May 18, 2022

5 Types of Hybrid Work Models – And How To Implement Them

Here are five of the most common types of hybrid models that can help you better understand the concept and determine which approach is the best for your goals, your company, and your workforce.

After two years of the remote working setups, businesses nationwide are slowly adjusting to a hybrid work model. Considered a compromise between the flexibility of remote work and in-office work, the hybrid model is currently being rolled out in approximately 43% of all offices in major cities. And it has been received positively by both employers and employees thus far. That said, the hybrid model is still a relatively new concept in the workplace. While most would assume that a hybrid work model is quite straightforward, there are actually multiple ways to practice it.

For your consideration, here are five of the most common types of hybrid models that can help you better understand the concept and determine which approach is the best for your goals, your company, and your workforce:

1. Working in Shifts

The truth is that most office leaders want their employees in the office. As a matter of fact, up to 50% of all employers want their company to resume in-person work full-time this year. However, this is not a popular opinion among employees. As such, the working in shifts hybrid approach may be the solution for some concerned leaders. It sees a fixed number of employees alternate between working remotely and working in the office. Who works where and when is usually set by the employer, which also makes scheduling easier. While employees get very little say, they do have the benefit of having a set schedule. For this type of work to work efficiently, though, leaders must nurture communication channels to cater to this rather agile approach. This way, nothing gets lost in translation between shifts.

2. Office-first Hybrid

As its name implies, the office-first hybrid prioritizes in-office attendance. This means that for the majority of workdays, employees are expected to come into the office. Meanwhile, remote work days are either a few days a week or scattered throughout the month. Organizations that value physically working together such as construction or manufacturing often work best with this type of hybrid model. The only downside of this approach is that employees may choose to all take the same time off for their remote days. This can compromise essential in-office operations. To remedy this, it’s important for office leaders to set employee schedules ahead of time. Then employees can make use of their rightfully earned remote days without affecting that day’s production.

3. Hybrid Team Split

Although up to 68% of workers prefer working remotely, there are those who crave the structure, amenities, and engagement they get from an office environment. Fortunately for both parties, there is the hybrid team split model. For this option, some teams are 100% remote, while others are 100% office-bound. To date, about 43% of all remote workers are engaged in this type of model. The main benefit of this type is that it allows you to streamline office traffic and widen your talent pool. The downside is that it leaves room for disengagement. Having said that, leaders must know how to offer hybrid work policies that underscore culture. This means being able to create an environment of inclusivity and compassion so that no resentment or misunderstanding occurs between teams. This includes planning deliberate interactions across teams, relaxing your office dress code, providing the same perks for everyone, and respecting people’s personal work rhythms. By doing so, you’re encouraging cross-team engagement without ostracizing anyone.

4. Remote-first Hybrid

The remote-first hybrid places working outside of the office as the organization’s core working structure. Employees are allowed to choose which days they want to work in the office. Granted, this type is more in favor of employees who prefer working remotely. Currently, employees with this sentiment make up approximately 60% of the workforce. In addition, the remote-first hybrid is totally reliant on digital tools. If offices are able to equip and properly use such tools, remote workers can be just as engaged and productive as their in-office counterparts. On the flip side, if these tools are lacking or are not being used properly, then the team will suffer from knowledge and data silos. Therefore, it’s important for leaders to lead by example and learn how to nurture communication without being overbearing for this option to work efficiently.

5. Hybrid Flexible

The hybrid flexible approach puts the power in the hands of the workforce. With this approach employees are able to decide what days they work remotely and in-person. While this method allows employees to exercise their independence, there is a chance that it can cause some goals to be missed. To avoid the latter, it’s wise for employers to offer hybrid work benefits like subsidized home office equipment. By doing this employees are able to enjoy a home workspace that helps keep them productive during work hours. As an added bonus, offering this hybrid type with this benefit also helps attract new talent, which is crucial in the ongoing Great Resignation.

In all fairness, the hybrid work model isn’t for everyone. However, given that the past couple of years have forced organizations and employees to make sudden pivots, embracing a hybrid model (even if only temporary) may be the best way to ease back into a more sustainable and healthy work environment.

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By Jessica Maine

About The Author

Jessica Maine is a freelance writer and marketing consultant –– and a full-fledged digital nomad! She is currently on a prolonged tour living and working in different U.S. locations, with a plan to settle down to pursue a graduate degree in 2023. Her writing covers a range of topics primarily relating to business, entrepreneurism, and current events.

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