MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Leadership Strategies for the Hybrid Workforce

  • 6m
  • N. Sharon Hill
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2023

Leading teams of hybrid workers can be a double-edged sword because managers must satisfy employees’ desire for flexibility without compromising overall group effectiveness. On the one hand, combining onsite and remote work provides employees with flexibility while allowing them to spend some of their time in the office with coworkers. On the other hand, though, these arrangements may result in significant variability between team members’ work schedules, given that employee work arrangements are often driven by personal demands and preferences and may change over time. The shifting work environment this creates may harm group dynamics and hinder organizational alignment and agility.

The CAARE framework combines four interconnected elements — configuration, autonomy-alignment, relationships, and equity — to help leaders balance individual flexibility with group effectiveness. Drawn from my own and others’ research on virtual and remote leadership, this framework provides integrated, interdependent strategies for leading hybrid work.1 Two of its components — configuration and autonomy-alignment — aim to create a hybrid work structure that takes into account both the flexibility employees desire and the team’s strategic needs. The relationships and equity components focus on building a solid relational foundation to support collective confidence that the hybrid work structure can work well for everyone.

About the Author

N. Sharon Hill is an associate professor of management at the George Washington University School of Business.

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on Leadership Strategies for the Hybrid Workforce