Around 74% of U.S. companies are at least planning for a hybrid work model—if they aren’t there already. But managing hybrid or remote employees requires several adjustments to make these positions work well. This blog will give you our best suggestions for better managing your off-site work teams.
#1 Start with Your Processes
Remote work arrangements can quickly become muddled if you lack clarity on what is expected from your team. For example, are their hours still 9 to 5 if they work from home or are they expected to answer a Slack message from their boss who has insomnia at 2 am? How will decisions be made with the employee isn’t in the office? What kind of visibility into a project will you feel comfortable with if the employee is at home?
#2 Pay Attention to Videoconferencing Fatigue
Do you have to have another video conference? Can a group collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams allow you to share information without staring at each other on camera? Are your meetings with remote employees helping or harming their work/life happiness? Consider a mix of instant messaging and collaboration tools to reduce Zoom fatigue.
#3 Measure and Track Results
Having employees working autonomously means that you have to trust their work is getting done. This can be hard for some managers. The solution then is to track key performance indicators and set up measurements to make everyone more comfortable. However, we caution that micromanagement never works, so make sure you’re measuring what really matters, which, we hope, are the results the employee produces and not the number of hours they spend doing the work.
#4 Document More
It’s not just the documentation, either, but how you organize it. One study found employees spend an average of nine hours a week (or more) just searching for the documents they need. We suggest better processes where everything for a project is kept in one location and where documentation clearly shows employees how to get what they need.
#5 Set Up a Mentorship Program
As you’re hiring new employees into a hybrid work model, pair them up with an existing employee that can provide them with the answers they’ll need. Studies show mentoring helps with employee retention but it also speeds up new employees when they have someone to show them the ropes.
#7 Get to Know Your Workforce
When employees are remote, it can be harder to get to know them and build the connections that bind us all together in a shared work purpose. Managers can create deliberate sharing moments with their remote and hybrid workforce in small increments to get to know them. For example, practice not rolling straight into a meeting agenda but instead start with a fun ice breaker. Be intentional about your efforts to get to know your team to build better relationships with them.
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