Experts and corporations worldwide believe that the hybrid workplace model is the future.
As per an American Worker survey report, about 42% of workers are ready to quit their current organization if they do not continue getting remote work options. Instead, they are ready to switch to companies with remote or hybrid model workplaces.
COVID-19 pandemic compelled the world to adopt new methods in every segment of life, including the corporate arena. Most companies switched to remote working while offices were forced to shut down. Some companies choose to offer remote working and a few days of office work, which paved the way for the hybrid work model.
While initially, the hybrid office working model was necessary, it has become a well-established trend now.
What Is Hybrid Workplace Model?
As the name suggests, hybrid workplace model is a combination of in-office working and remote working. This model ensures better flexibility and work-life balance and ensures higher employee engagement.
Employees are likely to have better mental health output where they enjoy higher autonomy to work a few days in a week or month from the office and continue working from home for the rest of the days.
Remote Work Vs. Hybrid Work: What’s the New Future
|Parameters||Remote Work||Hybrid Work|
|Hiring||The remote work model allows employers to induct candidates from all over the world.||Employers can hire employees worldwide.|
|Collaboration||To complete remote work, the company needs to have a proper collaboration and communication system.||Employees can conduct team-building exercises and necessary meetings in the office. But during remote days, they can focus on their individual work.|
|Commuting||The time and cost of daily commutes reduce greatly in a completely remote work model.||Employees have to commute only during the onsite working days.|
|Real Estate Costs||Companies can save a great amount as the cost of running a physical office is almost zero.||Companies can cut office expenses while allowing the necessary onsite work to go on smoothly.|
Pros & Cons of Hybrid Workplace Model
Pros of Hybrid Workplace Model
Among the most obvious pros of the hybrid workplace model, here are some noteworthy mentions.
- Reduced Office Expenses
Hybrid working models help companies save millions on regular office running costs. But at the same time, it improves their agility and effectiveness. Therefore, business leaders prefer a hybrid office model to a full-fledged in-office model.
- Increased Productivity
Initially, everyone had diverse speculations about the effectiveness and productivity in remote and flexible working. But the freedom to choose the working environment gives employees the boost needed for enhanced productivity.
- Increased Job Satisfaction
The hybrid office culture allows the employees to also maintain their work-life balance, leading to better job satisfaction. While they can spend more time with their families, they also focus more on the work and finish it with more dedication.
- Improved Collaboration
Since employees get to meet at least once or twice a week, they can collaborate for better teamwork. Meeting in person would give them a chance to come up with innovative ideas to increase productivity. While on remote working days, they can focus on their individual part of a project without any disturbance.
- Better Work Life Balance
Hybrid work models allow them to create and work on their convenient schedules. Employees don’t have to spend almost 8 or 9 hours at a stretch in the office. The flexibility allows them to attend to their family needs in between. Having said that, they can maintain a balance between their professional and personal life.
Cons of Hybrid Workplace Model
While advantages are great, you cannot rule out the following limitations of hybrid work culture.
- Effective training is a big concern
Any organization needs to undergo training sessions for its staff. Whether developing and deploying new software or getting hands-on experience with the latest technology, effective employee training is a necessity. Providing technical support required for employees working remotely is also on the list of concerns.
- Managing the hybrid culture
Managing the employees working in the office and remotely is one of the biggest challenges so far. As the trend of the hybrid workforce continues in the coming years as well, corporate leaders are out of clue about measuring work potential and efficiency.
Also maintaining a desirable parity and formidable collaboration between the office and remote staff is a major cause of concern.
- Increased dependence on technology
The shortcomings of not being able to work combinedly in an office can be overcome with technology. Everyone in a hybrid workplace needs adequate hardware and software resources to carry out their job. Employees are also expected to be tech-savvy to survive in this new work model. However, not everyone will be comfortable working in such a new work culture.
- Remote employees might feel left out
Physical interaction is a crucial factor that builds workspace culture and employee relationships. In the absence of that, employees will no longer be available for spontaneous conversations or immediate responses. Even the absence of team-building exercises or informal physical meetings can prompt remote employees to feel ‘left out.’
- Collaboration among teams can get difficult
Team coordination and employee collaboration can be challenging during necessary activities like brainstorming sessions, briefings, and update meetings in a hybrid workplace model. Employees in the office might feel their remote colleagues are working less at home. Similarly, remote employees may feel they aren’t getting proper attention.
Different Types of Hybrid Workplace Model
Which hybrid workplace model is ideal for your business? Let’s figure it out.
