Are you thinking about going remote but aren’t sure if you want to “go all the way”? Your company switched to working from home during the pandemic, and you are thinking about leaving the office for good, but you have some reservations. On the other hand, while you may be lamenting “the good old office days,” your employees are enjoying their work-from-home arrangement.
In this article, we will present five different hybrid and remote work models for your consideration. Examine them to find the right fit for your business:
1. Office-Centric Hybrid Model
Office-first or office-centric hybrid model requires employees to come to the office most of the time while allowing them to work remotely for specific reasons.
Employees are typically given one or two days per week or several days per month to work remotely. They may be able to use this flexibility reward whenever they want in some cases. Other organisations grant remote days on a case-by-case basis, depending on who needs to be at the office and when.
Companies that follow this model believe that physical distance is an impediment to successful team collaboration. Their goal is not to go remote; rather, they offer this flexibility as an additional employee benefit. This type of organisation’s leadership is mostly based in the office.
2. Hybrid Remote Office
The hybrid remote model provides multiple work models from which employees can choose. It may sound like a flexible hybrid at first, but the main difference is that this model requires employees to choose one of the available work arrangement options and stick to it.
The model can accommodate a variety of arrangements, including full-time office work, office-based work with several remote days per week, and a fully remote option. This is usually done for better logistical purposes. It enables businesses to plan the distribution of their resources ahead of time.
The leadership, like the employees, can choose and stick to the arrangement that works best for them.
3. Fully Flexible Hybrid Model
The flexible hybrid work model allows employees to choose when they want to work from the office and when they want to work from home. This model may occasionally impose constraints, such as mandatory office Mondays for closer collaboration. This, however, cannot be accomplished in geographically dispersed distributed teams.
Companies that follow this model believe that giving employees the freedom to choose where they work will make them happier and more productive. Their office spaces are typically based on hot desks, which means that no one has a designated workspace, and everyone is free to use any desk that is available.
In this model, leadership can be both office- and remote-based and some leaders choose to reinforce company policy by fully embracing flexibility.
4. Remote-ish (or remote-friendly) Hybrid Model
Some teams are fully remote (e.g., content team) in the partly remote hybrid model, while others are office-bound (e.g., the HR department). According to one of the largest surveys of remote workers, as many as 43% of respondents work in this model.
Some companies that use this model allow some remote flexibility for office employees, but their main feature is that they also have fully remote teams.
Companies that use this model must ensure that they have the appropriate communication channels in place to connect their office and remote teams. Within this model, top management is typically based in an office.
5. Remote (or virtual)-first
Unlike the previous options, remote work is the default in the remote-first model, whether from employees’ homes or other non-company locations. The company that uses this model still has some office space so that people can come in on occasion, but all operations and policies are in line with remote work and its requirements.
In other words, this model actively encourages remote work rather than simply allowing it. Remote-first businesses typically rely on a variety of tools to support communication and collaboration and ensure that everyone receives all the information they require on time.
Companies that follow this model believe that remote work is the future, but they also want to provide options for employees who prefer to work in an office setting.
What about distributed work?
Distributed and remote work is frequently used interchangeably. Remote work refers to an employee-level work arrangement, whereas distributed work is primarily a team and company-level construct.
Distributed work entails coordinating tasks across multiple locations. Each of the models described here can incorporate distributed work. However, distributed work does not always imply remote work. Co-located teams, for example, who collaborate from two or more offices around the world are distributed but not remote.
The five models mentioned above are the most representative of what is in use across a wide range of businesses. The truth is that there are as many hybrid and remote models as there are businesses that use them because each company’s needs are unique.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all work model. When deciding on the best option for your company, consider the pros and cons of each, and your organisation’s specific needs, and mix and match the elements you like. Finally, you will not know what works for you until you try it, so march boldly into the hybrid future of work, and do not worry if the model you have chosen is not ideal — you can tweak it along the way.