10 Tips to Manage a Hybrid Workforce Effectively
As lockdown restrictions ease up and vaccination programmes are being rolled out, companies are now planning to resume on-site operations. But for employees who have been working from home for almost two years, there is a notable reluctance to return to the office. The reasons include health concerns from increased exposure and hesitancy of giving up the benefits of working from home such as flexibility of hours and reduced expenses in food and travel.
A Stanford study of 16,000 employees revealed that productivity increased by 13% for those who worked remotely. Resignation rates plunged by 50% and those who work from home expressed satisfaction with their work situation. This was also supported by a survey of 2,000 workers conducted by Sungard AS, with 78% of respondents saying that having the option to work on-site or remotely would help them to be more productive.
To meet halfway, companies are now considering the hybrid work model. This is a policy that indicates how, where, and when employees can work. Applying a hybrid set-up has its advantages. It helps attract and retain a wider pool of talent, increases productivity and flexibility, and helps reduce cost.
Supervising a hybrid team of workers with a mix of working on-site or from home can be challenging. Here are 10 tips on how to manage a hybrid workforce.
1. Provide space for support
Give your employees the opportunity to express their thoughts on the hybrid work situation. Provide reassurance that their concerns are valid and that you will commit to addressing them by finding ways to make the hybrid situation work for everyone.
2. Stay flexible
Companies should still bear in mind the uncertainty of the pandemic situation. Flexible options should remain in the event that health regulations will change again. Have a weekly meeting with your staff to determine which work should be prioritised. Give enough wiggle room for the hybrid team to adjust in terms of schedule and workload expectations.
3. Maintain communication
Make sure everyone in the team has the necessary hardware and software for communication. Set a specific time and day on when to touch base with your on-site and WFH employees. Discuss what their workload is for the week, share relevant updates, and encourage your hybrid team to ask questions so everyone is on the same page when it comes to goals and priorities.
4. Take note of their individual concerns
Everyone is expected to fulfil their work deliverables but each member of the hybrid team may accomplish it in different ways because of their individual circumstances. Try to find a balance between the team’s interests and each member’s concerns. Work out ways on how each member can remain productive and commit to their duties and deadlines in line with their current situation.
5. Conduct team-building activities
Team activities provide the opportunity to build engagement among members of the hybrid staff. It fosters camaraderie and makes each employee feel more involved in working together. Team-building activities can be done online or, if possible, at a physical venue where everyone can safely get together.
6. Be fair with rewards
Offer equal rewards that your remote and on-site employees can have access to. Given the dynamics of a hybrid team, the rewards may not be in the exact same form for each member. But in terms of value, it should be equal to all. For example, you can treat your on-site employees to a free lunch while the remote team can be sent a voucher that has the same value.
7. Watch out for signs of burnout
The pandemic has created undue stress for employees due to the pressure of meeting work and home commitments, the fear of losing one’s job, and the risk of COVID-19 infection. They might even feel they’re not allowed to raise their concerns because it would look as if they can’t handle the job.
Encourage them to bring up these issues and reassure them that you’ll work with them on finding ways to help alleviate the burnout they may be experiencing. This can also help instil empathy within the team so they can also help each other out when necessary. As an additional assistance, companies can also provide mental health resources for hybrid employees and managers.
8. Respect work/life balance
Employees will have to re-adjust to the hybrid set-up which can affect their work/life balance once again. As a manager, be clear to the team in terms of respecting boundaries between working hours and off-periods during breaks, after office hours, weekends, or leave days. If there is anything urgent, inform them right away so they won’t be on standby the whole time. This gives them room to resolve work concerns as soon as possible and have enough time to decompress afterwards.
9. Don’t micromanage
As much as you would like to monitor your employees – especially for the remote team – this will only distract them from their work and hamper their performance. It also makes your staff feel that you find them deficient in their duties. Trust them to be productive during their working hours. This also helps build confidence in the hybrid team as they develop their skills to deliver what is expected from them.
10. Acknowledge their achievements
Your support means a lot to your hybrid staff. It keeps them motivated which significantly boosts their morale and productivity. Take time to recognise their achievements and acknowledge their efforts. Offer incentives to encourage them to work at their optimum levels.
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The Talent Consultants is among the top recruitment agencies in Vietnam that offers expert services in providing top-tier talent from Southeast Asia to support your business. As one of the top-rated staffing companies in Ho Chi Minh City, we can assist you with building and managing a remote hybrid team of highly qualified employees to integrate with your organisation’s business environment
Download our FREE toolkit for managing remote workers for more information. If you have enquiries regarding our talent acquisition services, call us on +84 28 7309 7991 or book a consultation here.