Hybrid work models are looking awfully like the future of work, but we did not expect that future to come so soon. The pandemic practically forced companies to adapt to a setup where putting employees in a single space comes with health warnings attached, or not possible at all. While many companies opt for a work-from-home setup, the hybrid model is a better alternative to businesses that require manual work and closer office collaboration.
There are different hybrid work setups that companies can choose from depending on their requirements and employee preferences.
3 Common Hybrid Working Models
There are three common hybrid workplace models, namely remote-first, office-occasional, and office-first setups.
As the name implies, a remote-first work setup prioritises remote work. It lets employees who have the ability to work from home or in a remote setting operate outside the office, without necessarily making the whole thing mandatory. This setup has become the primary hybrid work option for many companies at the onset of the pandemic. It works best for companies that offer services and do not require any manual labour in its operations. It also allows the retention of a skeleton crew that will keep the workplace operational while the business waits for the pandemic – or any similar incident – to run its course and resume normal operations.
The office-occasional setup is also ideal for companies with predominantly white-collar workers. In this setup, employees are provided the opportunity to work remotely, be it from home or at any place where they can perform their duties. However, they are required to report to the office at regular intervals. This setup works in companies where employees prefer the conveniences of working together in an actual workplace but cannot do so at all times due to public health restrictions. This also works for companies that are transitioning back from a work-from-home model to normal operations. The latter scenario is common in these times when vaccinations are on the rise and life is slowly returning to the pre-pandemic years.
Businesses running an office-first model prefer their employees to work from the office. However, workers are still allowed to work remotely or from the comfort of their homes so long as their situation requires. This allowance may also extend to employees who have the capacity to work away from the office and still deliver what their position demands. This model has been utilised by companies that require manual labor to operate, like factories and labour-intensive service providers. However, it is gradually becoming commonplace across all industries as we have come into the presumably waning days of the pandemic.
The Best Hybrid Working Model
Truth be told, there is no hybrid work model that can work across all companies and industries. Each business has different needs, and to choose the right working model for one requires a thorough assessment of their individual requirements. However, the office-occasional model seems to work best in this transitional period, when we are – hopefully – exiting the pandemic period and are resuming our normal working lifestyles.