Managing a Hybrid Work Environment.

10 min. read

A hybrid work environment requires a management style that is multidimensional.

In the past few years, an increasing number of businesses have adapted to a new model of working. The rise of remote work has pushed us all to find a better way of being productive. Expecting your team members to turn up in person at an office is no longer a relevant way of thinking. Creating an amazing workplace in a hybrid environment requires a management style that is multidimensional.


A remote and/or hybrid work environment is popular with employees. Wakefield Research found that 47 percent of employees would probably look for other employment if they couldn’t have a flexible work model in their current position. Recent research from At Work: the 2022 workplace trends report, discovered that 77 percent of companies have opted to go hybrid. More than half (56 percent) of those companies allow employees to choose when and how often they wish to come into the office.


In any management position, you are dealing with several people and personalities. The way you do this, and the way you react to problems, as well as individual or collective victories will dictate the type of work environment you have created.


A positive culture in the workplace is seen as necessary in the modern world. Technology has reinvented the workplace environment and management styles have to adapt accordingly.


What is hybrid work?

A hybrid work model is a new flexible approach to the workplace. Employees and team members split their time between working at home and working in the office. There are different types of hybrid work and they vary in their flexibility.


Hybrid at will

This is when employees may choose which days they come into the office. This sounds good on paper, but it can be a tricky operating basis.


A recent TikTok post blew up on social media where New York City-based, Lo Hilton (@hilton.lo), posted a clip about the coming into the office when no one else is there. The post went viral and was seen and shared by many subscribers who share her views..


Not all companies are on board with a hybrid work arrangement. CNBC reported that everyone at Tesla is requited to spend a minimum of forty hours a week in the office. If they don't show up, it will be assumed that they have resigned.


If you opt for a hybrid at-will system, get employees to work out their schedules and shifts together, so you avoid the odd person being in the office when no-one else is there.


The split week

This is when the company or organization dictates what days you will be on-site, and what days will be done remotely. This is organized into and separated by teams or the functions that the departments have to carry out. Tasks and goals are scheduled and set, and collectively agreed upon.


The management hybrid split

This is when managers decide what days the team will come into the office. It is purely at management's discretion. As a manager you will have to decide upon the days that people will have to come into work. This is a big responsibility and you cannot take it lightly. Managing the hybrid work environment is not a simple exercise but with a little bit of preparation and foresight it can yield brilliant results. Here are some ways to successfully manage a hybrid work environment


Respect

You have to have respect for your fellow workers. Operating without any bias or preconceived notions about any members of your team is essential. Showing respect will earn you respect in return. Avoid any gossip in the workplace and treat your team members fairly. Staying away from any demeaning commentary about members of your team, or people in other departments, will help you avoid resentment and stress. The key to an amazing workplace is respect and collaboration.


Feedback: If you have to give feedback to a specific person do it with care. Showing respect when you are giving someone an instruction or feedback will make it easier for all parties concerned. If a worker feels like they have been disrespected either personally, or in front of the rest of the team, it can cause serious problems within the organization.


Schedules and calendars

As a manager, you're dealing with groups of people. This necessitates a lot of admin to align everyone's schedules. If some of the people have other commitments when you have scheduled meetings it creates havoc. A hybrid work environment requires a deeper understanding of people's personal schedules. Because they’re working from home, you won’t able to all pile into a meeting room together. Some members of the team might be traveling and calling in while on the road. Others might be in the kitchen, or in the home office talking to people who are in an actual office. Technology has made it possible for us to talk to other humans almost anywhere on Earth at any time, so take that into account when scheduling anything.


Set healthy boundaries

Setting boundaries has to be done very clearly both from a manager's standpoint and from the staff members' point of view


Because we can be reached at any time on mobile devices we need to be aware of the fact that people will be working at different times in different places, and at different paces.

Specifying where team communication should take place will also assist you in keeping paper trails together and communication chains in one place. There is a tendency to switch from one form of communication to another on a mobile device. Firing off a quick WhatsApp message or voice note rather than taking the time to send a proper email can lead to information being lost and appointments missed.


Set out what you expect from your team members and stick to it. Set an excellent example yourself, or you will lose the trust of the members of your team. They will become disengaged and productivity will suffer.


Celebrate wins

The rise of remote work has made it more difficult to celebrate wins together. Celebrating wins in a hybrid work environment isn’t as easy as throwing a party in the office or having drinks after work. Find more creative ways to celebrate your wins as a team, so that you can bond together in your success and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Celebrating wins together builds a positive work environment.


Managing a hybrid work environment is challenging, but it can be very rewarding. Finding ways to have a deeper understanding of your team members, even when they are working remotely will assist you when you are building a great place to work. No matter what type of hybrid work environment you are entering, learning to manage it will take skill, patience, and time.