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.