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Hybrid work schedule: a complete guide to master this working model

Published:

November 3, 2022

Updated:

December 1, 2023

Since 2020, many companies have adopted a more flexible approach toward their employees’ working location. While coming to the office a few days a week or a month only is now the norm, it is important to understand what a hybrid work schedule is and what it implies.

Some businesses don’t see the benefits of a flexible timetable like many others do. What are they doing differently? Switching to a hybrid work model doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t mean you just tell your team, “You can work from home next week if that suits you better”.

There is a lot to consider when implementing more flexibility in your workers’ schedules if you want to see positive outcomes for them and your organization at the end of the day. If you want to learn more about hybrid scheduling and how to make the most out of it, here is a complete guide to making it happen successfully.

Meaning of a hybrid work schedule

A hybrid work schedule is a versatile framework that combines in-office presence with remote work. As organizations adapt to changing workforce expectations and leverage technological advancements, this model has become increasingly sought after for its balance of flexibility and structure. On one hand, employees enjoy the comfort of working from home, saving time on commutes, and better focus. On the other hand, they benefit from direct interaction, mentorship, and a sense of community when they come on-site. 

The frequency of on-site work can vary from weekly to monthly, rooted in the nature of the job and company culture. Implementation requires careful consideration of individual and team needs, fostering a harmonious work-life balance. Embracing this approach not only caters to diverse preferences but can also boost productivity, employee well-being, and talent retention. Yet, businesses usually adopt one of the following models of hybrid scheduling.

👉 Discover more about the real cost of commuting!

Understanding what a hybrid work schedule is through concrete examples

The “hybrid split-week” schedule 

With this model, companies determine specific days for workers to come to the office and others to perform remotely. This type of hybrid work schedule is fixed. For example, Monday and Friday are off-site days, while Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday employees are expected to be on-site. This scheduling system avoids confusion but doesn’t always answer workers’ needs and aligns with one of the most important aspects of today’s workforce: flexibility.

The “week-by-week” format

This option is a mix of operating remotely and in the office on a weekly basis. Team members come on-site one week out of two. It is easy to implement but doesn’t always match the company’s and employees’ needs. Let’s say you are currently working on an important project, and investors decide to come on the days everyone is supposed to work from home. It totally messes up your entire scheduling plan.

The “at-will” model

The “at-will” work schedule is certainly the one that answers the most to modern employees and companies. Team members have the option to come on-site whenever they want, according to their professional and private needs. For instance, some people tend to focus better at home and, therefore, choose to work remotely when they have a big project to work on. They then prefer to be at the office to attend meetings and connect with their colleagues. 

🎬 Want to learn more about our mission and how we can support your hybrid work environment? Discover the features of the deskbird app in our less than 2-minute video!

Woman writing on notepad at kitchen counter with laptop open
Woman working hybrid from her kitchen.

The benefits of hybrid work schedules

Encourages 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? This is because we all have different peaks of productivity. Allowing your team to consider this aspect when planning their week is great for productivity, innovation, and success. It enables each employee to work more efficiently by performing their tasks in a shorter amount of time. With a hybrid work schedule, they can adapt their agenda to focus when they know they will get the most things done! Letting them work in the way that suits them best is a win-win for everyone!

Answers the needs of multigenerational teams

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. So, how can you satisfy everybody to keep a happy and productive workforce? Introducing hybrid scheduling in your work model helps you do so. The future of work is all about employee centricity and flexibility, hybrid work is the perfect match to achieve it.

Reduces risks of burnout

Employee burnout keeps rising and becomes a real issue for (too) many businesses. Because hybrid work improves work-life balance, reduces stress, and offers a people-centric approach, it is known to lower the risks of burnout. This model encourages leaving time for personal activities and for friends and family, which are truly crucial for your staff’s 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 doing home office work. Knowing the signs and symptoms of burnout is fundamental to avoiding this issue.

👋Learn more about the undeniable link between hybrid work and mental health.

Enables employees to be in the work environment that suits them best

Choosing 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 in person. They now have the choice to tackle their tasks wherever they want. This is a life changer when it comes to performance and productivity.

Decreases office costs

Implementing a hybrid work model often implies rethinking your workspace layout and downsizing your office. On top of cutting your rent bills, you also lower other costs like electricity, water, hardware, etc. While you used to need 1000 square meters of space, you now only require 500. This cash flow can be reinvested into creating a more employee-centric work environment, enabling digital transformation, boosting innovation, and so on.

Person looking at calendar on ipad
Person scheduling their hybrid week.

