How To Manage A Global Team In A Hybrid World
As CRO & COO of Agora Inc., Reggie leads the team’s go-to-market and global expansion efforts.
The future has a way of arriving unannounced — or so the saying goes.
And while the past 18 months have demonstrated clearly that the digital future, which many thought to be years, even decades, away, arrived seemingly unannounced. The challenges this presented inexorably altered how we live, work and play. These changes have created much chatter throughout the world, but perhaps no area has seen more profound change than the workplace.
Scan the headlines in any business-focused publication and you’ll likely find articles similar to this recent Wall Street Journal article titled, “Remote Work Is the New Signing Bonus.” I believe that’s because workers recognize the value of flexible schedules and continued hybrid work models. As we’re seeing, some of the biggest companies in the world are taking note, and the transition to a hybrid work environment is happening quickly.
What is not as clear to many business leaders, however, is how to manage a remote team efficiently. Through my company’s real-time engagement platform, I’ve seen that over the past year-and-a-half, there’s been mass adoption of RTE across age groups and industries.
As we shift to that hybrid work environment, it will be critical to embrace the right strategy to keep teams connected and engaged regardless of their physical location. Read on to learn how your business can thrive in the hybrid work environment and push collaboration and productivity to new levels.
Hybrid Work And RTE
Today, we can create a meaningful connection wherever we are through video, voice, messaging and live interactive streaming tools. And it is worth noting that most companies did not see productivity levels drop during the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, many jobs allowed for a hybrid or remote work model. But still, many major companies did not have strategies and infrastructure in place that would accommodate remote work.
Now, companies that are promoting a hybrid work environment model are finding it a competitive advantage during the hiring process in securing top talent over competitors. The sky is the limit, as we can connect and collaborate with the click of a button on our computers, smartphones and tablets. And I’m finding that the RTE market has evolved. There are platforms popping up seemingly every day that aim to create more natural human-to-human connections through creative, engaging and innovative apps.
And it’s not only the workplace that I’ve seen is embracing a hybrid model. The education space, for example, went fully remote during the pandemic, which I believe will have a lasting impact on the future of education. The gaming industry has also transformed and seen increased usage and live streaming. Even concerts and entertainment have transformed, as consumers shifted to streaming services for their entertainment needs. Watch parties have evolved through this time to be a connection point for families and friends around the globe. This is all possible through various RTE tools.
Finding Success With RTE
Being in the RTE space myself, I find it exciting to think about what technologies the innovators, creators and entrepreneurs will produce next with RTE becoming so ubiquitous. But to leverage these tools successfully and deploy an effective RTE strategy in the work and enterprise context, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
First and foremost, you need to ensure the platform you are choosing is able to truly support your workforce, while also supporting employee workflows and collaboration. Additionally, you’ll need to assess if the platform can be seamlessly integrated into your existing applications and tools. Finally, you must ensure that the network used by the platform is easily scalable, reliable and resilient to local and global network issues. When you equip yourself with the right remote applications for your team, you can easily collaborate with anyone anywhere in the world without having to worry about cross-platform support.
It will take a collective effort to choose the best RTE platform for your company, and there are some challenges you may face when implementing one.
For example, team members often use various tools for collaboration. It is best practice to find a platform that allows for the consolidation of all the individual needs of your employees. Additionally, employees may take time to adapt to a new platform; providing them with easy access and training will encourage the rapid adoption of this new RTE tool.
As the hybrid workplace environment continues to evolve, your RTE platform of choice needs to offer employees the ability to meet and collaborate like they would in a real office setting. Offering “open collaboration rooms,” for example, allows the team to drop in and out for brainstorming, discuss topics or just touch base with other team members. In this sense, it functions as the traditional office space “fly by.”
RTE: Building Culture Through Connection
With RTE platforms, companies should also recreate office camaraderie with virtual social events like happy hours, as well as promote collaboration through video calls and messaging platforms that seamlessly blend into daily lives. Advancements in RTE are turning these interactions into more natural (and, in some cases, efficient) human-to-human connections.
Keep in mind that, like company culture, it is important for your employees to feel supported in their day-to-day work. So, set up touchpoints with your team members, whether they are in the office or at home, to coordinate on any projects they are working on. The more touchpoints available, the more effective the environment you will be fostering.
Building a real-time and engaging strategy and setting up the tools to support it is now much simpler and accessible. I’m seeing executives around the world working behind the scenes to do just that. The hybrid work environment is here to stay, and we must all work together to continue to innovate our RTE platforms to improve remote workplace productivity.
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