Hybrid Work Teams for Rural Micro Enterprises

Feedback form    |    Play Audio    |    Download content: /    |    Demo Video

Promoting Effective Teamwork in a Hybrid Work Model for Rural Micro Enterprises

Introduction: Hybrid Teamwork – The Future of Work

Hybrid working is a form of flexible working where workers spend some of their time working remotely (usually, but not always, from home) and some in the employer's workspace.


The Pandemic has transformed Hybrid work possibility

Virtual work structures and post pandemic Hybrid work structures has worked very well.

For the rural micro-enterprise it has opened up the national, and global labour market.

Rural Micro Enterprises are no longer disadvantaged in attracting and retaining the best staff.



Advantages of Hybrid work include;

•  Improved productivity

•  More scheduling flexibility

•  A stronger work-life balance

•  Time money and most especially personal energy savings    on  commuting

•  Dramatically improved access to skills

•  Money saved on office space




Disadvantages  or Fears of Hybrid work include;

•  Staff feeling less connected to the organization's culture

•  Impaired collaboration

•  Disrupted work processes

•  Less recognition of job performance

•  Productivity fears

•  Resentment among the workforce obliged to attend the   workplace in person more frequently

•  Imbalanced role development/performance




Fair transparent leadership, reliance on ever-improving technologies and understanding that more effort is required to ensure the natural communications channels and coordination in the physical workplace are substituted for, go a long way in addressing any difficulties.


Creating High Performing Hybrid Teams

Face-to-Face Meeting and Office attendance

regular scheduled get togethers - ‘Anchor’ Days

Clear rules about workplace attendance

Ensuring that those who attend the office more frequently aren’t diadvantaged


Clearly explain and map out tasks and processes

In a hybrid work setting patterns of task completion may not be established

More scope for confusion which can be managed by closer attention to detail


Establish Clearcut ‘Rules of engagement’ for Communication

Hybrid/Virtual teams communicate less frequently

Communication Norms need to be clearly established.

E.g. Agreement on when to use different modes of communication





Establish Workplace Rhythm

In a traditional workplace, the rhythm of the working day come naturally. 

This should be aspired to in the hybrid workplace.


Consciously Target Isolation

Combatting isolation is very necessary to enjoyable rewarding work.

Building in time for social contact

Use of collaborative software that allow for easy real-time discussion should be prioritised.


Encourage Boundaries  

In rural micro-enterprises with more familiar relationships disengagement from work this is more difficult.

Clear written guidelines to ensure all staff can disengage at the appropriate time without guilt or disadvantage.


Track Commitment and Results

no easy way to observe engagement and productivity.

structures which track progress are very necessary.

Methodologies such as Objectives and Key Results (OKR) where targets are quantified


One-to-One Engagement

One-to-one performance management and mentorship interactions very important


ICT Tools for Hybrid Management

ICT Tools for Hybrid Management


cloud based file holding service which can be synched across devices. Users can control access on Dropbox and work both online and offline.



Helps teams streamline their workflow, collaborate seamlessly, and manage complex projects. CRM, marketing, design, human resource etc.



Online video conferencing platform


Microsoft Teams

In addition to video conferencing, Teams offers extensive virtual collaboration features, including Office 365 integration.


Google Drive

A cloud-based storage service that enables users to store and access files online as well as share files and work collaboratively online. Files created similar to Microsoft Office programs, WORD, Excel and Powerpoint.


Initial investment and training in Applications for the rural micro-enterprise is relatively inexpensive and modest.


Greater challenges lie in understanding when and how to use these tools and to ensure that their use is consistent across the organisation.


EG clarifying when a Zoom meeting is required as against an email, the specifics of how to manage the production of a document in Google drive?



This is specific to each organisation needs. Trial and Error measured through structured analysis and reflection is very necessary.


Reflective Practice for ICT Tool Selection and Use in Hybrid Teams

Essential to ensure that insight gained informs practice.


For new processes such as the embedding of ICT tools in support of Hybrid work it is especially useful.  


