In the second approach, employees have the flexibility to work from home a certain number of days, say three a week. Microsoft, for example, is letting employees decide to be up to 50% remote and use designated “touchdown” spaces if they need to come on-site. Another common challenge is communication and keeping everyone in the loop. As most remote teams are distributed across distances, different work schedules, and even time zones, it may be difficult to achieve a smooth and unobstructed information flow. Thanks to the rapid advances in technology, it’s now entirely possible to manage a fully remote team without any obstacles. It’s no longer important whether the team is co-located or if they live far away from each other, even across several time zones, as there are ways to stay connected and in sync through asynchronous means of communication.
- This model is a great choice for every company whose operations don’t require in-person collaboration and on-site work.
- According to Global Workplace Analytics, 82% of U.S. employees want to work remotely at least once a week.
- Although team communication can pose a problem, having a comprehensive internal communication plan and using the right technology can easily fix it.
It remains to be seen whether the shift to remote work slows that trend, or whether the most vibrant cities remain magnets for such people. Many physical or manual activities, as well as those that require use of fixed equipment, cannot be done remotely. These include providing care, operating machinery, using lab equipment, and processing customer transactions in stores.
Pros and cons of a hybrid work model
This is due to the fact that employees have different preferences for office work, and such differences do not arise by chance. Thus, if they have a choice, women or parents with young children will spend less time in the office. They will pay for this by not raising salaries and promotions, because employers (often subconsciously) value physical presence. If the employer insists on full-time employment in the office, women are also more likely to quit. There may be teams with two levels of payment – higher for the “inner” group and lower for the “outer” group.
This in itself can free up cash that can be reinvested back into the company. In many areas of the world, access to remote talent is far greater than their local pools. If you are working with technologies or methods that require specialization, hiring people remotely can be the only way to success. Remote work also prioritizes flexibility, offering people a better balance between professional and personal responsibilities. They can work at the times they’re most capable, which might not always be on a traditional 9-5 schedule. With vaccination numbers rising and restrictions lifting, some employers are working with their staff to either let them stay remote or institute a hybrid WFH model.
What Is a Hybrid WFH Model?
This work model is best suited for companies that already operate within physical hubs, but want to expand their workforce outside of their geographic locations. It’s also great for organizations whose core workforce can’t work remotely, but some satellite teams can. Companies that use this model need to ensure that they have the right communication channels to connect office and remote teams. Traditional work models were heavily office-based with little to no flexibility in terms of where employees could set their workstations for the day. However, that has changed recently, and we are beginning to see companies experiment with various work arrangements, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The leadership in this model operates mostly remotely, and there’s no opportunity for proximity bias. The flexibility gives employees more autonomy in the workplace and improves their overall job satisfaction and productivity. An extensive Microsoft study has found that 73% of workers want remote work options, and employers will have to adjust to that desire. They prescribe work arrangements employees should stick to, especially relating to where they work from.
How to create a hybrid work-from-home model that sets you apart
For example, it could be that certain teams go into the office on Mondays and Wednesdays, while others go in on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or an organization could allow everyone to work from home on pre-determined days each week. American Express is an example of an hybrid work from home organization that has adopted a fixed hybrid work model. Employees choose their location and working hours based on their priorities for the day. For example, if they need to spend time focusing on a project, they can choose to work from home or in a coffee shop.
Employees who choose to work alongside leaders in the office space will be more visible and may attract more attention to their work. This setup ultimately disincentivizes remote work and can lead to remote workers feeling like an afterthought. A big part of successfully running a hybrid model is determined by where the leadership team spends their time. If the company leadership works primarily from the office, other people will also likely want to work from the office. This arrangement could unintentionally shift things to an office-first culture if it wasn’t already the case. Organizations are finding that their workforce is not keen to give up remote work.
Luckily, this problem can be solved by tight policies and careful consideration for the remote teams, as seen from the example of Stripe. In some companies operating on this model, office employees are also allowed some remote flexibility, but their main characteristic is that they also have fully remote teams. Companies that operate on this model tend to believe that physical distance is an obstacle to successful team collaboration. Their goal is not to go remote — rather, they provide this flexibility as an added employee perk.
- It boosts flexibility—not needing to be physically co-located with fellow workers enables independent work and more flexible hours—as well as productivity, with less time wasted commuting.
- Colleagues need to work together and build connections, whether they are in a room together or virtual, and your collaboration solution needs to facilitate interactions that would occur if people were together in-person.
- Companies that operate on this model believe that if employees have the autonomy to choose where they’ll work from, they’ll be happier and more productive.
- Hybrid work models incorporate in-office and remote work in an employee’s schedule.
- The key to thriving in a hybrid setup lies in embracing the unique advantages of both environments–the quiet focus of home and the collaborative energy of the office.
Remote employees might still have to come onsite in certain situations, like for important meetings where their employer wants everyone to be there in person. Some companies might also choose to have most of their staff remote, with only a bare minimum “skeleton crew” on-site. A major benefit of this model for employees is that they can live and work anywhere and even adopt a digital nomad lifestyle. This is possible in other work models too, but there’s no risk of missing out on promotion opportunities simply because you’re away from the office. In these organizations, the leadership works remotely just like everyone else.