Hybrid and remote work are terms frequently used but not always clearly defined. This may lead to misunderstandings. Thus, here you will find 4 ways of categorizing a hybrid work model. A company could have all 4 categories within their company. The 4 hybrid work models should be used to provide a vocabulary for a more nuanced dialogue about hybrid and remote work.
There are four types of hybrid work models:
- Working from home
- Remote work
- Distributed work
1. In-office - working primarily from the office
In-office refers to organizations preferring to have their employees physically at the office to perform their tasks. In the in-office environment, working hours are not as flexible and the chances of working remotely are limited. You might be able to have an occasional day at home, but the organization prefers to see employees work from the office. This is known as the traditional way of running a business.
If you want to create the most optimal in-office atmosphere, feel free to read our 9-must reads for returning to the office.
The pros of working in-office:
- It is easier to create alignment across departments
- It is optimal for creating a healthy social environment among colleagues
- It makes it easier to establish a corporate culture
The cons of working in-office:
- Less work-life flexibility for employees
- Distrust between management and employees - if leaders do not trust their employees to work from home
2. Working from home - switching between home and office
Working from home implies that you have a physical desk at your office location but have the option to work flexibly from your home or other places outside the office as well. This means that employees can leave work early and put in a shift at home at another hour, if they need to pick up their kids early or have other important activities. Working from home is a hybrid work model focusing on constant switching between working at the office and at home. Hence, you can work some of your hours outside the office, but you still have a physical desk.
The working from home methodology is increasingly popular and with good reason. Read more here on why employees prefer a hybrid working model: the future of workspace through the eyes of the employees.
The pros of working partly from home:
- Higher flexibility for employees = raising efficiency and wellbeing for some
- Optimal for creating focus days - where you need deep concentration
The cons of working partly from home:
- More effort is required to plan and structure collaboration
- Requires new methods of visualizing availability when you are at the office. See our Meeting Dashboards for inspiration.
3. Remote - working away from the office
Remote work implies that employees are working primarily from home, or constantly switching between various locations. This could be employees who have a long commute to the office, employees who travel a lot, or employees who simply prefer not to go to the office.
The remote environment changes the purpose of our offices where the focus changes to activity-based sessions as there is no need to have rooms filled with physical desks for employees, who are simply not there. Thereby, companies can spend their resources on creating more creative and collaborative workstations ensuring the best environments for innovation and learning. Some companies are opting in for hot desking, which makes it possible for companies to book available desks in their organization. This results in a reduction of non-used equipment and makes it easy to collaborate across departments.
The pros of remote working:
- Creating an office with fewer desks and more creative and collaborative workstations
- Hiring is not limited to a physical location anymore
- Employees get the freedom and trust to work from anywhere
The cons of remote working:
- Hard to create cultural alignment and socialize from a distance
- Difficult to manage and supervise remote teams
4. Distributed - working without an office
This is the most radical of the four. The distributed work environment functions without a physical office for employees. Here employees can choose to work from anywhere, but they do not have the option of going to the office. Instead, they can work from home or meet up at cafes. The purpose of this hybrid work model is to cut down on facility costs and rent by providing the freedom for employees to work from anywhere. It is primarily seen in small companies and start-ups with less complexity in terms of collaboration.
The pros of the distributed hybrid work model:
- Cutting down on facility costs
- Being able to work from anywhere
The cons of the distributed hybrid work model:
- Difficult to collaborate and align company culture
- Difficult to supervise and manage teams
How to choose the right hybrid work model?
Hybrid work models are built upon trust. If you want the best results, it is important to begin a dialogue with your employees. Get your co-workers to mention how they would prefer to work. Some might want to do an in-office model primarily working at the office, while others could prefer to work from home or remote.
You get the most out of your workers when their ideal working methods are met. So why not implement more than one model?
Get the right equipment for your hybrid work model