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Hybrid workplace: learn how to embrace the best working model

Published:

August 25, 2022

Updated:

December 28, 2023

Creating a hybrid workplace has become a norm for all organizations that aspire to have a people-centric approach and embrace the future of work. Companies are getting more familiar with enabling flexible work arrangements. Yet, while working hybrid is proven to make employees happier, more satisfied, and thriving, simply announcing that people can work from home two days a week is not enough.

Many questions need to be put on the table. Is your office layout future-proof and ready for this way of working? Are leaders familiar with the idea of leading a hybrid team and know the challenges of remote collaboration? Do you have your hybrid toolkit ready, or are you still wondering which technology to embrace this working style successfully?

As experts in flexible work, we created this little guide, including clear insights, best practices, and hybrid team management tips. With this key information, you will hopefully be ready to make the most of the working model that lets your staff choose their favorite work location

What’s a hybrid workplace?

Definition of a hybrid workplace

A hybrid workplace is a working model based on a “work from anywhere policy.” Most of the time, employees either work from home or in the office. But they can also choose to work from a “third workplace.” This last option implies that people can freely decide their working location, whether it is a coffee shop in Munich or an Airbnb in Greece.

round office tables with chairs and television
Offices must be equipped with the right tools and spaces

The reasons why it has become so popular

Hybrid workplaces became popular when the COVID-19 pandemic slowed, and companies started forcing their employees back into the office. While being obligated to work from home during lockdowns, workers realized the perks of remote work. Yet, in-person interactions and a loss of workplace connection made them want to come back on-site. So, what could organizations do to answer their staff’s needs while meeting theirs, too? The answer is simple: allowing a mix of remote and in-office days by creating a hybrid workplace based on a “work from anywhere” policy.

Hybrid workplace examples

As explained in our guide about hybrid work models, you can implement a hybrid way of working in various ways. The key is to understand and consider your business needs clearly and, most importantly, the needs of your team members. According to your findings and your company’s culture, a hybrid working schedule can be:

  • fixed (hybrid split-week, week-by-week model, etc.);
  • office first;
  • remote first;
  • at-will.

🙌 deskbird tip: employee centricity is a crucial aspect for workers. Adopting a people-first approach when it comes to hybrid work is essential to succeed.

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What do the hybrid workplace statistics reveal?

What hybrid workplace statistics reveal about employees’ expectations

Experts keep a close eye on the evolution of modern ways of working. Here are what statistics reveal about employees’ expectations regarding hybrid work:

  • 55% of employees wish to work at home or in a third workplace at least three days a week. 1
  • 59% of job applicants are more likely to say yes to a position with remote work opportunities over one without it. 1
  • 84% of the global workforce affirm their company has switched to a hybrid work model in 2022 in comparison to 54% for 2021. 2

What data says about the financial impact of a hybrid way of working

One of the main advantages of a hybrid workplace is its positive impact on both the business’ and employees’ finances. Working hybrid benefits everyone's bank accounts in multiple ways, from workspace optimization to saving on bills and Human Resources cost reduction. Here are key data about this topic:

  • Employee turnover decreases by 12% in firms with remote work opportunities. 1
  • Businesses save up to $11,000 per year for each part-time remote worker (on average). 3
  • 82% of CFOs consider hybrid workplaces as a more affordable business model. 3
  • Hybrid companies can save up to 30% on office costs, according to what our hybrid office calculator and our study about office cost-cutting solutions reveal. 

Person working in office space
Person working in office space

What hybrid work statistics indicate in terms of generational preferences

When working with a multigenerational workforce, you need to understand the needs of each generation. What do Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z expect when it comes to working hybridly?

  • 13.9% of Baby Boomers and Gen X, 13% of Millennials, and 12.7% of Gen Z would like to work only in the office.
  • 28.3% of the two oldest generations in the workplace, 34.5% of Millennials, and 42.2% of the youngest generation would like to work remotely 1 or 2 days per week.
  • 36.4% of people born between 1946 and 1980, 37.8% of employees born between 1981 and 1996, and 30.4% of workers born after 1997 and before 2012 would prefer 3 or 4 days at home per week.
  • 21.4% of Baby Boomers and Gen X, 14.7% of Millennials, and 14.7% of Generation Z would enjoy working full-time remotely.

👉 Check our article about Millennials and Gen Z to learn what characterizes the two youngest generations in the workplace and how to make them thrive! 

How do you build a successful hybrid workplace?

1. Assess the needs of your hybrid workplace and team

Determine which job positions can be done remotely

For some job positions, working remotely is either impossible or challenging. For this reason, adapting your working model is fundamental to avoid creating stress and dissatisfaction among your team. One by one, analyze the different roles and their related tasks. Discuss it with your coworkers and get their opinions before deciding whether remote work opportunities are an option for their position. 

