<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >How to Manage a Hybrid Work Environment</span>

For nearly two years, many employers have been managing a remote workforce. Although some employees have returned to the office since the beginning of the pandemic, many will likely never go back to a physical office, and many organizations are permanently moving to a hybrid work model. 


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A workforce with both remote and in-office employees presents unique challenges for managers to navigate. Here are our top tips for managers to make this new dynamic work in the best interests of their employees and the goals of the business.


Offer Support

With a hybrid team, management teams will possibly spend more time with workers they see face to face over their remote counterparts. Make sure management makes time for regular one-on-one meetings with all of their reports. This is critical not only for understanding the needs and roadblocks of ongoing projects, but for cultivating a supportive culture where employees feel heard, respected, and part of the team, regardless of their location.


Set Clear Expectations

Hybrid offices will demand new practices and protocols that were not in place when your team was all in the office, or all working remotely, as has been the case for many employers during the pandemic. Going hybrid can be a great opportunity to redefine expectations around communication amongst your distributed team. Now is the time to formalize what communication tools to use, who has access to documents, and who needs to be engaged and participate in which discussions. 


Work hours can become especially ambiguous for remote workers, especially if they are spread throughout different time zones. It is a good idea to set expectations around when employees are expected to respond and foster a healthy delineation between work and life for all employees, whether in-person or remote.


Emphasize Inclusion

Proximity bias may be one of the most persistent challenges for hybrid teams. In meetings, remote workers will always be at a disadvantage compared to those physically in the room, whose presence offers greater abilities to contribute and be engaged during meetings. One way to counteract this is to level the playing field. For meetings with in-person and remote staff joining, hold the meeting entirely over your video conferencing platform. 


Don’t make critical decisions without looping in the entire team as well. When holding discussions or making a decision amongst in-person colleagues, give your remote workers a chance to weigh in, whether over chat or a quick video call.


Make Work Visible

Hybrid teams will often be working asynchronously, so having tools and systems in place to track projects is critical. Project management tracking tools, daily morning meetings, and keeping project discussions in open channels rather than direct messages can all increase work visibility. Standardizing your processes, regardless of employees’ location, will keep everyone on the same page and keep projects moving forward efficiently.

Managing a hybrid workforce brings new challenges, but many new opportunities as well. Employees can benefit from the added flexibility, you will gain new access to talented remote workers, and your ability to retain talent during the Great Resignation will likely improve.