The hybrid workspace model is a work arrangement that combines remote and in-office work environments, allowing employees to choose how and where they prefer to work.
‘Hybrid workspace’ is an umbrella term that represents a unique combination of remote and in-person work. In some hybrid workspaces, designated employees always work in a physical office while others always work remotely. At other hybrid companies, full-time employees can alternate between working in the office and working remotely.
This flexibility allows employees, and thus the company, to optimize their workflow and maximize their potential.
Advantages of the hybrid workplace model
The hybrid work environment is the future of work, allowing employees to enjoy everything they love about in-office and remote work while enabling employers to become more efficient and profitable.
Hybrid work improves employee experience
While office work helps team members feel connected to the company and their co-workers, remote working saves them time and lets them enjoy their private lives and interests. All of this leads to much happier employees, higher retention rates, better work-life balance, and improved employee engagement, which should be the goal of any company.
Cost savings for employees and employers
Remote work, a vital component of the hybrid workspace, helps employees save money on commuting, work attire, and going out to eat. Hybrid companies can also reduce office costs such as real estate rent, utilities, and office supplies, as well as various benefits tied to the office space, such as coffee and snacks.
You can redirect these savings into programs that will help you improve the employee experience, such as training and development, equipment and software, or perks and benefits. This unexpected budget relief can also allow you to hire top talent or increase the salaries of employees you’ve already acquired.
Access a larger pool of talent
Under a hybrid work model, you are no longer limited to the talent in your immediate area—you can hire the best person for the job, no matter their location. Many hybrid teams will only hire locally for roles that require face-to-face work and hire remote workers for roles that can be done asynchronously. This flexible work style allows for hybrid companies to be more strategic with their hiring and better manage their hiring budget.
Challenges of the hybrid workplace model
Although hybrid workforces come with significant benefits, no workplace model is without its challenges. Some of the main challenges of a hybrid workplace model include the following:
Your client experience may temporarily degrade
Transitioning from a traditional workplace model to a hybrid workplace model may impact your client relationships, especially if your client-facing employees move to remote positions. You may need to introduce new technologies to your clients, like virtual meeting applications and digital project management platforms, which have learning curves and can be frustrating for clients if they’re not prepared for the change.
Equality amongst the employees may be challenged
Just because office employees see each other more often doesn’t mean they should have more influence or be more involved in the company. All employees should have access to the same opportunities and information, have the same level of attention from their superiors, and contribute equally, whether in-office or remote.
Remote work can easily lead to burnout
It’s just as easy for remote workers to experience burnout if they’re working from home or a flexible workspace, since they don’t always have clearly structured working hours. Finding a way to end their workday properly can also be a challenge—how do remote employees manage to do that if their office is actually in their bedroom? There’s also the infamous Zoom fatigue, as video conferencing can sometimes be even more tiring than in-person meetings.
Learn more about leading a hybrid team
Want to prepare yourself and your team for the transition to a hybrid workspace? Read our tips on managing a hybrid workplace and how to overcome common payroll challenges that hybrid teams and distributed workforces can face.