Leading Your Hybrid Team

As perspectives on remote vs. onsite work effectiveness evolve, many organizations are moving to a hybrid model. Are you apprehensive about what this will look like for your team now or at some point in the future? Even if you’ve been working with a hybrid or fully remote team for a while, you may find there are more questions than answers. Many employees are watching carefully to see how organizations and managers listen to their input on preferred work arrangements. As a leader, it’s important that you strategize how to set the stage for a successful team experience by resetting expectations and managing ambiguity.

In this webinar, we explore:

  • how your hybrid team may look and act differently now.
  • your leader mindset in helping navigate team pain points.
  • considerations for diversity, equity, and inclusion in a hybrid setting.
  • strategies for engaging the team in ongoing collaboration and innovation.

Karin Goettsch, PhD, CPTD, ACC, Principal of Global Collaboration Insights, designs strategic talent and organizational development solutions for leaders, teams, and individuals. She consults and coaches on high-performing global virtual teams, cultural and emotional intelligence, and communication capabilities.

Presented on August 25, 2021

Webinar Takeaways


According to PEW Research (2021), over 100 million Americans transitioned from in-person to remote work during the pandemic. And, in a global study by LinkedIn/Glint (2021), a majority 56% of employees prefer a hybrid mix of onsite and remote. Everyone plays a role in making hybrid work successful in a VUCA (vulnerable, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world. As a leader, you have responsibilities up, down, and across. Pause to re-evaluate changes, because it’s possible they won’t be static.
What do employees want? Ask them and listen:

  • Empathize
  • Be vulnerable
  • Be authentic
  • Be honest
  • Be flexible
  • Improvise

Employee-reported hybrid benefits:

  • Continued success
  • Goals surpassed
  • Productivity
  • Flexibility
    A red-headed woman talks to her remote team via video chat
  • Balance
  • Recentered
  • Time savings
  • Relationships

Employee-reported hybrid concerns:

  • Transparency
  • Uncertainty
  • Acceleration
  • Taken for granted
  • Boundaries
  • (Re)Onboarding
  • Mental health
  • Career mobility

Global Workplace Analytics’ recent pandemic updates (2021):

  • A 15% increase in productivity due to remote work would be equivalent to getting 74 new employees at no cost.  
  • A typical employer can save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year (including productivity, real estate, absenteeism and turnover).
  • Employees save between $600 and $6,000 per year by working at home half the time.
  • The average employee spends 28 days per year “playing in traffic” (AKA commuting).

Gartner (2021) Hybrid Work Employee Survey:

  • Hybrid teams show greater psychological safety: 66% of hybrid employees reported feeling comfortable taking risks in their role compared to 47% of their on-site counterparts. 
  • Hybrid teams show greater equity: 69% of hybrid employees reported that their teammates accommodate their working preferences compared to 54% of on-site employees.
  • 67% of hybrid employees agreed their team is skilled at working asynchronously compared with 56% of on-site employees.
  • 70% agreed they adapt the structure of their meetings based on the intended outcome versus only 49% of on-site employees.

Diversity, equity,inclusion (DEI) touch points:

  • Distance bias – access, visibility, onboarding
  • Cultural intelligence and values awareness
  • Broader personal diversity identifiers
  • Development and career mobility impact
  • Prevent a two-tier workforce - keep a level playing field

Strategies for engagement, collaboration, innovation:

  • Acknowledge loss, transition to the future.
  • Focus on common connections regardless of location.
  • Chalk the field with some boundaries.
  • Collaborate in different ways.
  • Keep up on new technologies.
  • Be tough on meeting scheduling and execution.
  • Schedule in-person events strategically.
  • Envision reskilling/upskilling for future talent needs.
  • Prioritize what you can’t get elsewhere.
  • Trust employee autonomy and flexibility.
  • Spend frequent one-to-ones checking in and listening.
  • Respect employee input and willingness to partner.
  • Share that you don’t have all the answers.
  • View this time as a learning opportunity for all.
  • Continuously target a truly hybrid culture.
  • Consider if there will be an off-ramp.