More people than ever before are working remotely. However, not all employees fancy logging in from a home office. Some still prefer the structure of a company space and will gladly go to one daily. The result of this duality is going hybrid: a workplace that supports both on-site and remote employees. While this concept pre-dated the global COVID-19 pandemic, its fruition was largely attributed to the health crisis. Now, hybrid workplaces are here to stay.
Forced to adapt during the pandemic, organizations and their workers have begun to figure things out and get a bearing. According to a recent Microsoft research, 52% of employees are considering switching to remote or hybrid work just as more companies announced return-to-office rules and requirements. Additionally, 85% of employees prefer either a full-time remote or hybrid workplace model.
But going hybrid extends beyond just the functional aspect – the what and the when. It also includes the company culture. Organizations with well-established culture and employee engagement are more likely to find it easy to switch to different types of working arrangements. Eventually, successful hybrid workplace becomes part of the company culture. This is an advantage for attracting new talent as well as the retention of it.
A hybrid workplace combines remote with in-office work. There are different types of hybrid work arrangements based on the activity of the company. Usually, people spend 1 to 3 days in the office environment and the rest – at home (or vise versa). Workers should be able to switch seamlessly between the two, boosting the work-life balance along with the in-person collaboration in the office, which brings many advantages.
Pre-pandemic, just 8% of the over 60 million U.S employees whose jobs could be done from home worked exclusively remotely, while one-third were hybrid workers. Today, hybrid work is the norm for more than 42% in total, with more and more organizations acknowledging its potential!
In times where nine out of 10 companies are planning to embrace the hybrid work environment, businesses must reinvent the tools and strategies they previously relied. From JP Morgan to Target, let’s look at how various companies have gone hybrid recently. Some have focused on collaboration and teamwork, others – on well-being and flexibility.
Most Nike employees returned to the company’s offices in time for the brand’s 50th-anniversary celebration. The giant sportswear brand communicated to employees outlining their 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 means people could work from home twice a week, with the rest 3 days collaborating in the physical space.
“While it’s true many of us feel productive working remotely, there’s something about spending time in the office with your team. WHQ is the physical representation of Nike’s heart and soul. Coming back together means the opportunity to honor our legacy and create the future together. And we’ll do it with added flexibility — because we know that work happens anywhere, not just in an office.” – Jeff Nichols, Vice President of Workplace Design and Connectivity at Nike
Investment bank JP Morgan, specifically CEO Jamie Dillon, has 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 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. JP Morgan is giving up on the full week on-site, according to Crain’s reports.
“Approximately 50% [of our employees] will necessarily work at a location full time. That would include nearly all employees in our retail bank branches, as well as jobs in check processing, vaults, sales and trading, critical operations functions and facilities, amenities, security, medical and many others.”
Another 40% could split their time and work within a hybrid model – 3 days on-site and 2 days remotely.
Salesforce has always focused on and prioritized employee’s well-being. However, the significance of that ethos took over the past two years. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in far-reaching consequences for the global workforce. Workers, colleagues, friends, and family have been impacted in several ways.
Salesforce was one of the largest proponents of the in-office work model but they listed nearly half of its office space for sublease during the pandemic. Back then the remote work trend was adopted as well.
According to their recent study, nearly 60% of the employees said hybrid work would enhance their mental well-being, while the majority said it’d improve their physical health. They also point that Millennial and Gen X workers report being most enthusiastic about a hybrid arrangement.
“At Salesforce, we’ve embraced a model we’re calling Success from Anywhere as we’ve continued to safely reopen offices around the world. This paradigm encourages everyone to work where, when, and how they’ll be most effective. At any given day, an employee may be at a customer location, working from home, or working from an office. We’ve redesigned offices to not only be safer, but also more focused on promoting collaboration and smooth integration of remote team members. And we’ve made sure employees can easily and securely access the tools they need from anywhere.” – Jo-ann de Pass Olsovsky, EVP and CIO, Salesforce
Olsovsky shares that the new way of working has increased productivity and going forward managers would assess workers based on results, not by hours clocked in the physical office.
Target Corp, the largest retailer and biggest employer in downtown Minneapolis, announced that it’d avail a hybrid working. 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 allowing its employees to work in a hybrid model.
“While we won’t ask team members to be in the office with a set schedule or percentage of time, we know our physical offices will play an important role in how we work moving forward. Throughout the spring, our teams will continue testing new ways of working and will start to develop more regular hybrid work routines.”
Klarna has become the latest fintech company to announce an ambitious global flexible work schedule for its staff. Their employees can decide whether to work from the office, home, or internationally for up to 20 days a year. Their hybrid teams can also attend 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 state or province in the U.S. 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 working. 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 contribution that can help them improve personal home workplaces or upgrade work accessories.
If you love what you do, you should love where you do it. “We appreciate that everyone has their own preferences of where and how to work, and we are combining the power of face-to-face interactions with effective remote work, to create a hybrid model that empowers employees and encourages company-wide collaboration. – Linda Höglund, COO at Klarna
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.
Klarna plans to continue investing in physical spaces worldwide.
Looking at each of these companies’ plans for a hybrid workplace, a major factor when switching to 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 mentioned above put their workers’ needs first, many others will likely follow the trend.
A hybrid work model is workday arrangement that supports remote and on-site employees at the same time and offers a flexibility to flip between the two work styles seamlessly. It’s a workplace concept that encompasses both digital and physical workspaces.
Hybrid workplaces might still be in flux, but they are rapidly becoming a much more permanent reality. Certainly, hybrid workplaces are more commonly endorsed post-pandemic as people learnt 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.
Besides, Netflix is known to offer a fast-paced workplace with on-demand, highly talented 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.
Google has spent a lot of effort and time reconfiguring office spaces to accommodate a hybrid work model and improve 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 clearly its new working policy with set metrics. 60% of employees are expected to return to 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.
We pick the coolest and most useful blog posts, webinars, interviews, eBooks, company and industry news…
all together in the OfficeRnD newsletter!