Jun 22, 2022
By Kate Camerlin

What Is Hybrid Work? Here Are the Top Things to Know

What Is Hybrid Work?

Hybrid work is a type of workplace strategy that supports both in-office and remote workers. It offers employees the flexibility to choose where and how they work—both in the office and at home.

When done correctly, hybrid work provides employees the opportunity to work in the ways that are most productive for them.

Why Should Organizations Consider Hybrid Work?

Hybrid work has gained popularity over the past several years; the pandemic led to a sharp increase in remote workers, and many found that they were equally (if not more) productive from home. Now that companies are opening their buildings and facilities back up, employees often prefer the flexibility that working remotely offers.

One Gallup poll noted that 54% of employees working exclusively from home said they would probably look for another job if they were required to come back full time, and 38% of hybrid workers said the same.

 “Currently, nine in 10 remote-capable employees prefer some degree of remote-work flexibility going forward, and six in 10 specifically prefer hybrid work.”—Gallup, 2022

Companies are adopting hybrid work strategies as a compromise between fully remote and fully in-person scenarios, as it supports the flexible work expectations of their employees while maintaining the benefits of in-person collaboration.

Key Benefits

Hybrid work offers several key benefits to organizations and their employees.

Increased Flexibility for Employees

Workers can more effectively balance work with other family or personal obligations.

In fact, a recent poll by Gallup notes that when employees prefer to work remotely but are made to come back full time, they experience:

  • Lower engagement
  • Higher intent to leave
  • Higher levels of burnout

Ultimately, by being able to work where and how they need, employees are happier and more engaged—leading to a more productive workforce.

Organizations Can Re-Evaluate Their Real Estate Portfolios

Companies implementing remote and hybrid work policies should re-examine how they use their existing facilities and buildings. In this new model, offices can become more purposeful collaboration spaces designed to enable in-person teamwork.

For example, CISCO recently rethought their facilities spaces after adopting a hybrid work approach; this meant evolving their office, so it was no longer optimized for individual work—instead, they optimized it for 30% individual work and 70% collaboration.

The thought is that employees can do much of their individual work (such as writing, working in spreadsheets, or emailing) from home and then go into the office to collaborate in person.

Ultimately, with hybrid and remote work, employers have the opportunity to re-examine the way they’re using their corporate spaces. They should consider how and why workers come into the office to make sure their employees are as productive and purposeful as possible.

Types of Hybrid Working Models

There’s no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to hybrid work. Instead, there are many approaches that an organization can consider based on its individual company culture and requirements.

For example, Inc. and WebEx list several options, including:

  1. An office-centric approach: In this framework, organizations ask their employees to come into the office most of the week, but they allow employees to work from home occasionally.
  2. A fixed hybrid work model: The organization allows workers to be remote, but mandates that employees return to the office once or twice per week on fixed days (such as Tuesdays and Thursdays). This means there are designated collaboration days in which workers are expected to have in-person meetings, but for the rest of the week, they can work from home.
  3. A remote-centric approach: With this approach, employees are mostly remote—however, they can come into the office on the days that work for them. Individual teams and working groups can decide when and how they meet in person, rather than leaving it up to the organization.

Organizations should take stock of their own priorities and requirements to decide which model to adopt.

How to Make Flexible Work a Success

In order to ensure this approach will be successful, there are several things to keep in mind. For remote work, you need to make sure you’re not just re-creating the office virtually; you need to take a more human-centric approach and give your employees what they need to succeed. Employers can do this by focusing on outcomes and goals rather than on the process for how tasks get done. Management should ensure employees feel as though they’re working toward a common goal and are part of a team in order to boost engagement.

Additionally, companies need to make sure that employees have the tools and infrastructure to get their work done—for example, by setting employees up with the right equipment both at home and at the office, and ensuring workers can access important applications no matter where they are.

How Software Solutions Can Help

Organizations are increasingly adopting software solutions to help manage their workplaces going forward—but what should they be looking for when navigating through all the choices?

It’s important to find a solution that includes the ability to reserve workspaces, desks, collaboration areas, and equipment easily from a mobile app. That way, your employees know they have exactly what they need before getting to the office. They can make sure they’re sitting with their team and that their group has the space they need to collaborate.

Additionally, a solution with wayfinding capabilities allows employees who may not be as familiar with your office spaces to find the room, equipment, or person they need much more easily.

Integrating the solution with real-time sensors to gather usage data allows management teams to see which spaces are being used most often and which might need to be rethought.

Plus, with a solution that both the space and facilities teams can use, you can optimize your cleaning schedules, track assets, and manage equipment and building maintenance to make sure your facilities are running as smoothly as possible.

Nuvolo Connected Workplace: Going Beyond Traditional Workplace Management

Nuvolo Connected Workplace offers these capabilities and more. It goes beyond being a traditional space and workplace management solution. It is your single solution for all facilities requests, work orders, space data, and more—and it enables you to better track your leases and real estate portfolio.

When everything resides in one place, you can more easily visualize key metrics, report to stakeholders, and forecast trends. Plus, Connected Workplace enables you to track projects so that you can plan and implement construction and renovation projects as your rethink your office spaces.

Interested in learning more? Check out Connected Workplace.