5 Hybrid Work Models Your Business Should Consider

Woman working from home

5 Hybrid Work Models Your Business Should Consider

The hybrid work environment is a complex subject. According to a recent Mckinsey study, 52% of respondents wanted to work in a hybrid arrangement. Curiously, 11% wanted to work fully remote while 37% wanted to work fully in the office. In that same survey, McKinsey found that nearly 30% of employees would leave their company if they were forced to work in the office 100% of the time. Amazon had to tweak their back-to-work guidelines recently due to pushback they received from employees regarding their in-office work requirement. Some tech companies are leaning into a more flexible work structure than others as all companies seek to find the best balance for their employees. How companies address this work structure will have lasting effects on their businesses and their ability to compete for talent.

Most executives feel that “maintaining culture” is the biggest challenge they’re facing with a remote work structure. The companies themselves have spent millions on real estate as they’ve competed with one another to attract the top talent with more and more amenities. So how do you ensure you are providing the flexible work structure most employees are now requesting while creating the best environment for collaboration and promotion of your employee’s unique qualities?

We’ll explore the different work environment models below to highlight the advantages and potential challenges of each. At first, a hybrid work model seems straight forward — employees work from an office for some days, and elsewhere others. But there are many different models (and variations on these) that are meant to take into account different attributes of the organization, from business model, function, and size to company culture and location.

Hybrid & Remote Work Models and Their Pros and Cons

 

Fully Remote

Remote-first, no formal offices.

Pros

  • Save on office costs
  • Everyone operates in the same environment
  • Fully focused on remote technologies
  • Broader talent pool
  • More budget for off-sites

 
Cons

  • Only see coworkers in person at off-sites
  • Collaboration can take longer over multiple time zones

 

Default Digital

Remote-first, full flexibility. Drop in co-working spaces in certain locations. No requirement of location. Individuals may be remote or in the office on no fixed schedule.

Pros

  • Coworking hubs accommodate those who want to work more in-person
  • Lower office costs
  • Broader talent pool

 
Cons

  • Requires a lot of intentionality to ensure people don’t fall back to in-person practices and exclude remote teammates
  • Setting up one-on-one and all-on-video protocols may seem tedious

 

Dynamic Hybrid

Associated with an office, but work from home available on a non-deterministic schedule.

Pros

  • Good mix of in-person collaboration and remote flexibility without a fixed schedule

 
Cons

  • Confusion on where people are and when they are working
  • Without proper tools, gaps in communication will occur

 

Static Hybrid

Individuals will make a choice of being based in the office or remote permanently.

Pros

  • Reliable and predictable while offering individuals flexibility in their schedules
  • Predictable ways that teams will work together

 
Cons

  • Less flexibility for the employees
  • One mode may still become the default

 

Synchronized Hybrid

Teams, or companies, work from the office on the same days. e.g. Tuesday to Thursday in the office.

Pros

  • Allows for remote work to reduce commute fatigue
  • Structured time for focused work and in-person collaboration

 
Cons

  • No savings on office space
  • Limited flexibility outside of designated wfh days
  • Teams on different schedules will miss one another

 
As we get closer to the return-to-the-office date and your company tries to determine the best policies to implement, think through the implications of the different hybrid structures to make sure you have the correct tools, collaboration structure and processes to ensure your team is set up for success. These decisions will have a strategic impact on the talent you are able to attract and the ability of your teams to interact in a positive manner so that everyone feels included.

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