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Future of work
4 min read

Return to office hybrid work models

The future of the office is hybrid working, and the future is already here. Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trends Index found that 53% of workers are preparing to transition to hybrid working, while 38% are already working with some form of hybrid work schedule. While we’re only at the beginning of the hybrid work model era, it’s clear that there’s no going back to the traditional way of working.

The current problem is that hybrid working looks different depending on where you work. Some offices choose to bring almost everyone back into the office, while others have most of their staff working from home.

What’s clear at this stage is that hybrid work doesn’t have a singular definition. So what are your options, and how do you choose the version of hybrid working that works for your business? That’s what we’re going to answer for you today.

The benefits of a hybrid work model

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In the wake of the pandemic, employees are reevaluating their worth and aren’t afraid to leave a position to find a career that better fits their needs. The forced periods of remote work also showed workers that working from home can be just as effective as working in the office. This has become a real sticking point, especially for younger workers looking for a more flexible work-life balance and who aren’t afraid to put their health and well-being above their work.

For employers, the situation is clear. Listen to your workers’ needs and act on them quickly because if you don’t, they will find somewhere that does.

Hybrid work models present an excellent compromise for employers looking to have workers in the office and workers looking for the flexibility of remote working. In a recent report by Scalable, employees working with hybrid work schedules saw a range of benefits. 42% reported a better work-life balance, 33% found they were more productive, and 29% said their level of happiness increased with hybrid working.

By implementing a hybrid work schedule, businesses can improve employee satisfaction and retention while enjoying lower office costs and increased productivity.

Return to office hybrid work model

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There are so many ways to run a hybrid office. Let’s look at some of the most common office hybrid model and how businesses are already thriving with them.

All-back models

While not a hybrid work model, it’s worth noting that some companies are choosing to bring their entire workforce back into the office. These companies believe that they cannot provide a complete and adequate service with remote working.

This line of thinking has proven to be quite controversial, with Tesla, in particular, receiving backlash for its calls for employees to return to the office for at least 40 hours a week or resign. Many workers faced with similar calls to return to the office have been very vocal about their opposition to the all-back model, with 50% of workers saying they would look for a new job if forced to return to the office full time.

Days of the week models

This approach sees employees splitting their time between working in the office and working remotely. The idea is to offer employees a higher level of flexibility while retaining the benefits of in-office working. The most common variation of this model is a three-two split, where employees will work in the office for three days and remotely for the other two days.

Businesses using this model want to provide a workable compromise that suits employees and employers. It’s a great way to maintain the company culture and enable better collaboration while still giving employees the flexibility they want.

Another variation of this model sees employers mandating the number of days employees should work in the office but not specifically choosing which days of the week. In this case, team leaders are tasked with deciding which days the team should be in the office to maximize productivity and collaboration.

One more variation worth noting is employers mandating how many weeks per month employees should be working in the office. By establishing monthly rhythms, where workers are in the office one or two weeks a month, employers hope to maximize flexibility while fitting remote work around already established monthly schedules. This is especially useful for long projects where timeframes are discussed using months rather than weeks.

Leader-decides models

One of the main reasons we’re looking at hybrid work schedules is to improve the lives of our employees. With a leader-decides hybrid model, the split between in-office and remote work is decided by assessing the needs of the employees, how it will affect a project, and what works best for the entire team.

50:50 split model

The 50:50 model is just what the name implies. Workers split their time evenly between the office and remote working. Most companies offering this model will not specify which days employees should be in the office, as long as their time is evenly split across the work week or month.

None-back model (AKA fully remote)

Some businesses, especially in the tech sector, are choosing to ditch the office entirely and switch to a fully remote “none-back” model. The premise is simple: If you can do your job remotely, you no longer need to come into the office.

The majority of companies choosing to stay fully remote will have a solid communications system in place to enable easy collaboration even when working miles apart. They have strong managers who can lead from a distance and counteract any negative aspects of fully remote working.

Keep an eye on how your hybrid model is working with Smartway2

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No matter which hybrid office model you choose, Smartway2 can help make the transition easy for everyone.

Contact us today to find out how!

Irvin Gray
Author

Irvin Gray

Irvin Gray is Head of Marketing at Smartway2 part of Hubstar, and has over 20 years of experience in Saas technology building and growing market-leading brands. Irvin writes about the future of work and trends in hybrid working and space management.
Last updated June 24, 2022