What is hybrid work?
In this article, we will cover all of the basics you need to know regarding a hybrid work model and what it entails.
What does hybrid work mean?
Back in the day, working from home (or more commonly known as remote work nowadays) was something occasional that could only happen if the employee had a valid reason for doing so. And it often had to be approved by the manager as well.
I remember working from home when the repairman came to fix something in my apartment, when I had a medical appointment or when I had to attend a work event in the evening and had to travel to attend it. These were the “old days”. We were far from imagining a working world with an actual work-life balance. We never thought it’d be possible to align our personal activities with our working life while going to the office from 9am-5pm everyday.
It took a global pandemic to make us realize that other, healthier, ways of working were possible. This is where hybrid workplaces emerged as one of the new ways of working. And, without truly realizing it, that is how the revolution around the future of work started.
Hybrid work definition
After reading quite a bit on the topic, I found that the easiest way to define hybrid work is the following: Hybrid work is the ability for an employee to split his work location between his/her home and the office. Hybrid work is thus a flexible way of working.
There are many different types of hybrid work models. For example, an employer could give the employee complete freedom on the days he/she wants to come into the office to work.What is important to mention here is that there are different levels of flexibility and autonomy companies are willing to offer their employees. By entrusting employees with greater autonomy, employers can expect a greater degree of satisfaction, fulfilment, and engagement at work coming from them.
Starting at the end of 2020, more and more companies have changed their policies to include hybrid work. Here below are examples of companies that have successfully made the switch to hybrid work. This is what they have to say about hybrid work as the future way of working:
“We recognize that some employees are required to be onsite and some roles and businesses are better suited for working away from the worksite than others. ” (Microsoft)
“Some of us work better in the office. Some of us are more productive at home. And many of us find we’re most effective when we have options. Here at Spotify, we don’t just recognize that one-desk-doesn’t-fit-all. We celebrate it with a Work From Anywhere Program that allows you to do just that.” (Spotify)
"Where we landed is this: The future of work at Adobe will be hybrid.
(1) Being digital-first will be critical
(2) Flexibility will be the default
(3) We’ll gather for the moments that matter
(4) Remote work will expand." (Adobe)
But, what are the main differences between the traditional and hybrid work models? And why would hybrid work be better in the long term?
Traditional work model vs hybrid work model
Traditional working models were more rigid and they did not give employees much freedom and flexibility in the work location but also the work hours they are most productive in. Hybrid work models do offer this flexibility. Flexible working hours and/or flexible work location. Let's dive a bit deeper into the different aspects involved for employees versus employers when it comes to hybrid work.
As mentioned above, the main difference from an employee’s perspective is the increased work-life balance.
When your work day allows it, all sorts of activities become possible in your day such as a midday run, picking up the kids from school on time or doing laundry. If you’ve worked from home for a while, I’m sure you have your own routine as well.
Other positive aspects of hybrid work and the option of working from home during the week are the reduced travel time to the office, saving costs (travel costs, home made meals, etc.) and reduced CO2 emissions.
Once the “shock” of working from home and adjusting to it passed, it showed that employees’ happiness scores rose. Allowing more flexibility is improving employees’ happiness and productivity at work.
Increased productivity comes from a distinct separation between office work and remote work. On the one hand, you will often notice that employees go to the office for collaboration purposes including regular face-to face team meetings or brainstorming sessions for example. On the other hand, remote work allows employees to focus on the actual hands-on work which they can do without having the office distractions. Therefore, hybrid work is the best of two worlds allowing employees to do both collaborative and very focused work.
A hybrid workplace allows companies to keep growing their workforce while maintaining the same office space. This also means that the hiring limitations such as location are less of a factor for recruiting new talents. In fact, companies that offer flexible working options attract more talents.
Of course, the office costs are also a factor to consider as they can either decrease (if the employer decides to reduce the amount of desks) or they can remain the same. The latter can be implemented through a desk rotation or shared desks policy. Ultimately, this leads to saving valuable resources that can be invested elsewhere.
Additionally, employees’ happiness at work is of importance too. Happier employees will positively impact the business they work for, as there will be an increase in employees’ satisfaction and engagement.
The growing hybrid work model has shed light on the fact that employers are rethinking their culture and values, while employees are seeking flexibility, care, and work-life balance. We are happy to help you successfully integrate a hybrid work policy at your office with our desk booking software. Feel free to contact us for more questions or book a free demo right away!