Hybrid work models are here to stay, judged by the swift changes businesses are facing and overall employee mood. Employers have started to increasingly realize the benefits of hybrid work models, too, out of which considerably lowered costs aren’t the least significant.
Let’s take a look at some actual stats:
- 63% of high-revenue growth companies use hybrid work models (source: an Accenture report)
- 69% of companies with negative or no growth reject hybrid work models (ibid.)
- 83% of employees prefer a hybrid work model (ibid.)
- 94% of employees believe that salaries should be determined by the actual skill of the employees set and not by their location (ibid.)
- 34% of employers say they wouldn’t hire a remote employee in a different geographic market at the same rate as an on-site employee (ibid.)
- Mere 8% of remote workers are willing to return to the office after the pandemic (source: the Remote Work & Compensation Pulse Survey)
- 48% of workers want to work from home permanently (ibid.)
- 44% of workers want to work from home part of the week (ibid.)
- 83% of workers would leave their current job if their salary was lowered due to them working remotely (ibid.)
- 55% of workers want to spend some time in the office and some time at home (source: a Stanford study)
- 25% of workers want to work fully remotely (ibid.)
- 20% of workers want to work in the office exclusively (ibid.)
- 34% of workers claim that face-to-face interruptions from colleagues are the main factor for them losing focus at work (source: the Economist)
- 36% of workers feel more focused working at home
- 28% of workers feel more focused working at the office
Overall, the benefits of hybrid work models have been recognized by many people, and there is in fact, a good combination for everyone’s preferences. But, it’s still important to search for the right employees. Look for reliable people with problem-solving skills who are agile and flexible. In other words, hire integrators.
But having the right people on your team is just the beginning. Let’s learn more!
1. Choose Among Various Hybrid Work Models
There are actually a couple of different work models and the list is nowhere near finished to boot. Presently, according to McKinsey & Company’s definition, there are six different hybrid work models, as follows:
Almost entirely off premises – mostly remote work with no office space
Almost entirely on premises – limited remote work, large office space the majority of managers and workers
Partially remote work, large office space – the majority of managers and workers spend most, but not all, of their time at the office
Partially remote work, multiple hubs – multiple offices with the workforce dispersed among them
Multiple microhubs – management and employees are dispersed across small microhubs located in different cities and countries
Partially remote work, with flexible office space – no permanent offices; rented flex space used for periodic collaboration (but not connectivity)
The models relying on office space are more expensive in terms of rentals, but they also generate high productivity. Multiple microhubs and partially remote are even better in terms of productivity and also yield lower rentals. Work almost entirely off premises and the flex space models are preferential for businesses looking to attract talent.
Keeping all this in mind, let’s see how you can make a hybrid work model work for your company.
2. Always Think Remote First
Even if you are planning to offer different work environments to different employees, make sure to set up all of your processes to work with remote employees. A hybrid work model is considered fully functional when everyone is in line.
For that to become a reality, communication must be flawless. While remote workers (especially freelancers and digital nomads) are quite versed in online communication tools, that may not be the case with people used to office work.
To prevent any gaps from forming, provide proper education to all the employees.
3. Engage Your Team
Next on, it may be difficult for some businesses — especially large ones — to engage their remote teams and make sure everyone is on the same page continually.
Fortunately, there are a number of methods that can help you to achieve this goal. It is important to keep in mind that both remote workers and office workers need to be engaged. Some good employee engagement tips include:
- Enable transparent communication (explained above, plus also provide updates on company changes and decisions)
- Provide strategic alignment (ensure understanding of business’ goals and priorities)
- Set up processes that facilitate collaboration (prevent remote workers from feeling isolated)
- Set OKRs (measure progress)
- Provide regular performance feedback (preferably anonymous)
- Provide training and development opportunities
4. Train Your Leaders
Some management teams are never really trained on how to handle a hybrid workforce. Be sure to offer proper leadership training to your managers, otherwise, progress will remain doubtful.
Some companies do the research and design their own training materials with easy-to-use course templates while others rely on online courses available.
No matter your approach, remember to pay attention to employee feedback. Different people prefer different methods and it is important that the measures your business is undertaking are well received.
Hybrid work models are here to stay with more and more people (both employees and employers) looking for flexible work models that will empower them to lead their lives exactly how they want to. Quality workers interested in becoming digital nomads should be allowed to work on their own terms, but it is important to provide training and engage your teams.
Pick one among six available hybrid work models that will best fulfill your company goals. Set up a regular feedback routine and remember to measure progress.