As America re-emerges after the pandemic lockdowns, businesses and organizations have some big decisions to make. Some employees are itching to chat with their coworkers face-to-face; other employees are working comfortably at their kitchen tables, dreading the day that employers will mandate a return to the office. With a variety of opinions from employees, many employers find themselves in a bind -- should they return to the office or remain remote?
If you find yourself in a similar predicament, the answer might be a hybrid model.
What’s a hybrid model?
A hybrid return-to-work model is a work structure in which employees partially work from home and partially work in the office. This schedule is completely customizable to each business; it does not require an exact 50/50 split between home and office. It’s also customizable on an employee-to-employee basis. Some people might be more available to return to the office than others, so you can work with employees’ individual schedules.
What are the pros to a hybrid model?
Access to Teams
Creativity flows better in an in-person team environment! Meeting in the office once or twice a week allows for effective brainstorming and bouncing ideas off of other employees. Also, it’s much easier to integrate a new employee into a team by meeting in the office.
Utilization of Technology
Technology now exists that allows both in-person and remote employees to meet together, such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. High-risk employees and employees with children’s schedules to consider might benefit from utilizing technology to join the in-office team for meetings and discussions.
The benefit of in-person connection cannot be minimized. Remote employees cited loneliness as their biggest struggle in a study by Buffer. Implementing a hybrid model can aid in team camaraderie and minimize the feeling of isolation.
Is a hybrid model a good fit for my business?
When considering a hybrid model, consider details such as the number of meetings and projects your teams tackle each month. For example, fully remote might be a better option if meetings are minimal and most employees work independently. It’s also important to note that if you’re seeing some employees in person more than others, the voices of the in-person employees naturally will be heard more loudly and more often. This sets them up for promotions and influence more than the employees working remotely.