What is a hybrid work schedule?
A natural byproduct of mixing traditional office and remote work is the need to create a hybrid work schedule that determines when employees or entire teams work in the office and when they work remotely.
There are many variables to consider when selecting a hybrid work schedule. Familiarizing yourself with the different types and understanding their pros and cons can help you choose the best hybrid work schedule for your team.
A hybrid work schedule blends traditional office-based work with remote work. Employees split their time between the workplace and a location of their choice, based on company policies.
Let’s get started.
A hybrid work schedule is an official company arrangement where employees split their time between working remotely and onsite. The proportion of remote and onsite workdays varies depending on company policies and individual preferences.
Hybrid work schedules support and streamline hybrid work models.
We’ll explore four different approaches to hybrid work schedules below. But first, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of a hybrid work schedule for employers and employees.
When structured and implemented correctly, hybrid work schedules can improve productivity, collaboration, employee retention, and overall business performance.
Let’s talk about how.
By design, hybrid schedules are more flexible than traditional 9 to 5, full-time office schedules. This flexibility can empower employees to choose their office time and days, depending on the tasks they need to get done, resulting in enhanced productivity.
This is especially true if you organize your office space in areas that accommodate different work needs, i.e., office neighborhoods. Office neighborhoods give people the chance to work in various spaces, depending on the type of task they need to get done.
For some employees, a quiet space built for job duties that require intense concentration might be a great choice on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
However, they might have meetings or brainstorming sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays, meaning a more collaborative space will likely be a better fit.
Again, a flexible hybrid work schedule combined with the proper office neighborhoods lets employees make that choice, depending on their needs.
Productivity is also a crucial key performance indicator for hybrid work.
Much of the talk surrounding remote and hybrid work has been focused on the detrimental effects of having too many virtual meetings (e.g., Zoom fatigue or burnout) and less time for physical interactions.
However, a well-designed hybrid workplace and schedule can actually benefit company culture and collaboration.
One way to achieve this is to implement a good desk booking solution, so employees can reserve a desk and see who else will be in the office.
Using hybrid-specific tools helps promote collaboration and teamwork, as team members can connect more easily.
In-person collaboration is actually a huge factor when it comes to choosing where to work. For example, this Gallup study found that “38% of fully remote workers would prefer hybrid work environments.
In other words, although fully remote employees enjoy their flexibility, four in 10 would give up some of that time at home to have in-person office experiences.
Failed collaboration is a hybrid work mistake you want to avoid.
Many job seekers now prioritize flexible work arrangements when evaluating job opportunities. So, a company that offers hybrid work options becomes more attractive to a broader talent pool.
Accommodating employees’ preferences for remote work can increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover.
Lastly, companies can reduce operating costs by switching to hybrid work schedules.
Allowing employees to work remotely for part of the week can lower the cost of rent, utilities, office supplies, and many other overhead expenses.
Hybrid work models also strengthen a company’s ability to manage work disruptions due to inclement weather, natural disasters, or other unforeseen events.
With a distributed workforce, operations can continue even if physical offices are temporarily inaccessible.
Hybrid work schedules offer numerous benefits to employees, including a sense of empowerment, increased employee satisfaction and well-being, and a more innovative and creative office environment.
Feel free to check out this hybrid work schedule template in Excel.
Giving employees the autonomy to choose when and where they work demonstrates companies’ trust in their workforce.
Hybrid work schedules empower employees to customize their work environments based on their preferences and needs. This empowerment can lead to higher levels of engagement and commitment.
Giving employees the autonomy to choose where, how, and when they work can increase their satisfaction and well-being.
In most cases, there still have to be some boundaries, but the more flexible and personalized your schedule, the more chances you have to achieve a great work-life balance.
And obviously, employees appreciate it when they feel trusted to perform their tasks without a supervisor timing their every move.
On that note, LinkedIn’s research suggests that employees are twice as likely to recommend working for a company that offers flexible working options.
A hybrid work environment can contribute to different modes of thinking and problem-solving.
Employees may find new inspiration in different settings and experience more creativity and innovation — benefiting both the employee and the company they work for.
In short, when managed right, hybrid work schedules can be a win-win!
Creating and managing a hybrid schedule that fits your organization can be tricky. That’s why it’s best to first decide on a type of schedule and then move on to the specifics.
Here are four common types of hybrid schedules, starting with two of the least flexible models: cohort and staggered hybrid schedules.
