In the post-pandemic world, hybrid work environments will likely become the new normal. Beyond clear benefits like mitigating safety concerns and reducing overhead costs, integrating hybrid models can boost resilience to ongoing and future disruptions.
However, maintaining productivity, collaboration and a positive company culture across a distributed workforce is challenging. Effectively managing hybrid teams takes creative leaders who excel in problem-solving, decision-making, communication and innovative thinking.
Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) online from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) can hone these critical leadership skills.
How Can I Strive to Meet Employee Needs?
Meeting employees’ needs is key to creating motivated and productive teams. Balancing the unique needs of employees can be challenging, and hybrid work models combined with circumstances surrounding the pandemic just add complexity.
For instance, many parents still face the challenges of working from home while providing childcare and online schooling. Some employees may welcome coming back to the office, while others will not due to concerns for their health and that of others.
Meeting such varying needs requires empathy, flexibility and creativity. Managers need to communicate regularly and openly with employees, hear their concerns and embrace adaptation.
What Kinds of Adaptations?
Strong leadership produces creative solutions to complex problems. Decisions should consider all the information available, including employee feedback, analysis of productivity and performance in different environments. In terms of the hybrid work environment, executives can adapt many aspects of the workday and workload structure to address employee needs.
Allowing employees the flexibility to work remotely, in person or a combination of both is the most obvious adaptation. But schedules can also be flexible, with remote work allowing a certain degree of untethering from the traditional workday timeframe. This can help accommodate the scheduling needs of parents and those with other home-life obligations. Certain responsibilities can also be re-delegated according to where it can best be performed, whether at home or in the office.
Adaptations like these represent a fresh management approach to prioritizing quality in work and performance. Managers should emphasize what employees get done, rather than how they get it done or how much time they spend sitting in a cubicle.
This priority shift is not new, but the pandemic has highlighted its importance and the need to rethink how employees accomplish work.
How Can Managers Maintain Productivity in Hybrid Work Environments?
Maintaining continuity in productivity demands empathy, creativity and precision communication. Employees must know what is expected of them and how they can achieve it. Thus, managers must set and communicate clear goals. They need to provide employees with the tools, training and support needed to meet them.
This may involve integrating modern technologies like virtual office software and remote, secure, internal communications systems. These tools should enable in-person and remote workers to collaborate seamlessly across the hybrid environment.
This also helps to maintain the vital, regular give and take — both formal and informal — that sustain positive organizational cultures. Employees need to feel connected to and invested in their organization, its projected outcomes and its teams. Continuity in company culture that bridges the decentralized workforce is essential to this engagement.
By setting clear expectations and providing employees with appropriate support, tools and flexibility, leaders can manage disruptions to the workplace. Moreover, they can create positive change that will help their organizations and teams thrive in hybrid work environments of the future.
Learn more about Bowling Green State University’s online MBA program.