How to Implement a Hybrid Work Model  

29.01.23 08:28 PM By Maria
working with a team remotely

Hybrid work involves working remotely on some days and on-site at the office on other days. Employers and employees have reached a compromise here. You must allow workers to work remotely if you don't want to lose them to another company. Due to business needs, employees must return to the office or risk potentially losing their jobs.

Working part-time in the office will help you and your employees adjust to working with others after so long.

It is easier to train, collaborate, and strengthen company culture at work. Providing employees with some remote work flexibility increases their job satisfaction. If you're considering implementing a hybrid work model to attract high-quality talent into your company, we'll cover everything you need to know.

What is Hybrid Work? 

A hybrid work model involves employees working partly in the office and partly remotely from home or other workspaces. Hybrid workplaces combine time spent in the office with work from home. As long as employees are consistent in completing their tasks and meeting goals, they can work from home or report to the office.

There are many variations of this type of work. In some organizations, employees can work half the week on-site and a half from home. Other companies may divide their workers into groups - those who work remotely and those who work on-site, and there are also companies that allow a combination of both.

What are the Benefits of Hybrid Working Models? 

An Accenture study from 2021 found that 58% of respondents have been using some kind of hybrid working model since the Covid-19 outbreak began.

They reported improved mental health, less burnout, and stronger relationships with coworkers than those who still worked in the office.

It's clear that employees value hybrid work. Now let's look at what makes hybrid work attractive to workers!

Individuals Can Work When They're Most Productive  

In the office, you are expected to be productive all day from 9 am to 5 pm. As we all know, this is not possible since many factors can affect our productivity. The hybrid work model, however, allows workers to plan their work schedules according to their productivity levels. Therefore, employees can complete tasks when they feel most productive. There are some people who are most productive early in the morning, while there are others who are most productive after lunch.

Improved Work-Life Balance 

A worker can free up some time for themselves or their hobbies by planning their workday schedule.

It is common for employees who work on-site to get home around 6 pm, exhausted and wanting nothing more than to relax in front of the TV. Their personal lives and relationships with others can be adversely affected by this.

It's not necessary for people to sit at work for certain hours after they have completed the majority of their tasks with hybrid work models.

Lower Operation Costs  

Investing in a hybrid workplace can save businesses millions on real estate costs while improving their agility and workplace effectiveness. As a result, leaders see compelling business value in maintaining a hybrid work style.

56% of leaders expect remote working to save them money by reducing their office footprint and business travel costs.

Employers can also drastically cut costs of rent, office supplies, utilities, etc., reinvesting the savings in growth by not maintaining a physical building.

Office spaces are expensive to rent and maintain. When working in a hybrid setup, fewer people will visit the office, so some organizations may consider renting a smaller and, therefore, cheaper space or not renting an office for at least some period of time.

In addition, most hybrid working models allow employees to work from home, so they won't have to spend money on gas or bus tickets.

Sourcing the Best Talents Across the World  

It's unlikely that you would be able to work with talent from other countries if you work on-site, but hybrid work settings allow you to do that!

As a result, you can hire advanced individuals with a wide range of skills and perspectives, which allows you to explore new business opportunities!

Improved Productivity  

There was widespread speculation about how remote and flexible working would affect productivity as companies began to support these practices. Hybrid workplace models allow employees to select the working environment that feels most productive to them. It is also worth noting that in order for a hybrid work arrangement to succeed, leaders need to create a productive context of place and time.

Using data insights, managers can determine who is thriving at home versus at work based on changes in employees' work styles and habits. Employees who struggle to adapt to the new culture can also benefit from these insights.

mom-working-froexperienced developer working remotelym-home

It is critical for leaders to consider individual employee patterns when implementing a hybrid workplace in order to make the best decisions about who should work where and how to maximize performance. Providing employees with a work environment that meets their needs and goals can reduce stress and increase productivity.

Increased Job Satisfaction 

Job satisfaction has been a major concern for employers since the pandemic. An organization may be able to increase employee satisfaction by implementing hybrid workplaces.

Hybrid workers are more satisfied with their jobs than those who work exclusively from home. According to a survey, 65% of employees who could work at home and at the office at will were satisfied with their jobs, compared with 53% for employees who worked exclusively from the office and 57% for those who worked exclusively from home. Hybrid work environments offer employees a sense of freedom, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Potential Issues with Hybrid Work 

When it comes to hybrid models, there are a few potential issues that you should try to avoid.

Intentional About Sharing Information  

Your team will build institutional knowledge as you meet and collaborate in the real world, which won't magically spread to the rest of the company unless you regularly document and share highlights.

That's why many remote-first companies aren't fans of hybrid work arrangements. As a result, you create an uneven playing field for some members of your team if you do not establish a habit.

Cliques Can Form  

In a hybrid work environment, some relationships between coworkers will deepen while others will not. You will naturally get to know immediate team members if you only meet them in person, rather than other team members. This can lead to an "us vs. them" mentality. Psychologists refer to this as the in-group vs. out-group phenomenon.

