Google wants most employees back in the office three days a week, Twitter is leaving the nest and letting people work wherever they want, and Apple is getting flack for their inflexible remote-working policies. You’ve seen the conversation in the news, but how do you approach hybrid working in your company? Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Each company will need to approach returning to the office and flexible work in a way that best suits their needs. Your hybrid work strategy should be unique to your company, your people, and your culture.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration from some of the biggest names in the business! Let’s look at how some of the world’s biggest companies are handling the shift to hybrid working.
A flexible approach to work
Hybrid work models are highly favoured by employees, with 83% stating they would prefer to go forward with flexible work solutions rather than returning to the traditional in-office model. The same Accenture Report also found a significant number of people on each side of the issue, with most taking a strong stance with a little bit of apathy sprinkled in the mix.
So why are people so up in arms about this issue? We spent years working in the office with little struggle, so why are many workers unhappy about returning to “normal”?
Our forced period of WFH allowed us to see how easy it can be to work from home. Workers enjoyed ditching the daily commute, saved money on travel and daycare, and found they had more free time to manage commitments outside of work (even if that was just sitting and watching TV during lockdown).
Unfortunately, colleagues working on different patterns or struggles with technology have hampered collaboration efforts and general management tasks. So companies need to find ways to meet employee demands for flexibility without sacrificing collaboration.
5 company approaches to flexible work in 2022
The key to post-pandemic success is flexible work and collaboration. WFH advocates and businesses need to clearly communicate their needs to build a hybrid work model.
Let’s look at some companies with flexible hours that are already thriving with hybrid work and how they do it.
Hubspot is a marketing agency based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with over 3900 employees in offices around the world.
The company has always supported remote work — with 10% of their workforce already working from home pre-pandemic — so it comes as no surprise that they have adapted and expanded hybrid work policies.
Employees hired after January 2021 will all be offered a variety of ways to work. This is one of the most comprehensive hybrid models being used at the moment, as employees can choose one of three options:
- Full-time work from home
- Flex – Employees will work in the office for two (or fewer) days per week. These employees will be given access to desk hoteling and booking software.
- Full-time in-office working
As you can see, rather than picking a specific model and running with it, Hubspot is trying a range of ideas to see which works best for everyone.
Vistaprint is a printing service specializing in improving small businesses’ marketing efforts. The company has over 6500 employees across 17 countries and advertises itself as a “remote-first company.”
The company’s hiring strategy is based on getting the best person for the job, regardless of location, race, gender, sexuality, or any other characteristic. This has been made possible due by adopting remote work as a fundamental part of their business. This attitude has given team members more freedom and flexibility than ever.
Through asynchronous communication, Vistaprint is on track to eliminate unproductive meetings, create a more inclusive working environment, and build a more conducive culture to physical and mental health.
Reddit is a popular website/messaging forum based in San Francisco, California. They have around 400 employees based across two offices in the US and Ireland.
As you would expect from a company whose main product is a website, Reddit is looking to supplement its in-office staff with WFH workers. For roles that can be performed easily outside of the office, Reddit offers workers the choice to pick where they want to work.
They’re looking to technology to bridge the gap between remote and in-office workers by focusing on creating virtual interactions that build culture and foster trust, collaboration, and innovation. They also plan to use in-person events to help the transition back to the office for those who wish to return.
As one of the leading social media platforms, Twitter has over 4600 employees working in 25 offices worldwide, including their HQ in San Francisco, California.
Twitter wasted no time switching to hybrid working, quickly declaring that employees would have the ability to “work from home forever.” This is unsurprising, given that CEO Jack Dorsey has said that a decentralized workforce has been the goal for years, even pre-pandemic.
Even when the company opens its offices back up, they are prepared for fewer employees working in the office, going as far as to sublet a substantial part of their San Francisco headquarters to help with real-estate costs.
Smartway2 (that’s us!) is a business dedicated to using technology to improve the way we work. Based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, the Smartway2 team is spread across offices in the US, UK, and Australia, so it should come as no surprise that we are embracing hybrid work.
At Smartway2, our employees can work from home or in the office. And, of course, we use Smartway2 to book hybrid meetings and help us manage desks and meeting rooms when we go into the office!
We are remote first, but that does not mean we don’t value face to face and meeting in real life. We arrange meet ups every month to factor in meet-ups to everyones regular candence, these are usually focussed around regular all-hands and department meetings, followed by some social activities to create a healthy balance.
We love the easy user interface of the app and browser booking solution. Its really convenient having a outlook integration so we dont have to leave the Outlook meeting booking tool to arrange a meeting and all the rooms and desk we need with the people we want to meet with.
The way we work could easily become the way your business works, contact us today to see how!