Embrace Hybrid Working and Managing Remote Teams

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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards hybrid working as more agencies recognize the benefits of flexible work arrangements. Hybrid working is a model where employees alternate between working from the office and remotely – often from home.

Managing remote teams can be challenging and requires a different set of skills compared to traditional office-based management. Therefore, discussing the strategies and best practices for effective remote team management in the context of hybrid working is essential.

This article explores the concept of hybrid working and briefly overviews how you can manage remote teams.

Advantages of Hybrid Working

Hybrid working became popular during the pandemic. Agencies are now trying to find a happy medium between fully in-office and fully remote. Some key advantages of a hybrid working model are:

  • Increased flexibility: One of the primary advantages of hybrid working is the flexibility it offers to employees. They can structure their work schedule to suit their lifestyle and other commitments. This flexibility is especially beneficial for working parents who can better balance their work and family obligations.
  • Reduced commuting time and costs: With hybrid working, employees can avoid the daily commute to the office, which can be time-consuming and expensive. This saves employees time and money and positively impacts the environment by reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Hybrid working can improve collaboration between team members, allowing for greater flexibility in working arrangements. Employees can collaborate with colleagues from different locations, time zones, and countries, leading to more diverse and innovative ideas. This collaboration can be facilitated through video conferencing, instant messaging, and other online tools.
  • Prospective employee expectations: The insurance industry has a talent shortage. Offering a hybrid work option may be necessary to attract new employees and keep the ones you have.

These benefits not only improve employee well-being but also contribute to better business outcomes. As more organizations adopt hybrid working, it is essential to understand its advantages and how to manage it effectively.

Challenges of Hybrid Working

While hybrid working offers numerous benefits, it also creates challenges that must be addressed to ensure its successful implementation. Here are some of the key challenges:

  • Difficulty in maintaining team cohesion: One of the significant challenges of hybrid working is the difficulty in maintaining team cohesion. With employees working remotely and from different locations, building and maintaining a sense of team spirit and collaboration can be challenging. This can be addressed by implementing regular team-building activities, establishing clear communication channels, and encouraging social interaction between team members.
  • Communication issues: Effective communication is critical for successful hybrid working. Communication issues can arise, leading to misunderstandings and reduced productivity. Make sure you’re establishing clear communication guidelines and using appropriate communication tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and email.
  • Difficulty in tracking employee productivity: Tracking employee productivity can be a challenge in a hybrid working environment, as managers may not have direct oversight of their employees. Set clear performance targets, establish regular check-ins, and use remote team management tools to monitor employee productivity across your agency.
  • Security risks: Remote working can create significant security risks, as employees may work on personal devices or access company data over unsecured networks (think Starbucks free Wi-Fi). This can be addressed by requiring robust security protocols, such as two-factor authentication, password policies, and virtual private networks (VPNs).

A hybrid working model does have some challenges that must be addressed to ensure its successful implementation. Agencies can successfully implement a hybrid working model by understanding these challenges and implementing appropriate measures.

Strategies for Managing Remote Teams

Managing remote teams requires a different set of skills compared to traditional office-based management. Below are some of the strategies you should consider for effectively managing remote teams:

  • Clear communication channels: As you can tell, effective communication is crucial for successful remote team management. When you establish clear communication channels and guidelines, team members communicate more effectively and efficiently. Focusing on training so everyone can learn how to maximize the tools mentioned above is essential.
  • Goal setting and monitoring: Setting clear goals and monitoring progress is critical for remote team management. Regular check-ins and progress updates can help keep everyone on track. This ensures that everyone is working towards a common objective and that progress is being made.
  • Establishing a strong team culture: Establishing a strong team culture is critical for remote team management. This can be challenging when team members work from different locations, but building a sense of team spirit and collaboration is essential. This can be achieved through regular team-building activities, virtual and physical social events, and celebrating team successes.
  • Utilizing remote team management tools: Several remote team management tools are available that will help agency owners effectively manage their teams. These tools can include project management software, time-tracking software, and virtual whiteboards.

Managing remote teams requires a different approach compared to traditional physical office-based management. By implementing these strategies, managers can overcome the challenges of remote team management and ensure that their teams are productive and successful.

Best Practices for Hybrid Working and Remote Team Management

Establishing best practices that promote productivity and employee well-being is essential to successfully implement hybrid working. Below are four key best practices to integrate into your agency for hybrid working and remote team management:

  • Establishing clear policies and guidelines: Clear policies and procedures are essential for employees to understand their roles, responsibilities, and expectations in a hybrid working environment. This can include policies on work hours, communication protocols, and data security.
  • Encouraging regular team building activities: Regular team building activities are critical for building a sense of team spirit and collaboration, especially in a remote working environment. This can include virtual team-building activities, such as online games, quizzes, and team challenges.
  • Providing adequate training and support: Providing sufficient training and support to employees is essential for their success in a hybrid working environment. This can include training in communication tools, time management, and remote team management. It is also vital to provide employees with the necessary equipment and technology to work remotely effectively.
  • Implementing a feedback mechanism: Regular feedback is essential for employees to understand their performance and make improvements. Implementing a feedback mechanism, such as regular performance reviews or one-to-one meetings, can help employees identify areas for improvement and receive recognition for their successes.


A hybrid working model is growing in popularity. When agencies establish best practices, they can successfully implement hybrid working and manage remote teams. Hybrid working can be a successful and sustainable work model that benefits everyone involved with the right approach and strategies. As hybrid working continues to become more prevalent, it is essential to understand its advantages and challenges and adapt to the changing work environment.

Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson

Often revered as the insurance industry tech guru or the Godfather of Insurtech, Steve Anderson is practically synonymous with innovation. He spent over 22 years as president of The Anderson Network – an authority on insurance agency productivity, technology, and profits – and has served on various boards and committees for IIABA and Big I NY. He’s also the author of the international best-selling book “The Bezos Letters” where he examines “14 Principals to Grow Your Business Like Amazon.”

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