Bob, where are you? How to lead a hybrid team like you are all in one room

Written by Ivan Dimitrijevic

Software and culture builder. Experienced technology teams leader. Guitar and basketball player.

December 24, 2023

Back to Office   |   Hybrid Workspace   |   Remote Work   |   Slack

Image by: Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Forget white picket fences and new family caravans, hybrid work is the new dream. For most team members having the flexibility to work remotely, but also allowing for in-person bonding and brainstorming once or twice a week is the ideal arrangement. For managers however having a team that is sometimes here, and sometimes in Peru, is anything but easy. Here are some tips and tricks to stop your hybrid work dream from becoming a disorganized nightmare.


Stick to the Schedule

No, Roman. You can’t switch up your remote days every week, and no Olivia, just because you work from home on Friday does not make it a Saturday. Having firm schedules set in place and sticking to them is crucial for things to run smoothly. Apart from allowing you the ability to organize meetings and decide who needs to be at the office that week it also communicates boundaries. If your team knows that they are allowed to work remotely because you trust them make sure they realize that at the center of that trust is reliability.


Tools, tools, tools

Welcome to the beauty of digital technology! Who needs desks when we have desktops? There are thousands of apps and SaaS options custom-made for organizing people and projects. From Trello to Slack and everything in between you are sure to find an online solution that works for you. Just because you once had everyone in the same room doesn’t mean they communicated with each other. Multiple studies show that open-space offices discourage people from actually talking to each other (oh, the irony).

Use tools that will help you track the advancement of projects and individual goals of your team members and it won’t matter who is in the office, but who is in the right mindset.


All aboard!

Both hybrid and remote work have their perks, however, it can be especially challenging for junior employees who are yet to learn the ropes and intricacies of your particular office culture. That is why it is super important to be deliberate about team building. Miss out on them and your coworkers might never truly bond, overdo them and you are kind of killing the point of hybrid work. 


Evaluate your employees

Here is where empathy, understanding, and leadership come in place. Remote work is not for everyone and having someone in the office for a day or two won’t make up for the rest of the week of slacking or underperforming in their tasks. Understand that hybrid work is still work and that the privilege of trust has to be maintained. Maybe someone wants to work in a hybrid model but they are most productive when working in a team. Maybe someone was performing well at first but recently they have been distracted and disengaged. Try to get to the root of the problem and have quick chats or calls with your team members to make sure you know how they are doing. Communication is key.


Make the outcome (very) public

We are not telling you to make a live leaderboard and track whose part of the project is coming in the fastest, although that sure would be fun. What has proved to be a great motivator is setting up an online place where you can monitor and recognize advancement.

Hybrid work is based on the idea that the business doesn’t value presence over achieving goals. That is why you should be firm when it comes to deadlines and very specific in giving feedback.

When employees know what is expected of them they will be more likely to fulfill it and you won’t be wasting your time trying to track three different team members on Slack, and WhatsApp or driving past their homes while screaming „Please, check your email, Martha“. 

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Back to Office   |    Hybrid Workspace   |    Remote Work   |    Slack

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