to communicate with one another whenever necessary. Troubleshooting hardware, software, and connectivity issues in addition to installing anti-malware programs and Cloud security monitoring is also included.
Avoid Micromanaging Employees
As tempting as it may be to constantly check in on your employees and monitor their productivity while they work remotely, studies have shown that this isn’t necessary and can actually hinder their performance. In fact, research has shown that many employees are just as productive, and in some cases even more so, working from home as they are in the office.
Constantly checking in on employees is actually very distracting and makes them feel as if you think they’re inadequate at doing their jobs. Rather than constantly keeping tabs on your employees about their productivity, you should instead prove to them that you trust them to maintain the same quality of work and productivity levels as when they’re in the office.
Give Encouragement and Recognition
Every once in a while, it’s good to acknowledge the professional achievements of your employees and give credit where credit is due. Whether it’s a creative project proposal, signing on a new client, or hitting a sales goal, you should show your employees that you recognize and appreciate their hard work.
As their manager or team lead, employees need to know that you always have their backs. Moreover, offering incentives for a job well done also creates a positive work culture and increases employee morale, which boosts productivity and work quality.
Plan Team-Building Activities
Despite the fact that you’re managing a hybrid team, you can still plan fun team-building activities that encourage active participation. These activities give your team the chance to get to know one another better and maybe even become good friends. Forging positive connections with coworkers establishes trust among team members and builds a positive company culture that allows each employee to flourish in their own right and collaborate easily with others.
Innovative Professional Offices offers a number of private, temporary, and virtual office rental services in Mississauga and Ottawa that are designed to help managers and business owners navigate the new normal of managing hybrid teams. We also offer extensive mail, business, and IT support services to help you maximize the growth and success of your organization. Contact us today to learn more.
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