At its core, hybrid staffing models are centred on the employees and what works best for them. New models provide employees with greater flexibility into where and how they work.
Essentially, hybrid models investigate working conditions and situations. This changes the organisational core of the business, seeing how it benefits the employees. These models are a new people-first approach to manage the workforce.
The types of hybrid staffing models
There is flexibility in these models in of itself. They can take many forms depending on different factors. The pandemic gave way to new ways of working and navigating the world. The workplace is so longer restricted to just the four walls of an office space. Hybrid staffing models are coming in greater force to find what works best.
Something to clarify is that hybrid working is different to remote working.
- Hybrid workers spend majority of the time working from home. However, they have the option and organisational opportunity to work from an office.
- Whereas remote workers work from their own space (usually at home) away from the organisation 100% of the time.
This new ecosystem of work environments is varied. There are multiple types of hybrid work models:
Flexible hybrid work model
This is where staff choose their own location and working hours based upon their own personal priorities. This is entirely independently-driven and at the employee’s choice.
Some organisations are giving employees the chance to work any day they like – not just the strictly traditional Monday-Friday pattern. Cisco are an example business of this.
Fixed hybrid work model
In this model, the organisation sets the days and times employees can work remotely or in the office. This could be applied to everyone, certain teams, or tailored to individuals and their personal commitments. The flexibility of this staffing model is what makes it a hybrid element.
It may be easier for an organisation to set pre-determined days each week for remote work. This may change over time and per team. American Express are an example of this model.
Office-first hybrid work model
Employees are expected by the organisation to work on-site in this model. However, they can choose to work remotely, but only for a select few days. This is typically seen on a 2:3 day (remote to office) ratio. Google are planning to adopt this model.
Remote-first hybrid work model
The final model means working remotely from home the majority of the time. There are occasional chances to visit co-working spaces or offices for team-building, collaborations and training.
Selecting this model sometimes on relies on team members finding a space themselves to get together. This hybrid staffing model is especially seen when an organisation does not (yet) have one definitive office or working space. Twitter have adopted this, with all of their employees working from home. Awards International, the company we are a part of, runs on this model too.
What are the benefits?
With such an array of different models all functioning differently, this gives way for many benefits. Perhaps while reading through the models yourself, a few great advantages sprung to mind. Here are just some of the benefits we wish to draw on:
1. An organisation can grow internationally
With the ability to have employees working at different times with hybrid staffing models, this creates new shift opportunities. Hybrid work can encompass working from a private, homely space – meaning staff don’t all need to be in one space. So, what is to stop you having a team from across the world?
Although there may be some issues of time zones and language barriers, there are a plethora of great advantages an international team can bring. Here are just a few:
- Strengthen global working relationships
- Connect with people (colleagues) from all over the world
- Learn and understand different cultures and languages
- Interpret different country’s business values to further your work knowledge
You can take the current CXM team as an example. Two of us work in Serbia (but in two separate cities), one in England, and the other in Dubai. And yet we are a tight knit team, with strong relationships and successful working models. It can be done successfully!
2. Employee freedom
In the majority of the aforementioned hybrid staffing models, freedom is handed to employees. With these new models, staff are given a choice in how they want to work. This means that their work-life balance is much better as they have freedom in how they spend their time.
In turn, this can only result in employee happiness, and further employee retention. Job satisfaction is the greatest result from this. Alongside this freedom comes a strength in trust between employees.
3. Saves on costs
The price of amenities in keeping a physical office space running are a further expense for organisations to consider. This includes rent costs, electricity and gas bills, and potential renovations in furniture. With remote working taking heed, these costs could decline.
To employees themselves, this could also save their costs and time where it comes to commuting to and from the office space. Pulling back on these further provides the ability to easily forecast office capacity.
Are there any drawbacks?
Like any work model, there are some factors to consider before enacting it. Here are some of the drawbacks of enforcing a hybrid model that includes remote working:
- Isolation. 49% of remote workers feel isolated from their colleagues and company. A further 35% find it difficult to connect with their colleagues in these models
- Challenges to maintain company culture
- Some inability to forecast how many employees will be in one space
- Difficult to keep track of who is where
- 37% of employees encounter more distractions
- Lack of choice could lead to loss of productivity if they’re not in the optimal space to work for them (this is seen in the fixed hybrid model)
- Difficult for employees to find a suitable day or time for in-person teamwork
- Lack of understanding of if a building has the capacity to support a number of colleagues
- Remote working requires a lot of trust in employees – this may be difficult when first onboarding someone or working on a project
It is worth considering both sides of the coin when enforcing hybrid staffing models. There are many forms and many factors. However, a select few of these drawbacks can be improved with internal organisational work. This includes setting aside time for team-building, and scheduling regular check-in meetings.
The factors driving new hybrid staffing models – the future of work
We all saw how hybrid and remote working drastically accelerated in the wake of Covid as people couldn’t interact face-to-face. Overnight (it seemed), the workforce switched from in-person meetings to virtual calls from their bedrooms.
Nearly three years on from this, and many organisations still reap the benefits of this. Why abandon something that works so well? This is why hybrid staffing models are still such a hot topic for discussion and implementation.
There are also multiple surveys and research findings that support the case of these new work models:
- Majority of executives have seen notable improvements in individual productivity since starting remote work
- 74% of CEOs from large organisations expect to reduce office space, furthering opportunities to save money
- 53% of large organisations plan to reduce office footprint
- Sustainability is becoming top of mind. Daily global CO2 emissions decreased by 19% during Covid – half of which resulted from reduced ground transportation. Reduced commutes and business travel from hybrid work, combined with reduction in office space heating and electricity, promotes a more sustainable future
- 99% of knowledge workers see the working-from-home benefits
Choosing the right collaboration solution is one of the most important decisions an organisation will make. Work models need to be suitable for everyone. This circles back to hybrid staffing model’s core standpoint – centring on the employees and what works best for them.
Quick, overnight decisions were made in the pandemic, that are still in force today. They’ve now resulted in the future of work. The sudden disruption to working models has given us new opportunities and collaboration efforts we never could have foreseen.
Being presented with these models begs the question – which one will work for you? It’s time to develop our archaic working traditions, and turn to hybrid alternatives.