Learn about your employees’ remote work preferences

Some team members prefer working at home only one day per week, while others rather have two days off-site weekly, and others want even more. This is crucial information to take into account. Try to collect your staff’s preferences and then figure out a system that works for everyone and makes them all happy. The best decision is often to adopt the most employee-centric approach. It can be an “at-will” scheduling model, for example. You can still require your coworkers to come on-site three days a week, but let them choose when. 

Analyze if your office layout matches the needs of a hybrid workforce

When allowing more work flexibility in your workplace, the purpose of your office space drastically changes. Not everyone is coming on-site every day, and you might sometimes end up with a half-empty or empty workplace. The use of the physical workplace also evolves. Employees tend to take the opportunity to meet in person to carry out collaborative work instead of individual tasks. Because of the drop in the office occupancy rate and the new vision of office use, using a hybrid office calculator and adjusting your workspace layout is essential.

women working in a hybrid office

2. Choose the right hybrid workplace technology

Provide your staff with the best collaboration and communication tools

No matter if your team members work at the office or from their homes, their working location shouldn’t impact their interactions and productivity. A flexible work environment is rarely successful without the support of hybrid workplace technology and the use of the right virtual collaboration tools

For example, desk booking software such as deskbird helps you manage your hybrid workspace and boost teamwork thanks to our weekly planning feature. In the glimpse, employees can see their colleagues’ schedules. They can then pick a day to meet on-site and use our room booking option to make sure they have the workspace they need. 

Look for the most suitable cloud-based storage and file-sharing platform for remote teams

When working remotely, your staff has to get access to all the information they need as if they were on-site. To fulfill this requirement, efficient online resources exist, such as cloud-based storage and file-sharing platforms. They allow team members to obtain and share documents and data from anywhere, anytime, via any device with an Internet connection. 

Furthermore, they provide cost-effective and scalable solutions for businesses of all sizes, as they eliminate the need for expensive on-site storage infrastructure and offer flexible pricing models according to your usage. Most important is to determine your needs and those of your employees. You can then choose the one that will support them best in their daily work life. 

Invest in the right cybersecurity systems to ensure a safe and secure hybrid workplace

Allowing employees to work from different locations and use various devices to access company data and systems also increases these risks. Therefore, securing your content is more essential than ever to prevent cyberattacks and protect sensitive information.

Cyber risk management solutions include firewalls, antivirus software, two-factor authentication, and encryption. You can get the help of organizations specialized in this field. They will safeguard your networks, tools, and data to protect your business against malware, phishing, and ransomware threats.

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3. Prioritize transparent communication and trust

Set clear expectations and design your own hybrid work policy

Great communication has always been a core part of successful collaboration. Yet, the rise of remote work has forced businesses to review employees’ ways of communicating. Working from different locations increases the risk of misunderstanding or poor communication. 

Leaders have to make sure their team members have the right tools to interact efficiently, set clear expectations, and be transparent. Without managing this key aspect, performance might drop, frustration rise, and employee satisfaction decrease. 

Moreover, you also need to be clear about what you expect from your hybrid employees and what they are entitled to do regarding their flexible work arrangements. Creating a hybrid work policy is, therefore, crucial.

Emphasize the importance of trust and accountability in a flexible work environment

Leaders tend to start over controlling their staff in a hybrid work environment as they can’t see them and interact with them in person daily. While one of the main purposes and benefits of a hybrid workplace is giving your staff more autonomy and meeting your staff’s needs, the psychological effects of micromanagement erase it all. Fostering trust in the workplace and reliable relationships among them is essential to making a hybrid workforce thrive. Also, not seeing each other every day in the office doesn’t mean you should avoid taking responsibility. Your team members should remain accountable for their actions, and so should you. 

Encourage informal interactions and team-building activities among your hybrid teams

Maintaining a workplace connection and genuine relationships can become more challenging when everybody works from different locations. We highly recommend encouraging informal interactions and integrating team-building activities to prevent this from happening in your business. You can have a look at our team-bonding ideas to implement in indoor, outdoor, and online hybrid work environments. It might sound like a “nice” thing to do at first, but the outcomes of boosting team building are fundamental for your organization. Not only do they give them the opportunity to get to know each other better, but they also improve collaboration, encourage trust, and strengthen their bonds.

men shaking hands

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We hope this article helps you better understand a hybrid workplace, its pros and cons, and how to foster hybrid working successfully. Taking employee-centricity as your red line is undoubtedly the best approach you have to make the most out of flexible work. Analyze your workspace, listen to your staff’s needs, be open to the new trends of the future of work, and see the magic happen! 

Are you looking for a user-friendly tool to manage your hybrid office space and workforce? Would you like to discover software that makes both employees and companies happy and successful? Request a free demo of the deskbird app and see how we make your hybrid workplace fly to the next level!

1 30 ESSENTIAL HYBRID WORK STATISTICS [2023]: THE FUTURE OF WORK, Zippia.

2 2023 STATE OF THE REPORT, Akumina.

3 CFOs see hybrid work as a cost-cutting opportunity, Fortune.

Paulyne

Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.

Hybrid workplace: learn how to embrace the best working model