Hybrid Work Model: What It Is and How to Make It Work
people are having a hybrid meeting

Hybrid Work Model: What It Is and How to Make It Work

Jul 29, 20227 mins
What Is a Hybrid Working Model?

A study by Pew Research Center revealed that 61% of employees prefer working from home. At the same time, 83% of the same pool would like a hybrid model to enjoy the collaboration in-office work offers. These two numbers scream that, after having tasted both in-office and remote work, employees have realized they’d like a bit of both. 

Knowing what makes your employees perform better is key to success as a team leader. Many implement a hybrid work model on that note but with no plan. The combination of “remote” and “in-office” becomes a nightmare for them – and they give up. 

This article will walk you through creating the perfect plan for a hybrid work model. Let’s go.

What Is a Hybrid Working Model?

In the hybrid work model, employees split their time between working in the office and remotely. This is an effective way to promote work-life balance and increase productivity. 

When in the office, employees can collaborate with colleagues, access company resources, and get support from a manager. While working remotely, employees can save commute time and be more efficient. The key is to find the right balance between working in the office and working from home.

Hybrid work model vs. Remote model

Some people may confuse the hybrid model with the remote model, but in fact, they have two significant differences:

  • Teams using the remote model are essentially working from home, while the hybrid model consists of teammates that work remotely and in the office.

  • While remote work models take care of the flexibility aspect of your employee’s life, it does not deliver on the company culture. A hybrid working model takes care of this. For this reason, companies like Google, American Express, and Cisco are big fans of the hybrid work model.

How Will Hybrid Work Benefit Your Business?

A hybrid work model is more flexible, reduces overheads, and improves work-life balance. In a recent survey, 83% of respondents said they would like to work remotely for at least some time. This makes the hybrid model vital to attracting top talent and improving employee satisfaction. 

On the other side, businesses also enjoy various benefits like the ones below. Let’s dig deeper.

reasons why people seek hybrid model

1. Help your business innovate faster

A hybrid work model combines elements of traditional hierarchy with more informal versions. You can keep the benefits of both while minimizing the drawbacks. 

For example, a hybrid structure makes sure every employee can use productivity software work when they are most productive. Meanwhile, employees do not lose the ability to follow instructions or interact with superiors in person. The presence of two critical skill sets will make it easy for businesses to cope with anything life throws at them.

2. Reduce overhead costs

If you schedule your employees to come in on different days of the week, you may need to rent less space as you won’t need to house everyone simultaneously. Your hybrid work model might get you a cheaper lease!

Also, housing fewer people at the office will save on energy costs in the long run, which adds up. You would also save on furniture and office equipment like printers as you’d have fewer people using them at the same time. According to bbc.com, Cisco saved over $500m over the last five years simply by cutting down on the number of their offices.

3. Improve work/life balance

Hybrid working gives employees a clear signal that they have a choice. This may not seem significant, but giving people a choice means more control over their lives. The perfect hybrid work model examples make employment less ordeal-like and more like something you do with joy.

After switching to the hybrid work model, a study found that productivity increased by 13%, while employee stress was reduced by 70%, a very drastic drop. 

4. Help employees learn better

Employees can learn new skills and stay up-to-date with the latest technology in a hybrid work model. For example, an in-office employee will have to learn to use video conferencing software when the hybrid model starts.

Or, an employee who usually works remotely may learn time management skills if they start coming into the office a few days a week. By offering hybrid work options, businesses can help their employees stay sharp and adaptable.

5. Retain top talent who value flexibility 

According to a study, 47% of employees are likely to leave their job if it does not offer a hybrid work structure. Hybrid structures allow flexibility which is increasingly becoming important to talented employees who highly value their time. 

Besides, the hybrid working model also allows businesses to hire talents across the world as there is no geographical barrier.

Most Common Types of Hybrid Work Models

Some companies stress office-first, while others don’t. Some have fixed schedules, while others allow employees to decide on their own. Here’s a detailed look at the several types of hybrid work models to help you choose what better suits your company’s working style. 

