What is the Hybrid Work Model?
The hybrid work model is an operational structure that allows employees to work both remotely and in-office.
With the hybrid work model, businesses can determine if the location split is rigid (i.e., 2 days in office, 3 days remote) or flexible. There is no standard strategy for a hybrid model. Every company puts together its hybrid model according to its needs.
The hybrid working model has three different variations. Let’s have a look at each one of them:
The first variation is known as “Remote First,” and as the name suggests, the company typically functions remotely, but the employees work from the office sometimes when their physical presence is needed. For example, the company may function remotely with employees in different time zones but they come together maybe once or twice a month when there is a need.
Office – Occasional
The second variation of the Hybrid working model is the “Office-Occasional”. Unlike the remote first variation, the office-occasional working model requires the employees to come to the office a few times during the week. The companies set guidelines for their employees following the tasks that have to be accomplished.
Some team members may be required to come to the office twice a week, while others may work in the office thrice a week. The company in this variation doesn’t wholly work remotely. Instead, the employees are typically spread out in local areas. Due to this, they can come to work on the set days.
The last type of variation of the hybrid working model is known as “office-first”. In this variation, the office is the primary place of work; however, remote work is also an option. It is widespread to do this when all leadership members are in the office.
This variation allows for some employees to work remotely and may have some scattered employees, but the in-office workers who are close to the leadership team are differentiated from those who aren’t.
What are the types of work?
There are three different types of work. Here’s a look at them individually:
1. Fully Remote
The first work model is the fully remote work model. Employees can work from home or even a nearby café. There is no requirement to come to the office. They can also travel around the world, they don’t necessarily have to stay in one place. In this model, the freelance model can also be adopted where the entire team works remotely.
Those companies that choose to operate entirely remotely don’t need to maintain a physical headquarters as a major expenditure. Instead, their priority becomes strengthening their virtual workspace. They can invest in time tracking tools, online productivity tools to ensure that the employees are working effectively.
2. Hybrid Work
A hybrid work model is one in which employees can work remotely but have to work from the office when there is a need. Large companies have adopted this model to increase productivity.
Management may direct employees to use a combination of both options or to follow set rules. The hybrid work model can only be successful if the team leader has a strategy before adopting it.
3. In-Office Work
The third type of work is the in-office work model, where the employees work from the office. Typically, the employees belong from the local areas and come to the office for a set number of hours. The 9 am-5 pm is a commonly known work hour window for offices. After 5 pm, the employees are not expected to carry out any work-related activity and they can start again on the next day.
What are the benefits of the Hybrid Work model?
1.Increase in Productivity
The hybrid work approach is beneficial because it allows the employees to communicate and collaborate. They also get the liberty to work from home or remotely on their own. Through this flexibility, the employees can manage their time well and can work in their most productive hours and their favorite environment.
When the productivity of the employees increases, it naturally increases the company’s overall progress.
2. Reduced Cost
One of the major benefits of the hybrid model is reduced cost. Fewer employees come to the office, which means fewer resources and space are needed to maintain the staff. This eventually cuts down the overall expenditure of the organization by reducing the rent and bills. Even the cleaning and maintenance bills are reduced due to the hybrid work model.
3. Better Work-Life Balance for the Employees
Typically, the employees working remotely are expected to reply to emails even after the specified work hours. On the contrary, the hybrid model ensures a work-life balance for the employees as they can stop working at a reasonable hour without the expectation of replying to emails. This not only improves the work-life balance and improves the mental health of the employees.
4. Employee Satisfaction
Through the hybrid work model, employee satisfaction can also be achieved. The hybrid work model, allows the employees to have the autonomy to have a combination of working from home and office. This increases the employees’ satisfaction because they can manage time and work activities according to their comfort. It also strengthens the trust between the management and the employees.
5. Improved Communication and Collaboration Between Team Members
Unlike the remote work model, the hybrid work model allows face-to-face communication along with virtual communication between the team members. This is a healthy activity for team-building and improving the employees’ relationships.
In addition to facilitating better work relationships, a direct line of communication between employees will help improve cross-departmental collaboration. While working remotely, every in-person conversation has the potential for mentoring, knowledge sharing, or the development of important professional relationships.
What are the benefits of working remotely?
The benefits of working remotely are:
The employees get Freedom and Flexibility
Remote workers get the freedom to plan their day according to their liking. They need to complete the set work hours during a day but their overall schedule is pretty flexible. They don’t have to request off time to go see their kid’s first basketball match or go to a doctor’s appointment. It builds trust and increases job satisfaction when an employer gives employees this kind of freedom.
