Dr. Viktoria Leonhard im Interview mit herCAREER über hybrides Arbeiten.

May 2022

My interview with herCAREER: “Leading hybrid, but how?”

I spoke with herCAREER about this forward-looking topic. The fact that hybrid working and, in particular, hybrid teams are more than just a side effect of Covid has long been apparent. After all, the advantages are obvious:

Private and professional life can often be better reconciled, if only because commuting times are eliminated. The Fraunhofer Institute has also found that innovation increases, to name just one more plus.

However, the distance to colleagues and managers can also be a burden. And hybrid models present their own challenges, especially for managers. My most important advice to team leaders is therefore:

  • Hybrid work needs clear guidelines. Not as a restriction, but for orientation. To ensure that these are supported by the entire team, it is advisable to develop them jointly, for example in a team charter workshop. Regular reviews ensure that these guidelines continue to function, or that they can be readjusted, if necessary.
  • Bilateral relationships become all the more important when the chance meeting at the coffee machine or the conversation in the hallway is no longer, or only rarely, part of everyday life. So, managers should invest time in one-to-one conversations in order to strengthen the bond between their employees and the team and their common goals.
  • Cultivating relationships within the team as a whole is the next logical step. I have had very good experiences with a digital team barometer that captures the mood of all members and maps it online. Depending on the status of the barometer, a joint decision can be made as to which – also digital – measures can lift the mood.
  • It is worth it to provide the possibility of chance encounters between colleagues. In other words, random, informal encounters among employees and with managers are also possible digitally, provided they are made technically feasible. For example, you can connect employees from different departments for ten minutes in a video conference. Another great idea, for example, is the lunch wheel of fortune, which automatically generates suggestions as to who could have lunch with whom and contribute their individual expertise in addition to a good appetite. It works similarly for the afternoon coffee break. In addition to cookies and steamed milk, the coffee could be garnished with a guiding question: “May I learn from my mistakes?” for example, can add the right spice to coffee drinking. Fireside chat without an agenda can also get the ball rolling.
  • Ultimately, the most important thing remains trust in the team and its trust in the team leadership. Trust-building measures are always important, but especially so in hybrid work situations. Dealing openly and constructively with mistakes is necessary for building and strengthening trust. Each team member’s strengths and competencies should be recognized and valued.

Click here for the article in German: