Is your company one of the many embracing flexible work? Since the pandemic, workers and employers have had time to observe the pros and cons of a home office. People love remote work and the opportunity to choose where to work from. However, they still want to come on-site to work on team projects and to build workplace connections. The ideal solution is a flexible work model. You might be wondering, ‘what is a hybrid work schedule’? It is a concept that aims to fulfill modern employees’ expectations and has proven to have many benefits. Does it have downsides? Yes, but the disadvantages of flexible planning can be easily overcome with the right strategy and tools.
How do you find out who is in the office and when? How do you make sure your coworkers have the workspace they require when coming on-site? The deskbird team will tell you everything you need to know about the future of employee scheduling and how to successfully implement it!
What is a hybrid work schedule? Definition and examples
The meaning of a hybrid work schedule
A hybrid work schedule is one in which there is a mix of office and remote work days. This concept is gaining popularity globally as both employees and employers see the advantages of the home office while also wanting to maintain a workplace connection. A flexible schedule can take different forms according to your company policy and your employees’ expectations. For instance, some businesses require their staff to come on-site at least once a week while others estimate that once a month is enough.
Examples of different hybrid work schedules
What are examples of week planning? Every organization and workforce has different requirements. For this reason, each company can create its own way of working flexibly according to these requirements. Yet, three forms of flexible planning are often common in hybrid businesses:
The “at-will” model: employees come whenever they want on-site according to their professional and personal needs (the most popular version in 2022).
The “hybrid split-week” type: every week, team members work from home on the same days and the rest of the week in the office. This concept is more fixed.
The “week-by-week” format: a mix between operating remotely and on-site established on a weekly basis.
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What are the benefits of flexible planning? A more human way of working
Encourages a better work-life balance
One of the main advantages of the “work from anywhere” concept is that it gives more freedom and balance to employees. Being able to plan their schedule according to their needs enables them to embrace a better work-life balance. They can enjoy some exercise before work without having the pressure of commuting, for example. In the meantime, they can still come to the office to interact with their colleagues and participate in some team events in person. This equilibrium is essential for employee happiness, satisfaction, and well-being.
Adapts to individual peaks of productivity
Have you ever wondered why some people prefer to do sport in the morning while others are more active in the evening? We all function differently. Allowing your team to plan their week according to when their productivity peaks are is great for both satisfaction and business outcomes. It enables each employee to work more efficiently by getting things done in a shorter amount of time. With a hybrid work schedule, they can choose when and where they want to get things done! They can finally work in the way that is the most efficient for them, it is a win-win for everyone!
Answers everybody’s needs
Some people don’t enjoy working somewhere other than in the office because they are used to it and like to interact daily with their colleagues. However, an increasing number of workers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, see remote work as one of the most important employee benefits. How can you satisfy everybody? By introducing week planning in your work model! The future of work is based on more employee-centricity and flexible planning is a great way to achieve it.
Are you looking for solutions to prevent burnout in the workplace? Hybrid work is known to help burnout prevention. This model encourages leaving time for personal activities and time with friends and family, which are really crucial for employee mental health. As mentioned, it helps individuals have a better work-life balance, and therefore, minimizes the risk of chronic stress. Nevertheless, it can be easier for work depression to go unnoticed when working from home. Knowing the signs and symptoms of burnout is fundamental to avoid this issue.
The ability to choose where to work enables your employees to meet their needs and achieve peak performance. If they know they have to focus on a specific task and can’t be disturbed, they can opt for the best location to do so. This might be at home, in a third workplace, or in a quiet workspace at your office. With a traditional work model, they have to work at their desk even if it isn’t the ideal spot for them to concentrate. With a full remote policy, they have to collaborate on team projects and coordinate their operations virtually without being able to meet. They now have the choice to tackle their tasks wherever they want which can positively impact productivity.
What are the disadvantages of hybrid work schedules?
Needs great organization
Having some employees operating from home, others at the office, and sometimes, adding time differences to this context requires a flawless organization strategy. As an employer or a team leader, you need to know who is working and from where. If you decide to go further and implement flexitime, you also have to know who is working when. Scheduling conflicts can appear and create tensions. But, don’t worry, as hybrid work is here to stay, many solutions exist to help you avoid these situations. One of the most efficient is the use of a hybrid office planner like the deskbird app.
Requires great communication and coordination
In every organization, communication is essential and this is even more important when collaborating with a hybrid team. Your coworkers need to be able to communicate and coordinate their tasks as smoothly and efficiently as possible. When switching to a more flexible way of working, reaching this goal requires some adjustments and the use of the right technology. For instance, workspace management software and collaborative tools Notion, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.
👉 How do you manage your flexible workforce? Check out our hybrid office calculator to discover how you can optimize space and save costs!
Demands more effort to maintain workplace connection
How do you maintain your organizational culture in a hybrid work environment? How do you keep your team motivated and engaged? How do you boost feelings of community when your employees meet once every few weeks? Workplace connection is a major component of success that shouldn’t be underestimated. It might require more effort when you work with a flexible workforce. However, both workplace connection and hybrid work are priorities for the modern workforce. Finding a way to make these aspects successfully coexist can be difficult but it is crucial.
How do you efficiently embrace week planning? Key tips and recommendations
Create a tailor-made hybrid work schedule policy
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned three examples of hybrid work schedules to give you an idea about how it works. But, it is also important that you create your own version. First and foremost, it has to match your corporate values and your workers’ needs. Get your employees’ feedback, study their requests and determine which model can work for you and your team. The size of your company, the age of your workforce, your industry… These are all characteristics you have to analyze to create the right policy.
Train your HR team and managers about flexible scheduling
Working with a hybrid team, collaborating virtually, and organizing a hybrid work schedule is still a new practice. Understanding the pros and cons on top of knowing how to optimize this type of work will help your business thrive. To support everyone (employees, team leaders, HR managers, etc.) in embracing this new working model, you can offer flexible work training. This will help them understand this new concept and ensure a smooth transition.
👋 How happy is your workforce about their work environment? Discover how to create an employee satisfaction questionnaire to learn what the strengths and weaknesses of your organization are!
Prioritize organization, efficiency, and employee centricity
When providing greater flexibility to your workforce, expectations, and processes should be clearly defined. Your employees have to know what is allowed, who is working where, how they get access to the working areas they need (meeting rooms, individual desks, collaborative workspace, etc.), and so on. Establishing a people-focused strategy will enable your staff to work efficiently and get the most out of this work model. The right resources can help foster greater employee centricity. Let’s find out what the must-have online solutions are.
Which are the most important tools for teams with a hybrid work schedule?
Project management tools
Flexibility implies some changes and rethinking the way we operate. How can your team members easily communicate and share information? Where do they find all the data they require to perform their job correctly? How do you follow up on the progress of different projects when all working from different places? All these aspects need to be centralized somewhere so they are easy to access. The best solution is to use a project management tool. A project management tool is essential for managing remote teams and tracking progress. Or to finance major office renovations, with a refurbishment loan, for example, as it can provide the additional funds needed to purchase and pay for the renovation works on the property.
The most common and popular ones include:
Desk booking and week planning software
According to Zippia, “63% of high-growth companies use a ‘productivity anywhere’ hybrid work model,” which exemplifies the potential and popularity of this concept. To facilitate your office space management, make sure your employees have the right workspace when they are on-site, and simplify collaboration processes, you need a tool specifically created for hybrid teams. A desk booking software like deskbird enables your staff to organize their weekly planning in a few clicks. They can also see who is coming to the office and when which fosters teamwork and boosts workplace connection. The cherry on top is that the interactive floor plan helps them choose the perfect spot by seeing all the areas in the workplace in real time!
You now have a clear idea about what a hybrid work schedule is, its pros and cons as well as how to make the most out of it. Flexible planning is bringing new opportunities for organizations to focus more on their employees’ needs and well-being, which makes them more attractive to prospective talent and more successful overall. Are you ready for this new way of working? Do you have the right tools to embrace all the benefits of work flexibility?
Request a demo of the deskbird app to discover a user-friendly solution with smart features to help make hybrid work!
Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.