Thought leaders have been touting the benefits of a hybrid work schedule even before the onset of the pandemic. Essentially, it allows more location freedom and work-life balance for employees without any loss of productivity — and potentially a big uptick in employee satisfaction.
In fact, according to one survey, 47% of employees said they were likely to look for another job if their employer doesn’t offer a flexible working model.
During the early stages of the pandemic, companies decided the safest work environment was a work-from-home setup. As employees started to enjoy the flexibility and the comforts of home offices, there was more interest in both hybrid and remote work spaces.
Interested in how to set up and manage a hybrid work schedule? Here’s how to set up a new office schedule using the hybrid work model and how it’ll benefit your company.
Why the future of work is changing
Work used to be done in factories — and it only got done if people were present to staff the machines. The 9-5 daily work schedule with a five-day work week became the de facto standard long before the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938. But if there is one thing we know, it’s that change is inevitable.
Not only is the type of work most Americans do different than it was a century ago, but the technology has also shifted. Most Americans have a smartphone and a laptop computer at home. With these tools, one no longer needs to do work at the office.
Additionally, unlike in a factory, work does not need to be completed in a set shift. As entrepreneurs know, your best ideas may come outside of the traditional office times and locations.
Here’s hybrid work in a nutshell: Work is centered around WHAT you do not WHERE you do it.
The concept of hybrid work embraces these ideas and allows for remote teams to have a different type of workday. They can do their jobs onsite, at a coffee shop, or at home, where workers can cultivate their own unique workspace.
So can a hybrid work schedule benefit employees and your company culture? Let’s take a look.
4 benefits of a hybrid work schedule
A hybrid work schedule is a mashup of both onsite work in the traditional office environment and remote work done at home (technically anywhere apart from the office.) This can be achieved through staggered schedules, rethinking office space and company culture, and embracing asynchronous communication.
Most people who work in an office would value a hybrid work environment that promotes more work-life balance. You work to live, not live to work.
Let’s look at some of the perks of exploring hybrid office work and a more flexible schedule.
With a hybrid work schedule, your employees have a say in how their work life is scheduled. However, they still have in-person accountability. Plus, while hybrid workers may work some of the time at home, you still can build an in-person connection, which builds trust and accountability.
Certain meetings, brainstorming sessions, and even difficult or nuanced conversations are better to have in-person, in real-time. With a hybrid schedule, you can have these meetings while leaving room for teams to work outside the office when it makes sense.
Adapting a hybrid work schedule means that you need to cover less office space. Depending on how you configure your work schedule, this could represent significant cost savings. A 100% remote team can be less expensive, but implementing a hybrid team with staggered schedules can also save on costs.
3. Employee loyalty
This flexibility of a hybrid work arrangement could help team members gain autonomy over their personal life. When teams have flexibility to do things like drive elderly parents to appointments, take kids to their activities, or grab a yoga class during traditional work hours, they’ll value their position more.
By giving your employees more flexibility and autonomy, you directly build loyalty towards your company. Employees WANT to work for a company that values and respects their lives outside the office.
These small freedoms allow better work-life balance for the employee — and a happy employee is a productive one.
4. Productivity and Creativity
All business managers want to hear about more productivity! One study pointed out that a hybrid work schedule can actually increase the productivity of your employees.
The space to think creatively opens new doors to old problems. Sometimes working in a novel work environment, like a coffee shop or at home, can help employees come up with new ideas that benefit the business.
How does a hybrid work schedule look?
Of course, it depends on your work policy. You may decide to test a hybrid work schedule by starting with just one remote day per week and evaluating how the employees react to the new work arrangements.
Remote workers can connect by using FaceTime, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams and meet in a digital office space. If you use an online project management software (we think you should!), team members can access it from a home computer or a smartphone.
Communication can be in real-time, as in live meetings, or delayed as in asynchronous communication. This might take the form of chat or message threads in Slack or other project management software platforms.
You can achieve the same results and benefits to your employees by checking out a hybrid work schedule.
Which type of hybrid work schedule is best?
So what are the different types of hybrid work schedules? There are four different hybrid game plans you can test in order to explore to see which works best for your company.
Hybrid a-la-carte: With this plan, employees can choose which days of the week to come into the office.
Hybrid split-week: In this hybrid type, the days of the week employees work from home are determined by the company either by team or function. For example, you might have a cohort schedule where one team comes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and a second cohort schedule for working in-office Tuesday and Thursday.
Hybrid scheduled: In this type, remote days are assigned by managers who choose which day remote teams come into the office. This allows the freedom to work at home, but also the benefit of in-person brainstorming and co-working.
Hybrid mix: A mixer of the three hybrid work scheduling options above.
5 key characteristics of a successful hybrid environment
If you are leaning towards a hybrid work schedule, these five key characteristics can help the transition.
Inclusive: You want this to be an equal experience for all. All workers should have the same access to tools and resources, regardless of whether they’re in the office.
Supportive: With many of your employees’ work days happening outside of the office and in isolation from other team members, communication systems need to be in place so you can work through problems together. Look for asynchronous communication systems like Slack so you can talk quickly to remote workers.
Flexible: Part of the hybrid work schedule is embracing that everyone has their own unique work styles and may work best under different work situations. Ask your employees what schedules work best for them to work in the office or what meetings are most productive for them to attend in-person. See if you can accommodate their preferences.
Secure: No matter where your hybrid and remote teams are working from, you need security systems to protect against online threats. This may include VPNs or firewalls. Plus, you should have security processes in place for your team members so you can reduce human errors.
Managed: With the tech available now, make sure you have the right tools and systems in place that make it easy to manage your team’s time logs, work deliverables, and progress on team milestones from anywhere in the world.
So…should you implement a hybrid work schedule?
The hybrid workplace model combines remote work and in-office work to offer flexibility, connection, and support to employees. Hybrid employees benefit from more autonomy and better work-life balance – and are more engaged as a result. Employers benefit by creating a more productive, healthy, stable workforce. It’s a win-win!
If you are thinking of using the hybrid work schedule in your company, let Anchor AI help you manage and organize your teams from anywhere in the world. We can take your meetings and make them more productive — no matter if your meetings are in your current office or online.
Anchor AI uses advanced tech to get more value out of your meetings. It’ll automatically transcribe your meetings, even identifying speakers and highlighting action items. That just may make your work-life balance a little better. Invite Anchor AI to your next meeting today!