When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to switch to remote work in 2020, a large group of both entrepreneurs and employees looked uncertainly to the future, worrying about maintaining their previous effectiveness in new working conditions. Although numerous companies, mainly outside the IT industry, encountered various problems along the way, implementing hybrid work was a necessity.

After the turbulence, it turned out, however, that remote work not only did not disrupt the functioning of companies but even met with enthusiasm. Employees appreciated the flexibility and convenience of this solution, and many companies decided to continue it – either in the form of entirely remote work or in a hybrid work model, which today – as an intermediate solution addressing the needs of both remote work advocates and those more attached to office work – is at the top of the list of benefits expected by employees. What is the hybrid work model? How to effectively implement it in a company? And finally – how will a coworking office help you organize hybrid work in your organization?

What is hybrid work?

The hybrid work model is a combination of remote work with work performed in the office. By working in such a system, employees receive greater freedom in choosing their workplace, being able to decide for themselves when they want to work from the office and when they prefer to perform professional duties remotely from their own home or another chosen location. This simultaneously gives them greater flexibility, while entrepreneurs who implement hybrid work in their organizations can better meet the new needs of employees and adapt quickly to dynamically changing conditions.

Hybrid work system – key concepts

Depending on the preferences of a given company, the hybrid work system may be based on a permanent division of the team into two groups, regular rotation of employees, or complete flexibility in choosing the place and time of work. This modern approach allows employees to perform daily tasks in optimal conditions and in the most efficient way for themselves

Hybrid work before the pandemic and its impact on this work model

Before 2020, remote work or the hybrid work model was not as widespread as we observe today. Attempts to implement such a work model could then be discussed only in relation to the IT industry, and even there, before the pandemic, barely 70% of organizations allowed only stationary work. Today, these statistics look diametrically different – as the IT Workplace of Tomorrow report shows, as many as 82.6% of technology companies enable hybrid work, and this trend is successfully penetrating other industries as well.

The pandemic, along with the compulsory lockdowns and restrictions we faced in recent years, significantly accelerated the transformation of work models, increasing the scale and importance of hybrid work. In the new, pandemic reality, companies had to develop completely different ways of functioning and quickly adapt to previously unknown conditions, in the face of which switching to remote mode turned out to be the only way to maintain work continuity. This experience proved that the hybrid work model can be an effective solution even after the covid restrictions are lifted. Therefore, many companies, appreciating the flexibility and cost savings resulting from hybrid work, decided not to give up this option

The impact of remote work on the labor market

One of the most significant consequences of the spread of remote work is undoubtedly the globalization of the labor market. Thanks to the transition to remote mode, various companies have simultaneously gained access to a much wider talent pool, without having to limit themselves exclusively to recruiting employees from a specific city, thus effectively solving problems related to long and costly recruitment processes. 

Introduction of hybrid work model, what does it mean for employees?

One of the most frequently mentioned benefits of hybrid work is the flexibility resulting from the possibility of choosing a workplace according to one’s own preferences and needs. This also translates into a better work-life balance, i.e., maintaining a balance between professional and private life. 

Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid work

An undeniable advantage of hybrid work from the employees’ point of view is the time and money saved due to the lack of daily commuting to the office. For a wide range of employees, the implementation of the hybrid work model has also resulted in increased productivity. Remote work is often associated with fewer distracting factors present in a traditional office (e.g., simultaneous conversations), which allows for better focus on daily tasks.

Hybrid work also provides broader opportunities in terms of job search. Various specialists no longer must limit themselves only to the city where they permanently reside. Being able to perform their duties largely via the Internet, they can apply for better positions and more attractive salaries, for example, by working in a larger city in a neighboring province.

As mentioned, the definition of hybrid work implies greater flexibility. People working in this mode willingly take advantage of this privilege and the possibility of performing their duties from any place, increasingly practicing the so-called workation, i.e., work combined with traveling. Such a solution is not only an opportunity to gain new experiences and discover interesting places but also a support for maintaining a proper work-life balance.

However, hybrid work is not without its challenges for employees. One of the key challenges concerns self-discipline and good work organization in the absence of direct supervision by superiors. For some people, one of the disadvantages associated with the hybrid work mode is also a kind of social isolation caused by the lack of daily meetings with team members. This is a problem that employers also face because the lack of a sense of belonging to the company among employees can cause significant difficulties in building an organizational culture. Therefore, even when working in a hybrid mode, it is worth ensuring smooth communication, regular team integrations, and maintaining good relationships that will create a team spirit. 

Implementation of the hybrid work system

Working in a hybrid model requires prior preparation of the work environment. This is primarily associated with an increased demand for technology and providing tools enabling remote work. What else should entrepreneurs prepare for? 

How to introduce hybrid work in a company?

The need for remote work also poses numerous challenges – primarily in terms of effective team management and maintaining the desired efficiency of remote employees. This requires – on the one hand – good communication ensuring transparency of actions, which translates into the overall well-being of employees, and on the other hand – modern tools and methods of monitoring progress in work in dispersed teams.

In an uncertain market situation, it became obvious to entrepreneurs to search for ways to optimize company expenses. Many of them then faced the dilemma: serviced office or traditional office – which would be more profitable? By delegating employees to remote work, companies no longer needed access to the entire office on traditional rental terms; however, they still had to provide their employees with professional office space on selected days. Therefore, entrepreneurs began to look for solutions allowing greater flexibility in this area. Resigning from long-term, costly office space rental and opting instead for an office for rent by the hour turned out to be an effective solution and a method for significant savings for many of them.

A traditional office involves maintaining space that remains empty for a significant part of the time or is used only partially. In the hybrid model, such a solution is simply unprofitable, generating significant costs that can be avoided by choosing a serviced office. At Idea Place, we offer flexible rental terms on transparent conditions: by using our offices, you pay only for what you actually use

Tools supporting hybrid work

Providing a modern digital infrastructure is a priority at the planning stage of hybrid work. It is the development of technology and digital tools that make both hybrid and completely remote work not a problem today. Above all, project management tools (e.g., ClickUp, Trello, Bitrix), video conferencing platforms (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom), messengers (e.g., Slack), and online collaboration tools (e.g., Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365) should be mentioned here. 

Tips for employers and employees

Effective adaptation to hybrid work requires, above all, developing clear communication between team members and establishing specific rules. For example, if you offer your employees flexible working hours, find out during which hours you can count on their immediate availability. This will facilitate ongoing communication and planning of various meetings.

From the perspective of employees working in a hybrid system, effective time management turns out to be crucial. Therefore, plan in advance the days when you want to work remotely and determine the priorities of the tasks assigned to you. Take advantage of the benefits of hybrid work – plan tasks requiring special focus on days when you work remotely, and when you are in the office, deal with activities requiring brainstorming or teamwork. 

Hybrid work – the new reality of the world of work

Hybrid work is a model that has brought many changes and challenges but also opened up new opportunities for companies. It is a flexible system that allows employees to achieve a better balance between work and personal life and at the same time gives companies the opportunity to significantly reduce costs and adapt to the new realities of the labor market. In the current reality, where workplace flexibility is an important factor influencing employee engagement and motivation, it seems that the hybrid system will continue to gain in importance.