1. Upskill your soft skills
If the past year of remote work has taught us anything, it’s that old-school, in-person management techniques are no longer enough. Now people have one year of remote work under their belts, but there’s still a learning curve to be effective at leading or working within hybrid and remote teams.
- Expectation setting — Clarifying virtual team principles, communication norms and expectationsthat you have for your team and each other.
- Relationship and culture building — Intentionally designing for moments of connection, laddering activities up to your company’s purpose, and scoping your sphere of influence.
- Virtual leadership— Managing a globally distributed team, creating virtual onboarding processes, cultivating creative collaboration in a virtual environment, etc.
- Technology tools — Getting comfortable with (and understanding best-practices for) using video conferencing, digital brainstorming platforms, chat tools, and more.
It’s not fair to expect these skills to quickly grow organically. Leaders should prioritize learning opportunities for themselves and their teams and set aside time and resources for people to upskill.
2. Develop a location diversity & inclusion plan
“How do you ensure all of your team members and employees are considered and included no matter where they live or work?”
Speak up if you see your company’s processes give more weight to proximity than performance and potential. If you work remotely, advocate for yourself and use the story of your success to shift the perspective of remote work at your company.
3. Create a head of hybrid role & a taskforce to go with it
While hybrid is the future, it’s harder to orchestrate. If companies will leave it up to chance aren’t understanding how important this is to their overall success. A Head of Hybrid or Head of Workplace Innovation role is responsible for looking at the employee experience across all locations and functions including IT, real estate, learning and development, and more. Dedicating a lead and taskforce to the transition to hybrid gives your company the best chance at a pain-free process and shows employees you’re taking their needs seriously.
Combatting remote fatigue and burnout
As we talk about the benefits of remote and ways to thrive in a hybrid environment, the reality is that many of us are also feeling burnout and fatigue from endless video meetings and added pressure to do more to appear productive from afar.
Designate asynchronous and synchronous work
What work needs to happen in a meeting, and what could be done over chat or email? Live moments are precious. Use your time wisely by planning meetings that are effective, efficient, inclusive, and engaging.
Batch non-urgent interruptions
If you’re a leader with five direct reports, chances are each of your reports is contacting you once a day for non-urgent matters. That’s at least 25 interruptions a week. Instead of responding immediately, set office hours a couple times a week where anyone can pop into an open video meeting with you. Critically, communicate to your team that this is how you’ll handle small requests. As an individual contributor, try blocking your calendar for project work, setting time aside for responding to non-urgent requests, or using away settings on chat to batch work.
Plan for spontaneity
It might not be as fun as running into a coworker in the break room, but planned virtual watercooler moments can help energize a hybrid workforce by making time for problem solving and ideation across teams.
Building culture in a remote work environment
“Break apart culture building from camaraderie building,” Make a difference between happy-hour type activities and those that give employees a deeper sense of purpose at work. It was easy for camaraderie and perks like free snacks to feel like culture when we were co-located in the office. “Now that we’re behind the virtual curtain, we realize how we need to be so intentional about reinforcing values and behaviors,”.