We have explored the hybrid workplace model in our article about the future of work and saw that many companies consider changing their location set-up in the long-term. Whilst the specific model might look different for every company, there are some archetypes we have outlined for you:
The remote-first work set-up applies to businesses which have decided to go fully remote with some exceptions. They keep an office space to provide a place for employees, but switch to online communication as a default. Some examples are Dropbox or Quora, which now allow their employees to work from anywhere but keep the office for community building and collaboration purposes. Dropbox, for instance, only allows office use for team work as of now on, whilst solo work should rather be performed remotely. This is a great example of a remote-first concept which still allows employees to interact and socialise with each other. In addition, these and many other remote-first companies choose to organise annual company retreats and gatherings (where possible, of course).
Some companies are motivated to go back to the offices, but have realized that there will be no “like before the pandemic”. People have gotten used to working remotely and enjoy the benefits. Companies in this category mostly require employees to come into the office a few times a week, thus they provide solo desks in addition to collaborative spaces. Depending on the company, each employee has their fixed desk or people flexibly jump between desks (or a combination of both). It is key that companies provide clear guidelines for this model so employees know how often and when they are required to be in the office.
3. Office first, remote allowed
This set-up was predominant prior to the pandemic and still exists today. Whilst employees are in the office on a daily basis, some occasional remote work is allowed. The downside of this model is that employees who are working remotely often feel disconnected from their peers in the office. Often, meeting rooms are simply not equipped to integrate remote employees in the talks. Also, less digital opportunities to socialise with colleagues are available for remote workers. This model can, if not managed well, be bad for employee engagement, productivity and retention.
4. Blending office, home and other locations
Another archetype of all the different shades of hybrid workplaces is the introduction of other work locations next to the office and one’s home. This can range from allowing employees to work in other company seats for businesses with multiple offices dispersed nationally or internationally to adding coworking spaces or other locations to the possible work stations.