The era of in-office work is gradually fading away, and remote work is taking over. However, a different type of working arrangement, the hybrid work model, is gaining ground. A study by OwlLabs showed that 71% of employees want a hybrid working style after the pandemic. The same study showed that employees are 22% happier when allowed to work in a remote or hybrid condition.
Perhaps you are hearing that for the first time. This piece aims to explain the hybrid work model and how it impacts office structure. Got your coffee? Let's explore.
What Is a Hybrid Work Model?
The "Hybrid Work Model," as the name implies, is simply a blend of in-office and remote work. It is a type of work model that offers flexibility to employees regarding when they want to work in the office or remotely. The hybrid work model, which has become more popular in recent years, has several variations.
For a hybrid work model to be successful, numerous things must be considered. Aside from productivity, which the model aims to increase, employee engagement and inclusivity are issues that shouldn't be left unattended. For effective teamwork, both in-office and remote workers should collaborate. Remote workers should be brought along as part of the workplace group. In that case, no one will feel alienated.
While hybrid work models are generally believed to lead to increased productivity, companies must be very careful about which variation of the model they adopt to avoid making a counterproductive decision. Whatever type of model a company decides to go with should be the one that best suits its remote management structure and workforce. The different kinds of hybrid work models include the following:
The remote-first model.
This is a kind of hybrid work model in which the employees mainly work remotely from anywhere they feel like. It doesn't matter whether it is their home or any other space, as long as it is not the company's space. In most cases, organizations that use this model still have some office space for some in-office employees. When there's a shortage of skilled workers, companies can easily hire their staff worldwide. And that's the beauty of this model.
The office-first model.
In this type of hybrid work model, while the employees have the option of working remotely, the company's office locations remain the main workplace. Here, the organization has to designate which team or employees work remotely or in-office to avoid confusion.
The occasional-office model.
Here, employees majorly work remotely while working in-office from time to time. The period spent working from the office or remotely boils down to individual organizations. Some companies require employees to work from the office twice a week and remotely for the rest of the week, while it can be less or more than others.
The advantages of the hybrid work model
There are numerous advantages to using a hybrid work model in your organization if it is properly planned and managed. Here are some of the merits of the hybrid work model:
1. Increase in productivity.
Studies show that 90% of employees say they are more productive when working with a hybrid model. The most important merit of the hybrid work model is increased productivity. The working model supports flexibility for the employees. An employee has the flexibility to choose if they prefer remote work to in-office work or otherwise. There is a reduction in stress levels as employees aren't mandated by their employer to follow a particular work pattern, who should work where, and all of that, which constantly leads to enhanced productivity.
2. Reduced production costs.
Profit is, without a doubt, the sole goal of every business. A good way an organization can increase its profit level is to cut down on the cost of production. This is what a hybrid work model provides. A good reason why many organizations welcome the hybrid work model is that it offers an avenue to minimize the cost of production. Many companies are going for remote workers instead of in-office workers when they can to help save money on real estate costs, office supplies, and utilities, among other things.
3. Better mental health.
An employee no doubt needs sound mental health to effectively carry out a task. Unfortunately, most employers tend to pay less attention to the well-being of their employees, according to data made available by Microsoft. While no one can deny that being able to perfectly balance work and one's personal life is hard to achieve, a reasonable balance is a characteristic of a healthy working environment. One beauty of the hybrid work model is that it offers employees the privilege of fitting their work and life together in a way that suits them. This helps in reducing stress and consequently prevents burnout.
4. Improved employees satisfaction
Another advantage of the hybrid work model is improved employee satisfaction. Employees who work in the hybrid model work environment tend to be more satisfied with their employers and jobs due to the flexibility they offer, unlike those who work in-office or remotely. Most people prefer to do things their way and these coworking stats suggest that 70% of professionals desire to be a part of a workplace that aligns with their professional goals. This is what the hybrid work model offers to employees as well. The employees are free to perform a task whichever way they deem fit, as long as the desired result is achieved at the end of the day.
5. It redefines collaboration and interpersonal relationships at work.
The era of having to be in the same room for brainstorming sessions is almost over with the emergence of the hybrid work model. More than ever, employees can now discuss ideas without having to meet physically, with the help of various modern technology tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and video conference calls. As communication is enhanced while the employees work together, their relationships with one another will be strengthened, and there will no doubt be better work relationships between them.
How the hybrid work model is impacting office structure
The hybrid work model has undoubtedly impacted the office structure in numerous ways. One example is communication between coworkers. Many thanks to the numerous modern remote working tools which have helped in that regard.
Organizations also do not spend huge funds on acquiring office furniture and utilities like in the past. The way companies are run has become less rigid, opening the door for more flexible growth. The hybrid work model also offers the privilege of building a more modern and comprehensive workforce. For companies that hire worldwide, this work model allows them to plant roots globally and foster a beautiful blend of relationships and culture.