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  • Writer's pictureSusan & Renée

What Does Hybrid Look Like In The Workplace?

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Hybrid work models are here to stay. During the pandemic companies experimented with a variety of models due to necessity. Now companies across the nation are evaluating if these policies are going to become standard operating procedure.

We think the first step in determining if a hybrid model is right for you is to know what hybrid actually looks like.

According to Linkedin, most hybrid work models fall into five categories. Company culture, the type of positions within a company and other organizational factors have to be considered as hybrid options are evaluated. Not every environment will be conducive to this type of work. So as you try to wrap your mind around whether or not hybrid is the choice for your organization, here are five models to consider.

1. Flexible

The employee chooses where and when to work based on priorities. The employee comes in when they need to meet with teams or attend training sessions. Other than that an employee can choose to work from home as long as team expectations are met.

Pros: Creates freedom and flexibility for the employee and potentially expands the talent pool. It can also lower overheads as office space needs will be decreased.

Cons: This model can create scheduling difficulties when in person collaboration is needed and may also make building team cohesion challenging.

2. Fixed

In fixed hybrid models, the company sets when employees work remotely or in-office. This can take a variety of forms. Teams can come in on certain days or the entire staff has mandated office days.

Pros: It makes it easier to schedule regular in person meetings. It makes forecasting overhead costs easier resulting in more predictability for the organization.

Cons: It limits individual choice for employees which is a valued asset with the current workforce. In these arrangements the office space often has an open concept design. There could be an impact on productivity for employees who do not thrive in this type of fluid environment.

3. Office-First

Employees are expected to come to the office most of the time. The organization offers flexibility to choose a few days for scheduled remote work.

Pros: More predictability for the organization while still offering some choice for the employee.

Cons: Employees may view the policy as rigid which can impact team morale.

4. Remote-First

Employees work outside of the office most of the time. They travel to co-working spaces (not necessarily a company owned asset) for large meetings such as training or team building. These meetings are held at regular intervals, but not with the regularity of the Flexible Model.

Pros: Maximum amount of flexibility for employees and lowers overhead costs.

Cons: Can lead to isolation of employees and difficulty in building a company culture.

5. Designated Teams

Hybrid policies are based on a team's capacity to handle hybrid work. For example, a car company will not be able to offer work from home policies for assembly line workers, but could have hybrid policies for those in the administrative office.

Pros: Demonstrates corporate flexibility to see employees and departments individually rather than treating everyone the same. It may provide more flexibility for overheads (still need a factory, but may not need office space).

Cons: Risks creating resentment between “at-home” and “in-office” teams and there may be HR difficulties in administering different policies.

Now you have a sense of the variety of options, but as we all know the devil is in the details. How do you figure out if hybrid is right for you? What is the process of implementing a policy? Check out our last blog in this series next week to get the answers to these questions.

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