There is no doubt about that. Ask any team manager across the globe today about getting their employees back to work. One of our clients, while planning their return to office, conducted a survey. Interestingly, only 40% of the employees wanted to return to the office, whereas 90% of team managers wanted their teams to come back to the office.
This wide gap tells a different story. For an employee, remote work has been a blessing in disguise. For a team manager, the stress and anxiety of managing a team that is scattered across various locations are high. Like high! Even with individual productivity improving, the morale of the team has been on a decline.
This is why hybrid workplaces need to be the answer of the hour. Though in one of our earlier posts, we highlighted the chaotic side of the hybrid workplace. But honestly, integrating technology with the basic concept of hybrid, say scheduling employees for a particular day, can solve most of these. Planning a return to office also becomes more strategic. Questions like who comes to the office, when they come to the office, or any initial puzzle related to establishing a hybrid workplace can be sorted.
So, how is this good news for the team managers?
Most wise souls across the world are looking to re-open their offices in a staggered way. The hybrid way. If an organization adopts the hybrid, team managers can find a sustainable way to collaborate. This is especially true for managers with large teams. Since a hybrid workplace allows employees to come to the office a few days a week, collaboration becomes more effortless.
It also enables team managers to view their team’s availability and then plan, schedule, and communicate with the members about their in-office collaboration time. They can also keep a tab on any change of plans.
So, a hybrid workplace not only promotes collaboration but also ensures an easy return to the office. But herein lies a few challenges. Keep reading to find out more.
Some questions get piling up as we get deeper into the nuances of planning collaboration in a hybrid workplace setting. We have categorized these challenges for better understanding:
Earlier, as a team manager, planning a week of work for a few dozen people was easy. There were only two factors that they needed to consider- people and tasks. With the addition of the third factor, location, the system is a little more complicated.
Communication is of the essence here. Without proper communication, your plans can fall apart. First, you have to communicate the project to your team. Second, you need to allow team members to voice their availability or change the plan. If you try handling everything over email, you’re likely to get swamped by the deluge of emails. Though there are a variety of communication apps available, tracking still seems like a significant challenge.
The tasks of a team manager have increased exponentially. Team managers across the globe have reported logging more hours as a result of the pandemic. Delegation without communication is a challenge. If not appropriately delegated, the situation can quickly escalate to becoming an overwhelming one for team managers.
Geographically distributed teams may have different work policies based on state laws/office needs. Expecting the team manager to remember which employees will be in the office and who will work remotely can be a pain.
Where there is will and a boatload of technology, there is a way. So, offices that have adopted technology have been able to overcome these challenges. Many of Workinsync’s clients using the Team Planner and employee scheduling module have reported reduced anxiety, faster planning, and better tracking. Let’s dive a little deeper into the module and see how it is helping these team managers.
WorkInSync provides a single interface for team managers to manage all their teams across offices. While there is an option to notify using emails and push notifications, it’s primarily used as a secondary channel. All planning and change request approval communication is handled by the system, while team managers can keep themselves updated with the latest.
Also Read: How to manage a hybrid team
The team planner screen has been designed to collaborate with corporate team managers across the globe, specifically from BPO, Financial, and Telecom backgrounds. We’ve made it in a way that allows managers to plan work from the office, work from home, and even plan office commute for their team members with just a few clicks. Furthermore, custom groups and shortcuts help them prepare for multiple members across multiple days in one go.
At least some parts of project costs are now in the control of the team manager. Suppose your organization bills the project based on desks used; in that case, managers can plan their office collaboration, check utilization in real-time, and analyze the past data available as downloadable reports. This gives them the ability to keep a tab on the utilization of resources and plan accordingly.
As a manager having team members distributed across various states/countries, it’s hard to keep track of what laws and workplace policies are applicable in different locations. Workplace policies can be configured per office, so if rules apply to one office but not to the others, the system takes care of using those policies.
Team planner is designed to help team managers make better decisions faster - by providing all relevant information in a single interface.
We conceptualized an interface where a spreadsheet meets calendar meets email. It’s designed with a familiar spreadsheet-like interface, has simple calendar-like scheduling, and automatically takes care of communication through push notifications and email. Allows managers to search, filter team members, and also create custom groups for ease of planning. Managers can make bookings on behalf of their team members in bulk and book specific desks. All booking details are shared with the team members on email, calendar, and app notifications. Employees seeking any changes in their plan can update their bookings, and the system makes a request and allows the manager to authorize those changes.
The team planner also allows you to re-use the plans that seem to work well. It automatically takes care of employee’s preferences and their compliance based on their location without overwhelming the managers.
A team manager can also access their planning in a report format in both a detailed and summarized manner.
Planning needs to be a collaborative and time-saving process, not an overwhelming overhead. It is supposed to enhance productivity, not hinder it. If you are one of those managers who’d like to reduce chaos for their employees and costs for their company, WorkInSync’s Team planner is just the right SaaS tool to pick.
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