Amidst the harrowing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was also some good that came out of it. One of the most notable benefits was helping companies realize that work-from-home setups can work for the far majority of industries. With no other choice but to adapt, some companies took on the challenge begrudgingly but are now starting to experience the many benefits of remote work.
Yet, even as the world slowly eases back to a sense of normalcy before the health crisis, it seems that purely remote work isn’t the best long-term solution. A study by Microsoft showed that 67% of employees looked forward to spending more time with colleagues doing in-person work. Hence now companies are starting to shift towards hybrid team setups.
What is a Hybrid Team and How Does it Work?
Simply put, a hybrid team is an organization that adopts a mix of work-from-home and brick-and-mortar work arrangements. Some companies might manifest this by giving their team members the chance to work remotely on certain days and ask them to come in on other days. Others might take on a different arrangement and give some team members the chance to work virtually while others come into the office.
There are many other representations of a hybrid setup, but its core essence is that the company implements both a work-from-home and an office-based arrangement in their company. More and more major companies are starting to adopt this type of setup for the long term while an even greater majority have already done so. And so it seems that hybrid teams will become the next big disruption in business and people management.
Setting KPIs to Measure Team and Company Success
Hybrid teams bring together the best of two worlds. It allows for the flexibility of a remote setup to tap into new workforce markets while providing in-office support when needed. It combines an output-based tech-front culture with zoom-fatigue-free collaboration. Needless to say hybrid setups reel in the productivity-based benefits of virtual and in-office work.
But how does one measure productivity in a hybrid setup? With the world shifting into more virtual and flexible options, companies and their leadership need to start thinking about KPI for remote workers if they want to stay on top of monitoring, managing, and optimizing their workforce, whether virtual, non-virtual or a hybrid of both.
When setting KPIs, we also need to be sure that they’re measurable and realistic so that we can better diagnose the health of a hybrid team. It also has to be relevant to these changing times and aware of the many other changes that will yet occur in this new age that we face as digital starts to dominate the world of business completely.
Here are some key KPIs that companies should measure when assessing and tracking hybrid team performance.
In this new age of digital work, teams will focus on how much someone can get done with as little supervision as possible. As more companies move to more remote setups where managers can’t peek over a worker’s shoulder to check on their progress, self-discipline will be vital to company success. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing as workers will now have the ability to manage their own output and gain the freedom to solve problems their own way.
We cannot belittle the impact an individual has over the whole team's productivity, so measuring individual self-discipline will reflect on the team’s discipline as a whole. It’s hard to be quantitative about self-discipline, but there are ways to measure it. Most times, it helps to ask guiding questions such as...
- How many projects can an individual complete with little instruction?
- How many customers can a representative serve without a check-in?
- How often must management remind an employee of an upcoming deadline?
Measuring these variables can give a great idea of how self-discipline is in an organization.
With half of the at-home employees saying that they would prefer to continue working from home, the bigger challenge on people’s minds is how to keep communication optimal amidst hybrid conditions. Technology has taken leaps and bounds into the future when it comes to improving communication. We now have chat apps, video conferencing tools, email management systems, project management dashboards, and all these tools to help allow for collaboration and communication despite the lack of proximity.
The most important key performance metric that managers should set in remote and hybrid work setups to assess communication is a staff member’s response time. However, there is no magic number to that figure. Some industries might allow for responses in five minutes while some could take one hour before it can be done. Some representatives might need no more than ten minutes with a customer while some might need thirty. The best way to approach this is to take the average time the whole team takes to communicate both internally and externally and work on meeting or shortening that average every time.
3. Adherence to Technology
Technology is now an inseparable part of business, and it was already that way before COVID-19 hit. Moreover, 72% of executives said that they would be investing in tools that would enable more remote collaboration. So that means that for teams to be successful, there must be a high employee adherence to technology.
There’s no point in assigning a time-tracking or attendance tool if not everyone clocks in. So make sure to get everyone on board with using any technology you decide on, whether an employee works from home or in-office. In the best of circumstances, shooting for 100% adherence to technology decided upon must be the case in most cases.
There once was a time when only people with computer engineering and computer science degrees could fully understand technology. But today, the digital age has made technology so intuitive that anyone can learn it. Moreover, we can use that technology to enable employees to learn more and learn faster.
E-learning has been on an unprecedented rise in recent times. So if a company wants to stay relevant, it needs to start implementing virtual learning programs and encourage staff to maximize them. Learning will soon be one of the most important remote work productivity metrics there will be. How often does an employee upgrade and re-tool and how much of it are they applying? Some basic KPIs to watch out for are completion rates on e-learning courses and attendance to learning events that a company might hold, whether online or offline.
5. Bottomline Output
At the end of the day, the goal of reaching operational efficiency is to increase the company’s bottom line. There’s very little point in measuring the performance of remote workers if we don’t see the revenue per employee output that comes out of certain programs. Now, this last metric might be tricky as not all staff are directly related to sales and marketing. This predicament is something that already existed before hybrid work setups.
Yet, while it is difficult, it’s not impossible. Sales staff are easier as it’s all a matter of seeing whether they hit quotas or not. But for non-sales staff, it can be more tricky. Yet still, there are metrics that company management should look out for such as completion rates on projects, the number of customers serviced, productive hours tracked, and so on.
Finding The Right Tools to Measure KPIs
Data is the currency of the future, and collecting it is no longer as tedious and manual as it once was. There are now countless tools to measure the productivity of remote workers automatically. And when we access those, we can accurately measure team efficiency with less effort. So keep an eye out for tools to measure specific KPIs. If there’s a number attached to a criterion, there’s most likely an app for that.