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A Harvard Business Review study found that employees who can work remotely have a higher job satisfaction level. They are also less likely to quit their jobs. But working remotely 24x7 is only suitable for some organisations. That's where the hybrid work model kicks in. 

The hybrid work model is a flexible way of working where employees can work from their office and home. Employees have the freedom to choose where they work from. 

Benefits of hybrid model of working

For employees: 

  1. Improved work-life balance: A study by IWG found that 80% of respondents reported that working remotely improved their work-life balance. The ability to work remotely can give employees more control over their schedules. This allows them to manage their personal responsibilities better.
  1. Increased productivity: Employees who work from an environment that suits them best are more productive and engaged.
  1. Reduced stress: According to a FlexJobs survey, 97% of respondents said that a job with flexibility would have a positive impact on their quality of life. Hence, hybrid work helps in reducing their overall stress levels.

For employers: 

  1. Attracting and retaining top talent: A survey by FlexJobs found that 82% of respondents said that they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. Employers can attract and retain skilled employees who value work flexibility by offering a hybrid work model.
  2. Wider talent pool: The hybrid work model can enable employers to recruit and retain employees not located near their office. This can expand the talent pool and increase the chances of finding skilled workers.
  3. Better results: A Stanford University study found that employees who work from home experience a 13% increase in productivity. Hybrid work models help employees thrive better.

Challenges of hybrid model of working

While hybrid work model can offer many benefits, there are also some challenges for both employees and employers. Here are a few examples:

Challenges for employees: 

  1. Blurred boundaries between work and personal life: Employees may find it easier to switch off from work with a clear separation between work and home life.
  1. Communication difficulties: Communication can become challenging with a dispersed team, and building and maintaining relationships with colleagues may take more work.
  1. Lack of access to resources: Employees may have a different level of access to resources and equipment than they would in an office environment.
  1. Isolation and loneliness: Working remotely can negatively impact mental health if employees feel isolated or lonely.

Challenges for employers: 

  1. Difficulty in monitoring employee productivity: Employers may need help monitoring the productivity of employees working remotely.
  1. Maintaining company culture: Maintaining company culture can be challenging with hybrid teams which can impact employee engagement and retention.
  1. Legal and tax issues: With employees working across different states or countries, legal and tax implications may need to be addressed.
  1. Lack of face-to-face interaction: Remote working can lead to a lack of face-to-face interaction, making it harder to build relationships and collaborate effectively. 

These are some challenges employees and employers may face when adopting a hybrid work model. However, with the right planning and strategies in place, many of these challenges can be mitigated.

Tips to effectively manage hybrid model of working

Here are some creative tips for managing hybrid work model:

  1. Establish clear communication channels: Effective communication is essential for managing a hybrid team. Establish clear communication channels, such as video conferencing tools, messaging apps, or project management software with client portals, and make sure everyone is comfortable using them.
  1. Set clear expectations: Define what is expected of employees and how they will be evaluated. Establish specific project goals and deadlines and clarify how progress will be tracked.
  1. Promote collaboration: Encourage collaboration and teamwork between in-office and remote workers. Use technology to facilitate communication and encourage virtual team-building activities.
  1. Encourage flexibility: Allow employees to work during the hours that suit them best, as long as they meet their goals and deadlines. Consider offering flexible schedules or flexible work hours to help employees manage their personal and professional responsibilities.
  1. Provide equipment and resources: Ensure remote employees have access to the necessary equipment and resources to do their jobs effectively. This could include providing laptops, internet access, and collaboration tools.
  1. Plan regular check-ins: Schedule regular check-ins with remote employees to ensure they feel supported and are on track with their work. This can also help prevent isolation and promote a sense of connection.

These are just a few creative tips for managing hybrid work models effectively. By following the above tips, employers can help ensure a smooth transition to hybrid.

Should you adopt a hybrid model of working?

Determining if a hybrid work model suits your organisation requires considering several factors carefully. Here are the following considerations:

  1. Evaluate your current work policies and culture: Examine your current policies around remote work and flexibility. Does your organisation have a culture that supports remote work and collaboration? Is your technology infrastructure sufficient to support a hybrid work model?
  2. Assess the nature of your work: Consider the type of work your organisation does and whether it is conducive to a hybrid work model. Are there specific tasks requiring in-person collaboration or equipment only available in the office? Are there specific roles that are better suited for remote work?
  3. Survey your employees: Ask them for feedback on their work arrangements and preferences for hybrid work models. This can help you understand how your employees feel about remote work and what kind of flexibility they need.
  4. Develop a pilot program: Consider implementing a pilot program to test a hybrid work model with a small group of employees. This can help you identify any challenges or issues that must be addressed before rolling it out to the entire organisation.
  5. Create an implementation plan: If you decide that hybrid work model suits your organisation, create an implementation plan. This should include policies around communication, productivity, expectations, and guidelines for technology use and support.

This should help you determine if a hybrid work model suits your organisation and develop a plan for successful implementation.