4 Different Types of Hybrid Work Models
Looking to migrate to a hybrid work space? Keep reading to learn about the types of hybrid work and which works best for your company.
How we work has been evolving since technology made remote working a possibility, but the pandemic has jump-started serious conversations about the future of work, and the best way to maximize employee productivity while keeping the workforce happy. Few companies are mandating a return to the office full-time model; most are trying to determine the balance between in-office and fully remote work.
What is a Hybrid Work Model?
Enter the hybrid work model. This concept, in which some employees are in the office while others are working remotely, is the touchstone for companies reopening post-pandemic. Many industries have already been migrating to a hybrid work strategy as technology continues to open the doors for a global workforce. According to McKinsey research, 80% of remote workers like to work from home, and 69% are at least as productive as they are at the office. On the flip side, a Forbes report found that managers are not fans of remote work—almost 70% said a remote worker is easier to replace, and 67% said they spend more time managing off-site employees. What's worse for the workers is that the same survey found that close to half of the managers said they don't assign remote employees new tasks because they basically forget about them. Whether these numbers are more reflective of managers than the workforce is for another day, the point is that there needs to be a happy medium—a hybrid work environment.
What are the Different Types of Hybrid Work Models?
The hybrid work model is a spectrum, from workers being free to choose when to go into the office, to the employer determining the days of the week a given employee will come in. In many cases, workers share desk space since not everyone comes in every day, a practice known as hot desking
This is the most worker-friendly hybrid model as it allows individual employees to prioritize their days, choosing both their locations and hours based on those priorities. One thing to note is that there are no restrictions on where the work happens—it could be a coffee shop, home office, or on the bleachers at a soccer game.
The benefits of hybrid work model flexibility are tremendous. Employees have a greater sense of empowerment when their managers trust them with this degree of freedom, which leads to greater loyalty and job satisfaction. Managers also have a worldwide talent pool to choose from, which often results in broader thinking. Finally, there's a fatter bottom line when real estate and travel costs are reduced.
The challenges are in finding times for face-to-face teamwork, and there's a great deal of opacity in figuring out how many people are in the office on a given day, and whether the office is enough to meet those needs.
A fixed-hybrid model allows employees to stay home (or wherever) on certain days, and go into the office the other days. One team might be on a Monday and Wednesday rotation, while another is on the Tuesday-Thursday schedule. Or, some companies let everyone stay home on certain days—TGIF for real.
Managers like this model because there are more chances for water-cooler collaboration and organic team building, and workers are fans because they know the days they can schedule appointments and run errands. It's also easier to forecast office capacity when a portion of the staff comes in every day.
The downside of a fixed hybrid environment is that it doesn't let you scale down the real estate costs, and employees may resent the days they feel forced to come in.
In this environment, workers are expected to be in the office but have the option to work remotely a few days a week. This concept is almost as empowering as being fully flexible as the workers have the choice of when to come in, and it's easier to maintain a positive company culture. For managers, on the other hand, it's a challenge to budget space needs as there's no way to know how many staff will come in on a given day, or for how long.
For many workers, this is the Holy Grail for working—it's remote except for days when there are scheduled co-working and collaboration meetings in a pre-determined space. Companies who adopt this model may not even have office space; they rent space as needed and rely on team members to meet how and when they see fit.
People who want to work remotely love this hybrid workplace model, and report high job satisfaction and productivity. And obviously, the absence of real estate costs allow management to put that money into other places, like bonuses or updated technology. Others, however, do not like the feelings of isolation that come with a job where the only communication is via the internet, and it's harder for management to develop and maintain a company culture.
How Do I Build a Hybrid Office Space?
How many companies would like to migrate to a hybrid workplace model, but have no idea how to gauge the office space needs, or how to lay out the space. Juniper Office furniture solutions has the tools you need to build out a hybrid space and office furniture that is designed for coworking. You send us a PDF or CAD of your floorplan, and with our 3D design services we'll send you a 3D rendering of your layout with suggestions for furniture options. It's so much easier when you can visualize the final iteration of your project. Juniper Office has everything you need to move to a streamlined hybrid environment—check us out online and see for yourself.
- SHRM: Hybrid Work Model Likely to Be New Norm in 2021. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-news/pages/hybrid-work-model-likely-to-be-new-norm-in-2021.aspx
- SHRM: What to Consider When Moving to a Hybrid Work Model. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-news/pages/what-to-consider-when-moving-to-a-hybrid-work-model.aspx
- Forbes: The Real Reasons Why Companies Don't Want You To Work Remotely. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2021/08/17/the-real-reasons-why-companies-dont-want-you-to-work-remotely/?sh=115bdf587fb3