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What Is Hybrid Work?

Hybrid work is a work model where employees work physically on-site some of the time and from another location (e.g., their homes) at other times.

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Visier HR Glossary

What is hybrid work?

Hybrid work is a work model where employees work physically on-site some of the time and from another location (e.g., their homes) at other times.

Hybrid work has become common since COVID-19 emerged in early 2020.

The benefits of hybrid work

The pandemic has introduced both employers and employees to the concept of hybrid work—both have recognized benefits that likely mean that this is a work model that is here to stay.

Benefits for employees include increased flexibility, greater work/life balance; time saved for commutes and the various interruptions involved in a typical on-site workday; and savings in costs related to commutes, paying for coffee and lunches, and even purchasing clothing specifically for work.

Benefits for employers include greater employee satisfaction and engagement which can lead to lower turnover, and the potential for reduction in costs related to real estate and equipment.

There are, however, some drawbacks for both employees and employers.

The potential drawbacks of hybrid work

One of the drawbacks of hybrid work realized by some employees is the lack of connection to colleagues who may be on-site or may also be working remotely. Communication can suffer as can relationships and, some employees feel, their opportunities to be considered for specific projects or promotions.

For employers, particularly managers, hybrid work can create added challenges for communicating with staff and ensuring effective collaboration and teamwork between employees. In addition, there is the potential that some employees who are not able to work remotely—e.g., front line retail staff—may feel that they are at an unfair disadvantage compared to peers who are able to work remotely some of the time.

The benefits and drawbacks of hybrid work will vary depending on the type and size of the company, the industry it is in, and the types of employees it has on staff.

It’s important to carefully consider the model that makes the most sense for your organization based on employees, customer, and other key stakeholder needs.

Choosing the best model for your organization

In determining the best work model, and how a hybrid work model could work for your organization, it’s important to consider employee needs, preferences, and competencies, as well as the preferences and competencies of supervisory and management staff, and the potential impact on customers or clients when some employees are working remotely.

The pandemic has demonstrated, though, that many more types of positions and roles can be performed productively when employees are remote, meaning that hybrid work options can be a viable option for most organizations to some degree.

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