Hybrid work schedules is on the rise and has in many cases become the new norm when companies are planning the return to the office. Hybrid work schedules is viewed as the model with the most benefits, since it gives employees the autonomy and flexibility of remote work or working from home, while simultaneously promoting collaboration and teambuilding on-site.
But adapting to a hybrid work schedule is easier said than done. Without the right technical solutions in place that both manages the problems with flexibility, while enabling autonomy and collaboration, hybrid work schedules can easily become a burden for any business. Communication and office space management is key to keep a functioning workflow, but how do we go about creating that?
How to safely return to the office following a global pandemic
In this article, we will discuss what a hybrid work schedule is and how it works in a modern office environment. We will also give some suggestions on some easily adaptable solutions that will help your remote teams and on-site teams collaborate when needed.
What is hybrid work Schedules?
Let’s start with the basics, what exactly is a hybrid work schedule? A hybrid work schedule combines the two worlds of traditional office work and remote work in one model. By doing this, hybrid work schedules are able to create a flexible working environment where employees can choose for themselves when they want to be in the office and when they want to work from home.
What is Hybrid work?
There is a lot that companies can gain from adapting hybrid work schedules. The most obvious one being that employees receive increased flexibility and autonomy, which is proven to reduce stress and increase work-life balance. Providing employees with hybrid work schedules will also be crucial to hire new talent and retain existing talent within the company.
The benefits of a hybrid work model
To illustrate the difference between hybrid work schedules and other types of working arrangements further, here are the three major work models that companies use today.
In-office work schedules
This is the most traditional model of office work, meaning that teams work in the office at all times. Working remotely is an exception when absolutely needed. Even if employees may have some flexibility regarding when they arrive and when they leave the office, on-premises work schedules operate under the assumption that employees will be in the office between 8 am and 5 pm.
On-premises work has a lot of benefits when it comes to collaboration and fostering a strong company culture. Information is easily spread between departments and its easy to ask coworkers important questions while in the office. On-premises work also fosters strong social bonds between employees, and small breaks for employees to catch up with each other improves the social bonds between departments and management. The downside however is the lack of flexibility; employees with children, or employees with long commutes tends to have problems with work-life balance, creating unnecessary stress.
Remote working schedules
Remote working schedules have grown in popularity during the pandemic but is mainly used by software companies that have employees working from different locations, often even different countries. People with remote working schedules work completely from home, where on-premises work is a rare exception, usually when the company hosts larger events or special team building exercises.
The pro with remote working is that companies are able to hire talent from anywhere in the world, increasing the talent pool in which new employees can be found. Employees working remote also has more autonomy and can more freely control their workdays. The main difficulty with remote working schedules is that managers often struggle with keeping a cohesive company culture and employee morale. Teamwork also tends to suffer more due to the distance between the company’s employees.
The unexpected impacts of remote working
Hybrid work schedules
As mentioned above, hybrid work schedules can be seen as the combination of on-premises work schedules and remote working schedules. Usually, employees work in the office 2-3 days a week and from home 2-3 days a week. This gives them the opportunity to collaborate with their team on site and strengthen their social network, while simultaneously receiving plenty of focus time for individual tasks that can be easily interrupted by chatty colleagues. Hybrid work schedules also reduces the time spent commuting to and from the office, increasing free time for employees.
Hybrid work schedules is the best of both worlds. But without good solutions that can show employees when their team will be in the office or booking solutions that enable them to book desks before they arrive to the office, can create a sense of frustration, and impede effective collaboration. But more on this later.
The hybrid work schedule is the beginning of a new way of working
The pandemic has changed the way we view traditional office work forever. During lockdowns, employees got used to working from their kitchen table, which improved the work-life balance for many. Now when offices are starting to re-open, companies are starting to understand that the model of one person – one desk is no longer sustainable from a real estate perspective. This is resulting in a major shift from individual workspace models to shared workspace models, and the space left will instead be used to create hubs for collaboration activities or lounge areas.
