Workplace schedules today are entirely different than a few years ago. However, the hybrid workplace isn’t new. More offices seek alternative work arrangements to maximize productivity despite limited resources.
While employees tend to gravitate towards the office for teamwork, they also gravitate towards solitary spaces for focus-oriented tasks. Facilities managers must balance both needs when designing office layouts and planning team member hybrid schedules.
In this article, we’ll look at hybrid work and why it has become popular recently. We’ll also examine different types of mixed work and how managers can plan an appropriate team member’s hybrid work schedule.
In a nutshell, hybrid work is a flexible work arrangement that combines both remote and on-site work. Employees can alternate between home and the office for different days when completing tasks.
By combining the best of in-office and remote work, hybrid arrangements give team members more options and flexibility.
There are many other advantages that a hybrid work schedule can offer, such as:
With a hybrid work model, organizations have more room to blend both in-office and remote work arrangements.
Employees don’t need to focus as much on minimizing distractions at work. Instead, crucial sessions like monthly meetings and brainstorming can take place on-site. Meanwhile, remote work can provide much-needed focus to get specific tasks done.
An improved work-life balance is one of the most significant benefits of a hybrid work arrangement.
They accommodate the needs of transformed work for employees while allowing them to offset stress and schedule non-work activities. This is especially true for employees who don’t want to experience long hours of commute for on-site work.
A hybrid work schedule allows companies to expand their talent pool and recruit from anywhere worldwide. Hybrid arrangements can benefit many companies, especially startups with more limited resources.
Transitioning from a traditional work schedule to a hybrid one requires long-term planning and detailed preparation. Managers often have to include many factors when detailing hybrid arrangements.
These factors can include the type of work being done and the number of employees that need to work on-site. Other factors can include things like the overall capacity of the office building.
Regardless of the needs, it is possible to streamline the process. Be sure to follow these steps to create a compelling hybrid work schedule for employees:
When creating a hybrid arrangement for employees, the first step is to review company policy regarding the existing schedule.
The reason is that different organizations have different expectations regarding remote and on-site work. For example, some companies might need regular updates for projects or training sessions.
Other policies and expectations might extend to the following:
Listing all recurring tasks is the next step in creating a hybrid schedule. These can include recurring items and significant projects that require regular updates.
When doing so, it’s important to separate work items that need time from the ones that can be completed remotely. Crucial responsibilities can be finished promptly to ensure efficiency and productivity.
Priority levels of different tasks are also worth noting. Jobs with sooner deadlines should be more important than those with more time for completion.
In many cases, an office space stream can be an alternative to in-person meetings. However, there are times when in-person collaboration is needed.
Assigning schedules around these times can be suitable for specific teams. When doing so, consider communicating with coworkers to determine the best times for in-office work.
Working on projects and answering questions becomes more manageable when everyone is on the same page about their schedules.
The next step in determining hybrid arrangements for employees is checking where they are most productive.
Doing so ensures a better hybrid schedule. It might be easier for employees to complete simple tasks in the office. Meanwhile, complex tasks requiring more focus and relaxed deadlines can be completed at home.
Professional and personal needs matter when creating optimal hybrid work arrangements.
For example, if employees are single parents, consider allowing remote work on days that ensure appropriate childcare. Strict schedules for clocking in and out also help ensure that work-related tasks are completed on time.
Hybrid work arrangements can also make room for events and in-person meetings. For the latter, managers can determine whether these meetings can be online or whether they need to be in person.
For example, scheduling other in-office tasks that day is possible if several meetings occur on the same day. Keeping all in-office functions in one day means that more time can be spent focusing on more critical tasks.
Finally, consider high-priority projects when creating a hybrid workplace. Unexpected assignments or meetings often result in employees needing to adjust their schedules. Switching specific on-site workdays with remote ones can better meet their needs.
Be sure to emphasize flexibility when designing a hybrid arrangement for employees. Doing so makes them more willing to adjust in case unexpected events arise.
When it comes to hybrid work, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Managers must carefully balance company goals and employee preferences to achieve optimal productivity while maintaining job satisfaction.
The good news is different types of hybrid arrangements can suit different needs. A hybrid work schedule can be any of the four following types
With a flexible hybrid work arrangement, employees are encouraged to complete their tasks on-site. However, they can work to arrange their schedules to choose when.
Flexible arrangements work best for small businesses with fewer than one hundred employees. Careful management and schedule planning are needed to ensure structure and office space availability.
A remote-first hybrid schedule prioritizes remote work but doesn’t necessarily eliminate on-site work.
Employees can choose their work setting, which is an excellent option for team members or businesses that operate globally. That said, managers need to plan around the downside of little to no in-person engagement.
Office-first arrangements are the best way for teams needing to be physically present or need in-person collaboration.
Office-first arrangements often mean employees have limited days for remote work. While this has the downside of being the least flexible, it does work for businesses that mainly operate on-site.
A cohort hybrid workplace arrangement can be a good way for companies to minimize overcrowding.
Cohort schedules allow for scheduling different departments to work on-site for specific days or alternating office work plans weekly. This work arrangement is excellent for large companies with over a hundred employees.
Tracking team member hours for remote work doesn’t have to be challenging for HR departments and managers. Many tools like cloud-based scheduling and management software allow back-end users access many features.
One such feature is real-time data analytics. Factors like performance, employee retention, and engagement are trackable and can be printed into graphs for easy understanding.
Other tools like hoteling software are also great for tracking employee hours. When implementing a hybrid workplace, alternating room and desk reservations for employees are great for optimizing limited resources.
Hybrid workplaces are here to stay for many reasons. They give employees more flexibility over their work hours while allowing companies to maximize limited resources.
However, transitioning from a traditional to a hybrid work schedule often takes long-term planning. Managers often have to consider many factors, ranging from the type of work to the number of employees.
While there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, hybrid work arrangements can be customized for different requirements. It’s all about balancing different needs and providing the best support for employees.