The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to work from home. For some, this has been a new experience. For others, it was something they were already doing. Regardless of which group you fall into, the fact is that the traditional office model is no longer feasible for most of us. We have become accustomed to working remotely and the hybrid model is now the new norm.
As workplaces reopen, organizations are finding that their employees are not keen to give up the freedom and flexibility that comes with working from home. People with family are likely to want to continue splitting their time between the office and home. And for those without family obligations, continuing to work from home may be a more appealing option.
The hybrid work style is becoming the standard for businesses. The key to implementing the hybrid approach successfully is to create a schedule that satisfies both you and your team’s needs.
What Is A Hybrid Work Model?
The hybrid work model is one in which employees split their time evenly between the office and home. This can be done on a daily or weekly basis. Some people find that they are more productive when they are working in an office environment, while others find that they are more productive when they are working from home.
Businesses may hold conferences and face-to-face conversations in their offices. Employees can meet with coworkers or clients in the office to discuss work, then complete it from home.
Key Benefits of Hybrid Work Model
There are many benefits of the hybrid model. First, it allows employees to balance their work and personal lives more effectively. It also allows them to have greater flexibility with their hours and eliminates the need for expensive office space. Finally, it encourages creativity and collaboration by bringing people together in person while still allowing them to work independently when necessary.
The hybrid model is not without its challenges, however. One of the biggest challenges is communication. With employees working in different locations, it can be difficult to stay on the same page and ensure that everyone is on track. Another challenge is managing expectations. It is important to set clear guidelines about what work needs to be done in the office and what can be done from home. Otherwise, employees may start to feel like they are being asked to do too much or that their work-life balance is out of whack.
Despite the challenges, the hybrid model is here to stay. And, with a little bit of planning and forethought, it can be a successful way to run a workplace. What matters most is that organizations are flexible and adaptable and that they listen to what their employees need in order to create a work environment that works for everyone.
5 Common Hybrid Work Models
There are variations of the hybrid model, but three of the most common are:
The remote-first model is where employees only work remotely and never come into the office. This can be a great option for organizations that have a remote workforce or for teams whose members are scattered across different locations.
The fundamental concept of remote-first is that the organization should operate as though it were a completely remote organization, with employees spread across time zones and defaulting to online interaction.
Office-Based Model with Remote Days Model
This model is where employees split their time between working in the office and working from home. Employees typically have one or two days each week when they work from home, but they still need to be available to attend meetings and catch up on email during those days.
Staggered Start Time Model
Employees come into the office at different times, depending on their role or team. Some people might work from home one day a week, while others might only come in for specific meetings or tasks that need to be done in person.
Split Shift Model
This is where employees work a certain number of hours in the office and then switch to working from home for the rest of the day.
Alternating Days Model
Employees work one day at the office and then alternate with working from home on subsequent days.
Each organization will have to figure out what works best for them, but there are some general tips that can help make the hybrid model work for your team.
Tips for Making the Hybrid Model Work
A hybrid model may appear to be a simple cure for today’s business challenges because it allows companies to keep their current office but also accommodate both those who like in-person interactions and those who enjoy remote work. The simplest answer isn’t always the finest option, as with most things. Despite its simplicity, the hybrid approach has several obstacles that must be overcome.
Here are some tips for making your hybrid model work:
Establish a remote working policy and communication protocol
It’s important to have a set of guidelines in place for how employees should work remotely. This includes things like what tools they should use for communication (e.g. Slack, Zoom, etc.), when they are expected to be available, and how they should handle tasks that need to be done in person.
Define roles and responsibilities
When employees are working remotely, it can be more difficult to know who is responsible for what task or project. Defining roles and responsibilities ahead of time can help reduce confusion and ensure that everyone is aware of their duties.
Establish a routine
Working remotely can be unpredictable, which can make it difficult to get into a groove. Establishing a routine can help employees stay focused and productive.
One of the benefits of working remotely is that employees have more opportunities for face-to-face communication. However, this also means that there is a greater need for effective communication tools and protocols.
Hybrid Work Model Is The New Norm For Workplace
The hybrid model has quickly become the new norm for workplaces across the globe. Organizations are finding that their workforce is not keen to give up the flexibility and autonomy that comes with working from home. As we enter into 2022, discussion around the hybrid model will continue to increase as more and more companies adopt it. If you’re thinking about making the switch to a hybrid model, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Establish clear communication channels and protocols: One of the benefits of working remotely is that employees have more opportunities for face-to-face communication. However, this also means that there is a greater need for effective communication tools and protocols.
- Create a flexible work schedule: In order to make the hybrid model work, it’s important to create a work schedule that is both flexible and realistic. This will allow employees to manage their time effectively and avoid burnout.
- Invest in the right technology: In order for remote workers to be able to stay connected with their colleagues, it’s important to invest in the right technology. This includes tools like video conferencing, chat apps, and cloud-based storage.
- Establish ground rules: In order for the hybrid model to be successful, it’s important to establish some ground rules. These should include things like how often employees are expected to check in with their team, what type of communication is acceptable (email, chat, phone call), and how to handle deadlines.
The days of physically reporting to an office every day of the workweek are not likely to resume once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Knowledge workers have become accustomed to working remotely, and splitting time between the office and home is expected to become the new normal.
No one hybrid model is going to work for every organization, so it’s important to experiment and find what works best for your team. What’s most important is that you set some clear guidelines and expectations so that everyone is on the same page. With the right planning and execution, the hybrid model can be a great way to provide employees with the flexibility they crave while still maintaining productive workplaces.