December 15, 2021
When the pandemic hit, businesses did not have the time to think or choose or adapt to their employees' needs. They simply moved to a fully remote approach, forcing everyone to work from home. Although this was a shocking change for those who spent their entire adult lives working from the office, it was also a chance to slow down and reflect. As the world is slowly opening up and businesses allow their employees to come to the office in person, the question arises - having tried the remote way of working, which is better? Or maybe a hybrid work model is better? And are there options for hybrid model working?
In this article we will dissect all of the ways to approach building a hybrid team, as well as some practical things to tackle before moving to a hybrid work setup.
What is the true hybrid work model meaning? A business with a hybrid work model setup has a team of employees, some of whom work from a traditional office, while part of them work remotely (some days or all!) from home or internationally. A hybrid team in its essence is a mix of working styles and locations, creating an adaptive and flexible working ecosystem, an environment comfortable for everyone.
Some companies go even further with this and introduce the concept of the joined workforce. A joined workforce is essentially a setup where an employee or a team of employees join the company for a period of time, on a part time, or a full time basis. This means that the employee is officially signed to its original company, and works as part of the second company on a short term contract basis, on behalf of its original company. The employee is, in this case, integrated into the systems of both of the companies - communication channels, project management software and tools.
Hybrid teams is the way all future offices will be operating, it's only a matter of time. Truth is, all people value freedom, and feel heard and understood when the company they work for gives them the space to decide what is more comfortable and suitable for them. If your employees complete all of their work well and on time, does it really matter if they are in your home country or in Germany, Bali or Canada? If you want to learn more about the benefits of this setup, you can explore another one of our articles.
The simple answer: because a hybrid workforce model is cool. But the actual reason is much more complex. The past year was a time for people to reflect on their current methods of work and to realise that it can’t continue like this. Up to 2020, people simply accepted the status quo that in order to work well, you need to be physically in the office and in front of a computer, hustling.The truth is, however that people can be equally productive working from a co-working space in Norway, working their living room in the UK or under a palm tree in Bali.
What are some hybrid work model examples and options?
With the flexible working model, there are no restrictions on where the employee can work from, be it the fully from office, fully from home or from another country. Everything is up to the employee, and as long as the work gets completed, there is full freedom of movement. With the flexible working model approach, it's difficult to predict what percentage of people will choose to go to the office and the amount of people that will work from elsewhere.
To put it simply, the hybrid office model is when there are mandatory office days (say 1-2 days in a week) while the other days the employee has the freedom to choose where to work from. Some companies do not feel comfortable giving full freedom of location to their employees and instead opt for a mandatory amount of days the employee should attend a physical office, and in the rest have the choice to be part of the hybrid work from home model or still attend the office. Hybrid office model is a slightly more restrictive hybrid model, but it is something to consider, especially if you are on the fence about the full transition. With a hybrid office model the business will not be very likely to have employees working for them from overseas, and the employees need to move closer to the physical office, to work there.
The hybrid working from home model is similar to the “full flexibility” approach, with one major difference. In a hybrid working from home model from the get-go the business hires employees internationally and fully remotely and there is solid infrastructure to work remotely without any difficulties. In this approach, the main communication is set up to be happening online, even if the employees are working from the office. These types of businesses were often found to be online-first, instead of the “full flexibility approach” that is usually a result of its employees trying the work from home approach and asking the company to keep it.
Here is what you need to do before introducing a hybrid working model in your business:
There is absolutely no need to build to move the whole business to a hybrid team environment overnight and commit to it forever. In fact, it's strongly recommended not to do that, the process will be incredibly painful.
Begin by first outlining the daily operations of your team, how they are done normally, and how that can be transposed online. For example, using Spack for daily communication instead of face-to-face meetings, organising entertaining online events for your colleagues to attend, or using Trello to plan your weekly tasks for the team, instead of your office whiteboard. Slowly try implementing these, or discussing the possibility with some team members. Then, maybe it is worthwhile to try and allow some team members to work from home, while keeping an eye on the performance, necessary support and issues that come up.