Although this dynamic is unavoidable at work (since you will spend more time with immediate team members than others in other departments), if you aren't intentional, you might create a toxic environment without even realizing it.

Difficult Decisions Need to Be Made 

The reality is that hybrid work environments are not a way to avoid making tough decisions for your company. There will still be a lot to do, including creating high-level policies, coordinating desks, etc.

Employees (even if they were in the office) may be required to join video calls on their own computers instead of using a shared webcam. The purpose of this policy is to include remote employees. Hybrid organizations will need to create their own operating procedures in a similar way, which requires time and effort.

Remote Training Issues  

Embedding new software or technology in an organization requires effective employee software training and ongoing technical support.

In order to conduct effective training for a hybrid workforce, the L&D teams will need to build two separate schedules for two different types of workforces. A challenge could also be keeping the workforce engaged throughout the training sessions and providing continuous support. In order to effectively conduct virtual and in-person training, L&D leaders must adopt the right training solutions.

Potential Employee Burnout  

A culture of overworking can creep into a hybrid workplace if left unchecked. In order to avoid being perceived as slacking off, your remote workers may overwork themselves by working longer hours and taking shorter breaks.

In the end, overcompensation might lead to more work, stress, and burnout for these employees. Consequently, it is up to managers to develop a company culture that emphasizes results rather than simply logging in.

Managing the Hybrid Culture  

According to Gartner research, almost 30% of leaders are concerned about maintaining the culture of the organization when some employees work in the office, and others work remotely. When employees cannot physically be together, many organizations are unsure how to measure and live out their desired culture.

The survey also concluded that sustaining productivity, creating a parity between the remote and in-office experience, enabling collaboration, and providing seamless employee experiences were other common concerns.


The survey also concluded that sustaining productivity, creating a parity between the remote and in-office experience, enabling collaboration, and providing seamless employee experiences were other common concerns.

6 Types of Hybrid Work Models 

Let's take a closer look at five popular types of hybrid work models that you can implement in your workplace if you haven't already now that we've looked at some of the main benefits employers and employees can get from hybrid work models.

Remote-First Model 

The remote-first hybrid model means that, with a few exceptions, the company's operations will closely resemble those of a fully remote company. The majority of employees will be able to work remotely, but some will not be able to do so if their jobs require them to be physically present.

Remote-first means that the company should behave like a remote company, with employees working across different time zones and collaborating online while ensuring that their productivity remains unaffected. As part of this model, employees are encouraged to prioritize remote work, but it can also be applied to working on-site or in co-working spaces.

Remote-first hybrid work models allow your teammates to work from wherever they feel most comfortable - according to their preferences. Employees who work best at home are free to do so, while those who prefer to visit the office from time to time are free to do so. In this way, each employee can work in the environment where he or she feels most productive, increasing productivity and maximizing results.

Occasional-Office Model  

Companies that aren't sold on remote work are eager to get back to the office for many reasons, including not wanting to lose money on unused office space or fearing being left behind by their competitors who have already brought their remote employees back to the office. Hybrid models like this can be described as office-occasional.

Several times a week, employees come into the office. It could be quite a loose policy or more strict guidelines, depending on the company's requirements. Rather than going fully remote-first, this company keeps an office and requires employees to spend some time in the office as part of this model.

Office-First Model  

It was common for many organizations before the pandemic to have an office-first, remote-allowed model. Both office and remote work options are available in this model, but the office is designated as the primary place of work. Employees can choose to work remotely according to the company's policies. By default, the rest of the company is likely to become office-centered if the entire leadership team works from the office.

It is possible, however, that remote workers will feel like second-class citizens as a result of this approach. Additionally, they often do not receive recognition from their supervisors or career opportunities. A combination like this could negatively affect employee engagement, productivity, and retention, if not handled carefully by the employer.

This model works similarly to the one mentioned earlier (allowing your team to choose between working remotely or on-site), but the employees are more present at work in the office-first model.

Larger companies that can't easily manage their work remotely tend to prefer this hybrid approach since it doesn't require employers to think about too many digital solutions.

Teams that have to work closely with other teammates will also benefit from this model. The office-first model allows employees to accomplish all their tasks while still feeling some kind of flexibility with the possibility of working remotely from time to time.

Split-Week Model

A hybrid working model based on a schedule. Employees or groups of employees divide their work days between in-person and remote work.

The marketing department, for example, works on-site during the first half of the week, while another group (perhaps the tech team or another department) comes to the office during the second half. It might be possible to switch between days and teams.

Employees benefit from this hybrid work model because it allows them to be flexible without overcrowding the office. Additionally, by not fully working remotely, teams can still collaborate and socialize, thus achieving better results!

Employee-by-Employee Basis 

A hybrid working model is ideal for companies that require specific employees to work on-site. Team leaders can authorize certain employee groups or individuals to work remotely.

In manufacturing, for instance, power plant teams might need to be on-site to conduct safety checks, while sales and administrative staff may not need to be present.

