With the emerging popularity of working from home, “What is hybrid work?” is a question a lot of people ask. It is a flexible option, often seen as a middle ground between full work-from-home and in-office placement.
Understanding hybrid work and its benefits can help employers and employees create a more productive office space.
What Is Hybrid Work? A Quick Definition
As its name suggests, hybrid work is a blend of working from home and in an office. It is a new model that has recently emerged, offering the benefits of both options. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that hybrid work is more beneficial than remote and physical placement separately.
Hybrid work allows employees to lessen the burden of traveling to the office daily. Not only does it help with commuting costs and time, but it also assists with implementing a healthier work-life balance. One of the largest benefits for employers is a significant increase in employee productivity, as we’ll explore below.
In a nutshell, it is a fantastic option for businesses interested in adding more flexibility in the workplace before going full-throttle. If your business model doesn’t support a full work-from-home schedule, hybrid work offers the best of both worlds. Plus, it helps foster a more positive work environment for all.
What Does Hybrid Work Mean for Employees?
Microsoft’s Work Trend Index from 2021 gives valuable insight into what hybrid work means for employees. 73% of survey respondents noted they wanted flexible remote work during their employment. A growing 67% also reported they wanted an increase in in-person work during the height of the pandemic.
It is easy to see how these two figures are almost even, suggesting that a hybrid workplace is the best option. It helps avoid forcing everyone to isolate themselves from a social working environment. Meanwhile, it also prioritizes flexibility, which is something more job seekers are searching for.
Let’s explore some of the most notable benefits employees can experience when signing up for a hybrid workplace.
Having more flexibility at work is a fantastic way to boost employee productivity. It makes your team happier and allows them to work at their peak times. Some businesses can opt to keep their employees on their regular schedules, but added flexibility is beneficial.
You might work better in the mornings while your remote workers excel in the evenings. This high flexibility ensures everyone on the hybrid team is working at their best when best for them. Even with more structured schedules, working from home adds comfort and could positively influence productivity.
Improved Work-Life Balance
One of the most challenging things to master when employed is a reasonable work-life balance. It’s far too often that employees find themselves bogged down by work, missing out on socialization. Over time, this can lead to considerable employee burnout and overall dissatisfaction.
When businesses implement a hybrid work schedule, remote employees get more time for themselves. After finishing their shift at home, they don’t have to commute from the office before running errands. It is also ideal for parents, as it gives them the ability to watch their children from the comfort of home.
You might even find that you can tackle more household projects during your breaks than if you were at the office. Overall, working from home opens the door for far more opportunities to handle personal daily tasks.
Reduced Health and Safety Risks
This benefit is particularly notable, especially with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having more employees work on a hybrid model can greatly reduce health and safety risks.
Nearly 66% of surveyed employees noted being concerned for their health when at work. When working from home, your potential exposure to pathogens is significantly less.
Also, as long as employees stick to their bubbles when at home, the workplace is safer. With the option to work from home, sick employees never have to step foot into the office, protecting their office workers.
Fewer Commuting Costs
When employees look for new careers, they want opportunities that feature the most benefits. Flexibility is undoubtedly one of the most important, as is commuting. Regardless of whether employees have cars, transportation is a significant expense.
Instead of spending extra money on gas, bus rides, or subways, a hybrid model gives you some savings. On the days when you’re working from home, you can keep your cash in your accounts. On payday, you are bound to see a considerable difference in your spendable income with fewer commuting costs.
Besides paying to get to and from work, commuting also takes up a lot of time. Hence, hybrid workplaces are a far better alternative to save on the annoyance of traffic. Employees who live farther away from the office can opt to work from home on the busiest days of the week.
What Does Hybrid Work Mean for Employers?
Undoubtedly, employees are the largest group to benefit from hybrid work opportunities. However, employers can also experience unique benefits that positively influence their bottom lines.
The happier your employees are, the better off your company will be. Let’s jump into what hybrid work means for employers.
Grabbing Top Talent
The prospective employee landscape is booming. Every professional seeks an opportunity with the most flexibility, benefits, and reasonable pay. With a hybrid work model, you are making your company one of the most competitive options in your area.
Considering hybrid models are still a relatively new practice, you’d be offering something novel. Top talent will be more likely to add resumes to your pile, giving you more hiring opportunities. In other words, it is a fantastic way to attract the best of the best for your upcoming interviews.
Even if you are not looking for the best employees in your field, hybrid work models still make you competitive. According to a recent survey, 47% of employees would likely search for alternative careers if flexibility isn’t in the workplace. You’ll be ahead of the curve, helping retain your existing team while adding new members.
Hiring Worldwide Professionals
Employing in your immediate area can be helpful, but foreign workers can be ideal in some industries. For example, you might find an influx of specialists in your niche outside of your current location.
When you adopt a hybrid working model, you can hire professionals from anywhere. It helps open the door for employers to find individuals who perfectly match various jobs’ skill sets.
Also, it increases your hiring pool by millions rather than focusing on your immediate area. Paired with competitive salaries and benefits, you can find the best employees in the entire industry.
