The Hybrid Work Model: What is it & How to Implement it.

April 5, 2022

Remote work became the new normal during the pandemic, and with team members enjoying the numerous perks from less commuting time to a better work-life balance, most companies are now wondering if they should switch to a hybrid work model post-pandemic. Here are more information on what is a hybrid work model, the perks, the disadvantages, and what’s best for your team.

Is hybrid the future of work? Let’s find out!

What is a hybrid work model?

A hybrid work model is a work environment where your team can choose to work either from home, a shared office space, or at the office. There are multiple models for hybrid companies. Some have mandatory days when people are expected to go to the office (like a minimum number of days they have to go) and others let their employees choose whether they want to go to the physical office or not.

Advantages of hybrid work:

1. Better work-life balance

Most people find it quite useful to be able to conjugate their personal lives with their work life with more flexible hours.

2. No commuting

imagine the number of hours in your work week you used to spend commuting, you can now work or relax instead!

3. Flexible work hours

Not everyone is a morning person, or a 9-5 person. Some people work best at night, or in the afternoon, having flexible hours makes them more productive.

4. Easier to find talents with a worldwide pool

Hiring can be quite difficult when you need people to come to the office every day. Remote employees can be hired from all over the world, so the probabilities of finding the right fit is way higher.

5. Better overall employee well-being

Not only can people be more relaxed when working at home, but they don’t have as much risk when it comes to viral infections. The pandemic is the best example.

6. Better retention

Studies show that employees likes remote work so much that they are thinking of changing their jobs if they don’t stay remote or hybrid after the pandemic is over, so that’s an important factor to take into consideration.

Downsides of hybrid work:

1. Having to deal with different time zones

It’s great to hire internationally, but it comes with one little problem; time zones. It’s always harder to find time for meetings when there’s a 12 hour gap.

2. Employee engagement

It can be harder for employees to feel engaged and close to the company if they work remotely. However, hybrid work can help if you have your team members come to the office from time to time or for team-building activities.

Types of hybrid work models:

1. Remote first hybrid work model

Example: Most of your employees work remote full time, but they all have the option to go to an office to work if they need to or for special occasions or meetings.

The remote first hybrid work model is a perfect work arrangement for remote teams that would like to stay remote, but want to see each other face-to-face from time to time, and want the option to go to the office if need be.

Who is this hybrid work model best for?

If your employees all work from different locations, have different work schedules, and need more flexibility than on-site, it’s probably the best option for you.

2. Choice between onsite and remote work

Example: A percentage of your employees will be 100% remote and the other part will be 100% onsite. It can be 50-50, or 80-20, however works for you business.

Who is this hybrid work model best for?

Some businesses need people on site, whether it be retail workers, service providers, plant workers, or other types of physical work, which will need to stay onsite, while office work can be done by remote workers for example. This model is probably the most restrictive as you either are remote or not, you can't be both.

3- Employees work remotely but go on site on specific workdays.

Example: You have two days of mandatory onsite work, and you do the rest of your work hours remotely.

Who is this hybrid work model best for?

This model provides a hybrid workplace to businesses who don’t want their employees to be completely remote. It can be a good work option if your employees all live in the same area. It can also improve employee engagement and team-building to see each other face to face more often.

4- Mix and match

You prefer to have just a couple of mandatory onsite work days in the month? With some people working 100% remotely, and others 100% on site? It’s up to you! Your work policy can easily be adapted to your team’s needs and well-being.

How to set up a hybrid workspace

hybrid work model

1. Set up audio-visual equipment at the office.

Make sure that when some people are at the office, they can have meetings with remote workers that feel like they are there. Remote employees should not feel left out in the meetings by not hearing the conversation people are having in the meeting room, so make sure the room is well equipped with audio and video equipment.

Another way to make sure this works well, is to have a work policy that all meetings with remote employees be done online, each person on their personal computers, instead of together in a room.

2. Create a virtual workspace

hybrid work model virtual workspace
A Remo virtual workspace

One problem with remote work is how difficult it is to recreate the water cooler conversation. Usually at the office you could just go up to someone’s office and knock to discuss an idea or chat about your personal lives.

To solve this issue, your hybrid workforce can all be connected to a virtual workspace where co-workers can either have their own offices where their avatar hangs out, and they can show if they are available or not by being connected to the workspace. Just like in real-life, your co-workers can come in and knock, which opens a video discussion.

hybrid work model virtual workspace
Remo in action

Your office employees can connect to the virtual workspace just like as remote ones, this way everyone can interact just like they would normally; you can see who’s available, if they are already discussing with someone, etc.

On top of that, a virtual workspace can really embody your company culture. You can a have a floor plan with star wars references if you are all star wars fans, or have your logo, colours, even better, you can reproduce your real physical office or have fun holiday themed plans.  

hybrid work model virtual workspace
Why not create a fun Halloween workspace?

Use Remo to build your own custom virtual workspace in no time.

Hybrid work vs remote work

We saw a lot of the advantages of hybrid work, from having a more flexible work schedule, to the overall well-being of your employees, but remote work also offers the same advantages. Which is best, remote work or hybrid work?

Of course it all depends on your team and your goals, here are a few pros and cons for each that you should keep in mind.

Hybrid work advantages:

  • Better employee engagement
  • Can sometimes be the only option if work on site is necessary
  • Overall better for communication and team building

Hybrid work disadvantages:

  • You need to invest in audio-video equipment and make sure your workspace is optimized for hybrid meetings
  • You usually have to pay for physical locations (rents)
  • Some employees might not want to come to the office at all (if you have mantadory onsite work days) therefore you could have problems with employee retention.

Remote work advantages:

  • A lot less costly; no equipments or office space needed.
  • Easier to implement than hybrid.

Remote work disadvantages:

  • Employee engagement can be quite low
  • Communication and virtual team building can be more challenging

Time to make your decision!

Now that you know all the ins and outs of the hybrid work model, it’s time to make your decision. Which model will it be?

No matter your decision, it’s important to know that tools are now available for all your communication needs, from Remo who can provide a fun virtual workspace, team building activities, and virtual onboarding and trainings, to slack for internal communication or microsoft teams for video meetings, the choice is yours.

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