Understanding Hybrid Working Structure

Understanding Hybrid Working Structure

Hybrid work is entirely different from the conventional work structure. However, what exactly is hybrid work?  How has it evolved? It has been widely accepted and it is a dynamic model of employment that has been integrated around the world for years. Still, just because millions of organizations around the world trust this model to engage their employees and boost productivity, hybrid work is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, it is present in various forms depending on the type of business. This post will explain more about the meaning of a hybrid work model and how you can easily switch to a Hybrid work model.

What Is Hybrid Work?

Hybrid work is a flexible model of work that means that employees spend part of their time in the office and part of it working remotely. Hybrid work is not a one-size-fits-all model and can range from being highly flexible to requiring employees to work in different schedules. Hence, organizations that adopt the hybrid work model can easily balance the work-life balance of their employees. This in effect promotes productivity and employee satisfaction and hence work, hence enhancing efficiency of business in operation.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hybrid Working Setting

Hybrid work has its benefits in the eyes of employees. According to a Gallup poll conducted in the year 2023, it was revealed that over 50 percent of the employees who are working remotely prefer the ‘hybrid working’ model. Employers also understand that it is beneficial for people to be back onsite to some extent. A similar survey revealed that employees who are required to go to the office for two to three days within the standard working week experience the greatest levels of engagement and are also considered to have the lowest rates of burnout with intentions to quit the company. A related study by CNBC shows that 90% of companies state that despite the current pandemic, they plan to be back in the office by the end of the year 2024.

Just as with any significant change, there are advantages as well as disadvantages that come with hybrid work and we will be delving deep into each aspect.

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Benefit #1: Employees can work at the time and preferences that are suitable to their productivity.

In a traditional office model, employees are expected to be at work from morning 9 am until evening 5 pm, from Monday to Friday. Hybrid work arrangements allow employees more choices about accomplishing work at any place, in any mode, at any time that the employee feels most efficient. This means that both the schedule of the working hours can be changed with the utmost ease. For instance, some employees perform excellently during the morning hours while others are productive late at night. So, they can also decide to collaborate with their teammates face-to-face at the workplace or work independently at a remote location.

Benefit #2: Better control of work-life balance

Hybrid work is fueled by flexibility and it is easier to find balance when one is not stuck in a flexible working environment. When the employee has better control of their working hours, they can manage their time in the best way to pay attention to their personal life including running an errand, picking children from childcare, or being home when a delivery is made. 

Benefit #3: Hiring talent globally

If you are interested in expanding your options for human resources, hiring talent globally is the answer. A dispersed structure is advantageous as your firm has access to the best and most qualified candidates regardless of geographic location. This implies that when hiring employees, you can source for people with specific skills that you require in the organization. You can use it to gain a competitive advantage, expand your operations to new regions, and even achieve productivity around the clock. 

Benefit #4: Reduce cost on the expenses of the real estate

In a hybrid working model, significantly fewer employees can be in the workplace during the working day which means reducing real estate needs for some companies. Hybrid working will allow you to determine how much office space is required to support your employees. Redeployment of the workplace can lead to the reduction of real estate expenses or redirecting these savings back to new micro-satellite offices and lightweight co-working spaces.

Disadvantage #1:More challenging to collaborate with the remote workers

Employees will be coming to the workplace on different days of the different weeks. It means that people will sometimes collide and fail to coordinate with each other at the same time instantly. To overcome with the above problems, it is essential to choose the appropriate technology. By using workplace management tools, your employees can arrange time into patterns of when other employees can coordinate with them. 

Disadvantage #2: Needs supervision to function efficiently

Hybrid work has a lot of flaws and to manage it effectively, a company needs to pay a lot of attention. If you wish to encourage your employees at the workplace and let them have some freedom in their working style it often comes at the cost of a certain degree of control and regulation. For example, leaders might prefer the ‘structured hybrid’ working where some of the teams are physically present at the workplace on a given day in a week, to enhance team cohesion. This may seem counterintuitive to flexibility but people need to be assembled so they can savor other freedoms like telecommuting for the rest of their seven days. Besides flexibility, other core aspects need to be employed when it comes to hybrid work such as being adapted to flexibility. Sometimes it might be useful to switch the working days in the office for everybody’s well-being.

Disadvantage #3: Hybrid working style is not for all industries 

It is also necessary to indicate that hybrid work models may not be applicable to all industries. Some have chosen to go fully remote, while others cannot be fully remote, at least for some of their operations, to operate effectively such as healthcare, education, or manufacturing. Due to this, employees or job seekers may apply for different industries depending on the level of flexibility available.

