Hybrid work is on the rise — around four in five office occupiers have adopted some form of hybrid work policy.

This flexible approach to working offers benefits for management and team members alike, but there are challenges to it, too. And for organizations that combine a hybrid workplace with a hybrid organizational structure, it can be even more complex.

It’s important for facility managers and team leaders to keep everyone on the same page and working together in a hybrid organizational structure. But what does that mean in practice?

In this article, we’ll look at what a hybrid organizational structure is. We’ll discuss how it can fit within a hybrid work environment and how you can make both work for your company.


Quick Summary:

  • There are both functional and divisional aspects to a hybrid organizational structure.
  • A hybrid organizational structure in the workplace has benefits and challenges, and combining it with a hybrid work model must be handled with care.

What Is a Hybrid Organizational Structure?

“Hybrid” means combining two different things. A hybrid organizational structure combines elements of both traditional hierarchical and modern flat structures, integrating functional, divisional, and matrix models. This approach allows for flexibility, better resource allocation, and enhanced communication across various departments and projects.

diagram of the hybrid structure

Many organizations divide their teams according to departments, such as finance, sales, marketing, or HR. But some also have cross-departmental teams that work together to deliver on business goals, such as launching a new product, managing a rebrand, or preparing to break into a new region.

Starbucks is an example of a business with a hybrid organizational structure, combining functional, geographic, and product-based structures.

There are many benefits to a hybrid organizational structure. For example, it allows employees with different roles to learn from one another. Plus, the flexibility to create cross-division teams can improve efficiency in handling major projects.

But a hybrid organizational structure can also mean extra administrative work for human resources and other teams. It might also cause confusion for employees working in matrixed teams, who have several different managers to report to instead of just one.

According to FourWeekMBA, Google operates under a matrix structure, with employees belonging to both functional and product teams.

Matrixing can offer flexibility and innovation for some companies, compared to the traditional vertical management structure.

However, there can be downsides to it, too. When a company has matrixed employees with several different reporting chains, the duplication of work becomes a risk. So, companies that choose a matrix structure should watch carefully for potential losses in accountability.

How Does a Hybrid Workplace Support a Hybrid Organizational Structure?

While a business might implement a hybrid structure to maximize efficiency, a poorly managed structure could have the opposite result. In a 2023 McKinsey survey, leaders identified complex structures and unclear roles and responsibilities as the leading root causes of a lack of simplicity in their organizations. They also rated insufficient resources as the top challenge of increasing efficiency.

There are many challenges to overcome for companies that combine a hybrid structure with a hybrid workplace. However, preparing for this new reality might not be optional: Gallup data shows that 60% of remote-capable employees would prefer a hybrid work arrangement.

Businesses with hybrid workplaces, matrixed teams, and other complex organizational structures should take a fresh look at their practices. Leaders need to consider whether their employees are positioned for success.

Middle managers should examine whether they already have clear performance expectations in place. Plus, they must work to support transparent communication between colleagues and shift away from ambiguity concerning roles and tasks.

There are even more challenges for teams with complex or unconventional structures, such as remote teams. It’s more important than ever to have an easy way to arrange meetings, sync up office days, and secure access to essential equipment and resources. Facility managers should work with business leaders to make sure that all company teams have what they need.

hybrid work stat

While all this is a challenge, it’s not insurmountable. If it has a strong foundation, a hybrid workplace model can support a hybrid organizational structure, offering key benefits for employees and their managers.

Here’s how:

Putting Flexibility And Adaptability First

Staying flexible is one reason large organizations might choose a matrix or hybrid organizational structure in the first place. It’s an approach that allows a business to respond more quickly to fast-changing market requirements and make sure the skills of the management chain are well-utilized.

When cross-functional teams with different ways of working get together in a hybrid organizational structure, they need to stay agile when unexpected issues arise. That means staying in touch effortlessly, including with colleagues who work from home or travel for business.

That said, agility doesn’t mean that companies with hybrid structures should make all decisions on the fly. In a hybrid structure, it’s important to keep track of each team’s core needs to make sure the teams with the most pressing needs are taken care of first. Plus, some employees might need different levels of access to core resources, depending on their seniority or department.

Business leaders are responsible for setting priorities. For example, which meetings are the most urgent? Which team needs to use the boardroom the soonest? Once those parameters are set, a facility manager can make sure that resources are allocated accordingly.

