Most businesses have seen some major changes whether planned or unplanned, proactive or reactive, desired or by force, in the last several years. One of the biggest changes many businesses have made is far more remote and hybrid employees, workspaces, meetings, etc. While some companies already had remote and hybrid employees, many did not and there was a major adjustment period. Whether your team has been remote for a while or is still adjusting, here are some ideas for managing remote and hybrid teams.
Here are some suggestions to consider:
1. Prioritize Communication with Scheduled Meetings
Successful remote work hinges on effective communication. Schedule regular virtual meetings to maintain connectivity. Incorporate daily team standups, weekly team meetings, and monthly professional development discussions. Foster an open channel for manager/employee 1-on-1s. Recognize the limitations of written communication and opt for quick phone calls when needed. If the tone can be misunderstood via email or text, hop on the phone for a quick 15-minute call. Additionally, consider implementing designated “no meeting” blocks to allow everyone the space to recharge.
2. Cultivate Positive Engagement for Remote Success
Keeping a positive remote work environment is paramount. Share valuable remote work tips and organize regular team-building activities to enhance camaraderie. Stay attuned to the pulse of employee engagement and make necessary adjustments. Understand that remote work can be a positive experience, and actively contribute to fostering a work culture that aligns with the preferences of your team.
3. Establish Clear Work/Life Boundaries
Maintaining work/life balance can be challenging in a remote/hybrid setting. There is a misconception that remote/hybrid employees are more interested in watching TV than working, thinking they can get away with it. However, that is not shown to be the reality, and in fact, is sometimes the opposite of the real problem. Encourage your workforce to prioritize health and family, and dispel unrealistic expectations. Be positive toward your workforce. Remind your remote employees their health and families come first.
4. Embrace Frequent Transparent Communication
In a remote/hybrid work environment, the need for transparent communication becomes even more pronounced. Employees may feel less confident in the company’s strategy due to changes that could be easily explained in person, but that might not come across as clearly online. As a leader, provide frequent status updates and address questions regularly and transparently. This practice not only fosters transparency but also instills confidence in your team during periods of change.
5. Foster Virtual Collaboration with the Right Tools
Maintaining collaboration in a remote/hybrid setting is crucial for success—and it’s your job as a leader to ensure it happens no matter where your people are located. Combat disconnected communication by adopting virtual collaboration tools such as Google Docs, Slack, Miro, and/or Figma. Schedule cross-functional initiatives to encourage teamwork and innovation. Finding your own ways to work as a team online will help your employees feel more comfortable and confident in their work.
6. Personally Connect to Communicate Expectations
As mentioned before, in a remote environment, employees can often feel isolated when they work by themselves. One way to help this is by working as a team and allowing them to socialize with each other, but if that doesn’t work well for your company, it’s recommended to regularly connect with them. This can boost your employees’ confidence in their actions. Leaders need to carve out time for regular phone calls, foster open discussions, and provide clarity on expectations. Effective leadership and communication involve understanding individual preferences and ensuring that communication remains a two-way street. Make sure your employees feel heard.
7. Recognize and Celebrate Successes
Remote work can amplify stress and uncertainty, making recognition even more crucial. Recognition builds confidence, but many companies aren’t doing enough to recognize good work. Tailor your recognition efforts to individual preferences, showcasing appreciation in a way that resonates with each team member. By acknowledging good work, you boost confidence, motivate your team, and foster a positive remote work culture.
In this dynamic era of remote and hybrid work, adaptability and proactive leadership are key. By implementing these strategies, you can effectively manage your remote and hybrid teams, ensuring sustained productivity and a thriving organizational culture.
Implementing all of these suggestions can be hard, and often when you’re working remotely and handling employees you as the business owner are the one struggling the most. If you need help implementing a clear company culture, motivating employees, or simplifying your online processes, feel free to reach out to a business coach and get some help setting everything up.