Two years into the pandemic, businesses across North America are in various stages of returning to the office, but employees are still expressing reticence when it comes to working full time in a traditional office environment.
Considering that a recent survey indicated 52% of North American workers have health concerns about reporting to the physical office space and 78% voiced a preference for some remote work, a hybrid work model would seem to be the best option. But with so many varied preferences, how can employers provide flexibility while also ensuring workplace safety and security for employees?
When it comes to hybrid ways of working, there are five main types of hybrid work models that your business could choose from:
- Split week
- Week by week
- Choose your own hybrid
Remote-centric: The hybrid work schedule for go-getters
A remote-centric hybrid work schedule is one where employees are remote-first with the option to come into the office at their own discretion. For organizations whose workers might have gotten used to the fully remote days of the pandemic, corporate occupiers can stick with this schedule to give employees more freedom when it comes to choosing which environment they find most productive.
This schedule caters best to workforces that prefer remote options, but in order to keep a physical workplace open for those who want it, employers may need to reassess their space usage on an ongoing basis. With the right technology, managing and tracking space requirements can help businesses save money on utilities and provide an office environment that changes alongside the business.
Office-centric: The model for collaborators
An office-centric hybrid work schedule is one where employees commit to working in the physical office for most of the time, with some remote options available. This setup works well for businesses that occupy smaller workspaces and whose employee base expresses a great desire to work in-office on most days.
While this model of hybrid work looks closest to the traditional workplace people left behind in 2020, visitor management solutions and hotdesking tools can enable occupiers to meet the needs of employees who want to return in full while still remaining compliant with any local health requirements.
Split week: For the teams that work best together
The split week model of working involves scheduling different teams to gather in-office on different days of the week. Implementing this model is a good way to bring each individual department back into one collaborative space while still supporting remote work options.
In order to make this transition work best, occupiers can empower employees to coordinate with one another and schedule in-office time together by leveraging desk reservation technology. Employers can also take advantage of the reduced space usage to assess their utility needs and make informed decisions when it comes to their in-office requirements.
Week by week: For the business that needs occasional catch-ups
In this hybrid work schedule, employees come into the office for one week to perform certain duties that are best done in-person and then return to remote work for another few weeks. Implementing this schedule allows employers and their workforces to “sync up” on important tasks on a monthly basis while still empowering employees to work in the environment that suits them best 90% of the time.
Enabling this type of hybrid work will help foster a sense of community that can drive productivity in a workforce while still cutting down on utility usage. For occupiers, space scheduling and space management software solutions can go a long way in making this model feasible.
Choose your own hybrid: To meet the needs of all
While the previous schedules rely on internal feedback from a business’s employee base, a “choose your own hybrid” work schedule is one in which employers provide a menu of hybrid options to their employees and allow them to choose which one they find most efficient.
Enabling employees to work in a hybrid environment at their discretion may seem like a hands-off approach, but for bigger organizations with large workforces, this model could be exactly what the business needs to thrive. With the help of presence management tools, employers can still always maintain control over their workspace by monitoring who’s on site.
As hybrid work schedules remain a hot topic, it can be easy to forget that each decision an occupier makes can have an impact on the lives of their employees, and by extension, the productivity of their organization. By taking the time to properly assess each possible hybrid work model, gather feedback from employees, and consider the software solutions that could help you enact each model, your business can make informed decisions and prepare for the future of the workplace. Learn how a suite of workplace management solutions like MRI Workplace Central can enable your business to implement the best hybrid work model for your needs.