If you run a modern business, you may be interested in hybrid work models. These are office working patterns when staff members split their time between working in the office and remotely. They could operate mainly in the office, mainly remotely or split their time half-and-half between the two.
Hybrid working models became immensely popular during the Covid-19 pandemic when staff worldwide had to work from home. And because of improving technology allowing a lot of business to be conducted online, it looks like they are here to stay.
But how do you choose the best hybrid work model for your business?
Each office is different, so selecting a suitable hybrid working model for your workplace could be challenging. You might even find that some staff are more appropriate for in-office work and others prefer to work from home. In this article, we will list the different hybrid working models and help you decide which is most suitable for you and your staff members.
What are the different hybrid work models?
Hybrid working models can be anything from working remotely one day per month to more or less full time, or just coming into the office for some in-person meetings.
Hybrid working models differ from total remote work, in which the employee will never meet their employer in person, and all meetings will be conducted online. They also differ from sole in-office roles, when a professional cannot work from home and does not have the technology or other tools to do so.
There’s a massive spectrum of hybrid working models; we’ll look at some of the most popular ones below.
Types of hybrid working models
This hybrid working schedule typically consists of going into the office most of the time but working from home on an occasional day. Professionals may work from home every Friday, for example.
This can be a good compromise for workplaces that don’t have much infrastructure to work remotely but want to move with workplace changes and expectations, particularly those of millennials who favour a more flexible working schedule.
In contrast, employees who work primarily remotely will spend most of their working week at home or in another remote location, perhaps a cafe or coworking space. They might just come in once a week or less, usually to have face-to-face meetings or to do other collaborative work.
This is a great solution for workplaces that only have small offices but the capability to conduct most business online. It enables some in-person contact still, but also allows employee flexibility and reduces office costs.
The half-and-half hybrid work model is favoured by a lot of employers, and it looks to be a popular working model beyond the pandemic. It entails working from home for 2-3 days per week and working remotely on the other 2-3 days per week. Depending on the company and employee, these may be the same 2-3 days, or they could change each week.
This is a popular option because employees can still enjoy all of the benefits of working remotely (such as no commute time and more flexibility) and experience the social aspects and other advantages of going into the workplace.
How to choose the best hybrid working model for your business
Here are some questions to ask yourself when selecting which hybrid work model is best for your business.
Do my employees have the capacity to work from home?
One of the biggest obstacles between employees and working remotely is technology. So, before deciding on a hybrid working pattern that involves any at-home work, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your employees.
You’ll need to determine whether you will provide them with a computer or if they will use their own device. If they use their own, you might want to discuss offering some maintenance compensation.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that some employees can’t work from home due to space issues. If any of your staff members live in small apartments or with lots of other people working from home, they might not feel their most productive there.
Your employee’s capacity for remote work is a crucial thing to consider; this can help you decide which hybrid working model to select.
How will we conduct meetings?
One of the most challenging parts of running a remote team is working out how to conduct meetings. Ten years ago, the idea of running meetings without everyone being in-person would have seemed crazy. But thanks to modern technology, there are some excellent ways to host them, even when the team isn’t there.
If you want to go for a primarily remote working model, you may want to invest in an interactive display, like the ones we sell here at Avocor. These interactive displays can be situated in your meeting room at your office, and you can easily integrate them with conference calling software, so you can see any remote team members in a clear picture on the screen, pretty much as if they were there in-person.
Conference calling software like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom are all used by businesses around the globe and have helped meetings continue throughout the global pandemic.
So, a primarily remote (or even fully remote!) workplace is possible for teams who have lots of meetings. But if the idea of virtual meetings isn’t quite something you can get on board with yet, factor this into your decision about which hybrid working model to use.
What do my employees want to do?
When it comes to selecting a hybrid work model, asking for your employee’s input has multiple benefits. First, it will help you find a plan to work on their strengths, which should increase their productivity. Furthermore, they’ll be grateful that you’ve thought of what they want – which should make them more committed to the company, and they might work harder!
You could ask your employees the following questions:
- What would your ideal working pattern be?
- Do you have other commitments that you like to fit around work? (such as childcare or fitness)
- Would you rather start work earlier or finish later?
- Do you have a home office?
- Do you find that working from home is better or worse for your mental health? What about in the office?
- Do you like coming into the workplace every day?
Do many of my employees have a long commute?
Considering the commuting time of your employees could also help you choose a hybrid working model. If your office is located in a large city, like London or New York, you might find that your employees commute up to two hours to get to the office. When added up over a week, this is a huge chunk of time they might rather spend doing other things!
So, when you speak to your employees, make sure you assess their commuting time and whether they would like to work from home more often. If your employees aren’t commuting, you might find that they are happy to work a bit extra when needed. Plus, reducing their commute could benefit their stress levels and mental health, leading to a more positive, productive workplace!
What is our office like?
Office space is a big factor when deciding whether to work remotely. Some modern offices don’t have the capacity for people to be there all the time, so they opt for various hybrid models. This became especially prudent when social distancing was law.
If you can only accommodate half of your staff members at any one time, you might opt for a half-and-half model. On the other hand, if you have a very small office, then a primarily remote model might work better for you.
You can also factor in whether you’re likely to move offices in the future. If you do decide to work primarily remote, you could even choose to downsize, saving your business more money!
Which hybrid model is best?
When it comes to hybrid working models, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ policy. It’s a very personal choice, and you’ll want to consider your business as a whole before making any decisions. Remember that you could also have different hybrid working policies for different teams or members of staff.
One of the beauties of hybrid working is its fantastic flexibility. Nothing is set in stone, and that’s also true when working out your hybrid working model. So don’t stress too much about deciding your perfect schedule; if you’re not sure which will fit best, try a few ideas out and see what you and your employees prefer.