The word “hybrid” seems to be everywhere these days. People drive hybrid cars. They have hybrid dogs with strange combined breed names, like Cockapoodles and Chiweenies, which are chihuahua/dachshund mixes. Their kids go to school on hybrid schedules.
And when it comes to working our jobs, a lot of us say without thinking, “Yes, I am working on a hybrid schedule.” But what does that mean? The reality in today’s world of working is that it can mean many things. So before you reflexively say, “I work on a hybrid schedule,” here are some definitions to think about.
Hybrid #1: Full-time remote with occasional visits to office
This is how a lot of us are working today, often as a result of our time working at home during the pandemic. People who work this kind of hybrid are primarily remote workers. When they arrive at the office for a day of work, they often end up in a shared open office space or in a vacant office or a conference room. It is kind of a nomadic way of working but if that is what you are doing, chances are it meets both your needs and those of your employer.
Hybrid #2: Part week in the office/part at home/part at flex work location
This kind of hybrid could flexibly change day by day. But for many people who work this way, it isn’t. For example, you could work in company headquarters on Monday and Tuesday, then work the rest of the week from home or in a remote location that your company provides - or at your home.
Hybrid #3: You work mostly in a company office, but also work from home
There are many variants on this kind of hybrid. If you have young children who go to daycare two days a week for example, you might decide to work primarily from home on those days. Or if you are a part-time employee or contractor, you might work in a company office for, say, 20 hours a week. You might also be a salesperson who logs on at home, or in a company office, to file reports or attend video meetings. This is another kind of hybrid work arrangement. Depending on your job, it can provide just the kind of working arrangement you need.
Hybrid #4: Team-based working (some teams always in ... others not)
If you are working in this way, you already know why. Perhaps you are part of a project team that is meeting as a defined group of workers, either temporarily or permanently. Perhaps you are part of a salesforce or a technical customer-support team that is usually in the field.
Bear in mind that when a company has teams of employees who work in this way, it has particular space and facility demands that can be hard to accommodate. At times, those organizations need to host outside teams in overflow space.
Hybrid #5: Full time in office with occasional other options based on management approval
Note that this kind of hybrid schedule was being used before the pandemic. It is often offered to certain employees who have special demands on their personal schedules - taking care of relatives who are not well, for example, or coping with the demands of single parenting. Those workers can negotiate flexible working time if they need it. Often, employees who enjoy these privileges possess needed skills or who are of special value to their employers.
Hybrid #6: Function based remote working
This kind of function-based schedule was being used before the pandemic too. One example? A medical biller and coder who works for a medical practice is able to do that work at home, without coming into the office. Many companies employ people in this way. It can save company money on office and desk space.
Hybrid #7: Flex commuting hours
This hybrid also was in use at some companies before the pandemic struck. When they use it, companies often allow certain employees to arrive or stay late so they can avoid peak commuting hours. Depending on your company location and where your employees live, it could be a solution you are already using.
Hybrid #8: Flexible scheduling for special events and meetings
Even if your company has a workforce that is already using a number of the hybrid schedules we describe in today’s post, chances are there will also be times when you need to have many - if not all - employees assemble together.
It could be for an all-hands meeting, for a special event, or even for your holiday party or summer picnic. This might not seem to qualify as a hybrid work arrangement, but it is, even if people only come together for an occasional day or evening.
If it’s flexible, it can be defined and planned as a hybrid.
So . . . .Which Hybrid Way of Working Is Best for Your Organization?
Make that decision depends on your ability to analyze and fit together a large number of moving parts.
But that’s what we do at KettleSpace, and we are here to help you design a way of working that is just right for you. Demo the Hybrid HQ operating system and find out if it is right for your organization.