Managing a hybrid team: 6 challenges

February 13, 2023
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Hybrid work, which combines remote and face-to-face work, has become increasingly popular in recent years. For managers, managing a team in hybrid mode implies new challenges. In this article, we will examine the 6 main challenges managers are facing and how to deal with them effectively.

1. On-site and remote support for employees

Support towards greater autonomy

The strong demand for remote work on the part of employees underlines the need for flexibility to boost productivity and achieve a better work-life balance. In hybrid mode, it is important as a manager not to fall into the trap of micro-management.

It's up to you to ensure that your employees enjoy good working conditions, and that they are able to work independently on site and at remote work. With distance, the challenge is also to regularly monitor the well-being of your teams, and to watch out for risks of isolation.

How to support teams in hybrid?

By adopting certain strategies, managers can meet the challenges of supporting employees onsite and remotely to ensure effective and productive collaboration within their team:

  • Communicate clearly: ensure that expectations and goals are clearly defined and use communication technologies to maintain the link
  • Enable teamwork: encourage collaboration by defining common projects and organizing meetings for a good team dynamic
  • Giving feedback: strengthening the autonomy and confidence of employees
  • Encourage flexibility: allow team members to work from home or a location of their choice to improve their quality of life
  • Provide support: listen to their concerns to help them find solutions to the challenges they face

2. The organization of the hybrid team

To have visibility on the agenda of his colleagues

It is necessary to know where employees work each day: in the office or remotely. The flexibility granted should not rhyme with disorganized planning. The challenge here is to find a tool that is easy to use and integrated with the tools already used by the team.

PS: no, Excel is not a good tool for tracking attendance, as Alexandre Vozniak, Global Workplace & Culture Manager at Stuart, explains very well.

How do you meet the challenge of organizing the hybrid team?

It is useful for managers to use a tool to know where their hybrid teams are working to:

  • Foster collaboration: a tool can help managers coordinate team activities and avoid scheduling conflicts
  • Improve efficiency: plan meetings according to each person's availability and optimize working time
  • Facilitate communication: know where team members are so you can contact them quickly when needed in the best way

➡️ Learn how Sodexo is using Deskare to redesign its collaboration organization in a sustainable, hybrid way.

3. Maintaining the social link

Maintaining the social link despite the distance

Social ties are essential to the morale of the troops, their sense of belonging to the company, their ability to work together and their productivity.

The physical distance between employees and management should not be an obstacle to its maintenance, but a gas pedal.

How to maintain the link in hybrid mode?

Hybrid is not only about distance, it is also about face-to-face moments, so managers can :

  • Encourage informal interactions: encourage employees to discuss and connect on topics outside of work (personal interests, hobbies)
  • Plan group activities: organize face-to-face activities, if possible, to strengthen the bonds between employees
  • Follow up personally: schedule regular one-on-one calls to maintain personal contact with everyone and ensure they feel included and supported

4. Remote communication

Communication: the search for efficiency

Communication is the key to success in a (hybrid) team. However, it can be difficult to be effective when team members are geographically dispersed and work different schedules. Challenges related to communication in a hybrid environment include:

  • Lack of face-to-face meetings: fewer face-to-face meetings and more difficulty finding a time to meet
  • Poor technology: not all of the company's tools are optimized or used appropriately, which can make communication difficult
  • A need for clarity: it can be more complicated to ensure that everyone is on the same page to move projects forward properly

How do we meet the challenges of communication?

To ensure smooth communication, managers can:

  • Schedule regular face-to-face or online meetings: maintain effective communication between team members
  • Use clear and reliable communication tools: emails, instant messages, project management and planning tools help to get organized
  • Demonstrate transparency: to help the teams to increase their competence and gain autonomy

5. Motivation and collaboration

Motivation and Collaboration: The Powerful Duo of Managers

At a distance, it is more difficult to maintain motivation and collaborate effectively. Several challenges related to motivation and collaboration in a hybrid work environment persist:

  • Isolation: company members can feel isolated when working remotely, which affects their motivation and commitment
  • Collaboration difficulties: collaborating with the whole team is a challenge when working hours and locations are different

How do you address the challenges of motivation and collaboration?

Managers can play on different levers to improve motivation and collaboration:

  • Encourage face-to-face interactions: offer a day of on-site presence for the entire team at a defined frequency
  • Supporting team communication: here the idea is to encourage communication through tools that make exchanges more fluid (instant messages, video)
  • Encouraging participation by all: giving everyone the confidence and opportunity to express themselves and participate in decisions

6. Time management and productivity

The challenge of good time management for better productivity

Time management and productivity are challenges that managers are increasingly facing:

  • Lack of structure: the team lacks structure, which can lead to lower productivity
  • Distractions at remote work: to be productive at remote sites, employees need to work in the right conditions with the right equipment.

How do you meet the challenges of time management and productivity?

It is interesting to rely on hybrid work to better manage time and organize the weeks according to the projects:

  • Establish clear working hours: these can be flexible but ensure that a structure is maintained for the working day
  • Fostering an effective remote environment: learn how to design a good work environment to minimize distractions
  • Monitor productivity: become proficient at tracking and improving efficiency
  • Encourage breaks: + 10% performance(studies have proven that an efficient employee takes breaks)

To summarize the challenges a manager faces in hybrid work: it's all about balance. Good organization and visibility into the presence and preferences of team members usinga dedicated tool will foster team cohesion. The company's culture lives on through committed employees!

FAQ: The challenges of hybrid work that managers face

How to communicate effectively in hybrid mode?

Managers can schedule regular meetings in person or online, using clear communication tools and transparency.

How to manage the differences in schedules for employees working remotely?

It is important to set clear expectations, communicate them to all employees, including those who work remotely, and take into account differences in schedules when scheduling meetings.

How do you maintain a strong corporate culture for hybrid teams?

To ensure a strong company culture, the role of managers is to create opportunities for teams to meet, share and work together. Employees will feel included and valued through transparency and communication.