According to a study by Statista, about 73 percent of employees from a global survey want flexible remote work options to stay productive post-pandemic.
During the early stages of the pandemic, the transition from traditional working in a brick-and-mortar office to a remote model emphasized safety, social distancing, cost reduction, and employee satisfaction.
Besides, the post-pandemic future became bolstered by the added benefits of the hybrid model, including flexible and improved work-life balance, access to a diverse talent pool regardless of geographical borders, etc.
However, the hybrid model also brought along its fair share of challenges which, if not appropriately managed, can stifle collaboration, cause faster burnouts, and decrease innovation and productivity. As a result, it is critical to prepare in advance for these challenges.
This article will discuss the various techniques to boost a hybrid team’s productivity.
But first, let’s understand the basics.
- What is a hybrid workforce and its significance?
The hybrid working model is a location-flexible arrangement that allows employees to work from co-located offices or remotely. The team can be a combination of both full-time and part-time resources.
The hybrid workplace has grown in popularity, considering its multiple benefits to employees and employers. It empowers employees to work when and where they are most productive, allowing them to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives.
From the organization’s standpoint, a hybrid work paradigm facilitates access to cost-effective, globally competitive resources. Besides, it enables businesses to leverage employees across different time zones, provide round-the-clock uptime, enhance client satisfaction, and increase productivity.
Now that the importance of a hybrid workforce is clear let’s look at some strategies to keep the productivity of your hybrid team at an optimum level.
- Effective ways to enhance hybrid team productivity
The hybrid model favors both individual flexibility and organizational profitability. This section will discuss some strategies for seamless hybrid team management.
2.1 Clearly define measurable goals and objectives
Unclear expectations from managers are often the biggest source of stress for employees. This can leave a negative impact on employees’ motivation and morale, as well as their performance. Therefore, to avoid this, managers should convey clear expectations to the individual members of the hybrid team.
They can also outline a task’s goals and objectives and give employees a chance to demonstrate their skills. When the employees understand how their contribution is vital for successful project delivery, it will enhance their motivation and engagement levels, thus leading to increased productivity.
2.2 Formulate effective communication and collaboration policies
When employees are separated by distance and time zones, it is difficult to establish clear lines of communication. As a result, this fosters distrust and limits employee engagement, leading to uncertainty and confusion. To curb this, organizations can use the right collaboration tools for synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication.
Managers can also determine specific time frames when the employees should be available for stand-up meetings/scrums, regardless of their geographical differences. This will ensure that employees spend their maximum amount of time on productive work and eliminate the chances of internal conflicts.
2.3 Facilitate flexible working hours for work-life balance
Rigid work schedules of employees often blur the line between their personal and professional lives. This also leads to employees exacerbating mental health issues and lowering employee morale and efficiency.
Facilitating flexible working hours encourages employees to have better work-life balance. It gives them the autonomy to do work where and when they prefer. This boosts their morale and engagement and, in turn, enables them to adhere to the highest performance standards while keeping up with overall productivity.
2.4 Provide constructive feedback for continuous improvement
When employees are consistently unable to meet deadlines or quality, and productivity declines, it affects the entire team’s workflow. An effective way to address these shortcomings is to provide constructive feedback to the workforce and align their efforts with the organization’s expectations.
It helps employees to identify their performance gaps and tap into their maximum potential. In addition, maintaining an open-door policy allows managers to assist employees in advancing their careers, optimizing their strengths, and being productive.
2.5 Implement training and upskilling programs for individual growth
Organizations must have a skilled workforce to maintain a competitive advantage in an ever-changing, volatile market. However, the growing skills gap and resource shortage drastically affects organizations. Therefore, they need to implement training and upskilling programs to ascertain that they are future-ready.
It helps employees to diversify their skillset and also improve overall efficiency. Organizations can also integrate employee training with Individual Development Plans (IDPs) that are specific to each employee’s professional needs. This will promote engagement and productivity and propel organizational growth.
2.6 Capture employees’ interests before work allocation
People desire jobs that are both inspiring and rewarding. However, they can quickly lose interest in a job they believe isn’t challenging or meaningful to them. Tedious, monotonous tasks often lead to job dissatisfaction and poor performance.
Therefore, apart from analyzing skill sets and qualifications for any open positions, managers should also look for employees’ interests to balance the organization’s objectives and the employee’s goals effectively. This enhances employee satisfaction, keeps them motivated, and encourages them to improve their performance.
2.7 Initiate team-building activities for better work culture
At the height of the pandemic, team-building initiatives were limited to online activities like group discussions, meetings, and brainstorming sessions. This helped the hybrid employees to unplug from their monotonous schedules, regain energy to work, and further boost their morale.
As the world returns to pre-COVID normalcy, many employees continue to work in a hybrid capacity, and more businesses prioritize team-building initiatives. It is done to strengthen team bonds and foster a strong corporate culture. Further, this will help to energize employees, foster relationships, and increase overall productivity.
Let’s see how a resource management tool helps managers increase a hybrid team’s efficiency.
- How will a resource management tool increase hybrid team productivity?
Saviom‘s resource management software enables organizations to effectively manage and boost hybrid teams’ productivity.
The tool provides resource managers with enterprise-wide visibility, allowing for more efficient resource allocation. This ensures that the right resources with the right skills are chosen for the right projects, regardless of hybrid team location.
Further, color-coded heatmaps and utilization reports allow managers to view the utilization rates of their hybrid team and implement corrective measures if employees are over or underutilized.
The tool’s collaboration feature lets hybrid teams stay updated on project progress and initiate real-time conversations with other team members across multiple touchpoints. It also helps bridge gaps while improving hybrid employees’ output irrespective of geographical disparities.
Lastly, managers can use the resource management tool to publish open positions. Employees can express their interest in a project, and the best candidate for the task/ project is chosen. This, once again, allows employees to work on projects of their interest, leading to improved performance in a hybrid environment.
All these resource management features ensure the seamless functioning of a hybrid team.
The hybrid work paradigm is here to stay, so organizations should rethink their resourcing strategies to accommodate the evolving work culture. But, of course, some obstacles may arise and impede productivity. Therefore, implementing the above strategies paired with the right resource management tool can help streamline the process and enhance the workforce’s efficiency.
So, what productivity challenges do you encounter with your hybrid teams?
Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.