Work from anywhere in the world
One of the major benefits of working remotely is that you can work from anywhere in the world. You are not bound to stay in one place for work. Hence, the employees working remotely can travel anywhere they want while working side by side.
The Internet allows you to work from anywhere in the world, so long as you have a good connection, you are good to go!
You get to work in your comfort zone
By working remotely, you get the freedom to pick your work environment. It could be in your living room, a park, or a coffee shop. You don’t have to worry about how you look or how tidy your space is while working remotely. You may have to dress up once in a while for virtual meetings but otherwise, you can work in your favorite environment without the fear of being noticed.
What are the benefits of working in the office?
1. Better Time Management
Offices have fixed hours for work, lunch, and even tea breaks. Due to this, the employees learn to manage their time to accomplish tasks set for the day. During work hours, employees practice punctuality and schedule activities according to the time given.
Working in an office would be perfect for someone who has difficulty disciplining themselves. This is mainly because the set working hours allow the employees to be more disciplined.
2. Improved Interpersonal Skills
In an office, the employees get to interact with multiple stakeholders. They can be donors, top management, and even team members. Through this interaction, the interpersonal skills of the employees are boosted. They learn to adopt professionalism and interact with everyone in a friendly yet professional way.
3. Creativity is incorporated into work
Employees are constantly in touch with new and old people at a workplace. Through this communication, they are able to learn different approaches. Being in a work environment with different team members, the team members keep getting inspiration and unique yet creative ideas to incorporate into their work. Even though the work environment can be challenging for some, being able to explore different fields, meeting with new people, and being introduced to new tasks boosts creativity.
4. Get in touch with the seniors and the team members easily
In an office, getting in touch with your team members and senior management is easier when there is a need. This is mainly because they are available at the workplace. The top management is aware of your progress and you can easily brief or update them about all the matters. Speaking face to face about important matters can be one of the best benefits of working from the office.
5. Easier to collaborate with team members
When you’re in an office, it makes it a lot easier to quickly reach out to teammates and spark a conversation about a project. The immediate feedback you receive in person can make it faster to reach an understanding and move on to the next item. Comparatively, trying to collaborate remotely has its drawbacks, with a lack of body language hampering communication.
How do you implement a hybrid working model?
To be able to successfully implement a hybrid working model successfully, the following are the steps that must be followed:
1. Come up with clear policy and procedures
A well-skilled team will remain confused about transitioning to hybrid working without a clear policy. For a successful transition, the first step is to make sure that the policies are crisp and clear. Flexible working policies can be created from scratch or already in place policies can be updated.
While creating a new policy or updating the previous one, keep the following in mind:
- Clearly mention the type of hybrid working model you intend to implement in your organization.
- If the hybrid working policy is not applicable for everyone, specify the eligibility criteria.
- Make sure that after the implementation of the hybrid working model, the team members have clarity about their roles and responsibilities.
2. Keep a check on the legal implications of adopting hybrid working
Before adopting the hybrid working approach, the organizations must check the legal implications. By adopting this style, your company will formalize changes to the terms and conditions of employment. The contracts of the employees should be revised accordingly with an updated location of work.
3. Focus on easy communication between the team members
A hybrid working model can only be successful if the communication between all the stakeholders is effective. Lack of communication can lead to a series of problems in all departments. It is best to carry out a few seminars on ensuring effective communication within a hybrid working model.
If you want to communicate with your team in a way that doesn’t require immediate responses, it is recommended to use an asynchronous communication method. Also, it is great to set up standard platforms for communication that all employees use.
4. Incorporate training and development into the Hybrid Working Model
The development of skills to ensure effective communication, performance management, and team building is an area that needs special attention. To ensure consistent training, development exercises, and effective communication amongst the team members, incorporate training and development into the hybrid working model.
5. Ensure that the employees are equipped with the right technology
No matter what type of hybrid model you choose for your employees, they must be equipped with the right technology. Whether they are working from home or from any other space, they should have the facilities in order to ensure productivity.
Should I use a hybrid work model?
Yes, you should certainly use a hybrid work model. The hybrid work model is one of those work models that grants the employees more flexibility, which eventually leads to greater productivity. The employees get the opportunity to work remotely with some exceptions and adjust the schedule according to their comfort. It gives them satisfaction which leads to the productivity of the organization. Hence, it is a quite effective work approach that should be adopted.
In conclusion, a hybrid work model is a good approach for providing flexibility with the structure of traditional office hours. However, the top management must improvise communication strategy to make sure that all the employees effectively communicate with each other.