Regardless of the way we view hybrid work, we are often faced with a challenge – how to manage a team when some people are in the office and some work remotely, and their ratios are constantly changing.
Hybrid work – table of contents:
- Communication in a hybrid team
- Effective exchange of information
- Technical support of the team’s work
- Maintaining ties
Managing a project team that works in hybrid mode comes harder compared to working exclusively remotely or onsite. After all, how to supervise when some team members work in the office and others remotely?
The Project Manager faces several key challenges. These include:
- defining the rules of communication in the team
- ensuring a smooth exchange of information
- technological support for people outside the office
- maintaining ties.
Communication in a hybrid team
To work effectively in a hybrid model, you need to define the rules of communication. When it’s not enough to approach to ask the person working at the neighboring desk for his or her opinion on your work, it’s worth making arrangements to use different tools for specific purposes. For example, you may send a short question via chat, use email for more elaborate matters and have a videoconference to discuss complex topics requiring the involvement of multiple people.
With a new team, it’s also a good idea to make sure everyone knows:
- What are the responsibilities of each person,
- How to contact other team members, and
- What are the expectations for the frequency of communication?
For this, you can employ statuses in a company chat room or create a contact board in a project management tool. It’s also worth briefly discussing the topic of communication during one of the project meetings.
Effective exchange of information
Once the rules of communication have been defined, it’s time to think about its content. It’s a good idea to make sure that information is shared and that everyone on the team has access to resources to get their work done.
- assignment of tasks,
- exchange of information on the current status of the project,
- setting dates for project meetings, or
- sharing project monitoring results.
The Project Manager should ensure that information is available to everyone, regardless of where they work. This is especially true for those working on shared files, which, when working on-site, may have been stored on servers that prevent remote use. You may need to think about cloud solutions, or otherwise schedule the tasks you perform.
Technical support of the team’s work
A key aspect of successful operation in the hybrid model is to set up the technical conditions for uninterrupted operation. The basics are:
- high-speed internet
- computer or laptop and
- software needed to do their job.
The Project Manager should ensure that all employees who work remotely have the right tools, equipment and access to the company’s network.
Maintaining relationships within the team is often neglected, yet just as important as technical support and communication directly related to project execution. However, in the hybrid model employees present in the office do not have time to build interpersonal contacts.
When most of the work is remote when visiting the company’s headquarters, each project participant schedules meetings individually. Sometimes it turns out that throughout the day they meet with all colleagues and external experts involved in the tasks. As a result, there is not enough time to meet the team, which works together at the company’s headquarters only in theory.
That’s why the risks associated with hybrid work are:
- the breakup of teams,
- reducing the sense of team ownership of the project and
- lack of emotional commitment to the company.
It’s not just those working remotely who can feel isolated from the rest of the team. That’s why it’s so critical to take care of a good atmosphere while working together. A remedy for the ills of the “hybrid” may involve regular group project meetings supplemented by individual conversations with employees.
Leading a project team that works in hybrid mode requires the Project Manager to define communication rules and ensure a smooth exchange of information. It is also essential to maintain team bonds, providing time and space for meetings both in the digital environment and in the office.
The most important questions
What specific tools and technologies can help you manage your team during a hybrid operation?
Project management software, such as Firmbee, comes in handy in managing the team during hybrid work. It allows you to track work progress and communicate with team members in one place. Another helpful tool is video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Skype, MS Teams or Google Meet, which enables direct contact with team members, even if they are working remotely. In addition, cloud-based files and drive-sharing portals such as Google Drive or Dropbox can prove useful for sharing and accessing team resources. Moreover, there are also solutions to enhance the security of shared content.
Getting started with project management:
- What is a project?
- What is project management?
- How to manage projects?
- Project management methods
- Types of projects
- 4 examples of projects
- Prioritization of projects
- Areas of project activity
- Definition of success in project management
- Why use project management software?
- How to choose the best project management software?
- Overview of project management software
- Project life cycle
- What is the project vision for?
- Project goal. What is it and how to define it well?
- Project initiation phase - what to pay attention to?
- The domain of planning in project management
- What is a project schedule and what is it for?
- How to use milestones in a project?
- Project execution
- How to prepare a successful project contingency plan?
- Importance of project closure
- Project failure. 5 reasons why projects fail
- 4P of management: project, product, program and portfolio
- Most important tasks and responsibilities of the Project Manager
- Most useful project manager skills
- How to become a project manager?
- 5 books every project manager should read
- How to set up a project team?
- Work breakdown structure - how to delegate work in a project?
- How to lead a team during hybrid work?
- Challenges project managers face when working with a team
- Types of project meetings
- Project monitoring. What parameters to watch?
- How to write a compelling
- How to define the scope of a project and avoid scope creep?
- Feasibility study – can we implement this project?
- Risk analysis in projects and tools to facilitate it
- How to create a project charter?
- What is a stakeholder register?
- Gantt chart in project management planning
- How to create a project budget?
- Time management in project
- How to create a project risk register?
- Project risk management strategies
- Project marketing
- Sources and areas of change in the project
- Project management change models
- What's after Agile? Methods in project management