Mercer’s study in May 2021 estimated that 70% of companies considered adopting a hybrid model. Many big brands, including Adobe, Twitter, Salesforce, Spotify, etc., are already in hybrid working mode. Also, according to Microsoft’s Work Trends Index, as of March 2021, approximately 66% of employers worldwide were redesigning the hybrid work system in their workplace.
The most important thing is that companies understand that you don’t have to be physically available in the office full time to get the best results.
Managing Remote Teams
The role of human resources in the workplace has been greatly affected by remote work. Employers should deploy remote HR teams in different locations for business purposes. Effective management of the remote HR team ensures that the remote workforce is aligned with the functioning of the business.
Today, HR managers are expected to support a wide variety of virtual workplaces. With remote work, the activities of the employees are less directly noticeable by managers and HR. The use of remote team management systems thus plays an important role in ensuring that the company’s remote employees stay connected, engaged, productive, and thriving.
The HR Focus Areas
The following methods can facilitate the effective management of the HR remote workforce in the relevant focal:
Connect – Hybrid workplace employees can create isolation problems. Without the physical presence, communication is more difficult, and tracking individual tasks is problematic, especially for complex projects and large teams. Tracking productivity traits through a work tracking tool linked to employee performance helps port HR for evaluation.
HR Tech can help make it possible for employees to connect virtually and establish digital connectivity by ensuring that employees have all the necessary equipment and tools to work effectively from home.
To create a more effective virtual connection, it is important to understand how the online environment changes human behaviour. Managers will need guidance to help their teams cope with such changes, at least in terms of emotional well-being and virtual overload – although such perceptions are currently in progress.
HR managers need to be helped to create an uninterrupted digital employee experience that employees can access from anywhere. True with technological advancement, automation can unlock human potential by streamlining tasks and giving workers more time in their day to focus on strategic work. But the question before human resource teams is how to manage the human-digital workforce.
Technology – With technology evolution, where information and resources have become available to everyone, working face to face is becoming less important. As technology and HR work hand-in-hand in the digital age, hybrid work patterns promote both employee well-being and professional agility.
With an increasing emphasis on employee well-being, HR will need appropriate technology to improve the employee experience using the optimum use of employee productivity tracking software for hybrid teams.
Machine learning development in AI, predictive analytics, IT, and HR processes are the way forward.
Communicate- The transition to remote communication eliminates personal contexts that allow us to communicate with each other. Many companies believed in an open-door policy and open-flow communication. The work culture in the office was benefiting from this. Physical gestures and formal talking during a coffee break while working in the office complemented regular communication. Also, we lack ad hoc standup meetings when working with remote teams.
Managers communicate with their remote employees. It is not enough to provide remote workers access to collaboration tools or new video communication platforms. HR should maintain consistent and clear communication with workers as many are not yet fully accustomed to working from home. The ultimate goal of communication is to keep employees engaged, happy, and aligned with the remote work ethic. In the communication section, listen to the employee. Communicate and meet objectives and deadlines, your employees are productive and doing their job effectively, make optimal use of a variety of communication teams with preference in email, text, phone calls, IM, video chats, or related intranet channels.
Collaborate – Collaboration is the most common challenge in remote team rapport. The main thing is that professionals from different time zones, diverse skills, and different cultures work together on the project together. Collaborate on emotional, cultural, and professional channels. This could lead to facilitating communication or giving employees the tools to transfer this culture and style into a virtual setting.
The recent hybrid work trend imposes limited time colleagues could spend together physically. Because they are more occupied remotely, they lose the company culture that was traditionally based on face-to-face interactions in physical office spaces. An efficient remote team management software can help you manage tasks, projects and work and collaborate with people. Such a tool would fit everyone and could also be used to manage a remote HR team.
Trust – Clear trust issues can arise in remote teams when they cannot see first-hand what other people are doing. Continuing in a remote work environment can create a sense of isolation among team members. Promoting a remote communication platform for team building and building employee confidence helps HR often stay together. Multicultural teams are more likely to be misunderstood if ideas are not properly communicated. The open feedback and respectful attitude of the employees from different ethnic groups, and the assimilation of cultural diversity helps in building trust. Local tools interface with central staff management software can bring better results.
Monitoring – In a fully online workplace, HR needs to communicate more than just company updates. They also need to monitor how employees are coping with their new remote work situation. HR needs to bring a monitoring strategy to make effective use of employee monitoring practices. Tools such as employee monitoring software for remote teams are a commonly accepted trend in hybrid work models. HR needs to work closely with the leadership to bring flex policies for its hybrid employees.
Engage – HR’s job is to build an engaged pool of employees, as well as organise virtual team building, mental well-being, and fun activities. With the advent of remote work, staff engagement has become a challenge for HR professionals. High levels of engagement in the workplace often lead to high performance – ultimately leading to an aligned, prosperous, and purpose-driven culture among the company’s employees.
As remote work separates employees from their jobs and disconnects them from the entire company culture. The HR team has to move forward to support virtual engagement strategies and engage remote employees. Initiatives include making the best use of peer-to-peer platforms and collaboration tools, as well as special staff events and meetings possible online. When we manage a remote HR team, it’s important for the management to ensure that employees are involved and that they stay on the same page with any company objectives.
Culture – Culture means affirmative things practised in any company. The culture of each company is different and the organisation needs to have employees willing to participate in its evolution as well as to spend time doing so. Traditionally, the workplace culture has shifted to a more agile work culture to engage geographically distributed workforces and teams. This approach offers a more accurate productivity assessment to keep employees away from distributed positions involved in their work.
One of the other biggest challenges in managing remote employees in different countries is where people have different career approaches and families have different boundaries.
The work ethic of people from different cultures is different and it is amazing how they get to their workday. The global workforce will have a rich mix of language and cultural backgrounds. HR employees with an insight into a diverse culture can bring the understanding of distributed employees commonly.
Job performance – Automation in HR management software takes care of most essential HR operations in the traditional HRIM process. The new normal scenario of 2022 is forcing HR to pay more attention to managing hybrid staff to ensure alignment with the digitization drive.
When you manage a remote HR team, make sure the HR departments create appropriate benchmarks for virtually measuring employee job performance for remote workplaces. Having no visibility of the workforce in remote work, managers, and HR can notice employee activities less directly. To overcome this shortfall, HR managers need to develop new systems of employee performance reviews and identification.
Hiring and Upskilling
During recruitment, online interviews can be quick; however, successive HR procedures may no longer work well when employees receive onboarding training.
In the hybrid system, the type of workers, the ability to assimilate the advancement of new technology and the non-academic ability should all be taken into consideration while hiring.
73 % of employees across India feel that changes in culture and working methods have improved with this shift. Practising the hybrid work model in the new normal can create a happier and more diverse workforce. The revolution is already shaping cities, towns, and societies. Yet it also demands a new set of skills and a new generation of digital tools.
This means that HR professionals are at the forefront of playing a key role in hybrid transformation.
Harleen is a content strategist at Leapmax who is passionate about B2B marketing and assisting SaaS brands through her well-knitted user intent-driven content stories.