Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been a massive turn toward remote and hybrid work. While some companies are pushing for a return to in-office requirements, a huge portion of the workforce prefers working from home for a variety of reasons. Here's a closer look at what exactly remote and hybrid work models are, as well as reasons why companies should embrace the idea that work-from-home options should be here to stay.
Hybrid vs. remote working
While hybrid and remote work models both involve working from home, there are a few differences between the two. First, a hybrid work model typically gives certain employees the ability to work from home while others continue to come to the office. In some cases, a hybrid role may require an employee to come to the workplace in person for a specified number of days per week and allow them to work from home on the other days.
In contrast, a company that uses a remote work model operates completely remotely, with no employees being required to come into the workplace. This means that whether someone works on a production team, in customer service, or as a manager, they complete their job duties from home. With a remote work model, many companies maintain a single office or headquarters where they centralize their business. However, coming into that workplace is typically completely optional for all employees.
According to a survey by Bankrate, 64% of people in the workforce prefer fully remote work, and 68% prefer hybrid work rather than coming into the workplace every day. They also found that 81% of full-time employees surveyed would opt for a four-day workweek instead of the traditional five-day model, which is more achievable when employees can complete some of their job duties at home.
"According to a survey by Bankrate, 64% of people in the workforce prefer fully remote work, and 68% prefer hybrid work rather than coming into the workplace every day."
What to expect from a hybrid work model
Here's a bit more information about what working in a hybrid workplace can be like:
Team dynamic shifts
One aspect of hybrid work that can have positives and negatives is the potential for shifts in existing team dynamics. This can occur because when some employees work in person while others work from home, the in-person employees may bond more closely with each other than with the remote employees.
While this has the potential to cause a divide between these groups of workers, it also offers the positive aspect of maintaining a group of people who have firsthand knowledge of in-office operations and can share what they know with remote employees. By encouraging communication with remote workers and facilitating collaboration across remote and in-person teams, a hybrid workplace can remain harmonious and positive.
Consistent schedule and routine
Another defining characteristic of hybrid jobs is that they often have rigid schedules that involve routine and consistency. This can be a huge benefit for many employees, as having a consistent schedule can help encourage productivity by allowing them to develop workflows that align with the overall operational schedule. Since some people are in the workplace and others are at home, having organized deadlines and structures in terms of workflows can keep everyone on the same page, regardless of where they are.
Synchronous communication refers to the practice of replying to other people's messages or calls immediately and regularly attending meetings that get everyone in the same place at the same time. This is another characteristic of hybrid work that can have both positives and negatives, as some employees can feel pressure when using a synchronous communication style that distracts them from their work. However, there are many positives to synchronous communication, including the ability to keep everyone aware of the same information and access to people in an office who can help with answering questions or providing feedback.
What to expect from a remote work model
Here's a bit more insight into what you can expect when implementing a remote work model:
Many remote workplaces use more flexible schedules than in-person or hybrid workplaces. Because there's often more flexibility when everyone is working from their own homes, it can be more effective to set overarching deadlines and allow employees to meet the objectives at their own pace. This can be a huge benefit to a workplace, as it can be common for different people on a team to have unique work styles. A flexible schedule can allow everyone to work toward success without feeling the pressure of following the same routines as the people around them.
Asynchronous communication involves an understanding that the person you ask a question to may not respond right away. This means people in a remote environment can send messages to each other or schedule calls without needing to go back and forth in the middle of the day. While this isn't ideal for everyone, it can be beneficial for teams that include employees in multiple time zones, as no one feels pressured to work outlandish hours for the sake of being online at the same time as someone else.
In the age of technology, virtual engagement is getting easier and easier every day. This is great news for companies who use remote work models, as remote employees use virtual means to stay connected throughout the day. By encouraging digital engagement through instant messaging and virtual events, a team can maintain camaraderie and trust without ever working in the same building.
These are just a few of the reasons why employers can benefit from embracing remote and hybrid work. Consider these details when thinking about how to offer work-from-home capabilities at your business. Whether your company implements a hybrid or remote work model, or specific elements of each, your employees may thank you.
More tips for embracing remote and hybrid work
Curious about remote work? Learn how it can help you take the next step in your career.
To understand the trend of remote work, learn about how many employees value remote work.
Wondering about upcoming trends in remote work? Read more about the future of work from home.
If you're hiring for a remote job, learn about the best practices for posting work-from-home jobs.