Office-first hybrid model

The office-first model is a hybrid work model in which employees primarily work from the office and work from home occasionally. This model is popular as businesses seek to balance remote work and in-person collaboration. 

Advantages

  • It allows employees to focus and be productive while still accommodating personal schedules. 

  • This model can also foster a sense of community and culture within an organization. 

Disadvantages

  • The company decides when they have to come in – which may not always line up with what works for the employee.

Ultimately, the office-first hybrid model is a popular compromise between traditional office work and remote work models, with its success depending on the individual organization's needs.

Remote-first hybrid model

The remote-first hybrid work model allows employees to work from home or any remote location for most of the week. This model also allows for some in-person interaction, such as meeting for team projects or attending company events. 

Advantages

  • It gives employees more flexibility and increases job satisfaction.

  • Easier to attract and retain top talent since workers are not limited by geography. 

Advantages

  • It can be challenging to build team cohesion when members are not always in the same place. 

  • There is also the potential for more conflicts among team members. 

Choose-your-own-adventure hybrid model

In the choose-your-own-adventure hybrid model, the company offers work arrangement options, and employees have the freedom to choose one and stick to it.

For example, an employee might choose to work from home two days per week and come into the office for the remaining three days. Or, an employee might choose to work four 10-hour days for a three-day weekend. 

Advantages

  • Employees have more control over their work-life and arrangements.

  • Employers retain an element of control and benefit from increased productivity.

 Disadvantage

  • There is always the potential for employees to abuse the system by working fewer hours than they are supposed to. 

How to Integrate a Successful Hybrid Work System

To integrate a hybrid work system, employers must take several factors into consideration. Here are a few tips for sending in the right direction. 

#1 Define roles and responsibilities 

Working in a hybrid office does mean less collaboration and guidance, especially for new hires. Defining the roles and responsibilities of each team member will ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and that tasks are allocated. 

This will give the employees who are working remotely a better idea of the deliverables for the day. This way, they don’t sit around waiting for guidance and can get started on their work faster. 

#2 Ensure smooth communication 

When you go hybrid, your team will spend a lot of time video-conferencing. Too many meetings kill productivity, not to say virtual meetings where the participants can easily get distracted – but what if this could change?

Intelligent software like Airgram can make meetings less stressful. Never miss out on essential meeting moments with the following features:‍

  • Record video with real-time transcripts – This allows your team members to engage actively without missing any important points. Eight transcription languages are available, so you don't need to worry about being in a hybrid team.

  • Collaborate on meeting notes while on call -  Your team can collaborate on notes and assign action items to keep everyone aligned.

  • Share notes and transcripts with team members – You can send these to the people who haven’t made it or go over them whenever you want. Interviews and decision-making calls are when this feature shines.

Airgram is recording and transcribing video meetings

Looks just what you need? Sign up for the program and enjoy a free trial!

Provide training and tech support

It's important to provide tech support that meets the needs of both on-site and remote employees. One way to do this is to create a virtual help desk that employees can access from anywhere. The help desk should be stocked with FAQs, how-to guides, and contact information for IT staff. 

Don’t forget to provide training that should cover topics such as setting up a home office, managing time, and virtual communication tools. 

Also, employees should be given the opportunity to try out the new work model for a period of time before it is fully implemented. This will allow them to get used to the new way of working and identify any potential problems.

Engage your team 

Remote working can lead to isolation, so creating opportunities for connection and collaboration and fostering company culture is essential.

  • Schedule regular check-in meetings, both one-on-one and as a team. This allows everyone to catch up on progress and share any concerns. 

  • Create opportunities for social interaction, such as virtual coffee breaks or after-work socials. 

  • Be sure to recognize and celebrate successes, both big and small. 

By taking deliberate steps to engage your team, you can create a strong sense of connection and collaboration - even when everyone isn't in the same place.

Consider Going Hybrid 

The hybrid work model is complicated, but successful implementation can give you an edge over other companies who don’t have it down pat. 

Remote working and hybrid models are still relatively new, so getting in now would be great. Find the right productivity software and start a system that prioritizes flexibility. Employees will reward your business for it with better work and lower turnover.

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