The hybrid work model is a significant departure from the traditional work model. But, exactly, what is hybrid work? In this post, we'll define a hybrid work model and discuss how to make the transition smoothly.

Here's what we'll talk about:

What exactly is hybrid work?
The importance of hybrid work
How to Implement a Hybrid Work Model

What exactly is hybrid work?
Hybrid work is a flexible approach that allows employees to work in the office and from home. The degree of flexibility in hybrid work varies.

Here are some examples of hybrid work policies used by businesses:

Employees can choose which days they want to come into the office on a hybrid basis.
Split-week hybrid: By team or function, the company designates specific days for on-site and remote work.
Manager-scheduling hybrid: Managers decide which days their teams will come into the office.
A mixture of hybrids: All three options combined

The importance of hybrid work
We know that employees value hybrid work. According to a Wakefield Research survey, nearly half of employees (47 percent) would likely look for another job if their employer did not provide a flexible working model.

So it's no surprise that 77 percent of companies have already chosen to go hybrid, according to data from our most recent April 2022 survey. Furthermore, 56 percent of those businesses allow employees to choose when and how frequently they want to come into the office.

So, what draws employees to a hybrid work environment? Let's take a look at some of the benefits of hybrid work for employees and employers.

Improved work-life balance
According to our most recent January 2022 survey, the majority of employees (63 percent) believe that greater flexibility would make them feel more empowered. Employees are drawn to the hybrid work model for a variety of reasons, according to Slack.

Finding balance is easier with a flexible work schedule. Employees who have more control over their work schedules have more time to take care of personal matters, such as running errands, picking up children from daycare, or being home for a delivery. According to Justin Bullock, our very own Head of Sales, hybrid work allowed him to attend his 10-year-old son's birthday party.

Hire talent from all over the world.
Do you want to expand your talent pool? Your company can hire talent from all over the world using a hybrid work model. You can hire people with specialized skills if you have access to a larger talent pool. This can provide your company with a competitive advantage, assist you in entering new markets, and ensure continuous productivity.

Limit your exposure to illness.
Some people are hesitant to return to crowded areas after the last two years. In fact, 87 percent of employees said last year that they are concerned about their health and safety when it comes to returning to work.

In a hybrid workplace, fewer people are present at the same time. This reduces the likelihood of a sick employee infecting others. Furthermore, because most hybrid work models allow people to work remotely, sick employees can stay at home to protect their coworkers.

Reduce your real estate costs.
Fewer people are on-site at any given time in a hybrid work-from-home setup. For some businesses, this may imply downsizing their real estate. At the very least, hybrid working will assist you in determining how much office space you will require to support your employees.

Rethinking your workplace strategy can help you save up to 30% on real estate costs. This allows you to reinvest the cost savings in other areas, such as providing more work options for employees through satellite offices and smaller co-working spaces.

How to Implement a Hybrid Work Model
Adopting a hybrid work model necessitates the right people, processes, and technology. Let's look at a few things to think about when transitioning to a hybrid work model.

Survey your employees to determine what they require.
Speak with your workforce to learn about their needs before developing a hybrid model that works for your company. By involving employees, you can develop a working model that prepares people for change while also motivating them to do their best.

Create an infrastructure that allows for flexibility.
At its best, hybrid work will bridge the gap between remote and on-site environments, allowing employees to collaborate with ease. Investing in workplace technology, such as remote communication tools and on-site video conferencing equipment, will help facilitate this. Determine whether you require new tools or if you can repurpose existing ones.

Establish best practices for company-wide communication and encourage team leaders to set clear expectations with their employees. For example, to accommodate employees working in different time zones, you could use an asynchronous communication style.

Invest in your company's culture.
Your company's culture is its beating heart. And it is critical to the success of your hybrid work model. As people return to the office, be intentional about reinforcing your company culture.

According to our most recent At Work survey, 88 percent of companies are using incentives to get their employees back on-site. Consider food and beverage programs, happy hours, and corporate events. Investing in opportunities that delight your employees, such as redesigning the office environment, will help ignite company culture and encourage people to work from home.

Make your workplace a great place to work.
Workplace experience is the most important factor in making your hybrid work model work. It's critical not to let it slip. While your employees may not be on-site every day, it is critical that each day in the workplace is purposeful and intentional. The greater the number of people present, the better the experience for those who are there to meet and collaborate in person.

Create employee personas.
Employee surveys are a great way to stay on top of how your hybrid workforce is feeling in real-time. But you won't always have time to poll your constituents. Create a set of employee personas to keep your team moving quickly. Personas are fictitious characters who represent your employees' needs, behaviors, and preferences.

Personas assist you in remaining adaptable as things change. They will advise you as you create new employee experiences and manage your space to meet the changing needs of your employees. Learn more about why they’re important in this post.

Collect continuous feedback
Remember to collect employee feedback as you continue to build a hybrid workplace that is ideal for your company. Make sure there are multiple channels for employees to express themselves. For example, you could set up a "always-on" Slack channel for employee feedback. You could also send out quarterly feedback surveys to your employees.

Gathering this feedback will allow you to iterate on the fly and create a hybrid workplace that works for everyone.

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