A hybrid role is a position where responsibilities typically performed by several people or departments belong to one person. Because their responsibilities span multiple departments, hybrid roles require collaborative, agile workers.

Companies are more and more frequently finding themselves limited by typical job descriptions, and wasting resources as a result. Hiring multiple people to fill open positions in your company isn’t worth the cost if one person can easily fulfill all their duties.

Hybrid roles challenge archaic job descriptions and introduce flexibility into role definitions within an organization. They benefit companies by reducing resource waste, attracting versatile talent, and increasing productivity.


Quick Summary:

  • A hybrid role exists when an employee is responsible for a range of job duties that would normally performed by several different people.
  • Hybrid job roles can exist within a remote workforce, hybrid work environment, or in a traditional office setting.
  • Important hybrid job skills and personality traits include adaptability, creativity, learning agility, and strong collaboration, communication, and interpersonal communication abilities.
  • Introducing hybrid roles into your workplace can help better utilize your employees’ skill sets and lead to cost savings.

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

What Is a Hybrid Role?

A hybrid role is a job or position in an organization where an employee performs tasks that would normally be the responsibility of multiple people. An employee in a hybrid role is said to “wear many hats.”

Most organizations don’t set out to create hybrid roles; they usually evolve to be that way over time.

what is a hybrid role

A typical worker in a hybrid role is:

  • A fast and eager learner
  • Adaptable and resilient
  • Good at communicating in-person and online
  • Able to prioritize by importance and urgency
  • Organized and proactive

Hybrid employees often work across multiple departments and teams, such as IT, marketing, and customer service.

Where do Hybrid Roles Come From?

While some companies intentionally create positions with cross-functional duties, most hybrid roles are born out of necessity.

They tend to spring up naturally when someone leaves a company, especially if they’ve been there for a long time.

The employee’s job responsibilities don’t go with them when they leave. So without a replacement, their job responsibilities will have to be absorbed by their former coworkers.

If the company isn’t proactive about filling this vacancy, employees often absorb the extra workload to keep things running smoothly.

Employees with broad skillsets can easily find themselves in a hybrid role. For example, let’s say Courtney from marketing also happens to be a computer whiz.

The marketing manager mentions the company has a new team scheduling software that will make coordinating and scheduling time off much easier for everyone. The only problem is: no one knows how to install it.

So, Courtney volunteers to take a look. Before long, the software is up and running. The team gets to use the software and Courtney got to help the team and break up an otherwise slow workday; win-win.

Next time there are any software or computer problems, who do you think the company will go to first? Without even trying, now Courtney’s in a hybrid role.

A small family-run business, for example, might not be able to afford to hire a new marketing manager, production specialist, or copywriter.

Employees may take on additional responsibilities outside their original job description or current department. The result? A hybrid role.

The Benefits of Hybrid Roles

Introducing hybrid roles into your workplace can help better utilize your employees’ skill sets and lead to cost savings.

Here are the main benefits organizations experience when implementing hybrid roles:

  • Improve employee engagement. Employees remain engaged and enthusiastic when they know their unique skills are valued. When employees show talent, you can develop their roles to incorporate more of what they’re good at.
  • Attracts versatile talent. Hybrid roles attract outside talent because they have unique responsibilities and job descriptions.
  • Cost savings. Because hybrid roles combine the responsibilities of multiple jobs, you can hire fewer employees and pay them more competitive salaries.
  • Increase efficiency. When employees depend on each other’s progress, friction in your workflow can result. Hybrid roles can remove this friction by facilitating solo work where possible.
  • Boost productivity. Improving each person’s efficiency helps the entire company be more productive.
  • Prevent layoffs. Instead of roles becoming obsolete as technology advances, you can give employees new responsibilities and let them grow laterally in your company.

The Challenges of Hybrid Roles

The biggest challenge for employees in hybrid roles is avoiding the burnout that can come with the combination of duties. When you assign a wide range of responsibilities to one person, and they’re spread too thin, you risk running them ragged.

Another challenge employees face is finding focus when switching roles constantly throughout the workday.

Switching between tasks too frequently makes employees less effective in their roles. Since, by definition, hybrid roles require frequent task switching, employees can find it challenging to work efficiently.

Hybrid Role vs. Hybrid Work

Many people assume that a hybrid role and a hybrid work model are interchangeable, but they’re two completely separate concepts.

A hybrid role exists when an employee is responsible for a range of job duties that would normally performed by several different people.

Hybrid job roles can exist within a remote workforce, hybrid work environment, or in a traditional office setting. Hybrid roles can be cost savings decisions or the result of employee preferences.

On the other hand, a hybrid work model is a type of workplace experience, office setup, or office environment that is the result of a hybrid work policy.

