What is the hybrid working model?

The hybrid working model is a work style that enables employees to blend working from different locations: home, on the go, or the office. An effective hybrid work system encourages:

  • Autonomy
  • Flexibility
  • High performance
  • Collaboration
  • Positive work relationships
  • Effective work habits

Why should HR leaders care about the hybrid work model?

HR leaders can help employees establish a system that suits their needs and personality type. For example, a recent college graduate might look forward to the in-person training sessions and social interactions of working in the office. A seasoned employee with little kids, on the other hand, may delight in the opportunity to work full or part-time, remotely. The freedom to choose their desired workstyle can invigorate employees, leading to greater:

  • Retention
  • Engagement
  • Productivity

What can HR leaders do to integrate a successful hybrid work system?

To implement a hybrid work model that encourages productivity, engagement, and seamless collaboration between employees working from different locations, HR leaders can incorporate these practices:

  • Prepare the office environment.  Changing the work setting to match the hybrid workstyle enables people to work efficiently and productively. For example, integrating a “flex desking” method in which employees reserve their desk before coming into the office can encourage smart usage of space. 
  • Establish a hybrid workplace policy. Perhaps an organization can function optimally by designating specific teams to work in-house while others work remotely. Or, they may decide to stagger individuals’ in-house hours throughout the day. Gathering feedback from employees can facilitate alignment with their personal needs and preferences.  
  • Implement feedback meetings.  Routine, one-to-one meetings between employers and managers maintain a consistent connection between them, even if they work in separate locations. 
  • Facilitate virtual interactive collaboration. Though hybrid employees may not interact with colleagues daily, “social media style” collaboration enables employees to make announcements, recognize coworkers for excellent work performances, and survey team members on important matters that arise. Videoconferencing, especially, is a fundamental component of collaboration, allowing people to benefit from the nuances of seeing each other face-to-face.
  • Encourage relationship-building. Carve out time for employees to hang-out on a video chat, or meet up for coffee. Strengthening relationships outside of work can help engage and motivate employees. Hobby groups and clubs can nurture relationships and help remote employees find common interests to bond over. 
  • Provide equal benefits for remote employees. Remote employees may feel they are missing out on the in-house benefits their colleagues enjoy. Incorporating perks for remote employees, such as an employee meal card, a bi-weekly basket of goodies, or home-workout equipment, can remind employees they are a valued member of the team. 

How does the hybrid work model improve company culture?

Hybrid work can provide employees with more flexibility, free time, and autonomy. This potentially harmonious work-life balance allows employees to give more attention to their personal lives or families while still bringing in their income. As this new approach to work evolves, companies have the opportunity to harness it for their benefit and shape a fluid, dynamic, and positive work culture.