Hybrid work is a flexible mode of organization where companies give employees the freedom to work in person or remotely.
Since the pandemic, companies have embraced hybrid (telecommuting/face-to-face) technologies en masse, and employees have seen the benefits of greater flexibility in where and when they work. Recognizing this new realm of possibility, organizations have a unique opportunity to revolutionize the world of work with a hybrid model.
What is hybrid work?
Hybrid work is a way of organizing work in which the employees' workplace is flexible. With the freedom to choose to work face-to-face or remotely, as employees and companies wish.
To make this transition to hybrid work (or hybrid telework or "smart working"), companies must design hybrid models that address both individual human concerns, not just business concerns...
Over the past three years, millions of workers around the world have moved abruptly from location constrained (working in the office) to location unconstrained (working anywhere).
Employees have also experienced a shift in time, from working synchronously with others from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm to asynchronous work when they want to.
If leaders and managers succeed in making the transition to a "Work From Anywhere"If leaders and managers can make the transition to a "Work From Anywhere" model, the desired result will be a more satisfying work life for employees and a more productive one for organizations.
Overview of the evolution of hybrid work in organizations since the post-pandemic period.
Hybrid working became widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies switched to remote working in a hurry and had to use collaboration tools on a daily basis.
While some companies still had hybrid or 100% remote workers before the pandemic, these new flexible methods have accelerated since March 2020. Most employees have suddenly moved from professional exchanges on company premises to virtual meetings from their living rooms.
Today, after realizing the benefits and challenges of remote work, companies are adopting hybrid work models to offer greater flexibility to their employees while trying to maintain interactions. We will see later how essential this element is to the company's engagement and culture.
Numerous surveys and research reveal the factors that motivate hybrid work:
In addition, hybrid working - if optimized - can also help reduce employees' CO2 emissions.
Reducing commuting and work trips through hybrid work, coupled with reduced heating and electricity in the office, will help promote a more sustainable future.
Since the Covid-19 period and the move to hybrid telecommuting, employee productivity has improved, as shown in the NOC study.
Nearly three years into the pandemic, the majority of companies are attempting to adopt variations of the hybrid work model, but the contours of these models are not yet clear.
Some organizations have rethought the way they recruit and the positions they hire for, in a context where the majority of telecommuting-eligible employees operate on a 3-day office, 2-day telecommuting model.
Hybridization has prompted many organizations to increase the number of internal events. For example, the team-building industry, for example, has experienced a post-pandemic revival; this is a catch-up effect on the one hand, but also a change in culture linked to the emergence of the remote environment: although employees see each other less frequently in the office, events - meals, team games, seminars - are more numerous.
The future of work definitely looks like a hybrid model.
According to a Gallup studythere are four key dynamics when it comes to hybrid work:
How does employee engagement move from desktop to remote?
Who wins and who loses in a hybrid work mode?
What do we really mean by productivity?
How do you create a distinctive organizational identity that withstands the distance?
It is therefore necessary to analyze these dynamics in order to better understand the hybridization of work.
Hybrid working offers a multitude of advantages to both employees, who can work wherever they want, and to companies, for whom this mode of organization represents financial savings.
The implementation of this type of work organization aims to be more efficient and productive than traditional work models.
Of course, like any organizational form, hybrid work has its advantages and disadvantages. Let's review the main benefits and risks of hybrid work for companies and their employees.
In an office-based model, employees are expected to work between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day of the week. In a hybrid work model, employees have more flexibility to work when, how and where they are most productive.
This means flexible work schedules and shifts. For example, some people work better in the morning, while others work better in the evening. They can also choose to work with colleagues on site or to do their work remotely from home.
In 2023, employees want to combine work and flexibility. Hybrid work offers flexibility by combining remote and office work. According to a study conducted by LinkedInAccording to the LinkedIn study, 87% of employees aspire to telecommute at least half of the time, and employees who enjoy true work flexibility are twice as happy working for their company.
Is the war for talent raging in your industry? Are you looking to expand your candidate sourcing?
In a hybrid work model, companies can recruit talent from around the world. Access to a larger talent pool allows organizations to hire candidates with the right skills without being geographically bound, or even to work asynchronously in a different time zone.
In a hybrid work model, the occupancy rate of the company's premises is lower. For some organizations, this can mean a potential reduction in real estate expenses. Before that happens, implementing hybrid work can help determine what office space is really needed for your business and your employees.
