“Going to work” used to mean physically transporting yourself to an office, factory, or other workspace.
Not that employees didn’t take work home at all — after all, the whole point of the briefcase was to load it with files for after work hours or on the weekend.
Yet, the bulk of work took place at a workspace — that is, until the coming of the internet.
Employers began to experiment with remote work once workers could connect digitally to their workplaces. And things evolved naturally until a global event — the COVID-19 pandemic — changed everything.
Millions of employees were told to stay home and work remotely due to the pandemic, and many realized they loved this new way of working. And by the time the COVID dust settled, the office work paradigm had changed forever, and hybrid work had emerged as the new reality for many.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of hybrid companies — and how you can make the transition in your own company.
This article discusses what makes a hybrid company, employees’ current attitudes toward hybrid companies and their working models, and what companies need to incorporate to “go hybrid.” It concludes with a deep dive into the following five successful hybrid companies:
A hybrid company is a company that has adopted a hybrid work model, which allows employees to work both remotely and in person at the office.
This model provides flexibility for employees to work from anywhere while still maintaining some level of in-person collaboration and communication.
There are different types of hybrid work arrangements based on the activity of the company. Remote workers may spend 1 to 3 days in the office environment and the rest of their flex time at home, or vice versa.
Pre-pandemic, just 8% of the over 60 million US employees whose jobs could be done from home were fully remote workers (i.e., working solely from home), while one-third were hybrid workers.
Today, hybrid work is the norm for more than 42% of employees in total, with more and more businesses and organizations acknowledging its potential.
Working part of the time from home appeals to many workers now that they’ve had a taste of it during the pandemic. They like the personal benefits it offers, such as the following:
According to recent Microsoft research, 52% of employees are considering switching to remote or hybrid work. Additionally, 85% of employees prefer either a full-time remote or hybrid workplace model.
A Gallup study reflects these findings. Only 24% of employees say they’d primarily or mostly want to work at the office, whereas 75% prefer to be at the office for 50% of the time or less.
Many businesses are adjusting to these employee preference trends by transforming themselves into hybrid companies. This usually requires figuring out new ways of working and implementing new technologies.
In times when nine out of 10 companies are planning to embrace the hybrid work environment, businesses must reinvent the tools and strategies they previously relied on.
From J.P. Morgan to Target, let’s look at how various companies have gone hybrid recently. Some have focused on collaboration and teamwork, others more on employee well-being and flexibility in work arrangements. All of these are important hybrid work KPIs.
After the pandemic, most Nike employees returned to the company’s offices in time for the brand’s 50th-anniversary celebration in 2022. At that time, the giant sportswear brand communicated to employees their plans for a new “phased return” to the offices.
Like other large companies, Nike has continuously changed its return-to-office plans. In December 2021, the company had to indefinitely delay returning to the office due to criticism from workers and a spike in COVID-19 cases.
54% of Nike’s employees thought the company’s back-to-office plan would give them enough flexibility. Most team members said the forced return would hamper the brand’s hiring efforts, particularly with high-demand tech talent.
On May 3, 2022, Nike introduced the 3/2 hybrid work approach to its employees. This more flexible scheduling meant people could work from home twice a week while collaborating in the physical space for the remainder of their time.
Investment bank J.P. Morgan, specifically CEO Jamie Dillon, had been steadfast and vocal about its opposition to remote working. Dillon once told The Wall Street Journal, “People don’t like commuting, but so what?”
Their initial post-pandemic aim was a full-time return to the office. But in a recent letter, Dillon outlined the company’s new approach. “It’s clear that working from home will become more permanent in American business,” Dimon wrote.
J.P. Morgan is giving up on the full week on-site, according to Crain’s reports.
The company has also announced that another 40% could split their time and work within a hybrid model: three days on-site with flexible hours and two days remotely.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Salesforce adapted to hybrid work by implementing a flexible approach called “Success from Anywhere.”
The company recognized the benefits of both remote and in-person work, tailoring its work model based on employees’ roles, work schedules, and preferences.
