Dr. Colleen Batchelder

The Best Guide for Managers of Hybrid Workers

smiling female manager talking during video conference via netbook in office

Hybrid managers and workers are some of the most valuable employees in a company. And they will only become more important to any organization that wants to stay competitive.

A recent survey suggested, 70% of companies are moving towards hybrid work options. And over 50% of employees want to merge the lines between their professional and personal identity.

No matter what kind of business you run––the forecast is clear: Hybrid work options are here to stay and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. This means we need to adapt our management styles in ways we haven’t had before.

Now, before I break this down, let’s go over some basics.

What is Hybrid work?

Hybrid work can be defined as a kind of employment that has no fixed location and no fixed hours. These workers normally do their tasks remotely and they can also work from anywhere. Many of these employees juggle multiple roles and wear different hats.

How is it different than in-person work?

Their work is primarily done remotely and pretty much only in the office when unavoidable. And their desks are generally in a company’s office, but they come and go as needed and often work out of their homes.

In-person work primarily happens at the workplace on-site with coworkers present. The idea is that everyone comes together to perform their best by collaborating, connecting, exchanging ideas, and encouraging one another. Instead of getting feedback digitally, in-person work encompasses large groups of people working together under the same roof daily.

What is a Hybrid Manager?

Hybrid managers are a new class of leaders who blur the boundaries between self-employment and traditional employment.

Rather than packing up everything at 5 pm for an 8 am meeting in the morning, they can be online with virtual meetings any time of day or night.

Hybrid managers are responsible for their own work lives, but also need to be responsive to the needs of an employer.

These managers are usually bridges between the corporate office and their hybrid workforce. This means that they must be the go-between––linking employees to the corporation and communicating the needs of each entity.

What makes a good Hybrid Manager?

Managers of Hybrid Workers need to be great leaders and collaborators with their teams. They must keep up with changing technology in order to help their employees work more productively.

Good managers also make sure that Hybrid workers feel supported and valued, while also finding a common ground between their own lives and the needs of the company.

So, let’s discuss the five ways that you can lead your hybrid workers better:

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1) Give them feedback on how they can do their job better.

Hybrid workers need to know that they’re on the right track.

The best managers of Hybrid Workers stay in close contact with their employees and make sure to give them regular feedback on how they can improve.

Even if everything is going well, this kind of evaluation helps Hybrid workers learn from past mistakes––so it’s a good idea for managers to make this a regular practice.

Any time Hybrid workers feel like they’re not doing their best, feedback is essential for constant improvement and growth.

Think about it: Hybrid work options are all about independence and self-improvement, so managers need to encourage that in every way possible––including providing helpful suggestions when the opportunity arises.

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2) Set realistic goals that the team agrees with.

Great managers set Hybrid workers up for success. When they create goals that are realistic, achievable, and meaningful to the team members––they can lead Hybrid workers towards greater heights.

Goal setting is one of the most important parts of management. So great managers make sure not only to set them in the first place but do so in a way that Hybrid workers actually want to reach them.

While some employees might appreciate being pushed towards their highest potentials––others just simply don’t have the resources or time required to achieve challenging goals all of the time.

Instead of setting Hybrid workers up for failure by forcing them into impossible situations. Great Hybrid managers find common ground with their employees.

Hybrid workers want to feel like they’re part of a team. So Hybrid managers need to do the same by setting goals that work for everyone.

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3) Be available if they have any questions about what they’re doing.

Great Hybrid managers are always there to help Hybrid workers out if they get stuck on a project or need any advice.

It’s important for Hybrid employees not to feel abandoned but instead like a part of the corporate family––no matter where they work from. Providing this kind of support makes Hybrid employees more likely to be productive, responsible, and dedicated to the company.

Great Hybrid managers act as coaches for their employees, so they need to be available when Hybrid workers have questions about projects or tasks––no matter how small.

By making themselves accessible and offering guidance on a regular basis, Hybrid managers of Hybrid Workers can help them improve their work lives in meaningful ways that benefit everyone involved.

By offering Hybrid workers the resources they need to succeed, managers of Hybrid Workers can help them work better and more efficiently.

It’s easy for Hybrid employees to burn out if their jobs are too demanding or difficult without enough support. So great managers make sure not to let that happen by being available when needed.

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4) Advocate for them when there are conflicts at work.

Hybrid workers are often caught between two worlds at work––and that can create some conflicts. Hybrid managers need to help Hybrid employees navigate through these tricky situations by being an advocate for them whenever possible.

If Hybrid workers are having trouble with their coworkers or other departments, great managers will speak up and fight on their behalf.

Great Hybrid managers let Hybrid employees know that they have their backs at all times. So if workers are having problems with other teams or departments––they’re there to help them out. And guide them through the conflict resolution process.

It’s often difficult to speak out against coworkers, managers, and other departments––so great Hybrid managers always make themselves available to be that voice of reason whenever possible.

The Hybrid Manager is an invaluable asset to any company who wants to stand out in a competitive market, but they can’t do it without their teams’ support. By encouraging their Hybrid workers throughout the day, managers are able to create a culture of success.

What is your favorite Hybrid management tip?

As a Leadership Strategist, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, Executive Coach, and National Speaker, I help leaders create companies where Millennials and Generation Z want to work. My doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives also gives me an added edge because I approach generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens.
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