Mastering the art of managing hybrid teams: Best practices for distributed offshore and global teams
As remote work becomes more common, managing hybrid teams with onshore and offshore employees is becoming increasingly important. But don’t worry – it’s not rocket science! With a few core practices, you can lead onshore and offshore teams to success.
Set clear expectations on ways of working
Every team needs clear rules of engagement. Sometimes referred to as ‘ways of working’ it can clarify various processes, practices, and methods used by individuals and organizations to accomplish tasks and achieve their goals. It includes everything from communication and collaboration to task management and goal setting. Establishing the team’s ways of working will establish guidelines for the entire team, creating a shared understanding of roles and workflows. This lets everyone know what ‘good looks like’.
Here’s a really great collection of ways of working curated by Joel Parker Henderson on GitHub
Don’t skimp on the correct tools
Let’s talk about one of the most important things you need to make sure your team is set up for success: the right tools! It might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many teams end up struggling because they’re missing out on basic things like headsets, webcams, video conferencing software, and online collaboration platforms.
The thing is, if you want your team to work their magic, you need to make sure they’re not bogged down by avoidable problems. By providing them with the tools they need to collaborate effectively, you’re giving them the freedom to create and innovate without getting frustrated with technical difficulties. It’s a really basic hygiene factor for success!
Here’s a cool list of tools that can help you with different areas of hybrid teamwork:
Use intentional and asynchronous communication
When working with a hybrid team that’s spread across time zones, meetings should be intentional and productive. In other words, make them count. Instead of wasting time with simple status updates, use a good collaboration platform to communicate asynchronously and stay focused on outcomes. For example, with Cadrelo’s daily sync, you can check in on tasks and goals and manage tasks efficiently. And if you need to coordinate with teammates in different time zones, Cadrelo even calculates their working hours in your time zone. Leverage technology to handle the status updates so that your team is able to have elevated conversations about progress. This also frees up time from boring status meetings and allows for more productive virtual meetings, team-building activities, and frequent check-ins to improve morale and build connections. By using technology to communicate and collaborate, you can ensure that your hybrid team stays connected and productive.
While our platform absolutely enables all asynchronous and goal-focused work, an incredible resource on how to manage and create an asynchronous communication culture can be found in GitLab’s resources section. One of the world’s largest all-remote companies!
Create an environment of trust
One of the most crucial aspects of building a great team is creating an environment of trust and inclusion. As a leader, it’s important to provide your team with the freedom to do their job well without being micromanaged. Every person thrives when provided with the right level of support and autonomy to do their job their way! This level of trust not only increases morale but also leads to more productivity. Another crucial component of fostering an inclusive work culture is to encourage transparency and openness. When employees feel comfortable sharing feedback and ideas, they become more engaged and invested in the company’s success. Ultimately, creating a culture of trust and inclusion benefits not only your team but the company as a whole.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, adopting the right practices for your onshore and offshore teams can set you up for success. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to building a more productive and efficient organization that can take on whatever challenges come it’s way. So let’s get to it!