In order to rethink the strategy of companies in terms of workspace optimization and real estate savings, we have developed a simulation tool that calculates the total annual cost of hybrid mode in your company and the achievable savings.
We understand that the hybrid work model brings tangible benefits to both companies and employees.
Let us be aware, however, of the risks associated with the implementation of this type of model, including psychosocial risks :
A hybrid work model can slowly lead to employee burnout if there is no vigilance on the part of companies. It is indeed very difficult to set limits when working from home, some employees will tend to work excessively, without taking breaks. In addition to this, there is a reduction in the work-life balance, and working from home can become more stressful for employees in certain situations.
The feeling of isolation is undoubtedly one of the most common psychological drifts in teleworking. From home, employees are deprived of direct social contact. Mental stimulation and frequent interaction are essential to our overall well-being. Remote workers tend to show signs of loneliness, which can potentially lead to mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.
According to the Harvard Business Review, when it comes to flexible work models the focus should, unsurprisingly, be on people and not just about the challenges of organizations.
In the flexible hybrid model, employees choose their work location and schedule according to their priorities (daily, weekly, monthly). If they need to focus on a project, they can choose to work remotely. If they feel the need to get together and share collective moments as a team, they can choose to go to the office ("team day", training session, meeting).
In the fixed hybrid model, the company will set the days when employees can work remotely or come to the office. Some teams will go to the office on Monday and Wednesday, while others will go on Tuesday and Thursday. An organization might also offer to have its teams work from home on certain days of the week. This is a popular model in the flex office.
In the office (or on-site) model, employees are mostly expected to be on-site, but still have the option in some cases to choose a few days a week to work remotely.
In the "full remote" or "remote-first" model, employees work remotely most of the time, with occasional visits to coworking spaces or the office to keep the team connected and foster collaboration. In this model, the company may not have an office space and instead relies on team members who are in the same area to meet whenever they want.
Now that you have a good overview of the concept of hybrid work, let's look at how to implement hybrid work in your organization.
To adopt a hybrid work model, you need the right culture, processes and technologies.
Here are some best practices to follow when it comes to hybrid work:
Hybrid work implies that the office must be the place where employees want to work or to be: hence the importance of creating a dynamic and flexible place.
How do you satisfy and connect employees regardless of where they work?
In hybrid work, some people work from home while others work in the office. Finding ways to connect and accommodate everyone is an important part of maintaining employee well-being and engagement.
For example, selecting offices adapted to hybrid work such as hot deskingExamples include selecting offices that are suitable for hybrid work, encouraging employees to meet through events and setting up specific technological tools for hybrid work (attendance planning, workstation selection or meeting room reservations).
Hybrid work brings its own set of uncertainties. In order to maintain the strong bond that unites all the employees of a company, it is necessary to create a hybrid culture that will continue to develop the feeling of belonging of each employee within his team.
Whether they choose to work from home, in the office or in the field, each employee will feel they have the same benefits as their colleagues.
Find out how companies are in their sector are innovating to create a hybrid culture.
To foster employee flexibility in the context of hybrid work, companies need to focus on a optimal employee experience. This requires a combination of digital tools dedicated to hybrid work, adapted physical workspaces and a strategy that puts employees' needs at the center of decisions.
This way, your company will be able to attract and retain the best talent, have satisfied employees and benefit from a good brand image.
Communication is key! When you deploy hybrid work, your decisions affect all members of your teams. It's important to keep them informed and get feedback from employees when you want to deploy a new work organization model.
This data will help you understand the strengths and limitations of your strategy, and you'll be able to take immediate action to make your hybrid policy a success by listening to your teams first.
Lastly, it's important to work cross-functionally when adopting a hybrid work project. Make sure that the HR policy and IT ecosystem in your company are aligned and able to support all hybrid employees, regardless of where they work.
We have tried to provide you with all the keys to a better understanding of hybrid work and, above all, with our tips and advice on how to implement it successfully.
So now is the time to review the features that hybrid work management software offers and explore how these tools help improve your hybrid model:
Let employees find out about their teams' or colleagues' schedules live and decide in two clicks where to work for the day, week or month.
Share team moments at the best time. Team day, lunch, seminar, yoga class... Set up team events and make it easy for your colleagues to get together at work.
Give your employees the opportunity to manage hybrid work with peace of mind by booking workstations, meeting rooms, services or equipment directly from the platform.
Analyze your occupancy rate and work patterns directly from one tool. Presence data allows you to optimize your surface and the layout of your offices.