The hybrid work environment isn’t the future—it’s the here and now.
If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that a hybrid workplace is feasible. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that 59% of employees prefer a hybrid work environment, compared to only 9% who want to work fully onsite.¹
For many businesses, employees were more productive when working from home during the pandemic. It offered the much-needed flexibility they were craving to balance their work and home lives. And now, hybrid work environments offer distinct advantages for both your business and your employees, like…
- Happier employees, which leads to higher staff retention.
- An increased talent pool, which promotes an increase in diversity.
- Lower overhead costs for office space to help supply higher salaries.
As many businesses make the call for workers to return to the office full-time (to the chagrin of those employees who enjoy—and are more productive—working from home), there are those who are intent on maintaining a fully remote or hybrid work environment. However, they don’t really know where to start when it comes to hiring a hybrid team.
So we’ve gathered five tips to help your business with hiring and managing a hybrid team.
1. Define hybrid work expectations
It’s important to define what you expect from your hybrid team, so you know what to look for when hiring and onboarding new team members. Setting expectations is also important for the employees you hire. When they know exactly what’s expected of them with specific tasks, projects or performance, they’ll have a greater sense of direction and will work to rise to those expectations.
Some expectations to consider:
- The expected response time to emails, direct messages or phone calls during office hours.
- Which tasks can be completed remotely, and which tasks must be done onsite.
- How to handle meetings that require mandatory attendance.
- The number of days employees are expected to work in the office vs. at home.
2. Form an intentional interview process
When assembling a hybrid team, look for employees who will thrive in a hybrid environment. Use pre-hire assessment tools to help weed out candidates that don’t have the skills required to succeed in a hybrid environment (e.g., they’re not self-starters, independent workers, adaptable to technology or open to remote work).
Ask candidates to submit applications with a unique twist that will showcase their skills: a quick intro video or an elevator pitch in less than 180 characters. Ask questions on the application that will give you more insight into how candidates would approach certain responsibilities in their roles.
Conduct interviews via video conferencing apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams to get an idea of how candidates interact with the technology your company uses.
3. Modify your onboarding process
You may already have onboarding processes in place for your onsite and remote teams, but don’t forget about your hybrid team—they’ll have to be onboarded for both work environments. You’ll need to modify your current onboarding process so that all new hires have the same experience, regardless of where they’ll spend most of their time working.
Consider the following when creating your hybrid onboarding process:
- Send a list of hybrid work FAQs to the new hire before their first day.
- Arrange for work equipment to be delivered to the correct location (i.e., either at home or in the office), set up and ready to go for the first day.
- Have managers and team members set up one-on-one introductory meetings to help new employees familiarize themselves with key contacts in your company.
- Assign an onboarding buddy to reach out and help the new hire acclimate to their new role and the hybrid environment.
- Create a structured 90-day onboarding plan so career expectations are clear from the beginning.
- Schedule consistent check-in meetings to hear how the onboarding process is going and to answer any questions.
4. Use the right technologies
Using the right technologies for processes and communication is important when managing a hybrid workspace and team. Use applications like Microsoft Teams or Slack to keep lines of communication open; implement project management systems like Asana or Wrike to help team members collaborate on projects in one place; and consider video conferencing apps like Zoom to take meetings to the next level for your hybrid team.
5. Check in often
It can be easy for hybrid workers to feel disconnected from the rest of their team, so make sure you’re checking in with them consistently to see how they’re doing by scheduling one-on-one meetings every few weeks. On in-office days, schedule some time every so often for team bonding, like a company-provided lunch, a riveting game of trivia or happy hour. But be sure to schedule it during work hours to be respectful of everyone’s time outside the office.
Hiring and managing a hybrid team doesn’t have to be complicated. Define expectations, be intentional about your interview process, streamline your onboarding process, use the right technologies and consistently check in with your team. Be open to feedback and don’t be afraid to tweak your processes as you see fit. A hybrid work environment will save costs, boost productivity and provide work-life balance to you and your team. It’s a win-win-win!
¹Wigert, Ben. “The Future of Hybrid Work: 5 Key Questions Answered With Data.” Gallup, March 15, 2022. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/390632/future-hybrid-work-key-questions-answered-data.aspx.