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How to Succeed As a Remote Employee On a Hybrid Team

Over the last year, much of corporate America has been operating with fully distributed teams where all employees are working from home. But that is set to change soon. Experts say while some will return to the office full-time, others who were once in the office full-time will now be only commuting a few days a week, and still others will not return to the office at all. 

In this “new normal,” everyone, no matter role or function, is learning how to optimize hybrid teams. Learning how to equally incorporate remote and in-person workers in meetings, decision-making, and communication are all critical pieces of equalizing workforces.

But what if you are new to a hybrid team? What if you were hired recently and you are entering an atmosphere where some team members report to a centralized office and others are dispersed? 

If you are joining a hybrid team, you may feel uncertain about how to connect with colleagues, build rapport, and display your commitment to the company and to high performance.

According to the latest research, moving from a fully distributed team to a hybrid workforce where some staff work from the office and others work remotely will be one of 2021’s greatest workplace challenges. 

Here are four recommendations for excelling on a hybrid team. 

How to Succeed As a Remote Employee On a Hybrid Team

  1. Take initiative. Establish a rhythm of strong communication by consistently reaching out to your supervisor. Don’t wait to be contacted. Flying under the radar is not the goal. Having the information you need to confidently do your job is the goal. Additionally, take initiative by reaching out to colleagues. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to build relationships across the company if you thoughtfully plan to reach out to one colleague each week. 
  2. Ask for what you need. Don’t settle for just trying to “make it work” without the technology and support you need. Your supervisor likely has a lot on her plate, so make sure you communicate your requests assertively. When you work remotely you must have even stronger communication skills than if you worked in the office. Follow up on your requests. 
  3. Strategically show up and speak up. Attend optional virtual events. Make sure your voice is heard in meetings. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Volunteer to support colleagues on projects that may not directly fit within your job description. The more that you actively engage at work, the more you will be seen as an integral part of the team.  
  4. But also: set healthy boundaries so you don’t burn out. Be careful not to set a precedent of being available at all hours of the day simply because you are working from home. Research shows that being “on” all the time directly correlates to burn out. Go the distance in your position by making it clear when your work day begins and ends. Set clear expectations and then be consistent. If people know when and how they can reach you, they will not be frustrated when you are unavailable. Living by your values is a critical component for long-term success.

Being a remote member of a hybrid workforce means that you have to be more strategic and more intentional about reaching out, asking for what you need, building rapport, and showing your investment in the success of the company. Adjusting your mindset and expectations as a remote member of a hybrid team is essential not only to the success of your company, but also to your personal career success.

by McKinley Marketing Partners