More and more businesses are shifting from 100% in-office work to hybrid and remote offerings.
The question is: which of these options is best for your business?
In this post, you’ll learn all about hybrid vs remote work. You’ll discover the advantages and disadvantages of each and gain inspiration from companies who’ve made the shift to one or the other.
The hybrid and remote work models have some clear distinctions.
In the hybrid work model, employees work both remotely and from the office — often setting their schedules based on their own or the company’s needs. For example, the need to access materials and opportunities for in-person collaboration or meetings will bring them in.
The remote work model allows employees to work from anywhere. Employees who are fully remote don’t access an office or shared workspace.
Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into the details of each of these work models.
The flexibility of the hybrid work model has made it increasingly popular over recent years. In fact, about 5 in 10 employees have hybrid schedules.
There are different naming conventions for the various hybrid work model arrangements but in general, there are four main types:
Choosing the best option will depend on how much flexibility you can offer your employees based on your business type and organizational goals. Shifting to a hybrid work model may make sense if you can maintain high quality and productivity standards.
Here’s a brief rundown of each hybrid work type:
The office-centric model requires employees to work in the office for most of the work week. Managers usually officialize this with hybrid work policies.
However, the employees may have some flexibility regarding their in-office hours and which days they work from home each week.
The flexible hybrid model lives up to its name, offering employees schedule flexibility. This means the time they spend working in and out of the office is entirely up to them.
Remote-friendly businesses set clear guidelines on when and how employees work remotely. For example, employees may not be remote on certain days of the week or have restrictions on which tasks can be done remotely.
The remote-first model allows most employees to work remotely most of the time. In some occasions, empoyees still can gather in the office for the moments that matter.
Keep in mind that any of these hybrid models can be applied company-wide or specific to a department. If you need to maintain a physical presence to sell your product or provide your service, some workers won’t have the choice. However, employees in HR or accounting, for example, might make sense to shift to hybrid.
If you want to find the right hybrid work model for you, then take this short quiz.
Hybrid businesses enjoy some clear benefits over fully remote work, including the following.
Alternating hours is viewed as a critical benefit with increased employee job satisfaction.
That’s beneficial for their mental well-being and for employers, that means stronger employee engagement and increased workplace integrity.
Studies also show that being in the office two to three days per week is linked to positive employee engagement and improved well-being.
And here’s a more extensive list of the most prominent hybrid work advantages.
While the hybrid model offers some excellent benefits, you’ll want to be aware of some disadvantages, too. These include the following:
The three most prominent hybrid work challenges, as outlined in the article from OfficeRnD, are:
Here’s an extensive article outlining some of the most important drawbacks and challenges of hybrid work.
Going hybrid also means you’ll have to factor in the costs of maintaining an office space for your employees. This includes the office’s physical location and the furniture, materials, and utilities you need to keep the space running.
However, if you already have an office space and you’re planning to go hybrid, this could save you money in the long run.
Determining how much office space you need requires knowing who is working in the office and when.
Without the right tools, this is no small task. With OfficeRnD Hybrid’s space management software, you can easily see what’s being used, what’s not, and where you might be able to reduce facilities costs.
Let’s look at an example of a business that has shifted to hybrid.
Microsoft embraces the hybrid work model by providing employees with various options regarding their work site, physical location, and working hours.
They reject the “one-size-fits-all” approach to the workday and instead are committed to offering flexible work for the long term. Many other companies have also successfully made this switch.
While hybrid work is a great option for many companies, you might wonder if an entirely remote workforce would better suit your business’s needs. Read on to learn more about this style.
Like hybrid, remote work is a popular model.
The fully remote work model allows employees to work from wherever they choose. Remote employees don’t access an office or shared workspace.
About 3 in 10 U.S. workers are fully remote, with most HR in Fortune 500 companies reporting no plans to reduce remote work options in the foreseeable future.
Remote employees may also be referred to as work-from-home (WFH). While this is technically true, people with remote jobs can work from anywhere in the world.
If you’re interested in making your organization fully remote, there are benefits and drawbacks to remember.
Remote-only businesses have some distinct advantages.
Remote employees typically set schedules for when they are most productive and to suit their personal lives.