Because of this, innovative smart office solutions have seen a major increase in interest during the last year. Even without individual workspaces, companies want to find ways in which employees can be guaranteed seating when they come to the office, and team leaders want to guarantee that their team can sit together when they plan collaboration on site. One other major necessity is effective tools for employees to share when they plan to be in the office, while simultaneously also showing where they will be seated for each day.
What is hybrid work?
We have covered what a hybrid work schedule is, how it differs from other types of work schedules and how the pandemic has affected the view on hybrid working schedules. But what does hybrid work mean? In broad terms, hybrid work is a modern work concept that centers the nature of work around employee needs and work-life balance. Hybrid work differs depending on the company adapting it, and its not a clear-cut definition that makes an office “hybrid”, some of the hybrid work options include:
Working in Shifts
The company decides which days employees work from home and which days employees work remotely, and everyone follows the same schedule.
Hybrid Team Split
One option could be that the company in question decided to have one team that work fully remote, and one team that works full time in the office.
Employees choose freely when they want to work in the office, and when they want to work from home. Employees can adapt their schedules to the meetings planned for the week but are otherwise free to set up their work schedules as they please.
In summary, hybrid work schedules combine the benefits of on-premises work and remote work to increase flexibility while simultaneously strengthening the company culture and on-site collaboration. Hybrid work takes many forms and there is no one size fits all when it comes to flexible work. But what are the benefits and the potential downsides with adapting a hybrid work schedule?
Increased Flexibility, reduced costs, and increased hiring opportunities
The main benefit with hybrid work schedules is that employees can plan their week after what works for them, instead of planning their private life after what works for the company. Flexible work schedules also provide opportunities for substantial cost savings in real estate expenditure. Flexible work schedules also increase hiring opportunities, employees don’t need to live in close proximity to the office anymore, and longer commutes are often accepted if they only need to be made a few times a week.
The solutions you need to reduce office space
Coordination, required technology and change management
Managing hybrid teams can be a real challenge when it comes to coordination and collaboration. Finding available times when everyone can be in the office at the same time or keeping the team up to date with the latest news can be challenging when adapting to hybrid work schedules. Hybrid work schedules also requires attendance planners and booking solutions for office recourses. Adapting hybrid work schedules often require more planning and system adaptation than other work models. There will also be increased pressure on management to keep everyone onboard with the change, and a lot of conflict management is often required in the initial stages of hybrid work schedule adaptation.
How the increase efficiency in a hybrid work environment
To effectively handle the potential problems with hybrid working schedules, we will share some tools that can be worth considering in the future.
Hot Desking Software for Hybrid work schedules
Hot desking software allows employees to book their workspace in advance or ad-hoc directly from a mobile app or web interface. This allows employees to be guaranteed a seat when they decide to work from the office, while at the same time allowing companies to reduce the number of personal workspaces. Flowscape’s Hot Desking solution also allows team leaders to book desks on behalf of their teams, or book desks for external guests that visit the office.
Why is Hot Desking so beneficial?
Flowscape also provides a USB desk check-in sensor that automatically checks in an
employee when they arrive to their workspace, or releases the workspace
automatically if no one shows up. This makes sure that spaces are always available
for the ones that needs to use them.
Automate your desk management with automatic desk check-in
Flowscape provides an interactive 3D map over a company’s office space, called the FlowMap. When an employee books a desk, their name will be displayed on the desk in the form of an electronic name plate. Employees are then able to easily find their colleagues exact location if collaboration is needed.
A guide to Colleague finding in a hybrid workplace
Office attendance calendar
By using Flowscapes FlowPlanner function, employees can register attendance in the web application, showing when they plan to be in the office during the week. Employees are also able to see which of their closest colleagues will be in the office during those days and what desks they have booked. Flowplanner also shows the occupancy rates for each day, giving employees the ability to re-schedule their office visits if the office is too crowded.
If these three solutions are adapted, Companies can mitigate some of the most pressing issues that arise from hybrid work schedules.
Are you ready to adapt hybrid work schedules?
Our solution experts can help you start the process and adapt hybrid working tools that fit your individual needs. Contact us for a free consultation.