The early days of the pandemic saw many businesses forced to switch to remote working. Many had never envisioned one day this was going to happen, but they had to make the transition—and it worked for many.
Now that the pandemic restrictions have eased, and more people are getting vaccinated, what’s next for businesses— is it back to business as usual, remote working, or a mixture of both? For most businesses, the plan is to have a hybrid work model, a mixture of both remote and in-person options for employees.
What Is a Hybrid Work Model?
A hybrid work model is simply a business work model that combines in-office work with remote work. With this approach, employees are given some degree of freedom regarding when to report to the office and when to deliver remotely. They aren’t limited to the on-site presence of skeleton staff. They can show up at their respective places of work and go as they please within reason. For example, they may be mandated to be on site on specific days when important meetings are scheduled.
Now that organizations have been awakened to the benefits of the hybrid work model, such as greater productivity, employee engagement, and reduced commuting hassles, moving forward, they need to think about how to get the most out of this model. Let’s take a look at how to create a hybrid work model.
How to Create a Hybrid Work Model
While a hybrid work model may look different to different organizations, in one way or the other, it involves a mixture of in-person and remote options for employees. As such, there are considerations each employer has to consider to create a more productive hybrid workplace.
Here is a list of steps to create a hybrid work model:
Step 1: Define Your Office’s Primary Function
What do your employees need the most from the office? What tasks must be performed from the office? Which tasks are best performed from home? Answering these questions will help you determine the degree of freedom to give your employees regarding when to be present on-site and when to deliver remotely.
Step 2: Figure Out Employees’ Preferences
Before the pandemic, some employees had never envisioned working from home. The pandemic changed them forever, and some may be unwilling to resume working from the office. 52% of the U.S. employees prefer a hybrid solution that includes a combination of remote working and time in the office.
You need to think of ways of keeping such employees productive. If your business has been excelling while they work from home, then you need to consider how you can accommodate them moving forward.
Asking your workers what makes them excited about an office return or continuing to work from home is one easier way of ensuring the steps you take will not negatively impact their performance.
Step 3: Create Policies That Support Hybrid Work
Every organization has policies that govern its day-to-day operations. Before the birth of a hybrid work model, there must have been policies that kept you in check. You need a new set of policies to guide you if you have to transition to a hybrid workplace. It will be challenging to support your employees’ productivity while using the old policies. Even when you are reformed, you need to abandon your old ways to excel.
At a minimum, your hybrid workplace policies must address the following:
Local workplaces like working at job sites near where employees live and setting up satellite offices.
Office attendance: When is office attendance necessary?
Fully remote: How to incorporate remote teams.
Online hours when everyone must be available.
Step 4: Redesign Your Office
Some features of your office will no longer be useful once you switch to a hybrid workplace. As such, you need to decide what needs to be adjusted moving forward. For example, you may have to move some old desks to create some breakout spaces. Involving your employees in this while also consulting the right experts can help make adjustments to ensure your new setting is more livable.
Some of the adjustments you may want to give a shot when crafting your hybrid workplace include:
Creating collaboration zones.
Setting dedicated desks.
Creating private rooms such as phone booths.
Step 5: Equip the Team
A hybrid work model comes with its set of requirements that you must meet for your employees to remain productive. You need to make sure they have portable computers, internet access, and access to other equipment they need to deliver remotely. Essentially, make sure you have a list of must-haves before fully transitioning to a hybrid workplace.
See our helpful infographic below to see the 5 simple steps it takes to create a hybrid work model.
The Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Work Model
A hybrid work model has its own set of pros and cons, like any other model.
Pros of a Hybrid Work Model
Better work-life balance: Employees have enough time to be with their families and tackle home errands while performing their work duties.
Cost-saving: Employers and employees spend less on gas, meals, office operations, and other expenses freeing money for other needs.
Improved productivity: Most employees maintained the right levels of productivity during the pandemic. That is also possible post-pandemic if a hybrid work model is well implemented.
A larger talent pool: You can hire virtually anywhere, including candidates who are looking for remote opportunities.
Organizational flexibility: A hybrid workplace gives you the flexibility to continue working even when the unexpected happens—for example, during a pandemic.
Cons of a Hybrid Work Model
Frequent distractions are common when working remotely, especially from home.
Culture concerns: Employees are likely to feel that they are not connected to their colleagues and the company they are working for.
Remote office limitations such as limited access to the internet.
Forcing some employees to work remotely while your business isn’t suitable for a hybrid workplace may result in some employees feeling fairly untreated.
The Office Is Not Gone
Switching to a hybrid work model doesn’t completely get rid of working from the office as some people tend to put it. Rather, it has become a dynamic place for engaging and working. It is a new environment that blends two workplaces to bring a more satisfying environment.
At Electric, we exist to help you transition to a hybrid workplace by providing all the IT support you need in the process and beyond. IT powers hybrid work, and we power IT. We can give your organization a hand in transitioning into this new normal. Get in touch today to learn more.