With 65% of the workforce preferring a hybrid work schedule, it’s no wonder why more job listings have hybrid as their location.
A hybrid work schedule which is the perfect blend of both on-site work and remote working is becoming more and more popular with companies today. And it seems it's not going away anytime soon.
So much has changed in the way businesses operate, since COVID. Companies like Google, Apple, and many others no longer require workers to come into the office from Monday to Friday. So it’s only right that you adjust your company to fit in with the current market demand and behaviors.
In this blog post you’ll find all the answers you need to develop and manage an effective hybrid workplace. We’ll answer
What hybrid work means
The various types
How to choose the right one
And how your company can properly adopt this practice
What is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work is a system that allows your employees the freedom to work from home and also from the office on select days.
This model is a mix of remote working and on-site working because it lets workers experience both systems.
Four Common Hybrid Work Schedules
There’s no right or one way to practice hybrid working.
A hybrid work schedule could appear in different forms, depending on your company and its objectives. The 4 most common forms are:
A flexible hybrid work schedule means that your team members or employees have the responsibility of picking when to work from home and when to be at the office.
Under this format, members take the lead and can show up whenever they decide to. This type is most suitable for teams that don’t require a lot of physical collaboration to work.
Fixed hybrid schedule requires the company or team to set specific remote working and on-site working days.
An example of this is Apple’s hybrid policy where staff are required to work from the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays and any third day as decided by team leads.
This method is easier to manage especially when you do work that requires intense collaboration and hands on management.
A remote-centric hybrid schedule means that even though a company practices hybrid working, the majority of its members work from home.
This is common with companies that hire global talent from all over the world. Remote-centric is a great choice because it encourages a diverse workforce and allows you access to skills and talent across several locations.
An office-centric hybrid workplace requires the majority of their members to be physically present at the office on most days.
They may have staff that work remotely or come in occasionally like interns, temps, or some other roles. But a higher percentage of their staff work from the office.
How to Choose a Hybrid Work Schedule
As you’ve seen above, hybrid work comes in various forms. Choosing the one that will work best for your company requires strategizing and conscious efforts.
You want to pick a schedule that works well for both your employees and also the company. To do this there are several things you must do and take into consideration.
Gather Data and Solicit Feedback from Employees
Before you can pick a hybrid work schedule to use, you have to get the opinions of your employees. Find out how they work, when they’re most productive, and from where each team prefers to get work done.
You can use surveys or meetings to confer with everyone to find out what works best. You need to work with your employees, because at the end of the day, the goal is to create a working environment that lets them produce their best work and still live balanced lives.
With the data gathered from employees and teams, you can then properly decide on what will work best.
Determine Which People/Teams Must Be On-Premise to be Productive
Part of the things your discussion with employees will reveal to you is the people or teams that are required to work together and on-premise.
This could either be people who work better from the office or teams that need to be present at specific periods to achieve their goals.
Doing this will help you be more aware and considerate of each person or departments needs while making your choice.
Which Schedule(s) Will Support Company Goals
The reason why several companies practice different types of work schedules is simply because they have different goals. And while employee needs are important, so are the company’s goals too.
Both areas need to be balanced to make the right choice. Defining your goals as an organization will help you easily decide on a schedule that works best for you.
For example, a company whose goal is a more diverse and inclusive workforce may decide to be remote-centric. Meanwhile, a company working in a stricter industry with more regulations and compliance issues, may prefer a different schedule.
How Much Effort is Required to Manage Each Type of Schedule
Another thing to consider is how much effort will go into managing employees under the different schedules. While hybrid work requires trust, management is still important to ensure employees are meeting goals set.
To do this, you have to consider:
How many employees you have
Are there enough team leads to manage employees
What will you need to effectively manage employees in the different schedules eg project management software, more management personnel, office space, etc
How much will each cost you and can you afford it
Answering these will give you a clearer picture on what will work best for your company/team.
What Tools/Tech Are Needed to Support Each Schedule
To effectively run and manage a hybrid work schedule, you need certain tools/tech to ease the process. Most of which aren’t free and may not be cheap for your entire organization.
Before you can decide on the right hybrid schedule, you need to perform a proper research on what tools each schedule demands. And just how much they will cost you.
Some popular tools used by hybrid teams are:
Loom for asynchronous meetings and communication.
Slack for team communication
Asana for project and task management
Google Meets or Zoom for live meetings or conferences.
How to roll out your new hybrid work policy
Once you’ve selected a hybrid work schedule for your company and team, the next thing is to officially introduce and implement it.
This requires more than an announcement. You have to properly introduce your employees to this new work policy and follow it up.
Here are some important things to do:
Determine measurable KPIs
This helps you define what success is/looks like.
It’s important because it helps you keep track of the goals you hope to achieve with this new work schedule. As well as the team goals you hope to meet too.
By defining your goals, you make it easy to come up with strategies to achieve success and a way to measure whether or not your chosen policy is working how you'd like.
Some examples of measurable KPIs you can set include:
Completion of team goals & objectives
Overall employee engagement
Run a pilot test and solicit feedback
Now that you have your expected goals, you can then set a period of time to run a pilot test. It could be a full month where your employees practice the new hybrid work schedule.
During the test period and at the end, collect feedback from employees to know how they feel about it. You want to find out
What improvements they’ll like to see
How comfortable they are with the work schedule
How the new hybrid work schedule has affected their productivity and general attitude to work
With this feedback you can then go back to the drawing board and edit accordingly.
Clearly communicate your new hybrid work policy to employees
Because this is a new introduction to your company, there are certain things employees will need orientation on.
You need to create a hybrid work policy guide and communicate it to your staff. What is required of them in this new work model? From appropriate remote work ethics, to the necessary channels to use for any situation, and others.
Set expectations and guidelines they can follow, and which will help them easily adapt to your new work schedule.
Monitor and Iterate
After you’ve rolled out your hybrid work schedule, the only thing left to do is monitor and make corrections where necessary.
How easy is it for employees to adjust? Are teams falling behind or succeeding at their goals? How is the company affected by this new work method? What changes can you make?
By closely monitoring the process, you make it easier and possible to discover what’s working so you can double on that. And also find the shaky parts that will need more work.
You’ve done the work creating this new work schedule, its success heavily lies on how well or not it works for both employees and the company.
Even though hybrid working became popular because of COVID, its many benefits are why more companies are adopting this model.
Many now realize that more than having a job they like, a work-life balance is also a necessity. And a hybrid work schedule provides just that.
Ready to get started building a hybrid work schedule? Loom reduces your need for physical meetings by making feedback collecting and asynchronous communications easier for hybrid teams.