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Hybrid Work Models in 2021 and Beyond

The Covid-19 pandemic brought many new developments, among which we count the hybrid work model. Combining WFH (work-from-home) and on-site work, hybrid models offer employees more flexibility when it comes to their individual management of time and locations. While 2020 saw a WFH model where many offices were closed, this year and beyond, it is expected that many companies will adopt the hybrid model to decrease costs and increase the productivity and satisfaction of their employees.

A survey in May 2020 showed that 55% of US workers want a mixture of home and office working. With the hybrid model’s popularity on the rise, we’ve outlined a few different setups that embrace this thinking.

  • Office-first: For those working in an office first environment, they will find that most of their time will be spent on-site working directly with their team. Working remotely will only take up a small portion of their hours, so the opportunities for travel are smaller. In this type of setup, companies give employees an allowance for a certain number of home office days that they can take every month.
  • Remote-first: A remote-first job will mean that you primarily work outside of the office by yourself. The company that you work for will have a physical location that you will need to occasionally visit for reporting or meetings. The rest of your team and co-workers may also have remote work conditions, which would encourage remote meetings over popular platforms like Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams.
  • Split teams: Split teams are a type of distributed workforce that manage to get the best of both worlds by collaborating remotely from two or more different locations. If you have a US company that is expanding into Europe, for example, your development team may be based in New York while your marketing team may be in Paris. The teams work in different locations, but together they work remotely to achieve a common goal. Team members could also be working on-site in their respective locations, but there is still a remote connectivity to teams abroad.
  • Hybrid teams: A hybrid team is one in which most team members are working from a fixed office location and less than 50% of the employees will be working outside of the office – the latter will occasionally have to come into the office to work with the rest of the team. This model is most flexible when it comes to collaboration with remote contractors and other third-party vendors. This is also becoming more popular with companies, especially in the technology sector. While more established businesses can be slow at taking a full plunge into remote work, this can be a good way to get them started on the right remote track. 

If your company is welcoming a hybrid model of work, it may be important to adjust operations to establish and encourage group chats and 1:1s for employees to get to know one another, to redesign benefits packages that support remote work, and to adapt meeting practices to be flexible to team members’ locations and time zones.

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