Increased Employee Engagement
Companies can measure employee engagement in various ways, from participation to job satisfaction. That said, every company needs to consider the happiness of their teams. The more dissatisfied your employees are, the higher your turnover will be.
Also, unhappy employees can lead to a toxic working environment where productivity levels will slip. A hybrid work model’s flexibility is a fantastic way to improve employee engagement. Your teams will be more excited to take on more projects and put more effort into their jobs.
In fact, a survey showed that 79% of workers found their engagement improved or stayed the same when working remotely. Even though it can be daunting for businesses to implement new remote and office schedules, it’s bound to be incredibly beneficial.
Maintaining a Positive In-Office Environment
While remote work can be beneficial, fostering a positive in-office environment is imperative. As your company isn’t transitioning to a full work-from-home setup, you will still want to keep your physical employees satisfied.
Adding a hybrid work model is a great way to rejuvenate your teams, contributing positively to a healthier office ecosystem.
Fortunately, these opportunities give you all the benefits of having your team come in daily. You can continue with in-person meetings, team-building activities, and collaboration. It also ensures every employee can connect with their peers.
How Businesses Can Develop Hybrid Work Models
With all of the benefits a hybrid work model offers, it’s time to consider how you can start using one in your business. What makes hybrid work models ideal is that they work in any industry. They are highly adaptable and customizable to your needs, making them easy to tailor.
There are several hybrid work models you can consider for your business, including:
The least flexible option for businesses is to adopt a workplace-based hybrid environment. You will have fewer remote workers and fewer work-from-home opportunities with this model. Companies often prefer these models if they need in-person staff for briefings, collaboration, and training.
Workplace-Based with Remote Opportunities
This step to a hybrid workplace is one of the most popular. It is not as strictly scheduled as a primarily workplace-based office. With this model, you’ll be adding plenty of flexibility to your employee’s schedules.
Workplace-based with remote opportunities is a fantastic way to blend standard in-office responsibilities with working from home. Employees will still have access to in-person events and collaborations on specific days of the week. When working from home, they will have more professional freedom to work independently.
Remote-First with Workplace-Based Tasks
Companies looking to make a giant shift are considering remote-first workspaces, stepping more into the digital age. The vast majority of your staff will be working from home with a skeleton crew in-office for physical tasks. This working model is quite popular with startups and tech companies, allowing for more flexibility.
Remote-first careers can be quite beneficial in boosting productivity. They are also helpful for fostering a better company culture using digital tools. Most companies that adopt this work style will use task management software, video conferencing software, and more.
If you are interested in reducing your overhead expenses (like unused office space), a remote-only business is a way to go. However, this isn’t highly recommended for companies interested in hybrid workspaces.
With this option, you won’t have a physical workplace; instead, every employee will work from home full time.
Managing a remote workforce can be challenging, as they don’t allow rich collaboration experiences. That said, you can foster a good environment by hosting team-building activities and events. This option is only recommended for established companies with experienced remote teams.
Like remote-first hybrid models, remote-only is best for tech companies, as you would expect. It can also be an excellent option for companies that tend to work with overseas talent. One of the largest challenges will be ensuring the business runs smoothly and maintaining employee accountability.
Hybrid Work FAQs
Transitioning to a hybrid work environment can be daunting, especially for traditional businesses. Hence, it is important to have answers to the most frequently asked questions to help you better understand the process. Let’s look at some key things to keep in mind with hybrid work.
1. Is hybrid working in the future?
With the benefits of hybrid working, it is easy to say it will become a huge part of the future. More businesses are beginning to loosen their expectations, expanding employee satisfaction. Also, with the increased productivity levels, it is easy to see why it’s such an attractive option for employers.
2. What are hybrid work models?
There are dozens of hybrid work models to consider, including those listed earlier. A few other examples include:
- Flexible hybrid: With flexible hybrid models, employees’ schedules choose their working hours and location based on priorities. For example, if an employee has a meeting at 2:00 PM, they can work in-office from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Alternatively, if there aren’t any meetings, they can opt to work from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
- Fixed hybrid: Fixed hybrid models help maintain in-person collaboration and responsibilities. With this model, employers set the time’s employees can work in the office and from home. Employees also won’t control the hours they work, keeping them in their regular schedules.
3. Is a hybrid work environment good for companies?
There are several ways that hybrid working is good for companies. Along with employee satisfaction and increased productivity, it also offers:
- Scheduling flexibility
- Fewer overhead costs
- Increased hiring opportunities
- Improved employee health and safety measures
4. Which companies are hybrid working?
Tons of reputable companies have begun implementing hybrid working models, including:
5. Can I request hybrid working?
It can be quite beneficial to consider asking for a hybrid work model as an employee. With some of the largest tech companies in the world adopting the style, it’s an easy sell to your employer. Nothing stops you from bringing up the idea to your boss, especially with its numerous benefits.
Hybrid Work Is the Future
With its growing popularity, “What is hybrid work?” is a question being asked more and more. As a great solution to employee dissatisfaction and slumping productivity, it boosts a company’s flexibility. If you are ready to take a step into the future, these work models are the best way to do so.