4 Top Tips for Managing Hybrid Remote Working
Managing a fully remote team requires new procedures for keeping staff connected, motivated and productive, alongside an effective collaboration platform.
With hybrid or shift working set to be a feature for many organisations over the next 6-12 months, we look at four top tips for business leaders managing hybrid remote working and how the right collaboration tools can help.
1. Training, on-boarding and coaching
One of the biggest challenges with remote working, is training staff and on-boarding new starters. Face-to-face meetings provide a better level of connection and high-quality videoconferencing is great way of connecting with staff when social distancing will not allow in-person meetings.
Some staff and new starters may be awkward on unsure with video meetings. You can mitigate this in two ways. Firstly, set out a clear list of expectations such as dress code expected and whether the attendee is required to share any materials. This removes uncertainty and anxiety, and helps your new starter know in advance what is expected of them, helping them to relax and get more out of the session.
Secondly, ensure that your starter is familiar with the platform, and has the requisite equipment and software to connect to your video meeting. Encourage them to try a ‘test run’ with a friend or family member before an important meeting to help them familiarise themself with the platform before they do it in front of their peers.
2. Avoid management pitfalls
For many managers, managing a remote or hybrid team requires learning a new set of skills. While distanced from the team its easy for even the best managers to overcommunicate or fall into the trap of micromanaging.
It is important to stay in touch with team members, keep them on track with their projects and deadlines and keep them feeling part of the team. Regular one-to-one meetings and team catchups are essential but keep an eye on the frequency of communications to avoid implying that you are ‘checking up’ on them. As soon as employees start feeling they are not trusted to meet deadlines or stay productive, they will negatively impact motivation and de-moralise your team.
You have just finished your team project meeting; you have instructed your team with their specific tasks and deadlines. Everyone understands what they are responsible for, right?
Perhaps not. How many times have you personally jumped into a meeting in a busy day? Your copiously taking notes but also trying to concentrate on the key points so you use shorthand to keep up. As soon as you are out of this meeting, you are going straight into four more calls.
Later that evening you come back to your notes and struggle to make sense of your hurriedly scribbled page. Or maybe you have forgotten to write down a key point or date, its very easily done when you have got a hectic schedule.
Managers should appreciate this and follow up meetings by confirming agreed points, dates, and deadlines in writing. It avoids misunderstandings, gives staff a record to refer to and might make something clear that was misunderstood during the meeting.
4. Effective meeting scheduling
This nicely follows on from the previous point, train your team (and managers) to schedule their video meetings effectively. It is common for busy worker to have back-to-back meetings throughout the day. Of course scheduling meetings is dependent on attendees availability and sometimes back-to-back meetings cannot be avoided, but if you encourage staff to get into the habit of booking out a half-hour gap after each meeting, it will lead to two outcomes.
Firstly, it gives them a chance to sit and think about what was said, write up their notes and formulate any follow up questions.
Secondly, it helps them avoid video meeting fatigue. This in turn has a positive effect on morale, motivation and will help them pace themselves during a time where stress levels are higher and video meetings will be a part of their daily routine for months to come.
So those are our four top tips for effective hybrid working. If your organisation is adopting hybrid working and you need to update your collaboration environment to provide effective support, come and talk to us here at Videocall.