Right now, many employees are working from home. But in the near future, it’s possible that some individuals will be returning to the office, while others will continue to work remotely. This means that managers will need to manage a “blended workforce.” They’ll be responsible for leading and supporting a group of individuals who are physically located in a variety of places.
This may be challenging. Communication, collaboration, and teamwork can all be more difficult when people are unable to gather together in one location. But there are things that managers can do to make their blended teams more productive, engaged, and effective.
- Make sure that all of your employees clearly understand their roles and the tasks that they’re supposed to be accomplishing. This is especially true of employees who are working remotely, since they may not be able to get clarification as easily as those who are working in the office.
- Stop thinking about where or how your employees get their work done. Focus on results. If your employees are doing quality work, it doesn’t matter if they accomplished it while they were in the office or working at their kitchen table.
- Make sure that everyone’s voice is heard. During team meetings, it may not be a good idea to have the employees who are currently in the office gather in a conference room. These employees will be more likely to dominate the meeting – and the people who are online may be forgotten. Instead, you might want to consider having all employees (including those who are currently in the office) join team meetings using their personal computers. It will put everyone on a level playing field and give everyone the opportunity to contribute.
- Make sure that employees are aware that their work is important and beneficial. It’s very motivating for employees to know that their work has had a positive impact. It’s an effective morale-booster and makes people want to do their best work.
- Communicate with your team – a lot. Check in on them regularly (whether they’re working from home or from the office) to find out how things are going, and to assist with any problems or roadblocks that they may have encountered. If you want your employees to feel supported and connected, frequent communication is key. And remember that this blended working arrangement is probably new to them. So even if you’re feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed yourself, always try to be kind, empathic, and understanding when you’re communicating with your team.
4 tips for managing a blended workforce. (2020, June 22). Retrieved from: https://sidekicker.com/au/blog/4-tips-for-managing-a-blended-workforce/
Harris, C. (2018, November 28). Keeping the team together: Six tips for managing a blend of remote and in-house employees. Forbes. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2018/11/28/keeping-the-team-together-six-tips-for-managing-a-blend-of-remote-and-in-house-employees/#69cdf6ab3948