Here are some possible drawbacks to consider for your business as you determine whether to go fully remote:
Fully remote colleagues also miss out on the benefits of having “water cooler” conversations, often making it more difficult for them to develop and strengthen interpersonal relationships at work.
Here’s an example of a company that has embraced its remote workforce:
Zapier has been a remote-based company since its founding. The founders couldn’t afford the necessary office space or align their work schedules initially.
As the company grew to scale, they found they could hire whomever they wanted, maintain a quality product, and keep their customers and their workforce happy by remaining fully remote.
Understanding the nuances between hybrid and remote work models is the first step. The second is deciding which model makes better sense for your business.
Here are some things to consider if you’re trying to decide whether to transition your business to hybrid or fully remote work.
Your company mission, goals, and objectives should be your first consideration. Who are you, and what do you want to accomplish?
Will teams be able to flourish in a remote setting? Will you be able to sustain a quality service or product if you make the shift?
Determine your budget and whether a physical office space would make sense. Some positions or office responsibilities may also require an onsite presence. Some services may require a physical location to deliver quality service or goods.
Evaluate your talent pool. You’ll have access to the best available talent if you can sustain a remote workforce since you can hire from anywhere. Consider whether there are parts of your business that could go hybrid or remote and still thrive.
Both hybrid and remote work models can offer a positive workplace experience.
Consider how you will engage your workers if they are in a fully remote setting or only in the office part of the time. For instance:
Don’t forget to take your team members’ wishes into consideration when you can. More and more people need flexibility in their work lives to achieve an optimal work-life balance.
Many businesses have found that overall productivity is enhanced when workers can choose their optimal location to work from.
If you’re considering the hybrid work model, use strategies for boosting engagement, such as fostering strong communication and interpersonal connections.
Recent data from research done by Forbes shows a significant and growing trend towards remote and hybrid work models, with a strong preference for these arrangements among employees.
As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work in a hybrid model. This indicates a significant portion of the workforce is engaged in some form of remote work, with a notable lean towards hybrid arrangements.
While remote work offers benefits like higher earnings, flexibility, and work-life balance, it also presents challenges such as potential burnout and difficulties in maintaining coworker connections. Hybrid work seems to strike a balance, offering the benefits of both in-office and remote work.
Selecting a hybrid or remote-only workforce comes with some considerations. Once you’ve settled on your business’s top needs, you’ll be better able to determine which model is right for you.
If you’ve decided hybrid is the way to go, make the process easier with OfficeRnD Hybrid – a powerful, yet easy-to-use hybrid work enablement and management software.
With OfficeRnD Hbyrd, you can create collaborative workspaces where both people and work thrive.
Don’t wait to implement a seamless working model. Get started for free today with OfficeRnD Hybrid or book a live demo with one of our workplace experts to see how OfficeRnD Hybrid can transform your workplace.
Individuals who enjoy some in-person interactions but want the flexibility to choose their work schedules prefer hybrid. Those who opt for fully remote positions want complete flexibility in not only their work hours but also their work locations.
That said, there’s a clear preference for hybrid work arrangements. Check out the following statistics for more information.
Hybrid work and remote work are not the same. Hybrid work combines elements of both in-office and remote work, allowing flexibility in where and when employees work. In contrast, remote work refers exclusively to working outside of a traditional office environment, typically from home or any other remote location.
Whether hybrid work is better than remote work depends on individual and organizational needs. Hybrid work offers a blend of in-office collaboration and remote flexibility, potentially balancing structure and autonomy. Remote work, on the other hand, provides full flexibility and autonomy but may lack in-person interaction, which can be crucial for some roles and company cultures.
The difference lies in the work location and structure. Remote work is conducted entirely outside of a traditional office setting, often from home. Onsite work requires employees to be physically present in the office. Hybrid work is a blend of the two, allowing employees to split their time between working remotely and working onsite, offering a mix of flexibility and in-person collaboration.
Absolutely. Businesses thrive with a hybrid work model, especially when establishing clear processes for balancing home and in-office time.
Platforms like OfficeRnD Hybrid simplify scheduling meetings and office spaces and encourage collaboration and connections among team members.
Balance in-office and remote work by keeping your job responsibilities and productivity level in both locations in mind. Managers may also have some guidelines for specific jobs, including mandatory days in the office.
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