What is a Hybrid Workplace Model and Why Is It Useful for Companies?

“The only thing permanent is change”. COVID certainly changed the world; becoming a catalyst for WFH and remote working and ushering in a new hybrid workplace model globally. But what exactly does this offer employees? Why have so many companies embraced this new concept so eagerly?

The move towards remote and hybrid work actually began well before the pandemic; however COVID-19 accelerated the transition. In a period of rapid, forced change, businesses did well to adapt by overcoming a myriad of challenges, from providing the right tools for WFH to managing productivity, safety and morale in a dispersed team environment.

Very early on it was clear that there was no going back. Employees preferred the new, more flexible way of working.

As fear subsided, full-monty remote working tided back to the hybrid workplace, a best-of-both-worlds model that mixes in-office and remote work.  Employees liked it and quickly adapted, appreciating the better work-life balance it delivered.

The hybrid workplace model combines remote workers with on-site workers, with some or all employees having the flexibility to choose where and when they work. Where and when work gets done will be determined by what makes the most sense to drive the highest levels of productivity and engagement.


What are the benefits of a hybrid workplace?

A hybrid workplace takes full advantage of evolving HR technologies to become flexible, agile, and productive. According to a 2020 Gartner report released as the pandemic hit with full force: “at typical organizations where employees work a standard 40 hours per week in the office, only 36% of employees were high performers. When organizations shift from this environment to one of radical flexibility where employees have choice over where, when, and how much they work, 55% of employees were high performers.”

It’s not just higher performance levels, a hybrid workplace can also boost overall productivity because it delivers fewer interruptions when employees work at home than in the office; repurposed commuting time; and more focussed, results-orientated collaboration when employees do come in to the office

In addition, the hybrid workplace model offers many other benefits for companies and their workers. For example:

Reduced overhead costs: Companies can reassess their real estate strategies to reduce office space or move their offices to fringe areas or smaller cities, for huge savings. Hybrid employees also tend to be happier and more engaged, hence less staff turnover.

Better employee experience and work-life balance: Greater flexibility and autonomy increases employees’ job satisfaction and happiness.

Improved safety and social distancing: With COVID-19 variants now predicted to be an ongoing threat, the hybrid workplace model allows for offices that are better designed for safety and sanitization. Hybrid working means fewer people in the workplace at one time, lowering the chance of a sick employee infecting others.

Talent Sourcing and hiring: A hybrid workplace model also facilitates hiring talent across the globe. In a hybrid work model, your company can hire talent from all around the globe. Having access to a wider talent pool means you can hire people with specialized skills. This can give your organization a competitive edge, help you move into new markets, and ensuring around-the-clock productivity.

The other big advantage of the hybrid workplace model is the flexibility it offers employers. For example, here are some different types of hybrid work policies companies are currently using:

  • Hybrid at-will: Employees can choose when to come into the office
  • Hybrid split-week: Specific days for on-site and remote work by team or function
  • Hybrid manager-scheduling: Managers choose which day(s) their team comes into the office
  • Hybrid mix: All three options configured to suit


What are some of the challenges of a hybrid workplace model?

But it’s not all beer and skittles, for there are many challenges to meet in developing the best hybrid model for your workplace; one that’s productive and harmonious for all. For example;

  • Increased security risks:  With employees working from home using their own networks, and potentially their own devices, businesses will need to focus on end-user education and security.
  • Managing people effectively: In a hybrid workforce, managers must take care to ensure that both on-site and remote workers feel included and have the same opportunities and exposure. Remote team members must not feel isolated or unseen.
  • Employee isolation and disconnection: HR teams will have to focus on keeping employees feeling connected when their staff is working from anywhere at anytime.
  • Creating seamless connectivity: To avoiding disparities, silos, and knowledge loss, businesses need to develop barrier-free connectivity that allows hybrid teams to communicate quickly and efficiently.

Maintaining a thriving and inclusive company culture must be a high-priority goal in a hybrid workplace model.

As this past year has shown, the hybrid workplace model is no longer a temporary model, or a stop-gap. It’s the future of work.


Like to know more about best practice for developing your hybrid workplace? What are the global leaders in your field up to? Or are you interested in any aspect of workforce management that could improve your operations? Then do not hesitate to contact us at CXC Global for more information.