What is Hybrid Work?

what is hybrid work

While 66% of executives are reorganizing the workplace to accommodate remote work, 63% of high-growth businesses already have established hybrid work models. And yet, you are still wondering if hybrid work really works?

Hybrid work models are popular because they bring numerous benefits to employers and employees alike. The secret is finding a suitable hybrid model for your and your team:

What Is Hybrid Work?

Hybrid work is a flexible work arrangement that blends on-site and remote work. Hybrid working allows employees to be autonomous and work whenever they feel most productive. If you wonder if there is a difference between hybrid work and working from home, the answer is yes. 

A remote company only allows virtual collaborations. Team members can be based on different continents and work together for years without ever meeting in person. On the other hand, hybrid work models combine on-site and virtual workplaces. 

The most common hybrid work policies are: 

  • Hybrid at-will: Employees autonomously decide when to work from home and when to go to the office. 
  • Hybrid split-week: Team members split their days at home and in the office.
  • Hybrid manager-scheduling: Managers schedule on-site and remote work days  depending on tasks and projects’ priorities. 
  • Hybrid mix: A combination of the above depending on the team’s structure and preferences. 

Hybrid Work Models: Which Is The One for You?

The type of hybrid work model varies depending on the team’s structure and company size. Depending on your chosen model, you can create a hybrid policy to organize the workflow over time. 

Here, we isolated four basic hybrid workplace models to start with and test which option would best with your team members: 

Model 1: Office-based + minimum flexibility

Example: Apple, Microsoft, and Google 

This model is similar to pre-pandemic flexible office arrangements. Hybrid work means a certain degree of flexibility to work from home with a central office for this model. However, employees are usually expected to work on-site most of the days, as the office is the main center of communication and project development.

It’s the best option for enterprises and larger companies that switched to remote settings during the pandemic and kept their headquarters despite the ever-ending lockdowns. 

Model 2: Office-based + maximum flexibility 

Example: Yahoo, Reddit, and Best Buy

The second model includes a permanent office but allows more flexibility to employees with hybrid at-will or split-week policies. The office is still the operative center. But employees can work from home 1 or 3 days a week.

This model is also a better option for enterprises and larger businesses needing a centralized physical workplace to coordinate different departments and employees. 

Model 3: Digital-based + office space 

Example: Shopify, Twitter, and Upwork

In the third model, a virtual workplace replaces the office as the central source of information. Physical meetings and synchronous digital conversations realign the team on goals and deadlines. And employees can use the office when they need specific tech equipment or meet clients while completing their tasks from home. 

This model is also a good option for smaller companies that have businesses connected with their local network or want to build an on-site culture parallel to virtual workflow. 

Model 4: Digital-based + no permanent headquarter

Example: Doist, Buffer, and Basecamp

We could call this last model hybrid remote work. The virtual workplace is still the operative center. But instead of permanent office space, the company provides co-working space subscriptions or rents temporary offices for regular meetings. 

This model is ideal for new digital businesses, smaller companies, or startups. You can reduce your budget expenses and have enough flexibility to find out which schedule works best for your team’s productivity and wellbeing. 

How To Adopt a Hybrid Work Model? 

The next question is ‘how to make work a hybrid work environment’? Hybrid work is a growing trend. Whether you are launching a new digital business or running a company for years, you need to follow specific steps to ensure a smooth workflow and fair workload: 

  1. Office design and equipment: Whether you have a permanent office or flexible workplace subscriptions, it’s crucial to equip your employees with the tools they need to work. Adopt the right collaboration tools to support asynchronous/synchronous communication, internal documentation, and task distribution. 
  2. Home office: And provide allowance to purchase quality work-from-home equipment and use a good Wi-fi connection.   
  3. Improve security and VPN: Hybrid work means sharing important documents online. So, invest in a good VPN for Wi-fi, printers, and internal messaging to increase work-from-home security.  
  4. Adjust your company culture: Wherever you start with a remote or on-site business, it’s essential to adjust your company culture to engage your employees in a hybrid work-from-home environment. For example, you can make a team member survey to determine your team’s needs and build a conversation to create a shared work culture. 
  5. Review contracts: Finally, make sure your contracts include new hybrid work necessities. For example, include a raise for home Wi-fi or travel expenses for regular physical meetings. 

What Are Hybrid Work’s Benefits?

Why is implementing a hybrid work model benefitial? Let´s go over the main advantages: 

Work Schedule Based on Productivity 

hybrid work model

Traditional offices expect people to adjust to a 9-5 schedule and concentrate on their productivity. A recent study shows that 40% of people believe they can be productive anywhere, at home or in the office after a few years of hybrid work. Hybrid remote models allow you to organize your team’s schedule based on their productivity and regular meetings. As a result, you will have the best performance, and your team won’t feel overworked. 

Work-life balance

hybrid workplace

Giving flexibility to your team members is the first step to building a better company culture. A January 2022 survey found that 63% of employees feel work flexibility empowering, and it’s the first reason they are attracted by hybrid work. A flexible hybrid arrangement will not only improve your team members’ work-life balance. It will also help attract and retain better talent to grow your company. 

Lower Office Costs

hybrid remote work

If you opt for hybrid work without office space, you can reduce your budget expenses by 30%. And you can invest your budget in better tools and strategies for your business. 

Worldwide talent

hybrid working

As for remote work, hybrid arrangements allow you to expand your talent pool to find the perfect candidate for your team. Unlike fully-remote arrangements, it’s important to consider where you hire new employees. For example, you plan regular meetings each month with the marketing team. In this case, it’s better to have your team located in the same geographical area. But, you can hire a few employees abroad to work on specific features of your website and meet virtually. Hybrid work allows you to adjust your hiring strategies depending on the specific needs of your project. 

Less illness exposure

hybrid work environment

The pandemic made us all more aware of the importance of well-being and mental health. Just consider that 87% of employees fear returning to the office because of personal health and safety. Besides enforcing health measures (masks, vaccinations, etc.), you can organize your team’s schedule to make sure they can keep a safe distance and make sure they feel comfortable attending meetings. 

FAQs Around What Is Hybrid Work?

How do I build a hybrid work culture?

Hybrid models vary depending on the company size and work structure. However, there are a few essential things you need to remember to build a healthy and inclusive hybrid remote work culture:

  • Find strategies to ensure equal visibility 
  • Create a shared communication structure 
  • Promote inclusivity and equal opportunities
  • Work on budget to facilitate your employees’ work (providing tech equipment, home desks, co-working space submissions, etc.) 
  • Create a space to set boundaries for remote and on-site team members (for example, leave one regular meeting a month to share thoughts about each other work, check workload, improve task distribution, etc.)
  • Show appreciation for your team’s results and be mindful of each one effort

A survey among 4,000 business and HR leaders found that remote and hybrid working contributes to a productivity boost in most workplaces. Furthermore, 57% of respondents noticed better productivity and performance in the last 12 months. 

Is it safe to return to the office?

The answer to this question depends on a myriad of things. From your local COVID measurers to your personal health condition, there are several factors to consider for each case to give a straight answer. On a general level, if your workspace allows following social distancing, masks, hygiene, and tests/vaccinations policies, the office/co-working should be safe. However, if you have previous health conditions, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor about the best options for you and your team. 

To Wrap Up 

After the pandemic, most companies are testing alternative work models to allow more flexibility and keep high performance. Hybrid work is one of the best options to reduce company costs and keep your team members engaged and healthy. But you will find out new strategies to boost productivity and get the best performance, growing with your team. So, what are you waiting for? 

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