It involves self-awareness, and continuous learning and growth


Elements of successful reflection include:

•  Time to reflect

•  Something to reflect upon

•  Medium for capturing reflection

•  Skills in reflection

•  Honesty

•  Feedback


Capturing reflection in written format in a Reflective Journal is essential.


•  What?

•  So What?

•  Now What?


In this scenario might be of best use in group format.


Hybrid Working - Employer Obligations

Health & Safety

While there are differences in detail between jurisdictions in the European Union employers have a legal duty of care to their employees regardless of the location of their work


Health and Safety

Employers are legally bound to ensure that employees are not at risk from long term Health and Safety dangers regardless of where they work. Here this may require;


Setting up and Virtual supervision of Ergonomic workspaces
Visual Display Unit Assessments


Balanced agreement between Employer and Employee to agree on the resources and equipment required


Employers should be expected to contribute significantly to any costs incurred


The Right to Disconnect

The Right to Disconnect.

the right to disengage from work and not  engage in work-related electronic communications during non-work hours.


Important that the rural micro enterprise is fully aware of legislation in their own jurisdiction.


In a rural micro enterprise this can be complicated by;


Organisational Culture – There may be established patterns of behaviour considered acceptable. Requires leadership from the top to be changed. 
Immediate Work pressures –occasions where deadlines and customer/client needs necessitate unexpected extra work needed detailed renumeration or time off in lieu policy
Keeping Hybrid Teams Motivated

Keeping Hybrid Teams Motivated

In a workplace where employees may attend the office on a different basis motivation is complicated.


Fairness and all-inclusiveness for all staff play a key role in effective hybrid team management.


Proximity Disadvantage

Close proximity to the central workplace should not dictate decisions on hybrid work possibility

Where job function requires daily attendance, the employee should be fairly incentivized


Reward and recognition

More difficult to recognize achievement

Effective teamwork structure including a degree of mentorship and consciously taking time for recognition


Organised Work Schedules

Hybrid can easily become chaotic.

Uncertainly demotivating and a perception of unfairness can develop.

Shared daily work calendar and regular scheduled events or meetings


Shared Decision Making

In a rural micro enterprise staff appreciate opportunity to take part in decision making.

In many cases a shared decision is the only right decision.

Ensuring that Staff working on a hybrid or virtual basis are not excluded


Summing up

Summing up


work practices have grown in popularity since the pandemic and will continue to grow into the future
Hybrid work structures bring a lot of obvious Hybrid advantages but also some disadvantages which need to be carefully managed
understanding that more effort is required to ensure the natural communications channels and coordination in the physical workplace are substituted for is vital.
Today a wide range of  affordable and easy to use ICT tools to improve business and team management in hybrid/virtual work settings are available.
The greater challenges lie in understanding when and how to use these tools and to ensure that their use is consistent across the organisation.
• While there are differences in detail between jurisdictions in the European Union employers have a legal duty of care to their employees regardless of the location of their work.
Health and Safety and ‘Right to Disconnect’ are important considerations
•Motivation in a complex hybrid work environment can be very challenging in ensuring all employees regardless of work location are treated fairly.
Test Yourself
TestClick to start


Digital team / Hybrid working / Digital tools for management/Reflective Practise/ Motivation

  • That participants appreciate the challenges and opportunities of hybrid work for rural micro enterprises
  • That participants are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a rural micro enterprise hybrid work team model

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this training the participant will:


  • Be able to identify and value the potential rewards and opportunities offered by the rural micro enterprise Hybrid workplace
  • Understand the challenges and possible solutions of managing small hybrid teams
  • Recognize different digital tools for Hybrid Team Management
  • Foster an appreciation of the value of reflective practice
  • Have an awareness of the legal responsibilities of rural micro enterprise employers in relation to hybrid working
  • Understand how motivation can be enhanced in rural micro enterprise hybrid work teams.


Level 4

DigiComp 2.2:

  • - Information and data literacy
  • - Communication and collaboration
  • - Safety
  • - Problem solving


  • Collaborating through digital technologies


  • - Ideas & opportunities
  • - Resources
  • - Into action


  • Valuing Ideas
  • Mobilising Others
  • Planning and Management
  • Learning through Experience


Contact Us!

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.