The hybrid working model is gaining in popularity. More and more employees are getting back to their offices after the Covid-19 restrictions are starting to ease around the world. But what does this actually mean?
As Microsoft put it – the next great disruption is hybrid work, but are we ready? Working from home has skyrocketed during the pandemic and both the companies and the employees have gotten used to working like this. It’s more cost-effective, the employees don’t have to spend time commuting and for many, the workflow has also improved. On the other hand, the employees also reported that they miss the social aspect of working with colleagues. Others said they can get much more done when in an office, especially the ones who don’t live alone.
Some large corporations like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter have announced that they will allow their workers to continue working from home post-pandemic. While some other companies still see the benefit of having an on-premises crew.
So should your team continue working remotely or return in-house? How about something in between – a hybrid work model?
What Is A Hybrid Work Model?
As companies begin to return to their office spaces, a hybrid work model may be the best fitting model for them to safely do so. A hybrid work model enables some employees to work remotely while others work on-premises. It means a location-flexible work environment, allowing employees to choose themselves to work where they see fit.
There isn’t a clear definition of what following such a model entitles. Ultimately, it means that the companies can adapt to their employees working from home and from an office. The office is still here to stay, but its role is set to change.
The hybrid work model looks different for each organization, but Bob outlined 4 different types of hybrid work models: at-will, split weeks, shift work and week-by-week.
1. “The At-will”
Following this model the employees are able to choose to work however they see fit on any given day. It’s especially useful for those who want to come into the office when they need to meet someone or just need a change of environment.
2. “The split-week”
Probably the most popular model among employees as it splits the week between working remotely for two or three days a week and then working onsite on other days. This model allows the team leads to have regular face-to-face meetings and allows the employees to still maintain the freedom and the flexibility of where to work with a bit more structure.
3. “Shift work”
The third type suggest employees to work in shifts, switching between working remotely and working morning or evening shifts in the office. As imaginable, this is a bit more difficult model to follow as the employees have to follow the shift and it doesn’t give them much freedom and flexibility when choosing when to work.
The fourth model suggests that the teams alter between working remotely and from the office on a weekly basis. This is also one of the most popular models as it allows teams of any size to use the office space together.
Adapting to a Hybrid Work Model: Pros And Cons
Companies can take advantage of the many perks that come with following such a model. Here are some of the pros:
Lower costs for office spaces
Fewer people in the office means that the companies can downsize to smaller office spaces with lower rent and utility costs.
Hiring Global Talent
Not being limited to physical borders means that the companies can hire top talent not just locally but across the globe too. When you open positions to global job-seekers, you can build a team of remarkable skills.
Some people like to do their job while having peace and quiet at home and others work better in a traditional office setting with a stronger community feel. Giving your team the freedom to choose where and how they want to work will not only make you a more desirable employer, it will also increase the productivity levels of your employees.
And on the other hand, following a hybrid work model can also bring some disadvantages. Here’s a few cons:
Especially remote workers might feel isolated and disconnected from the team that works in the office; missing out on random jokes, daily coffee breaks, company happy hours and birthday treats.
Communication may require an even bigger effort
If the online communication might have sometimes felt like a problem when everyone was working remotely, it can now become an even bigger challenge. All contact with colleagues who work remotely will still have to occur online while communication with everyone who works in-house can happen in-person.
Promotions not awarded equally
Even Dropbox have raised the issue that the promotions might not be awarded equally and that following a hybrid model could result in barriers to inclusion and inequalities with office workers more likely getting promoted.
A good idea is to tackle this problem is for the organizations to have their managers work primarily remotely so that they don’t start favoring in-office workers intentionally
How to make a hybrid model work for your organization?
With good planning and preparation, any organization can start pursuing this work model. We believe that a hybrid approach can work for your employees and help your organization run more profitably.