The Hybrid Work Model: How it Works and How To Use It

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One of the major impacts of the coronavirus pandemic is the transition to remote work, especially for digital creative agencies such as ourselves. For some companies, remote work is a permanent change. For others, they’re looking to integrate a hybrid work model. But what is this model and what should you consider before adopting a hybrid system? We’ve laid it all out for you so you can fairly decide the best solution for your company. Let’s dive into it!

What Is the Hybrid Work Model?

The hybrid model works by having your team gather in the office one or two days per week to conduct work. The rest of the week, the team works remotely. The schedule entirely depends on the company, the industry, and the kinds of projects the company executes. In other words, there’s no set model or routine for a hybrid company. However, it provides a happy balance between independence and flexibility when working from home, and structure and sociability when working in person.

The Benefits of a Hybrid Company

If you adopt a hybrid model, you can do so many things within your office space. You can:

  • Downgrade to a smaller, less expensive space
  • Forgo the cubicles for quiet, independent workspaces
  • Move into a space that’s just used for meeting with clients
  • Buy into an office timeshare

Boost Morale Through Bonding

Also, if you go the hybrid route, you’ll allow your team to foster relationships and collaborate much more effectively than an entirely remote team. On in-office days, you can brainstorm, divvy up assignments, and strategize for the coming week, month, quarter—whatever really. Then, on the remote days, your team can break off and work on their tasks independently. In fact, according to the BBC, a study concluded that remote workers were 13% more productive than in-office workers. It’s really the best of both worlds!

Hire Talent From Around the Globe

Not to mention, you can open up your job listings to a large number of potential employees by allowing them to work remotely. What’s more frustrating than having an opening that you can’t fill because there’s no qualified talent in your area? Not much! Implementing a hybrid model makes room for talent beyond the scope of your geographical area.

Easily Keep Track of Your Team

As a leader, you can know exactly where everyone is and what they’re working on. For instance, say you have an urgent, impromptu meeting where you need the heads of every department. But in the office, you may not know if a department head is available—heck, you may not even be able to find them! However, with remote days, you can easily throw an email out and set a meeting within the hour. Plus, there are many apps out there that can keep track of what your team is working on, all the way down to what websites they use. Do you charge by the hour and need to know how long someone has been working on a project? No problem; these apps can tell you. 

Some Bumps to Consider

While there’s a nearly unending list of pros for implementing a hybrid model, there are some objections to keep in mind. 

Making Remote Work Available to Everyone

If your company is to adopt a hybrid approach, you need to make remote work accessible for every employee. This means providing the equipment (such as a computer) and/or an allowance to have a quiet workspace. Even investing in reliable internet is essential for remote productivity. Some employees don’t have the resources to get these requirements themselves—they need a kickstart to get the ball rolling.

Personality Differences

Some individuals are extroverted. They love to be social and surround themselves with people. So working from home can feel incredibly lonely and isolating. On the other hand, we have our introverts. These are folks who don’t mind being on their own. Some even thrive working independently, free from distractions you can commonly find in the office. However, having a hybrid work model complements both personality types. 

Developing a Routine Can Be Difficult

Having to flop back between working remotely to working in the office can be mentally trying. It’s essential to develop a hybrid system that is consistent and adaptable to the ends of your entire company. Providing enough notice to your employees for impromptu in-office days lets your team feel in control of their schedules.

In-Person Workers Are at an Advantage

Those who can work in person on a regular basis are exposed to more opportunities than remote workers. For instance, someone who has more face-to-face contact with company heads is more likely to be considered for new projects, spotlights, or promotions. Whereas, someone working from home has to put in a little more time and effort into showing their mettle. 

Note: this list is not exhaustive. It’s important to do your research to ensure every employee is comfortable with a hybrid approach. Here is Forbes’ list of Unintended Consequences of the hybrid model. Plus, BBC’s essay about racial vulnerability due to COVID-19.

The Hybrid Model: Best of Both Worlds

Connect with your team. Do some research and surveys to understand the needs of your team. A hybrid work model implies both flexibility and structure. Take the time to develop a system that works for your company and your industry. Maybe only having certain employees (e.g. department heads) prefer the hybrid model. Or maybe have a predetermined schedule that any team member can follow. Either way, ensure you have a healthy work-life balance to have productive and healthy workdays. At Siva, we utilize the hybrid model ourselves! Give the hybrid model a try—you might be surprised by the results. 

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