A Hybrid Workplace
Employees worldwide have made it clear: they want flexibility in how and where they work.
We can all accept that remote working is here to stay and that a shift to hybrid working is now becoming a more permanent option for companies across all industries. Workers want flexibility regarding how and where they work. As a result, companies are giving workers what they want. In a , 77% stated that their company had adopted a hybrid working model.
What is a Hybrid Workplace?
The hybrid workplace is a business model that blends remote work with in-office work to offer flexibility to employees. Usually, a group of employees is always onsite, while another group has flexible working hours and days to work remotely or onsite. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach, as various hybrid workplace models can be implemented. Here are some examples:
- Hybrid at-will: the worker can choose which days(s) to be onsite.
- Hybrid split-week: your company assigns which days the worker will be remote and when they are onsite.
- Hybrid manager-scheduling: managers (not the company) assign their team which day(s) to be onsite.
- Hybrid mix: a combination of all three options mentioned above.
A hybrid workplace is full of advantages as it prioritizes the employee, who enjoys more autonomy and better work-life balance. As a result, you get a happy and engaged employee.
Flexibility: A hybrid workplace means employees can work when and how they’re most productive. They can choose a time and place that works for them, not necessarily a 9 to 5 workday. So, if you are a morning person, you can start your work early when it is the most convenient for you. Or, if you like to exercise in the morning, you may start your workday a little later, whatever fits your lifestyle and work needs.
Wider talent pool: A hybrid workplace allows the company to hire employees from across the globe (or even a few hours away!) to access a wider talent pool, such as those with specialized skills.
Improved commute: Another big perk is that employees spend less time and money commuting to and from work. This means they are not stuck in traffic or public transportation and instead spend more time on other activities, such as childcare or leisure.
Save on real estate: Your company can downsize as fewer people are in the office. These savings will allow you to reinvest this saved money elsewhere. Some companies are turning to coworking spaces to help reduce operating costs and save money. Not only is the rent cheaper than traditional office spaces, but utilities, staff, and furniture are also included in your membership. You also don’t have to sign a long-term real estate lease agreement to rent a coworking space, which is attractive to tenants. For example, our coworking space, Piloto 151, has memberships with flexible commitments. You can upgrade or downgrade your membership without requiring long-term contracts.
Some workers are choosing coworking spaces as a refuge from the distractions of home during remote days. It is an alternative to working from home for professionals craving connection, productivity, and opportunity. Coworking spaces provide a wide range of amenities, minimal distractions, and a collaborative environment where workers can focus on their work and be productive. You can work in a private office where you can focus with minimal distractions or go to an area that lends to collaboration, such as a shared table. On another day, you may decide to work from home. It is entirely up to you. Moreover, most coworking locations provide after-hours access to their members. For example, members with dedicated memberships at Piloto 151 have access to their location 24/7.
While a hybrid workplace has its benefits, this model has some challenges.
Oversight: First, it requires a lot of oversight to keep it working right. This means that while your employees have more flexibility and more freedom to do as they please, this has to go hand in hand with policies and oversight. With various different hybrid workplace models to choose from, it may be hard to pick one that fits your company and team’s needs.
Accessibility to resources: A hybrid workplace also requires better coordination of resources since working remotely doesn’t allow as much access to work materials and equipment. Therefore, your home office and/or coworking space need the right tools to maximize productivity effectively.
Collaboration and coordination issues: Another disadvantage to this model is that it is harder to collaborate with others and feel connected to the organization’s culture, especially while working from home. Coordinating meetings, tasks, and timelines with remote coworkers may also be challenging, which may disrupt work processes. Therefore, management may require employees to be onsite a certain day of the week to boost collaboration. The day required to be onsite may change, so adaptability is key to making a hybrid workplace work.
Onsite workers: believe it or not, not all jobs can work remotely, which means some employees must be exclusively on-site (think nurses, electricians, etc.). This may create friction among remote or hybrid workers with those that must stay onsite.
No working model is perfect, but many disadvantages of hybrid work can be addressed with a few strategic fixes. Here are some best practices for building a sustainable hybrid work model:
- Involve employees: Management should discuss with employees their preferences before setting a policy. Then, they should ask employees what is working and what is not. In response, management should prioritize the feedback and address those challenges to ensure that the hybrid model works for everyone. Also, management should reach out to employees who have to be exclusively on-site to explore ways to make it a benefit, such as some extra time off or an on-site bonus. When you engage them in the process, they may feel less unfairness.
- Appropriate coordination of resources, both remotely and on-site. A successful hybrid workplace requires more than setting up a physical office for people doing the same work they could be doing at home. For example, on-site offices need the right technology to support remote collaboration so that those working remotely are included in team interactions.
- Get the right tools: The right tools can help you save time, work more efficiently, and achieve a sustainable hybrid workflow. This includes having conference rooms and collaboration spaces with videoconferencing systems that accommodate remote and onsite employees. Scheduling tools, such as OfficeRnD, allow employees to book conference rooms and other spaces with their teams when onsite. Plus, equipment and applications are a must for employees to work effectively in a remote environment. Check out our article that details some tools and resources to help you schedule your day and pencil in tasks, along with applications or programs to make your daily life easier to manage.