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How to Build Better Hybrid Work Structure

hybrid employee, hybrid workplace
Sabrina Dorronsoro
Published on

With priorities fluctuating rapidly and seemingly endless shifts, navigating this new world of flexible working can be stressful. Hybrid work structure can provide stability while minimizing disruption—so long as it’s implemented thoughtfully.

In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of structured hybrid work and dive into how executives and leaders can create an effective hybrid work structure that benefits both employees and the organization alike.

Whether you're just beginning to contemplate a new way of working or looking to make changes to your current strategy, our insights will help you reach success.

What is Structured Hybrid Work?

Structured hybrid work is, as the name implies, a hybrid working model with some level of pre-determined guidelines. Whether an organization requires three days in office or a percentage of the month in the physical workplace - structured hybrid work ensures there are clear expectations for employees.

Hybrid work was always meant to provide employees with the best of both worlds. The freedom to work remotely with the opportunities for connection and collaboration that come from working in office. Infusing more structure into your hybrid work model gives employees a clear path forward to benefit from both types of work.

Communicate your hybrid work policy with teams right in the Robin app.

As we've seen over the past few years, many organizations have struggled to get employees back to in person collaboration. That's because over the course of the pandemic working remotely became the norm. People got used to working outside of the office so they defaulted to that option.

In order to tip the scales back to a more balanced level of office and at-home work, leaders must define what kind of structure makes the most sense for their hybrid teams and then formally adopt a hybrid work policy that supports that.

Benefits of Structured Hybrid Work Models

Adding more structure into your hybrid work plans can be beneficial to everyone, here are a handful of the benefits:

Clear expectations for hybrid employees

According to Gallup, six in 10 employees want more structure around hybrid work from leadership. By laying out a clear hybrid work policy, you give employees the information they need to meet your expectations.

Structured working models eliminate the guess work that comes with an open-ended hybrid policy. Remember, clear is kind - communicate what you want from your hybrid team members and they can do the rest.

More predictable space utilization

With a structured hybrid work schedule, you can better plan for the balance of remote and hybrid work in your office space. This helps with space management, office layout and resource management.

Understanding your office utilization rates can also result in cost savings for your organization. When you can identify areas that are underutilized, you're in a better position to reduce your footprint and right-size your real estate costs.

Make better use of your space with more predictable office utilization.

Better work life balance

Team members work best when they have access to a variety of working options. A flexible work structure enables people to better balance their working and personal lives by giving them more freedom to shape their own schedules. Hybrid work also often allows employees to have more autonomy in managing their work tasks and deadlines. As long as they meet their objectives and deliver results, they have the freedom to structure their workday according to their preferences and personal needs. This autonomy fosters a sense of control and empowers individuals to balance their work and personal commitments more effectively.

Business continuity

Hybrid working models with structure provide resilience and adaptability to organizations, particularly during unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters, public health emergencies, or other disruptions. Having established processes and technologies for remote work ensures that work can continue seamlessly even when physical presence is not possible.

Increased employee productivity

Research has shown that employees often experience higher productivity levels when they have the autonomy to choose their work environment. By providing a structured hybrid work model, organizations can leverage the benefits of remote work while ensuring that team members adhere to a set schedule, which helps maintain focus and discipline.

Examples of Structured Hybrid Work Models

A successful hybrid work model can be structured in a handful of different ways. Some companies may lean towards more remote work, others may need teams to predominantly be in the office. Here are a few types of hybrid work that can provide your teams with more structure.

Fixed Days Hybrid Model

In this fixed hybrid work model, employees have designated days for remote work and designated days for in-person work. For example, employees might work remotely on Mondays and Wednesdays, and come into the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This provides a predictable schedule and allows for planning team collaborations and meetings on specific days.

Core Hours Hybrid Model

In this model, employees have flexibility in choosing their work location but are required to be available in-person during specific core working hours. For instance, employees can work remotely in the morning and come into the office in the afternoon, ensuring that everyone is present for a certain portion of the day to facilitate collaboration and communication.

