Much like hybrid work, hybrid leadership is not a one-size-fits-all; it looks different for everyone.
As leaders embrace hybrid work, one of the biggest challenges they face is managing teams both remote and in-person. Unlike the beginning of the pandemic, when almost everyone went home all at once, the return has been fragmented as employees continue to embrace a work life balance.
How to Manage a Hybrid Workplace
Leading hybrid teams effectively is all about creating great work experiences for those both in the office and at home. Leaders today need to be smart about leveraging space and technology to engage their employees.
Here are some common themes that emerged from our own leaders in the workplace about how to be an effective hybrid leader:
- USE TECHNOLOGY TO FEEL MORE CONNECTED
“Amped up technology and software has been key to managing and producing effectively in the new hybrid world. Technology is no longer a ‘wish list item’; it is now a requirement. From high powered design laptops, Microsoft Teams, IQ (end to end workflow management software), Yulio (animation software) …the list goes on and on! As a team we have become more connected. Initially, I feared having a hybrid work model would cause disconnect but it has done the opposite for my team. We stay connected daily through our ‘Design Team Chit Chat’ on Teams. We also make a point once a week to all be in the office together to meet in person, have lunch and focus on learning.”
- BE VISIBLE AND SOCIAL
“One thing that’s been critical for me is staying faithful to regularly scheduled team meetings. Part of this includes keeping my camera on during Teams calls, even if others need to turn theirs off. I’m a firm believer in meaningful individual check ins and would much rather pick up the phone to have a longer conversation rather than sending a simple email. It’s also important to continue getting together socially for fun to make sure we’re all still connected.”
- INSPIRE WITH HOMEY SPACES
“I am amazed at how quickly everyone adapted to new technology tools. Our ability to create and build bonds within our organization regionally was astounding. We were all in the same boat, and rowing it together made it bearable. When planning our new office, we thought deeply about how to provide an equitable and productive meeting experience for people working in the office and those working remotely. Our inspirational in-office settings supported by technology help create “homey” spaces, which encourage teamwork and positive interactions with each other.”
- INVEST TIME IN THE OFFICE FOR IMPROMPTU COLLABORATION
“We used to come to the office and spend most of our time in isolation, doing ‘heads down’ tasks. Sure, we had some socializing and meetings, but much of my time was spent at a desk. Today, all of my individual work is done from my home office and when I go to the office, I don’t even bring my laptop. I go to the office to catch up, collaborate, and invest my time in my team and clients. Our offices used to be full of workstations, but today, we emphasize collaborative spaces and casual, comfortable rooms that allow people to really connect with each other.”
- BLEND SPACE AND TECHNOLOGY TOGETHER
“Using a communication platform like Teams is key to being able to collaborate and share content when you are not able to be in the same physical space. Sharing content and connecting on video calls from wherever team members are working from provides maximum flexibility to stay connected, even when we’re in different places. Our experiences with virtual collaboration allowed our teams to stay connected. Now that team members are back in our beautiful new showroom, while still maintaining the flexibility of working virtually, we have the best of both worlds.”
Hybrid Work Model Best Practices
Hybrid leaders are challenged to make employees feel connected and productive. The most successful hybrid work models are when leaders leverage great workspaces, embracing new technology, and planning more social gatherings.
Looking for inspiration? Learn more about our new Workplace Innovation Hub in East Hartford!