Modern management work very often means that employees spend more or less time working from home in addition to their place of work in the company. Managers face the challenge of ensuring communication within the team, even if the individual members are not always “there”, organising meetings and managing people without them being permanently in the same location.

This article looks at the requirements for hybrid management settings and the skills a manager needs.

We speak of hybrid leadership when

  • A manager’s team is essentially stationed at one location.
  • Team members work from home at least 2-3 days a week.
  • The team has to work together.

In the following, we have a closer look at some aspects of leadership:

  1. Hold team meetings

As a manager, you ensure all team members have the necessary information to complete their tasks. This means that you should consider a meeting structure that enables a reasonable exchange of information.

Many of our client companies have predefined “meeting days” or team days on which all team members are in the office. This allows team meetings to be set up physically.

If this option is unavailable, we recommend holding hybrid team meetings only if the technical requirements are met. You should have a meeting room equipped with two large wall screens so that the cameras are visible on one screen and the materials to be shared with the team are visible on the other.

Suppose the meeting room only has one screen. In that case, it is relatively complex to maintain an overview, stay in contact with people only present online and work interactively simultaneously.

Hybrid meetings should also work like online meetings, i.e., with electronic whiteboards, PowerPoint or other electronic formats.

As a manager, you should take the following to heart:

  • Practise moderating online meetings and consider which meeting structure is the most suitable.
  • Acquire the ability to use online meeting platforms.
  • Agree on a document structure and good organisation of meeting documents with the team. If necessary, document the meetings on video and create a video library.

2. Hold discussions with employees

An essential part of management tasks is to hold discussions with employees. These discussions can have very different content. They can be about personal issues, target monitoring, or any feedback.

We recommend,

  • to discuss content-related or process-related topics on every channel if necessary.
  • When it comes to personal issues, feedback, or criticism, it is preferable to talk in person if possible.

If possible, we recommend that conflict between employees or discussions that may become emotional be conducted exclusively in person until both the employees and the manager have become accustomed to a remote setting.

What is the real challenge for managers when it comes to hybrid leadership?

In my experience, it is often not a lack of technical or process skills on the part of managers that makes hybrid leadership difficult. The difficulties usually arise from the attitude that managers adopt towards their employees.

If managers have little trust in their employees, it isn’t easy to trust that employees will reliably complete their work at home. Of course, there are always “black sheep”, but studies have shown that people usually work more and are more productive when working from home than in the office.

How can you change your attitude?

  • Work actively to build trust with your team and develop confidence that your team will work just as well from home as they do physically in the office.
  • Improve your ability to formulate clear goals and delegate them to your employees.
  • Create transparent communication and document structures so everyone can access their needs.
  • Work consistently on improving your communication skills to discuss online topics that may become emotional for at least one side, and pass this skill on to your team.


Hybrid management work is more demanding than leading stationary teams.

On the one hand, managers need the technical and procedural skills to handle meeting platforms, various digital tools, cameras, and microphones professionally.

On the other hand, the demand for communication skills is higher because the lack of personal contact means that only part of the message is heard, and there is a risk that situations will become emotional, which might not be the case in direct contact.

In my opinion, the key to successful hybrid leadership lies in the manager’s attitude of accepting employees as experts who understand their job and perform just as well, if not better, at home as they do in the office.

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