Now that the world is starting to reopen, business leaders must be flexible & open to learn new opportunities when building a hybrid team – one that encapsulates the new-age, future of work and taps into global talent pools
By disrupting traditional 9to5 office hours, the pandemic has completely revolutionized the business world. Not just through industry shifts, and business priorities, but in the very ancient standards of hiring and team building.
The Black Swan event of 2020 has led many organizations to consider remote hiring and distributed teams. This arrangement could potentially create significant opportunities for leaders to rebuild their businesses and allow flexibility to scale, and continue to grow.
A recent Accenture report states that 83% of the 9,326 workers surveyed prefer a hybrid model that allows them to work remotely for at least 25% of the time.
The stats are a clear indication.
Founders and Executives looking to transform their workforce management must lead a hybrid team in a post-pandemic world.
Whether it be through a remote work culture, a team extension under staff augmentation model or a cloud employee working offshore – hybrid teams and the mix of individuals working separately but cohesively for their organization.
This blog will give you a clear idea of hybrid teams, it’s benefits, and what actions leaders must take to foster post-pandemic team building.
What is a Hybrid Team?
A hybrid team, that is a hybrid workforce is a structure where employees can choose to either work from office premises or work remotely. A flexible work environment ramps up employee satisfaction, which, in turn, fosters productivity.
That is a mainstay premise here.
Distributed Teams – Improved Productivity – Better flexibility.
No matter which option they choose, the team cares about getting their work done and meeting their project goals. If appropriately managed, hybrid teams with flexible workplaces became more productive and promoted employee engagement.
Benefits of Hybrid Team You Need to Know
Research shows that employees who were forced into remote situations last year due to the pandemic are happily continuing their work with the same flexible hours.
The benefits that businesses can acquire by building a hybrid team are:
Productivity – There will be fewer distractions with saving time on commuting, which will allow employees to have more time to focus on tasks.
Accountability – The team is flexible and capable of responding to changing priorities, taking risks, and testing their ideas.
Engagement – Despite not being present in the office, remote employees reported a higher level of engagement via communication platforms like Slack, Zoom, or Hangout.
Talent – Having a hybrid team means you have acquired a great pool of talent from across diversities, who will serve a common purpose – doing best towards meeting the business objectives.
Quick note: Staff augmentation offers an extension to your team and would bring their own methodologies. Whereas dedicated remote developers can be roped in pretty well to your team over time.
Challenges Faced While Leading a Hybrid Team
With Hybrid Workforce, you can leverage the maximum out of remote work. But without understanding the challenges and mitigating the risks, you can’t reap the benefits. Let’s check out the most common challenges or cons of a hybrid team:
- Remote teams aren’t treated the same as those in the office, leading to an unconscious bias against their output and frequently about the time spent (actual time) towards work.
- As the workforce is scattered, there is an impact in office dynamics – primarily affecting the camaraderie and the corporate culture. There are no more office-centric ways of reinforcing culture since the employees won’t be able to gather for ceremonies, occasions, or events.
- Due to a hybrid workplace, the manager or the in-house team cannot manage the resources if constant checks is the operational style of management in your office.
- Leaders might find it difficult to unlearn old practices and learn new strategies, or tap into the technological tools required to lead the hybrid team.
How to Overcome these Challenges Coordinating with Hybrid Team
Rigorous decisions and strategic planning. These are some off-the-bat aspects to address employee needs while mapping growth and scale your organization.
Here are some things that business leaders can do:
- Managers must utilize the advanced tools and technologies to ensure equity of output and responsibility amongst the remote team and in-office team – primarily to craft a performance management benchmark.
- Now that hybrid teams have taken precedence, cultural activities and office retreats are likely to take a backseat. An organization can, however, schedule video conferencing calls (at least once a month) for team building. Something like “virtual coffee breaks.” This greatly helps employees know their peers and promotes communication and collaboration among teams.
- To avoid silos or loss of knowledge, businesses can use a well-thought-off technology stack to support seamless communication and collaboration. Make it a practice to use Zoom or GoogleMeet to help meetings and create a smooth experience for the team and the leaders.
- Businesses must use remote stack tools like Trello, Basecamp, Microsoft Team, and much more to monitor the actions and outcomes of the team to analyze their performance. All kinds of formal discussion must be initiated here so that the whole team can view the message and stay in the loop.
What Strategies Leaders Need to Follow to Build a Great Hybrid Team
As a leader or business owner, you need to take the right steps to kickstart this shift.
Here are the three key strategies that leaders can follow to collaborate when working in a hybrid setup —
Recognize your preferences
If you have a choice, it is essential to be more sensitive and aware. You need to ask yourself a few questions like — How do your comfort levels and options affect your management approach when considering combinations – of in-office attendance and remote work? Are you aware of your tastes and could you adapt to match and improve team morale, longevity, & productivity? In this way, you know as a leader what you expect from your team and how you want them to work. This helps you both to collaborate well by balancing your preferences.
Organize a ‘one-step-ahead plan
Business leaders should plan to appoint a hybrid management team to organize workflows in the new setup. And to make this happen, you must take care of your employees, create a roadmap before waiting for the situation to get worse, dig for alternate business models, communication strategies, contingency plans, security setups, and then draft a viable business continuity strategy.
Build two-dimensional empathyTo embrace the hybrid option effectively, organizations must follow two-dimensional empathy — one for those returning to the office and another for those working at home. Most businesses are concerned about customer experience, but now they must equally focus on the employee experience. To address employee experience, make sure you often connect with your remote team to ensure well-being, ask them for on-time login/logout and no extra sitting, provide them quick feedback, and use video calls to motivate, applaud, or guide the team to uplift their morale.
To build a hybrid team, good leadership is a must.
You could be willing to bring the future of work to your workplace, but you need to be well-versed in the plans and setups required to continue being productive.
Include your team in these kinds of decisions, to set a clear vision of communication and collaboration to streamline work operations. Involve with your team to know how they accomplish projects or what challenges they face. And top of it, to make this work, business leaders need to prepare themselves for the change and implement standard work practices across the organizational culture. In the end, this will help deliver ROI-driven results.
Looking to build a team and do not know where to start?
Consider Netsmartz’s staff augmentation services or our Remote Development Teams to kickstart your software project.
Scale On-demand, Build a Team or Hire a solo developer with Netsmartz and build your software project as and when you need.