A cohort is a group of people who share a common characteristic for a certain period of time. Think of a cluster of people working in the same department, a sales team focused on the same geographic area, or a special task force for a temporary project, like launching a new product.
In the same vein, a cohort schedule organizes employees into functional groups that each have specific onsite and remote workdays.
A cohort schedule is a highly structured hybrid work schedule. It’s a favorite for office environments where in-person collaboration is vital. Employees have a clear understanding of when they are expected to be at the office and can plan their collaborations accordingly.
You can create a cohort schedule by assigning specific employees to work in the office on certain days of the week.
Alternatively, you can schedule teams or groups of employees to work onsite during a set period (e.g., the first two weeks of each month).
For example, the Finance department can be scheduled to be in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays or the first and third week of the month, while the Marketing department takes Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays or the second and last week of the month.
Pros of cohort schedules:
Cons of cohort schedules:
Overall, cohort schedules are best for teams or departments that need in-person work or collaboration.
They are also ideal for companies that require team members to be in the office at a given time without the need for them to engage with other departments.
These schedules are almost similar to cohort schedules but are a little more rigid. With a staggered schedule, employees must always come into and leave the office at a set time to prevent congestion and ensure that only a certain number of people are onsite at a time.
Usually, the relevant departments define the schedule for their employees. These types of schedules are suitable for shift-driven work, such as in warehouses or medical facilities.
For example, the facility management department may be set to arrive on Monday and Thursday at 8 a.m. and depart at 3 p.m., while the warehouse department arrives on Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. and leaves at 5 p.m.
Pros of staggered hybrid schedules:
Cons of staggered hybrid schedules:
These schedules are typically created by direct managers and their direct reports coming up with a solution that works for everyone.
For example, managers can talk to their hybrid team and decide which days everyone should be in the office for team meetings or other office work. Alternatively, managers can work with each team member to create an individual schedule for them.
This model can be accompanied by a larger, company-wide policy that sets a baseline for being in the office.
For instance, the company policy might say that everyone should be in the office at least two days a week. From there, employees and their managers can decide which days to choose.
Pros of manager-set hybrid schedules:
Cons of manager-set hybrid schedules:
DIY employee schedules, or self-determined schedules, trust employees to choose where and when they work.
This is the true definition of a flexible work arrangement since there’s no set requirement to come to the office on any particular day.
Employees can decide when to be in the office and choose remote days based on their needs.
These flexible schedules can also enable employees to come to and leave the office earlier or later than they typically could, so they can avoid rush hour traffic or drive their kids to school, for example.
DIY employee schedules pros:
DIY employee schedules cons:
Given all these hybrid schedule options, how do you choose the best one for your company?
Hybrid scheduling decisions are best made case-by-case, depending on the employee’s role, rather than a one-size-fits-all hybrid work schedule that every employee must follow. There are many factors you’ll want to consider, including:
Here’s a handy checklist to help you sift through the options. The answers can guide you in making decisions for specific teams or the company as a whole.
Once you’ve decided on the best hybrid schedule and made it to the implementation stage, consider an initial trial period. This adjustment phase allows employees to experiment with and fine-tune their new schedules.
As you solicit employee feedback during this trial period, here are a few questions to consider:
Knowing how your policy is affecting your employees is essential to make the most of hybrid scheduling.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to customize hybrid schedules.
If you want to empower your hybrid workforce, check out OfficeRnD Hybrid — our hybrid work software that helps you bring people together in thoughtful, collaborative, and flexible workspaces. Here are a few of the things you can do with OfficeRnD Hybrid:
You can start for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid (no credit card required, no strings attached).
For a custom presentation of OfficeRnD Hybrid tailored to your business, book a demo with our team.
A hybrid work schedule example is an employee working three days in the office and two days from home each week. This arrangement allows for regular face-to-face interactions on office days, while granting the freedom to work remotely for enhanced focus and flexibility. It’s a blend that maximizes both collaboration and autonomy.
A hybrid schedule typically varies, with employees working a combination of days in the office and remotely. The exact number of days can differ based on company policy and individual preferences, but a common arrangement is three days in the office and two days from home. The goal is to strike a balance between in-person collaboration and remote flexibility.
A 60-40 hybrid schedule means that an employee spends 60% of their working time in the office and 40% working remotely. For a typical 5-day workweek, this would translate to three days in the office and two days working from home.
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