What is hybrid work?
Balancing the benefits of home and office life
The article represents subjective opinions of Hines, the sponsor of investment vehicles offered by Hines Securities. Other market participants may reasonably have differing opinions.
Over the past few years, hybrid work has gained popularity as companies and workers start to take on a more “people first” mindset. The hybrid model has generally been viewed as a success, seamlessly blending the benefits of working in a home and working at the office into one. But what exactly constitutes hybrid work?
What does being a hybrid worker mean?
Defining a hybrid work experience can be difficult because it means different things to different employers. For some, being a hybrid worker means working in the office a few days and working at home the rest of the week. For others, being a hybrid worker means working from anywhere you choose at any time of the day or night. In more specific cases, being a hybrid worker means being assigned particular days each week or month to come in to handle managerial duties or meet with team members face to face. No matter how a company defines hybrid work, one word can sum up the entire experience: flexibility.
The typical hybrid work models
Hybrid employers have a few different methods of allowing employees to handle business. Most hybrid workplace environments employ models such as:
- Fixed Hybrid Work — Some organizations set certain days and times for their employees to either work from home or the office. Some teams might go into the office on Mondays and Wednesdays, while others work from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Flexible Hybrid Work — Teams and workers can choose where to work based on the day’s priorities. Days focused on collaboration might mean a day leveraging office tools. Days focused on individual work mean a worker can head to a coffee shop or stay at home.
- Office-Based Hybrid Work — This allows teams to have the option of working a few days from home each week, but most employees are expected to work in the office as much as possible.
- Remote-Based Hybrid Work — The opposite of office-based work, employees usually work from home with occasional visits to the office focused on major milestones, team-building activities, or training days.
Why has hybrid work gained so much popularity?
Hybrid work has gained popularity because there are so many different types of people that exist in the workforce. Company culture still matters (some would say more than ever before), and a company can still have a great culture while allowing employees to work when and where they feel comfortable. It can also promote a much better work-life balance, reducing the time lost due to commuting. This can give students the flexibility to take classes or allow parents to handle the kids at home while balancing their daily work tasks.
A hybrid environment can give employers access to talent across the globe. Environments that don’t allow hybrid work only have access to workers within a local region. Now a business can operate out of locations away from its main hub while benefiting from the knowledge and skills of remote employees.
How can hybrid work be maximized?
To maximize the hybrid work experience, workers and companies must be in unison on various factors. Workers must be aware of the trust the employer has in them to work to the best of their abilities, and organizations must properly communicate the importance of culture, guidelines, due dates, and anything else deemed necessary.
Additionally, employers must build infrastructure or use locations that make the employee experience in a hybrid work environment worthwhile. Working away from the office is great, but only if employees operate in a comfortable and productive environment.