Transitioning to remote and hybrid teams is not a walk in the park for IT help desk firms and their managers. This is because they have to align with and support different working processes while at the same time ensuring that all workers have everything that they need.
In addition, they have to ensure that every employee is involved in all business conversations and create an employee experience that supports the digital and physical business world. Without this, IT firms cannot achieve their goals.
Fortunately, technology has come to their rescue. It is making the adoption of remote and hybrid teams easier for IT firms. Even though manageable and organized stacks are essential for business success, IT firms also need the right tools to manage remote and hybrid teams.
What are Remote and Hybrid Teams?
A remote team refers to employees working together but from different geographical locations. They depend on communication technologies such as voice and video conferencing, instant messaging, and email for their collaboration.
A hybrid team, on the other hand, refers to employees working remotely and in physical offices. This means that a business might have some employees who work remotely while others work from a physical office. Some employees might also transition between working from the office and remotely from time to time.
Some advantages of having remote and hybrid teams in IT firms include;
- Availability of a wide talent pool from anywhere in the world.
- Increased employee autonomy and flexibility.
- Lowers costs of operation, especially those associated with physical offices.
- Increased productivity and collaboration.
- Satisfied employees.
Here is a guide on what IT firms need to do to effectively manage remote and hybrid teams;
1. Use the Right Tools
Remote and hybrid teams are involved in different work processes. A bigger percentage of these processes take place online. This means that managers should have the right tools to connect with all employees.
In addition, managers need to track the progress of all tasks assigned to employees and share updates with them. In summary, they need tools that can support collaboration, communication, and project management without any problems.
There are many tools available today. However, you need to ensure that you have the right tools to nail it as a manager. These tools will ensure that managers in IT firms have aligned on-site processes with remote teams without any issues.
In addition, they simplify attendance monitoring, schedule management, and equality and visibility. These things are very crucial to the success of firms that have embraced remote and hybrid teams in their workforce.
2. Implement Flexible Working Schedules
Remote and hybrid workers have different working schedules. While in-office teams might work in the normal nine-to-five setup, remote workers might work even at night. However, this does not mean that they are not putting in as much effort as in-office workers.
What does this mean for IT firms? Well, it means that they need to find an alternative way or process of keeping time. Instead of looking at how much time an employee spends handling a task, they need to look at the actual results.
In addition, they need to look at the work patterns and productive times of their team members and then set a working schedule that meets these requirements. When working from the office, ensure that you have created an environment that allows them to meet their obligations easily.
3. Create an Inclusive Working Environment
IT firms need to ensure that they have created an inclusive working environment for all employees, whether remote, hybrid, or in-office. It does not matter how many days or never an employee works from the office. The working experience should be uniform.
Research by Harvard Business Review found that most remote and hybrid workers feel that employees working from the office full time treat them differently. This is a major challenge to IT firms and can hurt their productivity and profitability.
To effectively manage remote and hybrid teams, IT firms need a shift in the behavior of their firms. They need to find ways of making sure that all teams, whether remote, hybrid, or in-office, feel that they are all important and recognized for what they do.
This can be achieved easily by restructuring the culture in your workplace to ensure that all employees are accommodated. For instance, ensure that all meetings take place virtually even with in-office employees. This will make everyone feel accommodated.
4. Check the Stress Levels of Employees
Embracing remote and hybrid teams means that your employees have blended their personal and work lives. This brings in a new challenge. When working from home, for instance, an employee might be distracted by personal responsibilities easily, leading to stress.
To overcome these challenges, IT firms need to observe their employees and look out for burnout signs. If any of your employees, for instance, starts behaving differently, then you need to pay special attention to them since this might be a problem with stress.
In addition, managers in IT firms can talk to their employees from time to time. While doing this, they need to ensure that they help remote and hybrid employees understand the importance of prioritizing their work.
They can also incorporate some playfulness to brighten up working days and ensure that all employees can take vacations from time to time. These things are important in relieving stress and boosting employee productivity and engagement.
5. Encourage Transparency
Lack of transparency is one of the biggest contributors to the failure of firms that have embraced remote and hybrid teams. The truth is that some managers assume that the employees working from the office do more work compared to remote and hybrid teams.
This is wrong and can affect the productivity of remote and hybrid employees. Instead, managers need to encourage transparency between employees, whether working from the office or not.
They should make sure that remote and hybrid teams are communicative, open, and visible. However, they need to ensure that employees are not micromanaged when encouraging transparency.
A transparent culture in the workplace eliminates any chances of conflict among employees. Instead, it encourages collaboration while at the same time discouraging competition.
6. Implement Unified Communication
Remote and hybrid workers need to communicate with all other employees and share information effectively. Since there are different modes of communication, employees might find themselves in situations where they have to switch from one application to another.
In doing so, they waste a lot of time that could be spent handling important business operations. In addition, it might lead to a loss of concentration and affect the productivity of remote and hybrid teams.
However, businesses can handle these challenges by implementing unified communication. This is a way through which different communication channels are joined together into a single point of access. This means that remote and hybrid teams can access all communication channels easily from a single platform.
7. Use Results for Employee Evaluation
Embracing remote and hybrid teams means that an IT firm has some employees who work from the office sometimes. They work remotely most of the time. With such a setup, measuring the success of employees becomes quite difficult.
For instance, you cannot start counting the number of hours an employee spends in the office working on a particular project. This is impossible since remote employees work away from the office.
Instead, IT firms need to ensure that they have set expectations for every employee. Their employees need to understand what they are supposed to do and the impact their work needs to have on the firm. Remote and hybrid employees should be evaluated based on their results.
The working environment is changing with the continued advancements in technology. Today, we are seeing more companies embracing remote and hybrid employees. However, for them to be successful, they need to ensure that they have followed this guide to manage remote and hybrid teams.