Hybrid Work

Three types of hybrid work models: pros and cons of each one

December 2, 2021

Many companies are still undecided whether to adopt the hybrid business model. But the real question is: which typology to adopt?

In this article, we see together three different models and the pros and cons of each.

Here is what we will cover in the article:

  1. Type A: some employees work face-to-face and others remotely
  2. Type B: all employees work half a week in the presence and half remotely
  3. Type C: a combination of the first two
  4. Conclusions
  5. Takeaway

Let's go back to talking about hybrid work, the most discussed model of the last year.

Many companies are still undecided whether to adopt the hybrid work model or whether to go back to the traditional five-day workweek in attendance.

Employee surveys found that 47% want more flexibility about where and how to work.

If employers don't adapt, they risk losing about half of their workforce to companies that adopt this model.

We have already seen how employees are happy to be back in attendance, but only if their managers ensure they improve the workplace, starting with the model.

The good news is: both employers and employees can get what they want with the best hybrid work model.

In this article, we see together the three most common types of hybrid work models. Furthermore, for each of them, we will see the relative Pros and Cons.

1. Type A: some employees work face-to-face and others remotely

In this hybrid work model, part of the workforce works totally in person, while the other is remote.

This is the simplest of the three hybrid model options, but let's take a practical example to understand how it could be.

Let's say that an electronics multinational has adopted this business model to broaden its talent pool.

30% of its employees work full-time, to have the ability to access the equipment they need for daily operations.

The remaining 70%, on the other hand, work remotely, since the computer is sufficient to do their work.

Scenario: since the multinational has adopted this hybrid working model, it has been able to reduce its real estate needs (being able to occupy a small area), cutting costs.

Let's see now what are the Pros and Cons of this first solution.

Pros

always know who will be in the office during the week
employees, based on the role they hold, have the peace of mind of being able to work in the best conditions
employers can hire talents from anywhere in the world

Cons

this model does not offer total flexibility to employees, because depending on the role, they are either required to report to the company or, vice versa, to work remotely
employees who work in person do not have the same advantages as those who work remotely (for example, they have expenses to go to the company, they waste time on the move)
those who work remotely, on the other hand, may feel isolated or cut off from office life

2. Type B: all employees work half a week in the presence and half remotely

This may be the most discussed hybrid, working model. Let's see why.

The workforce has the flexibility to work on-site half the week and remotely for the rest.

If we refer to the example seen with type A, those who need access to specific tools or machinery, risk being productive only 50% of the week.

On the other hand, those who can work remotely without complications have to spend time and money to go to the office at least three days a week.

But let's take a concrete example to understand the opportunities and limits of this second type.

This time the protagonist is a major banking group that has offices in various European states and cities.

After the pandemic, during which all employees worked in remote smart working, the company adopted this hybrid working model.

Now let's see what are the Pros and Cons of this second option.

Pros

flexibility can be guaranteed for all employees
investing in technologies that support hybrid work, such as Nibol, to have a higher ROI because it benefits the whole company.
having fewer people in attendance at the same time means lower overhead costs for the employer

Cons

it becomes difficult to know how many people will be in the office and when (the risk is that there are too many people together and the distancing cannot be guaranteed or, on the contrary, that some colleagues have difficulty increasing productivity as they do not always manage to meet in person)
it is necessary to keep high the focus and productivity of the employees who work in person

3. Type C: a combination of the first two

In this third and final option, part of the workforce has the flexibility to work face-to-face on some days and remotely on others.

The other employees, on the other hand, work either remotely or in their presence.

Let's analyze a likely scenario: a well-known fashion company based in America has a factory abroad, in India.

Employees in the US go to work on specific days. When they don't work in person, they can work remotely (from a bar, coworking, or home).

In India, on the other hand, employees work on a full-time basis. A portion of the company's workforce is remotely full-time and works from different regions.

What are the pros and cons of this third solution?

Pro

A company with employees who cannot work remotely can offer more flexible working options

Cons

it is more difficult to scale back workplace strategies when they have specific configurations
it can be complex to create a sense of belonging, corporate culture, and connection with employees, who are based in many regions and states, and who work according to different models.

4. Conclusions

Hybrid work is still a new model for many companies.

Leaders, managers, and CEOs should work closely with employees to determine the best solution to adopt for their company.

It might be an idea to test a model with a small group of employees or with an internal department.

If the pilot test goes well, it will be applied to the rest of the company. On the contrary, you could experiment with a different hybrid work model and continue like this until it is the ideal solution for your company.

It is important to remember that hybrid work does not have a single shape and that there is no right and wrong option, so it is advisable to test and adopt the type that best suits your situation.

5. Takeaway

We give you some practical tips to make it easier to understand which hybrid work model is right for your business.

1st Takeaway

Empower your workforce with technology that will facilitate team productivity no matter where the people are.

Be strategic in the approach with which you will introduce the new technology in the workplace.

Ask employees for feedback on how you can improve your technology stack and implement it over time.

2nd Takeaway

Create scheduling procedures to structure your workforce while allowing flexibility for employees.

3rd Takeaway

Establish clear policies regarding your company's business model.

If different workplaces follow different work patterns, be sure to detail those differences, so employees know which environments are available to them based on their assigned position.

If you want to test our technological solution, you can learn more by clicking here.