December 25, 2021

What is a Hybrid Work Model?

Sam Caucci

Employee working on laptop

While remote work is nothing new, since the pandemic began, the number of remote workers has skyrocketed. The hybrid work model has come about due to an uneven return to the office, but obviously, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every organization to follow. 

What was once thought to be a transitory period in our work environments has now become our daily “new normal” for many businesses out there. And in some cases, this has helped employees reach new levels of passion, happiness, and fulfillment from their jobs. So, is this new hybrid work model here to stay? 

What is a hybrid work model? How is it different from remote work?

Remote work is allowing employees to access their work remotely. Allowing them to work on more flexible schedules, and from anywhere they want, which is one of the most ideal options for today’s corporate workforce. 

On the other hand, the hybrid model will consist of teams who work in mixed environments. Your team might come in on-site to work part of the week, and spend the rest of the week working remotely. 

There are many variations when it comes to the hybrid work model. Some organizations might allow all of their employees flexibility to work either on-site or remotely for part of the week. Others might have some employees working full-time on-site and some working full-time remotely. And still, others might have a combination of the two. 

As businesses start to transition back to in-office work, they are, to some extent, working with the hybrid model. Some of their team members are returning back to the office, while others stay remote. Whatever model is best for you will be based on what works the best for your team.

The Benefits of a Hybrid Work Model

Surveys show that almost 50% of employees would likely look for a new job if their employers do not adapt to a flexible working model. So it’s pretty clear that employees find value in a hybrid work model. Here are some of its major perks for both employees and the companies that they work for. 

Work when you are the most productive, the way you want to work.

In on-site work models, employees are expected to be on the clock from 9 am to 5 pm each day. In a hybrid work model, employees will have more flexibility to get their work done during their most productive times of the day. For instance, some work best early in the morning, while others do better during the evening. They might also choose to work with teammates on-site, or do office work from a remote location. 

Improves work-life balance. 

A recent study shows that flexibility is one of the main reasons that employees are attracted to the hybrid work model. Finding a work-life balance is much easier in a flexible arrangement. When employees possess more control over their work schedules, they are able to free up time to take care of the things that need them in their personal lives. Whether they need to be home for an important delivery or pick up their children from daycare. 

Helps reduce exposure to illness.

A majority of workers are worried about their health and safety when it comes to returning to work. Having fewer people at the workplace will also lower the chances of a sick employee infecting others. Companies can also implement health screenings or proof of vaccination for those coming back to the workplace. Since most people have the option to work remotely under a hybrid model, then a sick employee will be able to just stay at home altogether. 

How to Create a Smooth Transition for Employees Into Hybrid Work Model

Upper-level management and leadership has spent countless months reconfiguring physical workspaces to meet social distancing mandates while also looking for the best ways to accommodate their employees. While we can’t say for sure what is ahead for businesses and leaders, we expect there to be a mix of coming together physically and continuing to work socially distanced.

Plan ahead for a “work from anywhere” era. 

There are some questions you should ask yourself when preparing for a hybrid work environment, such as:

  • How can your workforce be just as effective while some are working from home and some in-office?
  • How can you facilitate teams through the learning curve of a hybrid work model? 

You can help answer these questions using what we have learned from our successful teams working remotely during this period of working from home. People have gotten good at working remotely, and it would be a waste to throw away what we have learned about how work functions during this time. Use this data and evolve it into a hybrid format, keep what worked well, and don’t sweat the small stuff as snags occur. 

Guide people and technology.

It has been very promising to observe how collaboration tools have helped retain and increase productivity in the workforce. 85% of leaders have said that their businesses have somewhat or greatly accelerated the use of technologies which digitally enable employee interaction and collaboration. However, it’s not enough to simply buy and use collaboration tools. The more important part is teaching employees how to use these tools and helping them change their behaviour to use them more effectively. Be sure your employees are supported online and in-office. 

Acknowledge risk and build from it.

Organizations have always planned for contingency and risk mitigation for any possibilities of facing new and different challenges. This contingency has evolved into part of the way that we continue to work during the pandemic. 

As employees and their technological devices come and go from the office, they bring with them a host of new and existing security risks. For many, this risk gave birth to new committees to help manage and address questions that sprang from COVID and remote work. 

Education has always been a vital element to risk mitigation, and all upper levels of management, including HR, should be working together in order to create educational assets that can sufficiently teach employees how to deal with these questions. 

The “work-from-anywhere” era has arrived, and there is a slim chance that it will go away any time soon. While it may be exciting to think that we will get back to how things were before, there are a lot of other factors to consider as well. One of the most important is how organizations can provide employees with the security and flexibility that they expect and deserve.

Level Up Your Hybrid Team With 1Huddle

1Huddle can help you and your team stay ahead of the learning curve. We offer cloud-based employee gamification software. You can customize your content for a seamless experience and all of your employees will be able to access their training anywhere, anytime and at the push of a button. You can use our game platform to measure their performance and make key decisions on where you should take your gamification strategy next. 
Do you want to learn more about how 1Huddle can help you level up your own workforce? Leave your information on the Talk To Us Page and schedule a call.

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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