August 26, 2022

"Ability to telecommute": A line that is becoming popular on job postings, and a question increasingly heard in job interviews.

Just a few years ago, companies would look down their noses at the notion of telecommuting. Today, the hybrid mode has become a norm. A study conducted by Malakoff Humanis in 2022 underlines the benefits, while exposing the new issues it implies for companies and employees.

In a context where employees' expectations are changing and telework has a real impact on the life of the company, here are some keys to redesign your management methods, understand what hybrid work is and deploy internally new adapted communication tools.

Hybrid work is a long-term process

A phenomenon that satisfies both employees and managers

38% of employees now have the opportunity to telework. With an average of 2.4 days of telework per employee, the work week is experienced as much from the company premises as from home.

Hybrid mode has a positive impact on the organizations that use it: better quality of life at work, increased employee satisfaction, with an apparent positive impact on their productivity.

However, the standardization of these new work modes implies adjustments on the part of companies to preserve team cohesion.

New working methods: A consensus between employees and managers.

The necessary renewal of managerial practices

While hybrid work is an opportunity for companies, it also brings its share of challenges. For 60% of employees and managers, hybrid mode creates difficulties in exchanges and team cohesion.

How to maintain a communication as fluid at a distance as in person? How can we preserve the feeling of belonging to the company when we see each other less? What can be done to prevent employees from becoming lonely riders who are easily poached?

Let's not forget either that teleworking is not a long quiet river for all employees: loss of reference points, personal over-involvement, demotivation... The risks of burn-out and boredom increase in this hybrid configuration, and preventing them is an issue that deserves to be taken very seriously.

According to Jessica Sampé, founder of the Human & You firm, the development of a team depends in part on the work environment co-constructed between the manager and his employees.

How to lead your teams remotely?

Tip #1: Use appropriate communication tools

Some of your employees are no longer in the office. However, they need to stay informed of the company's life, the news, the progress of their colleagues, and be able to work as a team despite the geographical distance. That's why the adoption of communication means corresponding to your work mode is essential.

Some types of tools you can implement:

  • Synchronous conversation channels: They have exploded during the crisis, and allow you to communicate in real time with your remote teams. Set up video calls to keep colleagues visually connected. Admit it's more fun to see the smiles on your colleagues' faces when you make a joke about a big client. Some examples: Teams, Zoom, Google Meets...
  • Asynchronous Conversation Channels: Ideal tools for simple conversations and for transmitting content that is not time-consuming. Written, oral or video conversational tools, these platforms allow you to organize your conversation topics into channels so you can find your way through the daily conversation flow. Some examples: Slack, Discord...
  • A knowledge base: It allows you to make the company's knowledge accessible, to share with your teams the progress of each person's missions, and to work in collaborative mode in real time or asynchronously. The idea is simple: give each collaborator all the information he needs in real time on a shared database. Some examples: Notion, Coda...
  • Planning tools: They allow you to organize your work and your time, by planning your tasks and missions in order of importance, chronologically or according to their progress. Some examples: Asana, Trello, Monday...
  • And tools that don't fit into these boxes: the native application. Halfway between the asynchronous channel and the knowledge base, it allows you to record and distribute audio notes to your team and to host the company's audio content and podcasts in order to make them easily accessible to everyone.
Hybrid mode creates difficulties

Tip #2: Establish a framework of trust and be available

At a time when the ties between employees tend to loosen, taking care of your teams and their well-being is a key issue. It is out of the question to leave them alone in the wilderness without reference points. Show them that you trust them and let them work independently, while establishing a framework that will reassure everyone.

Opt for a proximity management

When your team is dispersed, one-to-one relationships become crucial. From now on, you are not talking to a team as a whole but to individuals. This is an opportunity to connect with those you don't know as well.

Transform your approach to " day-to-day management " to ensure that everyone is comfortable with their tasks and situation, understands the issues and is not distressed. Make yourself available, check in and make sure everyone has everything they need to work with confidence. Give importance to more informal moments that allow them to express their feelings and personalities.

However, be careful not to fall into micromanagement - a form of management where the manager controls the activity of employees too closely. Your role is not to control employees, but to create the right conditions for them to do their work in the best possible way.

Pay attention to your employees' feelings

Keep in mind that while hybrid work is becoming more popular, not everyone is able to implement it. It is important to let the employee choose to work from your premises if he/she feels the need to do so: apartment too small to be used both as a living space and as an office, children at home, a setting that does not correspond to a working environment, or simply the need to benefit from a clear dissociation of work time and daily life... Let your employees express their needs and desires

Do regular check-ups

Don't hesitate to spend several hours a month to assess the health of your organization. Ask your employees about their perception of the work environment. Without losing sight of the mission they have been assigned. Are they performing well? These conclusions will allow you to move forward and adapt your work and management style in order to satisfy employees and managers, and to make your company work better.

Establish a framework of trust. native.

Tip #3: Attach the employee to the team

Promote goodwill within the team

An employee rarely works in isolation. They are part of a team. Therefore, your mission as a manager can be summed up in one sentence: to create an efficient group, which pulls everyone up and allows individuals to accomplish their mission. To this end, set up games or special moments to foster bonds between colleagues. Allow yourself to talk about things other than work, in short, behave like a human being. Being attached to your team and the people who make it up means wanting to get up every morning to go to work. It's having something to hold on to when you telecommute. It's knowing that even at a distance, you are not alone.

The importance of corporate culture

Corporate culture is a long-term process. Involve your employees, share your vision of the company, give them a direction and the desire to move forward together. Beyond the moments of conviviality, it is about giving meaning to the job. Your team must be able to identify the soul of the company and understand how their daily work makes sense and participates in a project that goes beyond the mere search for sales.

Use physical moments to strengthen bonds and seek new chemistry

There comes a time when your employees surely need fresh air, new discoveries and to talk to new people. So go for it! Forge bridges between departments that have not been in contact with each other until now, create cross-disciplinary teams on new projects in which everyone has a contribution to make. You can also imagine a sponsorship system. Be inventive, meetings give birth to ideas.

In general, use as much as possible moments shared in person to promote conviviality and cohesion, by allowing employees to have informal exchanges that they do not have at a distance. This is the secret to keeping them motivated.

Telecommuting and hybrid work. native.

Conclusion: Working from home does not mean working alone

In many ways, hybrid work is an opportunity for companies. Rare are the moments in which an organization comes to reinvent its management methods, and - to use the big words - to rethink its approach to people. Your dispersed teams are pushing you to find your own recipe for maintaining team cohesion in the service of great ambitions.

Let's face it, working from home does not mean working alone. Digital communication tools have never been so numerous to allow everyone to combine the pleasure of telecommuting with the richness of teamwork.

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