We’re in the midst of an unexpected transition (for example, companies choose to go the cloud, whereas they were forced into remote/hybrid), it’s worth studying a few real-world hybrid work model examples. These examples provide a valuable look into how some of the biggest businesses in the world approach the shift to hybrid work.
Vast changes to the status quo at work seem to be common for tech businesses. In fact, the recent switch to remote and hybrid work comes on the heels of another massive transition — the move to cloud computing. Today, building your app on top of AWS, Azure, or GCP is the default, similar to how offering hybrid work options is now the norm (that is, if you want to attract the best talent).
In the early stages, both transitions seemed unlikely. After all, how can a company safely keep its data outside of its data centers and its employees away from the office? Would building in the cloud and working remotely even work (pun intended)? Sure, this experiment worked for some small workloads and a few remote teams but is it scalable?
In the end, cloud computing’s benefits far outweighed its costs. The same is happening with hybrid work.
First, let’s quickly set a framework for categorizing hybrid work models.
You can find all types of theoretical hybrid work models out there, but for this article, we’re focusing on two practical criteria:
We’re starting with the more top-down, centralized models (like Meta) and moving towards the more liberal ones (like HubSpot).
Meta has been trying to lure employees back to the office since before it was called Meta. Their initial assumption was for everyone to return to the office by January 2022, but Omicron made that impossible.
Here’s what we know about their hybrid work policy:
To learn more about Meta’s return to the office strategy, check out this blog post by their CIO Atish Banerjea.
In March 2021, Microsoft published a blog post about the philosophy and practice of their hybrid workplace. Here’s what we know about their hybrid work model, based on that post and their other announcements:
It’s also worth noting that Microsoft execs have spoken out against remote-only work. The company published research based on communication data of 61,000 of their employees between December 2019 and June 2020, which concluded that remote work has the ability to increase short-term productivity but harm long-term creativity and innovation.
If you’re looking for hybrid work at scale, look no further than Amazon. In 2020 alone, the company hired over 500,000 employees, becoming the second-largest employer in the US.
It’s no surprise that their transition to hybrid is challenging, as CEO Andy Jassy said in the company’s flexible work announcement.
“None of us know the definitive answers to these (hybrid work) questions, especially long term…we’re going to be in a stage of experimenting, learning, and adjusting for a while as we emerge from this pandemic.” – Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon
Besides building the category-defining CRM, Salesforce is also famous for regularly being rated as one of the best companies to work for. It’s no surprise that their hybrid work policy gives a lot of power to individuals:
Lastly, their President noted that this shift is an evolution of culture, not just a workplace change.
“An immersive workspace is no longer limited to a desk in our Towers; the 9-to-5 workday is dead; and the employee experience is about more than ping-pong tables and snacks.” – Brent Hyder, President & Chief People Officer at Salesforce
Similar to our previous entry, HubSpot is a technology company famous for its CRM platform. They built a great page, explaining what hybrid work and culture mean to their company.
“Our culture is not tied to locations, it’s rooted in our values, our amazing people, and our mission of helping millions of organizations grow better. No one should need to come into an office to experience or enjoy HubSpot’s culture”. – HubSpot’s hybrid culture principles.
Gravity Payments is a credit card processing company, which became famous after its CEO slashed his pay by $1m to ensure a $70,000 minimum wage for his employees. This focus on employee wellbeing also translates into their work policy, which is entirely employee-driven. Here’s what their CEO had to say on the topic:
“Instead of making a top-down decision as a CEO, I asked our staff how they want to work. Just 7% wanted to go back to the office full time, while 31% wanted an office-remote hybrid and the remaining 62% wanted to work from home all the time. So I told them: sounds great. Do whatever you want.” – Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments
It’s worth noting that Gravity Payments is by far the most liberal and smallest company on the list. They have around 200 employees, while the next smallest (HubSpot) has +3000.
As you can see, there’s lots of variety when it comes to hybrid work models and even the biggest companies in the world are still learning and experimenting. Here are a few common tips and ideas we found in many hybrid work strategies:
Continue reading on how to build your own hybrid work policy.
The last commonality between the companies in our examples is technology. Just like us, these companies know that technology is at the heart of making a smooth transition to a hybrid work environment and elevating workplace collaboration.
That’s why we built OfficeRnD Hybrid — our complete hybrid workspace management solutions. Here are a few of the things you can do with it:
You can try these and all other OfficeRnD Hybrid features with our 14-day free trial (no credit card required).
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