Four Different Types Of Hybrid Work Schedules

Since hybrid work is a flexible work model, there are various approaches how to make it most efficient in the context of your company. For instance, it may be essential for you to be able to give your workers as much freedom as possible and let them arrange their work week with no directives or suggested schedules. You may also conclude that your employees will be required to be physically present in the office for at least a given number of days to make everyone more productive and satisfied at work. Deciding on the most appropriate hybrid work schedule in the context of your business is crucial. This means that every schedule is unique and has its advantages and disadvantages. Below are the four primary options for work schedules that most companies use. 

  1. Hybrid at-will: This means that the employees have the freedom to select the working day on which they will have to come to the office.
  2. Structured hybrid” or hybrid split-week: There are days set for onsite and remote work in general or for different groups/teams/ functions at the company. 
  3. Hybrid manager scheduling: Managers get to decide which day or days during the week their team will have to commute to the workplace. 
  4. Hybrid mix: The combination of all the options.
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The Key Lessons From The Changes Of The Hybrid Working Culture Over The Years

To some extent, hybrid work does not seem new. Indeed, currently, more than 70 % of U. S. companies apply a form of hybrid work, so it is quite normal for many. But the idea of working in a hybrid manner has been existing longer than you may expect. However, the data shows that about 32 % of the US workers (which is about 60 million people) were under a flexible working arrangement in 2019 as the Gallup research revealed. As it stands, there has been a lot of experimentation as people try to make hybrid work for them—and that won’t necessarily stop as companies continue to look for the best ways to implement it. Below are some of the points that have been observed regarding the hybrid work over the past couple of years.

  • The key to effective hybrid work is choosing the appropriate tools. Hybrid work is not only the method of how the employees work in the office and from home, it is also how your office functions for your employees. Increase the overall productivity of the organization by using the proper tools. They can be simple features like a ‘hot desk’ feature or ‘room booking ‘ feature or even a simple check-in feature for employees.
  • The idea of hybrid work is needed for the multipurpose of the workplace. In the end, if your employees are commuting into the office from home, you want it to be for the right reasons. In other words, hybrid work is most suitable when your employees have a purpose to do in the workplace and it can be interacting with their colleagues face to face, attending meetings, or focusing on their tasks. Make sure that the office provides what is necessary for them to perform optimally in the ways that are most suited for them.
  • The concept of hybrid work is different from one company to another. The efficiency of hybrid work varies depending on who is using it and for what purpose. When you adopt the concept of hybrid work to your workplace, do so in a manner that would suit your needs. It could be different things like which shift you should assign to your employee or whether you should lease out small offices in addition to having a large central office. It is important to recall that hybrid work is not a universal formula and cannot be applied to every situation. 
  • The prospect of the future of hybrid work continues to remain uncertain. Hybrid work is not going anywhere and does not have a clear endpoint. The future of hybrid work will emerge in different views as it evolves with the changing structure of the workplace.

How To Implement A Hybrid Working Setup

Now that you understand what hybrid work is, the types of hybrid work arrangements, and the pros and cons, it is time to put the hybrid work model into practice. The hybrid work model is not possible without the right people, processes, and more importantly, technology. Here are some examples of hybrid work best practices that you can follow. 

  • Communicate with your employees. When implementing the new onsite work policy at your organization, your decisions are likely to impact all employees. To ensure they do not feel left out, you should consult them when implementing the hybrid work option or altering a policy regarding hybrid work.
  • Collaborate with the HR department and the IT department. It is crucial to adopt cross-functional work when incorporating hybrid work into your business to make sure your workplace technology works seamlessly for everyone in the business.
  • Cultivate the proper work environment. No more boring and formal working spaces. Further evolution of hybrid work suggests that the office has to become a space that employees would like to come to so the creation of a dynamic environment is important.
  • Engage and support remote and on-site staff. A hybrid working model means that some employees work from home while others work from the office. It is crucial to maintain happiness among employees by finding ways to engage everyone on the company’s platform.

The hybrid work mode can be successfully implemented in your organization if you follow the above hybrid work best practices. Now, let’s explore some factors that can guide you when transitioning into a hybrid working environment.

Ask Your Employees And Leaders What They Want

To be able to develop the kind of hybrid model that would be effective for business, you should begin by asking your employees what they want regarding a hybrid model of working. It will be equally useful to ask employees and executives because they will provide different insights. Don’t forget to ask about the working setup each of them would be most productive in addition to how the office is being utilized now.  By asking a range of people, you can build a working model to get people prepared for changes and encourage them to do their best. Below are some questions that you should include in your survey.

  • Specifically, would you choose to work onsite primarily in order to focus on yourself or work with your team?
  • How many days a week do you think you will need to come to the office?
  • Do you think that if you were provided with a workplace that is nearer to your area, you would like to use it instead of going to the office?

