Do You Need Hybrid Help?!

Business owners are pleasantly surprised that employee productivity has remained consistent or even increased now that employees have shifted and adapted to working from home. CNN reported that 90% of employers feel that remote work has not hurt productivity. Even so, many companies are deciding if or how they should go back to in-office work or take a hybrid approach – part-time remote and part-time in the office.

We can help you evaluate your business to help you make the best decision and lay out the steps to move successfully forward. Quite frankly, the right solution depends on your company’s culture, location, and function.

Some executives are wondering if they must reopen their offices to encourage social bonding, reinforce culture, and increase business collaboration. We wish it were that easy. The reality is that a shared space does not act as a glue for culture nor eliminate inefficiencies in communication processes. The office, as we once knew it, may not be returning as it existed pre-pandemic.

Organizing and managing a virtual team does present some challenges for a manager compared to working in an office, but let’s face it, collaborating well with team members, whether they were across the locations or not, was no easy feat before. Now the door is open to improve communication and, as a bonus, you can reduce commute times.

Here are three tips when managing virtual teams:

1. Trust Your People

We’ve heard from many managers that they were worried because they couldn’t physically check-in on their teams. They learned that it’s a mistake to micromanage because it causes stress for themselves and their direct reports. Once they began to build trust across the remote organization, the stress levels decrease and people were free to complete more work.

2. Be Intentional About Scheduling Time to Connect

In the office, teams have quick face-to-face moments to build and continue connections. You need to purposefully connect with your team as a group and for one-on-ones in a remote world. As a team leader, create opportunities to connect and bring a human touch into the work routine. Before talking about business, try connecting on a human level first.

3. Meetings are Not Problem Solvers

Since we were not having quick in-person interactions, some of us, overcompensated by putting too many meetings on the calendar. As noted above, do schedule check-ins, but think about your meeting strategy. Did you know that according to a University of California, Irvine, study, it takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus after a disruption? Just think of the time wasted with hopping on and off Zoom meetings all day.


James Harwood