Now that the economy is largely opening back up, an increasing number of companies are going hybrid. And while it’s a more flexible way to work, smoothly setting up a hybrid model requires the right tools.
A free hybrid work schedule template in Excel can be useful when you need a barebones work schedule.
Unfortunately, though, it can’t replace a fully optimized solution that also takes care of many of the tasks that accompany the implementation of hybrid working, such as desk booking and meeting room booking.
After all, employees need a flexible solution to manage their time, workspaces, and absence from the office.
That’s where the Excel booking system might start to seem insufficient.
In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of using Excel as a work scheduling system. We’ll also compare it with using your own bespoke software tool and, finally, with using a hybrid work software system like OfficeRnD Hybrid, for example.
Let’s get started.
First, feel free to download the hybrid work schedule template by clicking any of the buttons below. The template contains instructions on how to use it and later in the article, you’ll find an explanatory video too. Note that if you prefer opening it in Google Sheets, you’ll need to log in with a Gmail account and then make a copy of the file.
We recently held a survey across our social media channels to see what work scheduling software solutions hybrid offices preferred, and the results were unsurprising.
30% of organizations took advantage of the functionalities of such a tool, while only 11% used Excel or other spreadsheets. Sounds promising, right? Yes, but you should take this information with a grain of salt.
Some people from the same company gave different answers to the same question.
So, taking that into consideration, it seems likely that:
Choosing a work schedule solution can make or break your company. Here are a few factors to consider to help you choose the right one for your needs:
How many desks are you managing in your office right now?
Many companies have cut down on the number of desks used since the pandemic began to reduce utility costs, so you may not have enough desks for all employees. Therefore, it’s essential that your work scheduling software accounts for this.
Unfortunately, managing the number of desks in your office through a free hybrid work schedule template in Excel is very difficult, if not outright impossible — especially if you have more than 30 employees. And what if your team grows in the future?
At the end of the day, you’ll want to choose a solution that grows with you while remaining easy to use. It’s true that spreadsheets are fast to build and easy to use. But their lack of flexibility means you might need to consider a future-proof tool for work scheduling.
Before you choose a work schedule solution, think about the hybrid work policies that have been implemented in your organization.
These are the practices and schedules that have helped your workplace transition into the hybrid age and should set clear expectations among your employees.
Do some people have to be in the office more than others? On which days are certain roles coming in? Which days are they working from home?
Defining your employee type is essential because it’ll show you who needs to be in the office more often (HR, facility managers, people managers, operations, legal, team leaders, etc.) and who can benefit from working remotely.
Then, you’ll be able to define a work schedule policy with clear rules in place (e.g., certain roles must be in the office on predetermined days and work remotely for the rest of the week). Such policies can improve employees’ productivity and attendance rates as well as enable flexible working in your company.
You can still use different tabs in Sheets to facilitate all that, but when you add hot desking, the chances of things getting messy increase.
You know the old saying, “What gets measured gets done.” In order to choose the right work scheduling tools for your business, you have to set the proper KPIs to measure your team’s success. Otherwise, how can you improve?
While there are many KPIs to choose from, it’s critical to choose those that are the most important to your company. For example, most businesses go with collaboration, office usage, and employee well-being.
For example, solutions like OfficeRnD Hybrid’s Workplace Analytics can provide you with the tools and metrics you need to properly evaluate the performance of your hybrid workplace and make more informed business decisions.
If you want to know more about what hybrid work trends are shaping the upcoming year, sign up for our free webinar Evolving Workplaces: Top Hybrid Work Trends in 2024 to make even more informed decisions.
Now that you have a better idea of what you want regarding work scheduling, you have a few options for tools, as seen in the table below.
Consider these pros and cons when deciding on the path forward for your business.
Using a free hybrid work schedule template in Excel is the least expensive solution but also the most restrictive. As such, it’s best for small operations with fewer than 30 employees.
It’s also for operations with no more than two different categories of employees who work at the same location and don’t usually book meeting rooms.
Another thing to note is who’s in charge of hybrid schedules. Are they in charge of desk booking as well?
As a spreadsheet doesn’t tell you who booked which desk, you might be scheduling someone to come to the office when they have no desk to work at. That’d be a waste of this employee’s time and reduce your organization’s productivity.
On the other hand, you may have scheduled your entire team to work remotely. And if another team did the same thing, the office may now have too many free desks.
In that case, you’d be paying for a utility you’re not using very often, which would be a waste of money and reinforce an unfavorable budget variance.
Nonetheless, different companies have different needs. That’s why we’ve prepared a free hybrid work schedule template in Excel to help get you started.
As promised, here’s the video on how to use it:
An in-house software solution is the most expensive and extreme solution. It’s pricey to maintain, and although it allows software problems to be fixed quickly, you’ll have to hire developers to do this.
Developing, testing, integrating, and implementing your own solution also takes time, not to mention money. All this reinforces an unfavorable budget variance, so if you choose to go down this route, keep that in mind.
There are many benefits of using a full-fledged hybrid work management solution. For example:
Once you’re ready to choose your hybrid work schedule software, there are a number of other things that you’ll need to consider. For instance:
It usually doesn’t take more than 14 days to do all that, so keep that in mind.
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, of course, so choose the tools that enable you to best meet your business’ goals.
Transitioning to hybrid work shouldn’t be painful. When done right, it can provide a productive and collaborative experience for your employees while keeping costs down. That’s why we offer a free hybrid work schedule template in Excel to help you get started.
But chances are you’ll need a real hybrid work scheduling solution. Try OfficeRnD Hybrid! It’s packed with many more features than a generic Excel template. It’s also very easy to implement and use, and it will keep your employees’ work schedules optimized yet flexible.
The best part?
You can get started for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid without any limitations or strings attached and take advantage of the many useful features it offers, such as the following:
Back when most people worked at the office, an Excel work scheduling system was enough to keep everyone organized. But now that more and more companies are using a hybrid model, a spreadsheet just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
A hybrid work scheduling app has a lot more functionalities than just a table with names, places, and work attendance times. It also considers the number of rooms and desks available to ensure that the optimal number of employees are scheduled to work in the office, thereby improving space usage.
Creating a work scheduling system in Excel or Google Sheets is very easy, but it’ll take you time and effort to get the hang of it. That’s why we created a template that’s ready to use and free of charge. You can download it here.
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