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Supporting Managers in a Hybrid Workplace


Supporting Managers in a Hybrid Workplace

Tineke Keesmaat shares an article that can help leaders support their middle managers in a hybrid workplace.

TILTCO held a series of roundtable discussions in January and February 2021. Attended by business leaders, consultants, academics and experts, the discussions gathered insights and practical ideas to help leaders reimagine their organizations as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Hybrid work environments are not new. Many fields, like professional services, have been experimenting with these models for years with varying levels of success. What is new is the number of organizations, industries and levels of roles that are considering adopting hybrid models of work – where there is a mix of remote and in person work happening. As many leaders consider these models, they are beginning to ask the question: “How do we make hybrid great?” 

The benefits of hybrid are clear – access to broader talent, flexibility for employees, economic savings through less physical space. Yet, the inherent complexity of managing team members across settings is real. Core to navigating this complexity are middle managers. 

In our latest TILTCO Roundtable participants discussed 5 things leaders need to “get right” to ensure the success of their managers in leading hybrid teams. 

  1. Reset expectations for how work happens that works for in-office and remote workers 

Success starts with clear and intentional norms for the new work context. These norms, as discussed in our first Roundtable, do not simply mean replicating in-person work and behaviours into the hybrid model. It requires really thinking about what practices can continue, what needs to be adjusted and what needs to be introduced. 

These norms or behaviours, the Roundtable agreed, need to be practical and address specific issues. Suffer from back-to-back meetings? Limit meetings to 50 minutes. Keen to allow people flexibility to integrate life and work, but want to make sure others aren’t stalled? Set official team hours where there are clear rules on responding to emails, calls and texts. Once these norms are established, make sure they work and create a consistent experience for those working together and those working remotely. 

“Managers will have to deliberately put themselves in the shoes of each of the different people on their team. So, one week, they’ll attend the meeting from the boardroom with others on the team and then join remote the next week to see how it feels from that perspective,” explained Reid Wuntke, president of Energy Toolbase.


Key points include:

  • Redefining the role of the manager
  • The human side of leadership
  • Hybrid team management


Read the full article, 5 Ways Leaders Can Support Their Middle Managers in a Hybrid Workplace, on LinkedIn.