With Covid-19 restrictions in the UK set to ease on the 19th of July and the furlough scheme coming to an end in September, many organisations will be planning for the return of their workforces and trying to establish the ‘new normal’ of working.
The pandemic provoked a significant shift in our ways of working, forcing businesses to adapt to remote working and, in some cases, change the delivery of business services. We have proved that most jobs can be done remotely, and we have seen a large-scale transformation after employees have experienced a different work-life balance.
A wide range of research from CIPD and YouGov suggests that 57% of employees want to continue working from home once the crisis is over.
This has led to the use of hybrid working which involves a flexible blend of remote and in-office working. Hybrid working is all about giving people more autonomy to decide how they work best and harnessing this power to achieve greater productivity and improve employee job satisfaction.
Many have reported the following benefits of hybrid working, despite the challenges that came with working remotely through the pandemic. These benefits include; better work-life balance, greater ability to focus with fewer distractions, saved commuting time and costs, more time for family and friends, and higher levels of motivation.
Top 5 tips for managing remote teams
As we settle into a new world of hybrid working, it is important to understand what virtual management looks like in practice and how we can best communicate and collaborate effectively in teams.
- Set expectations - Make sure your team members are clear about how you will work together remotely and how you keep each other updated. Be clear about mutual expectations, focus on results rather than activity, to avoid micromanaging.
- Be available to support– It is very easy when working remotely to get caught up with your own work, as you lack the regular questions from team members across the office. Make sure your team has the right support and equipment before they undertake tasks, keep your calendar visible to be available to answer any questions.
- Connect as a team – Create a regular team huddle to stay connected, check in on each other’s wellbeing, and keep workflow on track. Be wary of your team’s workload when establishing a regular huddle as it may distract from tasks that need to be completed.
- Foster relationships – When working remotely, there is the tendency to jump straight into work due to time constraints and the ease of being able to arrange virtual meetings. Help foster relationships and wellbeing by making time for social conversations as you would in the office. This is shown to increase rapport and reduce feelings of isolation.
- Communicate correctly – It is important to tailor your communications and feedback for remote work. It is difficult to get a sense of what people are thinking or feeling when communicating virtually as you do not have the extra body language available. Focus on what is not being said by asking questions. Make sure to communicate regularly and not just when things go wrong.
If you’re transitioning to a hybrid model and looking to re-define the culture within your team to maximise collaboration, trust, and sustained performance, get in touch with us to find out more about our team culture and team development programmes: