July 26, 2023
A poll of 3,000 workers in Europe and North America from Insights Learning & Development claims that managers of hybrid working teams see multiple benefits to a new working arrangement. These include improved team performance, improved team agility and increased ability to deliver on objectives. However, on a personal level, many managers highlighted the need for more support. Almost one-third (30 percent) of these managers feel they need to prove their worth when working from home – significantly higher than the non-management population.
Over a quarter (27 percent) fear they will be less visible working between home and office, therefore their contribution less valued. One-in-five of the managers questioned reported struggling with feelings of loneliness. Making strong connections with team members and onboarding new colleagues were identified as the most challenging aspects of a hybrid team for managers, with 76 percent citing this as challenging.
42 percent of managers questioned stated that delivering objectives is easier in hybrid teams (only 9 percent reported a negative impact), while half think that hybrid has positively impacted team performance and agility (only 14 percent reported a negative impact). More than one-third (36 percent) said how they learn and develop has become easier since working in a hybrid team and that sharing ideas and suggesting improvements has also become easier (37 percent).
In terms of personal benefits, 47 percent feel they have more time due to less commuting. Importantly negative impacts reported in all of the areas above were very low.
Dr Tanya Boyd, Learning Experience Architect at Insights commented: “We know that hybrid teams have the potential for excellent quality and quantity of work. When correctly built and supported, the hybrid team structure can make it easier to pull together the right people at the right time for the right project, removing limitations of geography or other requirements for co-located teams.
“However, in order to reap these benefits, managers must be aware of the challenges hybrid teams face, which are often in the area of relationships; and invest wisely, both upfront and ongoing, in building and nurturing strong relationships among team members. Building a common language to use when talking about ways of working, communication, and effectiveness has long-term benefits that more than justify the initial investment.
“Tips include taking time to activate awareness in individual team members, helping them identify their personal strengths and growth areas. This ensures that each team member is confident about what they can bring to the team as well as what they might want to learn from their peers or managers.
“Also activate peoples’ awareness about the strengths and growth opportunities of their fellow team members as a way to build collaboration, emotional intelligence, and agility in a team. Workshops or facilitated opportunities for team members to share what they bring to the team and what they would like to learn with and from the team support this goal.”