Design The Work Set Up That Works For Your Company

Adopting hybrid work is to connect between remote and onsite collaboration so people can present the best of themselves. The investment in technology in the workplace like remote communication equipment, video conferencing equipment, and software will enhance the effectiveness of the work setup. Determine if you can make new use of your current tools or if you need to buy new ones. Develop an ideal method of communication within the company and ensure that the team managers set standards for how their team members should conduct themselves in communication. For instance, you may use an asynchronous communication approach to be effectively timely to the employees from one side of the globe while it is midnight on the other side. Healthy scheduling of offices to control traffic and making the employees work properly is a great plan to be implemented. For instance, your flexibility model may be the hybrid at-will policy in which an employee selects which days he or she shall attend the workplace or you might make a manager-scheduling policy in which the managers themselves regulate schedules and decide who must work which day of the week.

Invest In Company Culture

Culture is the essence of the business enterprise since it defines how its members work with each other. It can be a huge competitive edge—and a prominent issue of the considered hybrid work model. Ensure that you are proactive about setting the tone for your company culture, which is necessary for embracing a hybrid or distributed workforce. It is also equally critical to design engagement activities for the new hybrid working environment based on values that are central to your organization. For instance, if your organization places high importance on the ‘teamwork’ value, you could possibly organize an onsite or offsite ‘team-building’ event.

Build A Workplace That Will Be Highly Enjoyable

The most critical element of creating a good hybrid work model is the workplace experience.  Employees might not necessarily commute to the workplace daily, but every daily engagement at work must be meaningful, effective, and smooth. The more people work on-site, the nicer it is for the individuals who are there to physically interact with their coworkers. When creating a great workplace experience, the three elements which are space, technology, and people will be required. Contemplating how each component blends into the strategy enhances your hybrid work model. For instance, designing your workplace to be more purposeful will enhance the experience in your workplace because there are various options to consider for the employees. They could be quiet zones, meeting pods, collaboration rooms, or lounge areas. Supporting different kinds of people and work will help support your style of hybrid work. Supporting various types of people and work activities will assist you in supporting your chosen hybrid work model.

Collect Continuous Feedback

When planning to implement the hybrid workplace that is most suitable for your organization, always ensure that you collect feedback from the employees. Make sure you give the employees the chance to express their opinions in more than one way. For instance, you can start a constant ‘open door’ Slack channel for employees’ feedback. Besides that, you could develop a quarterly feedback survey for the workforce. Gathering this feedback will allow you to make improvements as you go along and create a hybrid workplace that is beneficial for all your employees. For more suggestions on how to obtain real and raw employee feedback, you can read our post here.

Tools And Technology Require To Implement Hybrid Work

With this ultimate guide, you are equipped with all the details necessary for the successful start of the hybrid working setup in your company. Now it’s time to take a closer look at the hybrid work software that will support your model and change the working environment. Here are four tools that will help elevate your hybrid working structure. 

  1. Desk/room booking technology. Hot-desking and room-booking enable your employees the ability to book spaces through mobile applications. It also allowed the various employees to book space for working in private or get desks and rooms for group work.
  2. Workplace schedules. You can keep up with your colleagues and members of your working group, not to lose each other in an office. By using schedules in the workplace, you can quickly know who is checking in and at what time and also have the option of inviting your colleagues to join you and other colleagues for collaboration and onsite meetings.
  3. Office wayfinding. It is a real roadmap to success in a hybrid workplace! Office wayfinding is like having a map of your office so your employees will be able to look for their colleagues, free desks, other rooms for meetings, and so on.
  4. Workplace analytics software. Increase your awareness of who occupies your space and how, so you can keep refining how it helps—or hinders—your employees.  Gain insight into foot traffic and space use so you can keep working on creating the ideal workplace environment for your staff to deliver their very best.

The hybrid model is not just a temporary way of working but it is a normal way of working. However, like any other work model, it also has advantages and disadvantages. As a leader, you have the responsibility of ensuring their organizations meet the needs of the talents or else the talented employees will run to those organizations that will satisfy them. Follow this guideline to ensure the integration of hybrid working in your organization.

How FastLane Group Can Help?

Ready to transform your workforce with a hybrid work model? FastLane Recruitment Services is here to help you find the perfect talent to thrive in this dynamic environment. Our expert recruiters specialize in identifying top candidates who excel in both remote and in-office settings. With our tailored approach, we ensure a seamless integration of hybrid work strategies that boost productivity and employee satisfaction. Contact us today to elevate your hiring process and embrace the future of work with confidence!