Organizations that adopt hybrid work policies are often referred to as hybrid companies. In hybrid work models, employees can work remotely or in the office, depending on their preferences where they’re most productive.

hybrid roles

Related: Mastering the Art of Bonding: How to Build Valuable Work Relationships in a Hybrid Workplace

Important Skills and Personality Traits for Hybrid Workers

When designing a hybrid role, it’s important to note the technical skills and competencies the position requires.

Being as specific as possible about what your company currently lacks helps narrow your search and increases your chances of finding a good candidate.

The following skills and competencies are helpful to prioritize when creating a hybrid role:

Collaboration and Communication Skills

Since hybrid roles are versatile and multifaceted, your candidate must be able to communicate clearly.

Employees in hybrid positions are the most important link between different parts of a project, and they must communicate each team’s progress and needs across multiple departments.

Interpersonal abilities are also important when interacting with clients, vendors, and stakeholders.

Interpersonal and Social Skills

Hybrid roles span departments and involve many different teams. An excellent candidate for a hybrid role is someone with good social skills who quickly adapts to new people and situations and thrives on feedback.

You need your candidate to be a natural collaborator who facilitates smooth departmental cooperation. They need to balance the deadlines and priorities of different teams.

Adaptability and Creativity

Your ideal hybrid role candidate will be creative, a problem-solver, and adaptable enough to cope with change, multiple environments, and different team dynamics.

When looking for someone to fill a hybrid role, consider how you want your ideal candidate to respond to crises or significant organizational changes.

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Learning agility

Learning agility refers to how quickly a person can adapt their skills to be helpful in a new situation.

It isn’t about how fast someone learns something new but how quickly they can link different concepts.

This skill is instrumental if your company is growth-focused and poised to change significantly in the next few years.

An employee with learning agility will be able to easily take on new clients and understand new software because their knowledge is adaptable and versatile.

How to Prevent Burnout in Hybrid Roles

Because hybrid roles are closely associated with burnout, protecting your employees in hybrid positions is essential.

To create a healthy work environment for your employees in hybrid roles, it’s important to consider the circumstances surrounding their roles. Here are some questions to ask yourself.

Is the Hybrid Role Necessary?

If you’re asking an employee to take on more responsibilities than they originally bargained for, it’s important to consider the specific circumstances.

Do the additional job responsibilities add up to a full-time job? Is the employee seeking out additional work because they don’t have enough to do?

Or are you giving them additional responsibility because you’d rather not hire someone new?

Is the Hybrid Role Sustainable?

Because stress and burnout are prevalent among employees in hybrid roles, it’s essential to create a sustainable work environment that’s employee-centric.

Can your employees realistically maintain the hours and job scope you’re asking them to? Will your employees have a healthy work-life balance?

Does the Employees’ Job Title and Description Accurately Reflect Their Responsibilities?

When an employee takes on additional responsibilities, update their job description to reflect the new multifaceted nature of the role.

If you’ve added responsibilities, boost their salary to reflect that. Properly compensating valuable workers is the best way to keep them!

a hybrid team

Attract Top Talent with Powerful Hybrid Work Software

Hybrid roles are the job profiles of the future. Companies that can accommodate flexible roles will attract high-performing, agile workers looking for more challenging, dynamic roles.

Whether your employees are working in hybrid positions or more traditional roles, tools like OfficeRnD Hybrid can help them get the most out of their workday.

Find out more about how the award-winning hybrid work software can seamlessly integrate into your existing tech stack and boost productivity with collaborative scheduling, intuitive desk booking software, meeting room booking system, and workplace analytics.

Whether you’re transitioning to a hybrid setup, or looking for a collaborative platform to connect your hybrid teams, get started for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid.

FAQ

What is an Example of a Hybrid Job?

A hybrid job is a position that combines roles or skills from different fields or disciplines. For instance, a “digital marketing data analyst” is a hybrid job that merges skills from marketing and data analysis. This allows professionals to tackle diverse tasks within one role.

How do you List Hybrid in a Job Description?

To list a hybrid role in a job description, clearly define the combination of skills and responsibilities from different fields. For example, a “Web Developer-Graphic Designer” role might require both coding skills and design expertise. Ensure the description highlights the interdisciplinary nature of the position.

What is a Hybrid Work Team?

A Hybrid Work Team consists of employees who split their time between working remotely and working in a physical office. This model offers flexibility, allowing team members to work from various locations while still maintaining occasional in-person collaboration. The approach aims to balance remote efficiency with face-to-face interaction.

Asen Stoyanchev
Senior Content Marketing & SEO Specialist | OfficeRnD
Asen is passionate about flexible working and the future of work. He firmly believes that work flexibility directly impacts one's health and well-being. When he's not writing, Asen spends his time devouring business literature, hiking, and parenting.