We are living in some exciting times where work, as we know it, has undergone a massive, irreversible transformation. Such a tectonic shift has challenged every belief that we have held dear to what constitutes a company, a team, or even an employee. As we break apart from the monolithic organizational structures to something more modular, the concept of building your team according to business requirements cements its presence.
Here’s a look at how companies can hybridize their workforce, the associated benefits of such a move, and how to ensure success if you go down this path.
Build Your Team: Different Means to the Same Goal
When we talk about building your team or hybridizing your workforce, we mean it in its truest sense. In other words, you and your employees decide the best form of hybridization to achieve the organizational goals.
Some companies would prefer to have a core team of engineers and engage on-site talent on contract to assist them. This example is one form of hybridization as you are getting fresh blood from external agencies involved with the in-house teams during the development process. Alternatively, you could avail of the services of an agency supplying nearshore talent to mitigate cultural or time zone differences while maintaining diversity. In this case, too, your team will get new insights from the nearshore teams, which will widen the otherwise tunnel vision that comes to play during development. Then, there is also the classic case of a hybrid workforce where some of your employees work on-site, while the rest function remotely. Such a system works on an office-first or remote-first model with the employees controlling the ropes on where they work.
According to Gartner, the four common hybrid models are as follows:
- Working together, together: Teams work on-site and participate in in-person meetings in shared spaces.
- Working together, apart: Teams are distributed but they have regular virtual meetings.
- Working apart, together: Teams operate from a shared or co-located space but do not work at the same time.
- Working apart, apart: Teams are distributed, with every individual exercising deep focus on a single task while working remotely.
In all the above cases, you can see that hybridization augments your existing workforce’s capabilities by tearing down all walls that may be holding them back from performing to the max.
How Does Workforce Hybridization Optimize Growth?
We have already seen above how hybridization presents itself as the middle-ground to overcome business challenges. It unlocks the best of both worlds, which can be seen from the advantages listed below:
Access to Global Talent Pools
Gaining access to the global talent pools is one of the most compelling reasons to switch to the hybrid model. Here, you are no longer bound by geography and can hire the best of the lot across the entire world! In some cases, if you were to engage talent via an agency, you do not have to go through the hassles of vetting the skills of the talent involved! In short, you will have greater confidence in every new hire.
Whether you engage talent remotely or nearshore an entire project, you would effectively cut down all the operational costs that would otherwise go into establishing multiple offices in different locations and hiring and maintaining talent. At the same time, you will also end up saving money on infrastructure, entity, and foreign subsidiary costs. Not to mention that employees are willing to take pay cuts in place of remote working opportunities! As such, your business would trim every possible cost overhead! In our experience, it could result in the reduction of operational expenses by an impressive 30% as it did when we helped a leading Fintech company.
Dynamic Business Scalability
The process of recruiting and on-boarding talent is tedious as it is. However, pair with it the fact that once hired, employee retention is also a key consideration. Against this background, a hybrid workforce works as the perfect solution as businesses can scale up or scale down their teams without going through the hassles of a recruitment and onboarding cycle. With the readily accessible and experienced talent available at hand, businesses can dynamically respond to business needs – even if they were to change overnight!
A hybrid model instils trust and flexibility in the workforce, which inspires accountability and the zeal to perform above and beyond. Employees deem it to be a matter of honor that they get to stay in charge on their terms. Such a work environment naturally offers a push to employee productivity while also ensuring their satisfaction. Once you allow your employees to take the driver’s seat, you would be surprised at their innovative problem-solving abilities to steer every project to success! We have seen stellar results, to the tune of a 30% increase in productivity when a B2B IT services company availed BYT services from Damco.
Fewer Compliance Woes
If your presence spills over in the global case, so would your liabilities. In such a situation, maintaining legal and regulatory compliance can get rather difficult. At best, you can employ an expert from different locations to keep an eye on the same. However, with workforce hybridization, you can establish business headquarters at a single location and enforce uniform policies depending on the local laws and regulations. Such a move safeguards the interests of your business and reduces any third-party involvement.
Positive and Inclusive Culture
A hybrid workforce is an opportunity to shatter the metaphorical glass ceiling. It implements a system of equal opportunity for all, regardless of their location, gender and gender identity, race, and every other variable that defines an individual. All that matters are their skills. Such an all-inclusive work environment will promote a culture of diversity and attempt to rebalance any socio-economic disparity.
How to Ensure Success With Your Hybrid Engineering Team?
Now that you understand the different types of hybrid engineering teams and how they can benefit your business, here are a few actionable tips on building and sustaining a result-oriented hybrid engineering team:
Assigning Roles and Responsibilities
Setting clear expectations is a foundational step to achieving success. Whether your employees work on-site or remotely, they can only deliver results if they know what you want from them. Hence, the first step should be to assign unambiguous roles and responsibilities. It would also help if you can define the key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics to qualitatively measure effort.
Setting Up Multiple Channels of Communication
Communication is one of the core elements of a project’s success. So, whether your team functions synchronously or asynchronously, you should establish multiple channels of communication to facilitate the same. As a rule of thumb, you should have at least two forms of synchronous communication and two forms of asynchronous communication.
Scheduling Regular Meetings
Whether you do it for performance reviews or to get progress updates or simply to catch up with your teammates, regular meetings should be a norm. While the former ensures that the project is on track and employees are performing to the best of their capabilities, the latter helps with maintaining engagement even with highly distributed and disparate teams.
Enabling Employees to Achieve More
Finally, team enablement should be the primary consideration for businesses. After all, your team is only as good as the tools and technologies available to them! So, whether you have a contractual on-site team or a nearshore team, try to make them an integral part of your organization and cater to their requirements to ensure success.
While workforce hybridization is a lucrative prospect, know that it is not a silver bullet to any fundamental issue plaguing your business. It will be a learning experience and building a team with no boundaries will take quite a lot of trial and effort. However, if you have reliable support and guidance from established players like Damco, the transition would be as seamless as possible. So, go ahead and welcome the new normal of work models!