The potential downsides of hybrid scheduling

Needs great organization

Having employees operating from home, a few in the office, and others sitting in a third workplace can sometimes get chaotic in terms of management. Add time differences, and you start to lose it! Except if you’ve prepared for this change and have a flawless organization. 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 be aware of who is working when. Scheduling conflicts can appear and create tensions. But, since hybrid work is now the norm, many solutions exist to avoid these situations. You can, for example, use a hybrid week planner like the one available on the deskbird app.

Requires great communication and coordination

In every organization, communication is crucial. This is even more important when collaborating with a hybrid team. Your coworkers need to interact and coordinate as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Consider that employees from different generations don’t communicate the same (read our article about the Gen Z communication style, for example). Also, when switching to a more flexible way of working, investing in the right tools is essential to ensure a seamless and effective transition. For instance, using workspace management software, collaborative solutions, and desk and room booking platforms like deskbird is a must.

Demands more effort to maintain workplace connection and culture

How do you maintain a strong organizational culture in a hybrid work environment? How do you keep your team motivated and engaged when seeing them only now and then? How do you boost the sense of belonging when employees meet irregularly? Workplace connection is a major component of companies with great outcomes. It shouldn’t be underestimated. It requires more effort when you work with people in different locations. However, the idea of feeling part of a community and hybrid work are priorities for the modern workforce. Finding a way to make these aspects coexist can be difficult. Yet, it is one of the secret ingredients of a successful business.

Valuable tips and best practices to implement hybrid work planning successfully

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 a concrete idea about how it works. But, as we also highlighted, creating your own model is fundamental. Most importantly, it must match your corporate values and workers’ needs. Get your employees’ feedback, study their requests, and determine which setup can work for you and for them. The size of your company, the age of your workforce, your industry… These are all characteristics you have to analyze to develop a hybrid work policy that is people-centric, inclusive, and successful.

Train your HR team and managers about flexible scheduling

We are constantly learning how to collaborate virtually, boost team bonding, organize hybrid work schedules using new digital tools, etc. Being aware of the pros and cons, as well as knowing the best practices for hybrid work, is crucial to making this shift to a more modern way of working successfully. To support everyone in embracing this new working model, offering flexible work training can be a great idea. This helps all team members understand this modern approach to work and ensures a smooth transition.

Rethink and optimize your workspace to match hybrid teams’ needs

Is your office designed for a hybrid workforce? The role of the office has changed over the last few years with the emergence of more flexible work arrangements. While it used only to be a place to go to perform our jobs, it is now where team bonding and company culture arise. It is also the place where employees go when they require specific equipment or need to do certain tasks with their colleagues in person. Single desks remain more and more empty while meeting rooms and collective areas are buzzing with excitement.

💥 Read our article to implement creative workplace ideas to boost your hybrid team’s creativity and innovativeness!

Two co workers sharing notes at desk with notebooks and laptops
Co-Workers collaborating in the office.

Invest in digital tools tailored for hybrid teams

Investing in tailored tools for hybrid teams is pivotal to ensuring productivity and maintaining a cohesive work environment. Hybrid work schedules present unique operational challenges. Custom-made tools address the specific needs of a distributed workforce. They enhance seamless communication, collaboration, and project management across distances and time zones. They also guarantee that all team members, no matter their location, have equal access to resources, can contribute effectively, and remain aligned with organizational goals. A well-thought-out digital ecosystem leads to increased employee satisfaction, performance, and retention. The top three technologies hybrid workers should have access to are:

  • a desk booking software (for example, deskbird includes desk and room booking, interactive floor plan, hybrid week scheduling, event planning, etc.).
  • a project management tool (Clickup, Asana, Notion, Trello, Monday, etc.).
  • hybrid communication platforms and hardware (Slack, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, virtual reality headsets, etc.).

The hybrid work schedule represents a transformative approach to the modern workplace that is both adaptive and people-centric. By balancing the benefits of remote and in-office work, organizations are able to optimize productivity while simultaneously bolstering employee satisfaction and well-being. This balance also addresses the growing need for flexibility that today’s workforce demands, leading to improved work-life balance and the retention of top talent. For businesses eager to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving job market, implementing a well-structured hybrid work model is not merely an option but a strategic requirement.

Are you ready to embrace this new way of working? As experts in flexible workspace management, we support you in creating a thriving work environment for your hybrid teams while enabling office cost reduction. Request a demo of the deskbird app to discover a user-friendly solution with smart features that answer the needs of modern businesses!

Hybrid work schedule: a complete guide to master this working model

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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