Post-pandemic, Salesforce continues offering hybrid work, prioritizing employee well-being, increased productivity, and collaboration in a new, flexible work landscape.
According to their recent study, nearly 60% of employees said hybrid work would enhance their mental well-being, while the majority said it’d improve their physical health. They also point out that Millennial and Gen X workers report being most enthusiastic about a hybrid arrangement.
Target Corporation, the largest retailer and biggest employer in downtown Minneapolis announced that it would start offering hybrid work opportunities. Teams and employees would choose when to work remotely and when to come to the office.
“We really saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape the future of work and the experience of work,” said Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer, Melissa Kremer.
The company is the latest retail brand to embrace a flexible workplace for its corporate workforce and allow its employees to have flexible work schedules in a hybrid model.
Fintech company Klarna launched an ambitious global flexible work schedule for its staff. Their employees can decide whether to work from the office, from home, or internationally for up to 20 days a year.
Their hybrid teams can also work at one of their offices worldwide, “promoting global team building, personal development, and professional career growth opportunities,” as the management points out.
The policy gives employees the option to work remotely within their country of employment — or a state or province in the US and Canada — as well as from the office if they choose.
The “buy now, pay later” brand says its work policy is based on the last two years of experience, proving that significant success and growth could be achieved with hybrid and flexible working hours. The company aims to balance people’s personal needs with overall productivity and employee engagement.
Additionally, Klarna is providing each employee with annual equipment and payment contributions that can help them improve personal home workplaces or upgrade work accessories.
The new policy will facilitate monthly on-site gatherings to handle work aspects where in-person collaboration “remains valuable whether this is for creative problem-solving, brainstorming sessions or fostering meaningful professional relationships,” the firm added.
For each of the companies discussed above, a major factor when switching to a hybrid workforce has been their workers’ desires, preferences, and needs rather than established corporate policies.
This is great news for employees across the world. When big organizations like the ones mentioned above put their workers’ needs first, many others will likely follow the trend.
If you are thinking about switching to a hybrid work model or experiencing some difficulties getting there, consider reaching out for help to us at OfficeRnD, specialists in this workplace transition.
OfficeRnD Hybrid, our hybrid workplace management platform solves the many challenges associated with this new work normal.
A hybrid work model is a workday arrangement that supports remote and on-site employees at the same time and offers the flexibility to switch seamlessly between the two work styles. It’s a workplace concept that encompasses both digital and physical workspaces.
Hybrid workplaces might still be in flux, but they’re rapidly becoming a much more permanent reality — something that many remote work influencers confirm. Hybrid workplaces are more commonly endorsed post-pandemic as people learn how to be productive and flexible no matter where their working station is.
Netflix is one of the biggest companies opposed to remote work. However, there are exceptions on a case-by-case basis. There’s still a relatively low chance of employees working remotely or in the new hybrid way.
Netflix is known to offer a fast-paced workplace with on-demand, highly talented, and engaged employees. The architecture and products change fast, which may explain why the company prefers that workers are mostly on-site with collaborative and cohesive teams. The opposite would be a mistake.
Google has spent a lot of effort and time reconfiguring office spaces to accommodate a hybrid work model and improve the employee experience to stimulate people to return back to the office.
Currently, Google expects its workers to be in the office three days per week, with the remaining time granted for remote work.
Google has been communicating its new working policy clearly, with set metrics. 60% of employees are expected to be in the office three days per week, 20% to work in the office exclusively, and 20% are entitled to be remote workers.
If you want to understand more about hybrid work management, this ebook is for you.
An example of a hybrid company is Shopify, which offers a mix of in-person and remote work options for its employees, allowing them to work from home or the office as they prefer.
Being a hybrid company means that a business utilizes a combination of traditional in-person work and remote work options for its employees. This allows employees to have greater flexibility in choosing where and how they work, while also allowing the company to save on office space and other resources.
According to the most recent statistics, as of 2023, 74% of US companies are either already working or planning to go hybrid.
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