Hybrid work is a flexible work model that supports in-office and remote workers. There are five common types of hybrid work models.
It is safe to say that the future of work is hybrid, but what does hybrid really mean? A hybrid work model focuses on employees and mixes in-office and remote work capacity. This working model provides an increased flexibility for workers, giving them the possibility to enjoy more autonomy and better work-life balance, as they can choose to work from home, at the office, or anywhere else they feel productive.
With hybrid work, the workplace is no longer contained within four walls, but is rather an ecosystem of employees working in the office, from home, or anywhere else. Transitioning from the physical limitations of traditional offices towards work with no boundaries, companies can focus more capital and energy into expanding and developing further than they could hope for.
Team members can migrate between different locations depending on specific work requirements. They can still participate at important physical meetings and then enjoy the benefits of working from home when their presence is not required. Ideally, this transition from in-office to remote work should happen perpetually.
The hybrid work model can be implemented in different forms, depending on the company’s goals and the type of work required.
Not all hybrids are created equal. Under the term “hybrid work”, companies practise models with different degrees of flexibility in terms of place and time. We can distinguish 5 major types of hybrid work models that range from mostly office-bound to mostly remote.
The challenges of hybrid work are complex and range from leadership topics to legal issues (company agreements, data protection, etc.) to core HR topics such as employer branding and recruiting. Each of the hybrid work models above requires specific approaches in the mentioned management areas and with respect to technological support.
The bad news is: there's no one-size-fits-all off-the-shelf solution an organisation can implement. The good news is that the idea of hybrid work can be adapted to almost any business context. A crucial aspect of hybrid work models concerns the way employees communicate and exchange in professional collaboration situations as well as informally.
The transition to hybrid work will bring considerable benefits for businesses and employees as well. Employers will receive increased flexibility, productivity, and job satisfaction. Businesses will see an increase in bottom line and an expanded talent pool.
Hybrid work isn't only win-win, it's triple win:
There is plenty of research done to support the implementation of a hybrid work model.
Accenture found that 83% of employees want a hybrid work model.
9 out of 10 companies will combine remote work with in-office presence, according to a survey of CEO's conducted by McKinsey.
74% of CEOs from large organisations expect to reduce their office space, according to Fortune.
According to Kate Lister of Global Workplace Analytics, "...a typical employer can save about $11,000/year for each person who works "remotely" half the time.
It’s clear the new work model is here to stay, and the discussion has shifted from “if” to “how”.
One of the biggest concerns of managers is losing the sense of community and company culture that existed in the physical office. If you have disconnected employees, that means the creativity and productivity will diminish.
The so-called “watercooler moments'' are important for workers to stay connected one to another and feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Microinteractions play an important role in creativity because great work takes place in spontaneous interactions.
Managers in the hybrid office have the task of maintaining the sense of community and the company culture in the virtual office. Virtual watercooler activities began to emerge as a replacement for the physical situation when employers share moments together.
A virtual watercooler can be any virtual activity that helps the team bond. Some companies choose to play games together, share fun facts about themselves, or simply hang out in virtual break rooms. The idea is to encourage these moments to take place and to offer an easy way to do it.
The important aspect in maintaining a sense of community is to facilitate a way for teams to have these spontaneous moments with one another. Scheduled “watercooler moments” defeat the purpose of having spontaneous interactions, and this is why standard videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom fall short when they are used for hybrid work.
Hybrid work is inconceivable without a certain level of technological support. In addition to the actual equipment for employees with technology suitable for home offices, the different models of hybrid work differ primarily with regard to the collaborative aspects:
However, if value is placed on social interaction and "team spirit", using a virtual office such as ivCAMPUS is the right choice because it combines the benefits of a virtual office to a physical one.
A successful hybrid work model requires an adequate technical platform. Current tools, especially video-conferencing solutions fall short of implementing sustainable hybrid work models. ivCAMPUS combines the benefits of physical offices with those of remote collaboration. We digitalized office interactions to allow people to intuitively work together, socialise, and be part of the company culture just as they would in a real office. And all of this in an immersive platform that they can access from anywhere they want.
The future of work has arrived, sparking privacy concerns in remote and hybrid work setups. Operating in digital landscapes, companies face heightened risks of exposing sensitive business and employee data.
Collaboration with colleagues in the home office via video conferencing apps like MS TEAMS and Zoom has led to an explosion of meetings in calendars. In this article, we show how location-independent collaboration works better with a virtual office like ivCAMPUS.