Organisational Development

Managing hybrid teams

Navigating the evolving landscape of hybrid teams requires a nuanced approach to leadership and management. Discover how to foster collaboration, maintain productivity, and cultivate a cohesive work culture that thrives in both physical and virtual spaces.

An online team meetingTraditionally, workplace teams have been based together at a specific location, with colleagues collaborating in-person and around the same schedules. In recent times though, this has changed dramatically. 

Today, many of us regularly work from home or across multiple sites, and managers are increasingly tasked with leading ‘hybrid’ teams, that combine both on-site and remote staff.

Hybrid teams present new leadership challenges. Critically, managers must ensure their teams don’t split into an on-site ‘core’ and a remote ‘fringe’ by attending to workers’ needs, their access to information, opportunities to contribute, and their levels of recognition and visibility. 

They also need to respond to the different everyday productivity challenges faced by remote and on-site workers, as well as those who combine both styles of working. View the Human Resources' guidance on ways of working.

Top tips for managing hybrid teams

  1. Demonstrate support
    We can support our teams by having regular conversations with our team members both in a group and individual settings, where we not only discuss work but also how we’re getting on more generally. Find out about your team’s challenges and concerns, as it’s important to allow people to express and share how they are feeling.  As a leader, it’s important to express that you care for your team, that you’re listening and understanding their feelings and perhaps that you are also experiencing similar emotions. This helps your team see you as human and also encourages empathy.
  2. Set expectations
    The working environment is changing, so why are we following outdated expectations? It is important to create new expectations and processes that suit the team’s new working environment and needs. To empower your team, you can set the new expectations together by asking the team what they need and come to an agreement as a team.
  3. Be inclusive
    As we work from home and/or the office, teams become more dispersed than ever before, we need to maximise our effort in being inclusive. We can do this by ensuring for all team meetings, everyone’s faces can be seen. If meetings take place online, ensure everyone’s camera is on. Or while hybrid meetings take place with team members in the office and others working from home, give allocated time for each team member to contribute their ideas.
  4. Recognise burnout 
    We can recognise burnout through individual behavioural changes, perhaps someone who was previously loud and chatty has become quiet or someone who was proactive has become reactive. This highlights the importance of having regular communication with your team members, so you can recognise behavioural changes immediately.
  5. Maintain personal relationships
    Despite the team being split between locations, it’s important to maintain existing team relationships and create environments where new relationships can be built. Informal Zoom calls at lunch to allow ‘coffee break’ chats are a start, even calling up your colleagues to see how they’re doing, something we used to ask every day when working in the office.

Relevant training on Learnupon

University staff can access a broad range of online professional development training in the LearnUpon catalogue.

Managing Remote Workers

This short course looks at the benefits and challenges of remote working and provides advice for leaders and managers on how to ensure that their home workers remain connected, engaged and productive. Complete the Managing Remote Workers training on LearnUpon.

Microsoft Teams Essential Training

Discover the core features of Microsoft Teams and see how you can bring together colleagues, create conversations and content, and collaborate more effectively. Complete the Microsoft Teams Essentials training on LearnUpon.

Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks

In this concise, targeted course, Nick Brazzi goes over useful commands and keyboard shortcuts that can help you streamline your workflow, and explains how to use Teams as a hub to access information from different Office 365 apps. Complete the MS Teams Tips and Tricks course on LearnUpon.

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Contact and advice

Organisational Development
Sussex House SH-230
01273 075533 (ext 5533)