Week-by-Week Model 

Week-by-Week hybrid working models are quite similar to Split-Week models. Team leaders assign work weeks when certain employees or teams must be present at the office rather than dividing the week among different employee groups.

The marketing team, for example, works on-site during the odd weeks of the month, while the tech team comes to work on the even weeks. Organizations with a large number of employees benefit most from hybrid working models.

How to Implement Hybrid Work Models 

Let's discuss some steps you might need to take to implement the five most popular hybrid work models into your company now that you've learned about these five models.

Equip Your Team With the Right Tools  

Hybrid work requires working online, which involves storing a lot of documents and data digitally. It increases the likelihood of cyber attacks - hackers stealing your data.

By implementing hybrid work models into your organization's work, you will need to consider cybersecurity. Maintain a secure network and store all documents on a safe platform.

Employees can also benefit from being educated about good cybersecurity practices.

Equip Your Team With the Right Tools  

Your employees must have all the equipment they need to complete their tasks in order for hybrid work models to work efficiently. Allow them to take the work computer if they have an old, unreliable computer at home.

Your employees should be able to seamlessly transition between the office and home if your business is willing to implement a hybrid work model where employees must be on-site occasionally.

programmers working in an office

Your employees should be able to seamlessly transition between the office and home if your business is willing to implement a hybrid work model where employees must be on-site occasionally.

Create a Clear Policy  

Creating a hybrid workplace involves implementing flexible work policies based on the needs of the organization.

What does this flexibility mean for employees? Does it mean people can work from home one day a week if they wish? Are they able to adjust their office hours so that they meet responsibilities and also have time for their personal lives? Is it possible for them to work from home at any time? Can they come to work without notifying their supervisor?

The clarity in workplace policies is crucial when implementing a hybrid model to prevent mismanagement.

A majority of employees (49%) rated remote working policies as important when looking for a new job. To attract top talent, businesses should ensure that their flexible work policies are clear and transparent.

Make the transition to hybrid working as easy as possible for your teammates by creating policies and procedures. Depending on the situation, a flexible working strategy may need to be created from scratch or revised.

Choose the type of hybrid working model you will implement and how you envision it to function. Making it clear to your employees who is eligible for hybrid working and how they can request it.

Making sure all employees are aware of their responsibilities under the new hybrid model. Adapt your current company policies to the new hybrid work model if necessary.

Engage Your Employees as a Team

Hybrid work models can result in disconnections between on-site and remote workers.

You need to create opportunities for employees to interact outside the workplace in order to prevent this from happening. If face-to-face team-building activities are impossible or unsafe during these times, you can organize different online team-building activities.

Train and Continually Develop Your Team 

Hybrid working may present new challenges to your staff that they are unlikely to have encountered before. Employers and team leaders should consider implementing learning and development programs to increase employee productivity. Communication, performance management, team building, and others are all part of this process.

Support Your Employees  

In order to effectively manage a hybrid workplace, managers must spend more time interacting with their employees, sharing personal news, and even conducting exercises to foster mutual respect, trust, and care.

Remote employees can have one-on-one virtual meetings with managers, and managers can hold socially distant meetings with employees who come to the office. Managers can use these sessions to understand any challenges employees may encounter adjusting to the new work model and make efforts to curb them.

The manager's role is to maintain employee engagement and productivity by motivating employees through meaning and purpose and connecting their work to the organization's goals.

Embrace Tools that Support Flexibility and Encourage Accountability  

In a hybrid workplace, employees are expected to work closely with their team rather than alone. The key to enhancing the collaboration activities of a physically dispersed workforce is choosing the right collaboration tools.

freelancer-on a video call attending-business-meeting

Online collaboration tools help teams communicate, assign tasks, discuss projects, and share knowledge in hybrid workplaces. In addition to improving the process and outcome of teamwork, they also save time, money, and energy. That's why over 60% of executives plan on increasing their budgets for virtual collaboration tools.

Measure Workplace Satisfaction 

Businesses are generally judged on their ability to foster collaboration, problem-solving, and knowledge transfer when it comes to workplace satisfaction. Measurement and data-driven decision-making are essential for implementing a new-age hybrid workplace that works for people and profits the organization.

The combination of regular workplace satisfaction surveys and technology that gathers hyperlocal occupancy data helps in collecting valuable data, such as identifying underused spaces for cost savings, highlighting elements valued by employees at work, and determining whether workspaces are used for the intended purpose. With such insights, you're able to match resources to demand and improve the workplace experience as a whole.

The Bottom Line

Hybrid work involves a combination of remote and in-office work. The working model helps employers and employees meet each other's needs. Planning and implementing a hybrid work model requires careful consideration. Hybrid work arrangements should be customized according to the needs of your organization, and employee input should be sought. Furthermore, hybrid work models can be revitalized by implementing collaborative tools and improving workplace culture.

If you're looking to install a hybrid work model and better manage your team remotely, it's important to have the right systems, tools, and processes in place. Universal Creative Solutions can help you implement the right strategy to help boost productivity and scale your business forward. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.