What Is Hybrid Work, and Who Prefers It?

Technological innovation has given employees and companies unprecedented flexibility, empowering many people to work from anywhere. While not every employee or team thrives in a remote setting, a growing number of workers value the flexibility and work-life balance it offers.

Here’s a look at hybrid work, its benefits, and which employees are most likely to prefer it.

RELATED: 7 Tips to Build an Effective Hybrid Work Model

What Is Hybrid Work?

Hybrid work is a flexible work arrangement combining working in the office and remotely. It typically involves employees spending some days working in the office and some days working from home.

Employees and management work together to determine the right balance of work in each location. Some hybrid schedules are very fluid, while others are pre-established with specific days in each location.

Why More Employers Are Embracing Hybrid Work

Even before COVID-19 accelerated remote work, distributed work was the norm for many companies. Any organization with multiple office locations, clients, or partners in a different company or with remote employees already engages in distributed work.

The technology that facilitates these collaborations makes physical location less significant than at any other time in history.

Hybrid Work Promotes Productivity

Hybrid work can make employees happier, which can increase productivity and engagement! But hybrid schedules only work when paired with the right infrastructure, oversight, and productivity metrics.

Workers need to feel connected to a team and a common goal. A lack of appropriate tools and communication could contribute to a decline in productivity for remote and hybrid employees.

Hybrid work arrangements include enough time in the office to incorporate workers into the company culture and build the relationships and procedures that keep employees on track. This gives workers the benefits of an in-office structure while allowing them to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of remote work.

Flexibility and Autonomy Boost Productivity and Morale

Autonomy and flexibility, like that offered by hybrid work models, correlate with reported productivity. In one survey, 51 percent of surveyed workers say they are more productive when they’re allowed to work asynchronously or set their own schedule.

In-Person Collaboration Has Advantages

In-person collaboration has advantages. When a team is together in the office, they can get answers to questions quickly. Plus, when employees spend time together during lunch and other breaks, they have opportunities to build relationships and collaborate.

Hybrid Schedules Attract and Retain Top Talent

From the employer’s perspective, offering a hybrid work model makes their company a more attractive place to work. Flexible scheduling can be a critical component in attracting and retaining top talent.

Who Prefers Hybrid Work?

Of those employees whose work can be done remotely, like knowledge workers, 90 percent prefer remote work flexibility, with the majority favoring a hybrid schedule. While the hybrid work model offers many benefits, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Here are a few types of workers who may value a hybrid schedule:

  • Parents and caregivers. Hybrid work can allow employees to work around their family schedules or other commitments.
  • Introverts. Individuals who tire more quickly from frequent social interaction might lean toward more remote work but still appreciate office days for teamwork and collaboration.
  • Employees who are more productive working remotely. Some employees find they are more productive when working from home without distractions.
  • Employees with long commute times. Hybrid work can help employees save money on commuting costs like gas, parking, and public transportation.

Check out our webinar:  Optimizing Your Flexible Workforce 

The Future of Work Is Hybrid

Hybrid work is more than a trend. It represents a shift in how organizations and employees think about work, productivity, and work-life balance. Companies embracing this model and adapting to maximize its benefits will likely see increased employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall growth!

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