Split Weeks Hybrid Model

In this model, the workweek is split between remote work and in-person work. For example, employees might work remotely for the first three days of the week and then come into the office for the remaining two days. This provides a balance between individual focus time and face-to-face interactions.

Team Rotation Hybrid Model

In this model, teams alternate between remote work and in-person work on specific days or weeks. For instance, Team A might work remotely on Mondays and Tuesdays, while Team B works remotely on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This ensures that teams have dedicated time for collaboration and in-person interactions while still benefiting from the flexibility of remote work.

Some companies structure their hybrid work policies on a team-by-team basis.

How to Support A Structured Hybrid Work Model

We know the what and the why of structured hybrid work models but what about the how? Here are some steps you can take to support a hybrid work strategy that suits your teams needs.

Build infrastructure to support flexible work

In order to support a fully-functional hybrid working environment, you need the right tools in place to assist your teams. For example, most hybrid workplaces need to provide desk booking options for teams as there are no assigned seats.

Your hybrid workspace should be equipped with all of the equipment you need to work cross-functionally. Make sure you have video-conferencing equipment available in your meeting rooms, invest in conference room booking software to streamline the booking process and equip your desks with monitors, keyboard and mouses so employees have what they need to do their best work.

Be clear on your expectations

What does the optimal hybrid work schedule look like for your teams? Once you've defined what a hybrid work policy looks like for your organization, it's crucial to communicate your expectations with employees. Provide the information to teams in a variety of ways, when it comes to new work guidelines there is no such thing as over-communication.

In fact, we surveyed over 300 employees to better understand what they expect from their hybrid leaders and found that 40% of respondents want to learn about big events or policy changes in their company through multiple channels of communication, including:

  • A formal email
  • An online announcement
  • An individual 1-1 with their manager

Encourage in person collaboration

Collaboration doesn't happen by accident. Make sure you are considering how to better establish collaboration among teams and across departments. The best hybrid work environments are ones where ideas flow freely so teams can take advantage of their time in-person.

An easy way to encourage more in office collaboration is by giving employees visibility into who will in office, when. When people know their team members will be in the office they are more likely to come in; 64% more likely, according to our research. Your culture is built on the relationships people have with each other, make it easier for them to connect.

Strengthen your company culture

Your company culture can help drive the success of your structure hybrid work model. As we mentioned, office activity tends to increase when teams can see their friends and team members will be in office. Investing in your company culture helps people build those bonds, making the office an enjoyable place to be.

Be intentional about building a positive hybrid work culture. Consider how to promote team building. Get together as a leadership team to brainstorm new ideas for company events or social activities. When your teams are connected, they are more inclined to come into the office to collaborate with each other. Who doesn't like working with their friends?

Provide teams with visibility into who will be in the office and when.

Invest in your office space

Who wants to work from the office when it's not a pleasant place to be? Your hybrid workplace should be a reflection of your company and it's values. Make investments in office furniture, be thoughtful with your design and consider what resources your teams need to be successful.

By creating a positive work environment, you are providing your teams with a space that people want to be in. This helps support your policy by getting people to come in more authentically, reinforcing the benefits of in-person work.

Support remote work

When employees work remotely they should be equipped with the tools and access they need to work without disruption. You don't have to have a remote first model but you do need to think through what remote workers may need to be successful. A hybrid working model is about blending remote and office work for the best possible business outcomes - enable your teams, regardless of their location.

Bottom Line: Provide Structure for Your Hybrid Team

Whatever policy you choose, the best hybrid work model is one that provides teams with direct and clear communication around in-office and remote expectations. Set a hybrid work policy, support your teams inside and outside the office and reap the benefits of both in-person collaboration and remote work flexibility.

Robin can help your manage your entire workplace experience - from hybrid work policies to desk booking and room scheduling hybrid work software. Interested in learning more? Let's chat.

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The Science Behind In‑Person Productivity at the Office

Does your office collaboration need a reboot?

Find out if your workplace strategy is a hit or a miss.

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Does your office collaboration need a reboot?

Find out if your workplace strategy is a hit or a miss.

office map
an employee headshotan employee headshotan employee headshotan employee headshot