Controlling Costs

Reducing the office space can save big on costs. The budget saved on that substantial overhead could be funneled into strategic activities, such as new product development and expansion into new markets. This could be money well spent — but only if the teams in your hybrid organization remain working as a well-oiled machine.

Suppose your business is reducing its expenditure on office space. In that case, a space management software solution is a must, as it makes sure your team members have desks to book and access to the meeting rooms they need for in-person collaboration sessions. By tracking and measuring how your space is used, you can make data-driven decisions about your real estate portfolio.

Optimizing Resource Use

A hybrid organization might mean multiple teams competing for the same resources. For example, if the sales and marketing teams looking after different vertical markets meet on the same day, they might require similar AV equipment.

Or perhaps one product manager needs access to the same resources as a functional manager, and there are not enough to go around.

office resources

To make hybrid working a success within a matrix work environment or a hybrid organizational structure, facility managers will need a bird’s-eye view of the premises.

This will make it easier for employees and team leaders to optimize their use of the space. With a simple way to track meeting space occupancy rates and usage patterns, teams can avoid unfortunate clashes.

A centralized space-booking platform can help everyone stay on the same page — and in doing so, ensure each team can easily access the resources they need.

Making Data-Based Decisions

In a hybrid organizational structure, paying attention to the data is key. Leaders should look for evidence that their team is utilizing their time well.

Are cross-departmental teams falling behind on a project because they can’t access a collaboration space? Are different schedules for hybrid workers causing friction in those all-important in-person meetings?

When close colleagues have opposing schedules for their remote days, they might become out of the loop with each other and their shared work. For this reason, managers might choose to set customized hybrid work policies to balance the needs of each employee with the needs of the business.

officernd hybrid dash

Improving Collaboration

Cross-team collaborations are a big benefit of having a hybrid organizational structure. As long as the necessary communication channels stay open, huge rewards can come with them.

Instead of working in departmental silos, employees from an organization’s sales, marketing, strategy, and GTM teams might come together for major projects. Where and how will they meet? Can they reserve the resources they need?

When your company needs cross-functional teams to collaborate on a pressing project or strategic shift, you want team members finding one another to be a breeze.

A robust tool can help you keep track of the diverse needs of your people. With a straightforward system, you can avoid double bookings of core facilities. Plus, your company’s team leaders can ensure that each team member has access to the tools they need to be effective.

Enter OfficeRnD Hybrid. Take a look at the short video below to see what it can do for you.

How Tavistock Boosted In-Office Collaboration

When Tavistock eliminated unnecessary office space by switching to a hybrid work model, it experienced huge cost savings. But without slick processes, it ran the risk of driving a wedge between corporate employees and restaurant-based colleagues. OfficeRnD Hybrid helped its staff stay on the same page with features like Teams integration and Google Calendar syncing.

How OfficeRnD Hybrid Can Support Your Hybrid Work Models

No matter what organizational model and corporate structure you choose for your company, your facilities team should be ready to meet the challenges involved.

With OfficeRnD Hybrid, it’s easy for employees who don’t typically see one another daily to arrange face-to-face time when they’re in the office. Plus, they can effortlessly book adjacent desks and reserve meeting rooms from anywhere with just a few clicks.

OfficeRnD Hybrid allows you to:

  • Use advanced scheduling options to keep all team members on the same page and foster easy cross-functional collaboration, along with calendar integration
  • Integrate with all the tools you already use and love such as Slack, Google Workspace, and Microsoft tech stack.
  • Effortlessly book meeting rooms and desks on interactive maps
  • Make data-driven decisions about space utilization thanks to powerful analytics

Click here to start for free or book a live demo to learn how it can help keep your hybrid workplace running smoothly.

FAQ

What Are the Benefits of a Hybrid Organizational Structure?

Flexibility and adaptability are among the key benefits of this organizational structure type.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Hybrid Structure?

Conflicts between departments and divisions and confusion about the line of authority are a few potential drawbacks of a hybrid organizational structure.

What Is a Hybrid Workplace Structure?

A hybrid workplace structure is a flexible model that supports a blend of remote working and working from a physical office location.

What is a Real-Life Example of a Hybrid Organizational Structure?

A real-life example of a hybrid organizational structure is Google, which blends functional departments like engineering and marketing with project-based teams for specific products. This structure allows Google to innovate quickly while maintaining efficient operations.

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".