- Remote First Model
As the name suggests, it focuses more on remote working. Employees can work from remote as long as they want. However, the office remains open when they choose to come to the office.
This model allows more flexibility for employees. They can come to the office only for collaborative work and essential team-building activities. for the remaining time, they can focus on their individual work.
- Occasional Office Model
As per this model, employees work from the office for a fixed number of days in a week and work remotely for the remaining week.
Although this model lacks the flexibility to choose working options, it still offers some freedom. Employers can organize different shifts and call the staff in rotation. Alternatively, staff can work one week in the office and the next week remotely.
- Office First Model
In this model, emphasis is given to working from the office. So, most employees in this model work from an office. Only a handful of employees, depending on their roles, can work remotely.
This model is suitable for businesses that cannot go for full-fledged remote working. However, they must make it clear about the division of work. It is their responsibility to decide when and how staff can apply for remote work.
Suggested Read: Tools for Managing Employee Attendance During Work From Home
Top 3 Examples of Hybrid Workplace Model
- The Citigroup Model
Earlier this spring, most Citigroup employees switched to a hybrid work schedule that included three days of remote work and two days of in-office time. Those who work in data centers or bank branches must return to the traditional workplace, while others can work remotely every day of the week as part of the hybrid model.
The CEO also instituted a Friday restriction on video meetings for the entire firm as an added benefit. When a new position is created, it is dubbed Hybrid, Remote, or Resident.
- The Microsoft Model
The company permits its employees to work from home at least 50 percent of the time, but workers can further extend their remote schedules based on their manager’s discretion.
According to the corporation, people outside of offices or conference rooms have taken center stage in the firm’s new strategy. It is obvious that the one-size-fits-all strategy does not provide enough room for creativity, while hybrid work culture promotes higher engagement and creativity.
- The Amazon Model
At this point, the organization has already shifted its focus from an “office-centric strategy” to a baseline of three days in the office each week. What works best will be determined by the leadership themselves.
If they feel that “innovation” occurs more frequently in person, they can call their team to the office. In addition, employees can work remotely from a domestic location for up to four weeks every year.
This is a great model if you want to trust your leaders to make the greatest decision for the team.
Tips to Implement a Hybrid Office Model Successfully
To implement a hybrid remote work model, you must be realistic about the changes and challenges. Taking insights from the competitors can help you with this.
Here are some tips to implement a hybrid office model successfully.
- Employee opinion matters
Assuming a common verdict from all the employees might not be beneficial for your company. When everyone’s priorities are different, how can the opinion be the same?
Hence never assume that everyone wants a common solution. Before you implement a successful hybrid workplace, collect feedback from all your employees. For this purpose, you can conduct a survey and respond accordingly.
- Offer flexible working scenarios
Everyone is used to working from home during this pandemic. As a result, taking that option completely out of the equation seems impossible.
Hence think about offering flexible working options. Employees can choose between on-site working, remote working, and of course, the middle way – hybrid working.
In the end, how your employees work is more important than where they work. Giving working options will surely encourage them to devote their time better and increase work efficiency.
- Embrace the latest technology
The hybrid office model will be a success only when everyone has access to the right tools they need to work smoothly.
That is why take steps to convert your hybrid workplace into a smart workplace. And technology is a necessary tool to do that. It is equally important for both remote and hybrid workplaces.
For instance, you can rope in cloud-based productivity software and virtual meeting tools for a level playing field in your company.
- Don’t lose your company’s core values
The workplace culture grows organically over time with interactions between workers. Ensure your workplace culture does not vanish while you opt for the Hybrid office model.
For the office culture to thrive in a hybrid model, even remote employees should get a complete employee experience. You can periodically review perks offered to both on-site and remote workers.
- Create clear hybrid work model policies
Hybrid working demands continuous joggling between on-site and remote working. This is very difficult to adapt to such working models. That is why you should have clear policies that outline the entire procedure to create a well-functioning hybrid workplace ecosystem. Such policies will allow your staff to transit between the different work environments.
- Have a robust training & development plan
Being a new work concept, hybrid working poses unique challenges to every organization. To deal with such challenges, it is necessary to have proper training and hands-on experience. That is why employers should plan to include learning, training, and skill enhancement sessions to help the staff stay productive in their workplaces.
The Bottom Line
A hybrid work model is not a stopgap. As companies worldwide continue to adopt it, it’s going to stay, for sure. At the moment, it’s the most suitable option to solve many underlying problems in the present office work culture. The work-style-related flexibility is quite an encouraging option for employees.