We’ve got hybrid work examples for you! Because, in some companies, due to the poorly selected hybrid work system, some employees decided to resign, companies need to learn how to efficiently implement the hybrid model. Check how Amazon, Apple, or Unilever coped with this task.
Hybrid work – advantages and disadvantages
It is worth approaching the subject of hybrid work carefully. While, at first glance, it may seem like there is nothing complicated to create a hybrid system, it is a bit more complex. First, you should consider the company’s needs, employee preferences, and external factors, such as that some cities are more crowded on Fridays than on Thursdays.
There are companies where employers try not to impose on their employees specific days on which they should be present stationary. Instead, for example, one week in advance, they ask their subordinates to set days for their stay in the office. As a result, people remain agile and have a say in when they work remotely and when not.
However, there are situations in which the employer or manager determines in advance the days on which employees must be present at the workplace. Research shows that such a model does not entirely suit employees who want to remain in decision-making. Companies often choose this solution due to the organizational culture, less trust in employees, or when they do not have practical tools for managing hybrid work.
Advantages of hybrid work:
- Increased productivity – research shows that people working in the hybrid model achieve the highest productivity. Creativity increases when you are in the office, and working from home allows you to focus.
- The balance between private life and work – the employee spends less time commuting to the office and has more time for personal life. In some big cities, people spend up even to three hours a day getting to work.
- Better relationships between colleagues – working entirely remote makes connections between people weaken, and the hybrid model allows you to eliminate this harmful factor. The Tidaro application has a function called “Who is in the office”, thanks to which employees can find themselves in the office more quickly and organize joint work.
- Cost reduction – with the introduction of hybrid work, the amount of office materials used is significantly reduced. Companies also noticed a positive change regarding less use of office equipment. Companies can even choose to move to smaller office, then implement hot desking. For that they can use popular desk booking solutions such as Tidaro.
- Decisions based on accurate data – office costs are also reduced. Knowledge about the presence of employees makes it possible to make the right decisions regarding the size of the office when negotiating a contract for the lease of office space.
- Ecology – the employee uses fewer means of transport, thus contributing to less pollution of the environment.
Disadvantages of hybrid work:
- Less contact with employees – poorly organized remote work may result in distance from employees. Then it is more difficult to identify problems that are worth solving on an ongoing basis.
- No choice – some employees want to work entirely remotely or stationary, so they may not be satisfied with the hybrid model.
- Hybrid meetings – when some employees work stationary and others remotely, it may be problematic to conduct meetings due to, for example, unstable internet connection or noise at home.
- Unequal treatment – some companies have a problem choosing one hybrid model, which confuses them, e.g., when some teams work remotely, and others are forbidden to do so.
- Difficulty in maintaining a positive atmosphere – it is much easier to recognize the mood of employees when you are with them daily. From the supervisor’s point of view, it is crucial that the team is motivated to act.
Various models of hybrid work
Hybrid work is the future, and the data confirm this! Capgemini surveyed 500 organizations and 5,000 employees worldwide. The results clearly show that:
- 75% of organizations expect at least 30% of employees to work remotely
- over 30% of organizations expect as much as 70% of employees to work remotely
There are various models of hybrid work; among the better known, we can distinguish:
Hybrid model: Office first
The “office-first” hybrid model requires employees to come to the office most of the month while allowing them to work remotely for only a few days. Many marketing agencies and accounting offices have chosen this model. This system works best for employees whose work sometimes requires personal cooperation.
Hybrid model: Partly remote
In the case of this hybrid work model, some people work mainly from the office and others entirely remotely. The division is usually based on the roles in the team, i.e., developers or the accounting department work entirely remotely, and the sales department is in the office and meets with clients.
By far, the most significant advantage of this model is the possibility of including people living in other cities and even countries in the team. In this way, you can significantly expand the available talent pool.
Many young companies and startups that want to scale their business choose this model. Thanks to the semi-remote mode of operation, the company maintains an office to which it can invite clients and investors.
Hybrid model: Flexible hybrid model
SAP has approached the implementation of the hybrid work model holistically. The company first surveyed employees, showing that 80 percent of employees want to work hybrid. On this basis, SAP created a new concept, “Pledge to Flex,” i.e., a flexible model of hybrid work.
SAP points out that this hybrid work model is 100% flexible and trust-based. The company emphasizes that employees can always return to the office and use the space if, for example, the conditions in their apartments do not allow for concentrated work, e.g., due to a neighbor’s renovation.
In practice, an SAP employee can choose a workplace every day without having to ask for permission. The company is constantly working on improving its space so that the employees who choose the office can work productively.
What hybrid work models have well-known companies decided to use?
Different companies approached the topic of hybrid work entirely differently. Some coped with this task better, others worse. Some companies have hired a new talent pool and significantly cut operating costs, while others have lost many longtime employees.
Apple is an example of a less successful hybrid model implementation. The tech giant met with tremendous resistance from employees to return to their offices. People are dissatisfied with the policy of going to the office at least three days a week. Due to the introduction of a hybrid work system that was not adapted to employees, the company lost, among others, a long-term employee – the Head of the Machine Learning department.
Apple employees pointed out, that the company wants to be recognized as a supplier of ideal tools for supporting remote and hybrid work. At the same time, it does not fully enable employees to do so.
Unilever can boast an exciting approach to hybrid work. According to the company’s hybrid model, employees spend 40% of their weekly working time in the office, another 40% work from home, and the remaining 20% from anywhere. Moreover, employees can work from another country once a year for four weeks.
As you can see, there are many ways to do hybrid work. What connects companies in which such systems function effectively? They are paying attention to the preferences of employees and the use of tools supporting hybrid work.
In the beginning, Amazon decided to use “office-first” hybrid model. However, it is now known that Amazon has stopped work on six new office buildings in the US to consider employee needs in the case of hybrid work. John Schoettler, Amazon’s vice president of global real estate and facilities, wrote in a statement:
“The pandemic has significantly changed the way people work. For our corporate and tech roles, we’ve adopted a hybrid model that offers employees increased flexibility – each team decides the balance between in-office and remote work that makes sense for them. It’s early days and like many companies, we’re still learning how these new habits may impact our office footprint. Our offices are long-term investments and we want to make sure that we design them in a way that meets our employees’ needs in the future. As we continue to learn, we’re pausing construction to reevaluate the design of some of our projects in Bellevue. This doesn’t affect our plans to bring more than 25,000 jobs to the city, or our commitment to continuing to invest in and engage with the community—including providing affordable housing and supporting local nonprofits.”
How to improve hybrid work in your company and support employees?
Well-organized hybrid work consists of many different factors. We have described the process thoroughly in our Hybrid Work Strategies topic. Check it out to understand how to create a proper hybrid work policy, to see what tools you can use to manage hybrid work, and also find out how various teams in the workplace can work together for a proper hybrid organization.
If you do not know how to organize hybrid work in your company or you need an effective tool supporting employees in returning to the office, contact us 😊