Hybrid Workforce | The Working Model that Changes It All

deskbird
9 min readFeb 13, 2023
hybrid-workforce

Do you belong to the multiple companies that have switched to a hybrid workforce? Are you still evaluating the pros and cons to know if it would benefit your team members and business?

Working hybrid is on (almost) everybody’s lip and represents one of the strongest employee requests. The freedom of working from anywhere offers numerous advantages and, thanks to technology, organizations can now easily overpass the challenges sometimes resulting from this working model.

So what does a hybrid workforce really mean? What are these perks everyone talks about? How do you manage a hybrid team and what changes do you need to make? As experts in hybrid work technology, this article aims to give you a better understanding of the concept of flexible work. To put all the chances to succeed on your side, we also share practical tips to make the most of this major trend of the future of work!

How to describe a hybrid workforce?

Employees from the same team can work from multiple locations

The basic principle of a hybrid workforce is that employees can work from anywhere, in other words, at the location that suits them the most. This place can be:

  • their apartment because that’s where they focus best;
  • a coffee shop close to their gym;
  • a coworking space near the kids’ school;
  • the office because they enjoy seeing their colleagues every day.

Neither fully remote nor 100% on-site workers, it is a mix of both and this is why hybrid work models are so successful.

👋 Start a free trial of the deskbird app and give your employees more flexibility with workspace booking and week planning!

Flexible working hours are also an option

The main driver behind hybrid work is to allow more flexibility in the work environment. In addition to choosing their work location, hybrid workforces can also benefit from flexible working hours arrangements. One reason is that companies can take advantage of this geographical flexibility to hire talent worldwide and, therefore, needs to adjust to different time zones. But for some organizations, flexitime is just a way to have a more employee-centric approach and improve their staff’s work-life balance.

A hybrid workforce is digitally connected

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A core characteristic of hybrid teams is their reliance on online technology. Remote work requires being connected. We are not only talking about having an Internet connection but also being digitally connected to the company’s resources and colleagues. Working hybrid doesn’t mean remote employees should feel apart from the rest of the team. So hybrid workplace technology helps them get the most out of this modern way of working without being disconnected.

Why is working hybrid defined as the future of work?

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Working hybrid is a core pillar of a people-first culture

You can have the best product in the world, but if your workforce is dissatisfied and unhappy, succeeding is going to be a challenge. This is why employees are considered the backbone of a company and why many businesses try to focus more on creating a people-first culture. Every week, we share articles on the deskbird blog about the future of work based on relevant data, and guess what? Among all studies, work flexibility is always one of the highest employees’ expectations.

💡 To go further, check our blog posts about remote work statistics, Millennials’ characteristics, and Gen Z’s characteristics.

Job satisfaction increases when teams work hybrid

Working hybrid enables workers to balance better their personal and professional lives. It improves their health as they are less stressed and have more time for sports activities. Hybrid workforces are also more satisfied with their job as they feel their employer cares about their well-being and listen to their needs. According to Zippia, 57% of remote workers are happy with their job while only 50% of employees are satisfied when they lack flexibility in their work location.

A flexible working model boosts productivity

Have you ever noticed how creative and efficient you are when you are in a good mood? This is because engagement and productivity are deeply interconnected with satisfaction and happiness. Consequently, if being able to work from anywhere makes your team members happy, there is a high chance of an increase in their performance too. Moreover, a happy and satisfied workforce is less eager to quit. When turnover goes down, you no longer need to hire and train new talents as much. This can also improve the overall level of productivity in your organization.

👋Are you interested in knowing more about this topic? Read our article about employee happiness and productivity.

Going hybrid can reduce numerous costs

When switching to a hybrid work model, the reduction of costs goes beyond the office itself. You can check our office cost-cutting ideas to know how you can lower your budget by 30%. However, having a hybrid workspace helps you optimize space and energy bills and minimizes employee charges and Human Resources expenses. For example, workers spend less on public transport, gas, or car fixing. HR departments save money on recruiting and onboarding. Financially, it’s a winning concept for everyone.

What are the challenges of working with a hybrid workforce?

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Hybrid workforces need the right digital tools to succeed

As mentioned earlier, a hybrid workforce needs to be digitally connected to succeed. Success means both delivering the best outcomes and being fulfilled at work. Reaching these goals requires companies to equip their staff with the right resources such as:

  • a good Internet connection;
  • appropriate communication platforms;
  • efficient project management software;
  • a user-friendly desk booking app;
  • etc.

When hybrid teams cannot access these resources, working flexibly can become challenging.

Micromanagement practices tend to rise when employees work from home

While flexible work increases employee well-being and boosts job satisfaction, managers’ behaviors sometimes lead to the opposite result. Not being able to see their team members working makes some leaders start overcontrolling their staff’s actions. They want to know every detail of the tasks they are working on and request regular updates to ensure they do their job correctly. But the psychological effects of micromanagement are counterproductive to the benefits of work flexibility. If you think you might be one of those managers, we highly advise avoiding this leadership style as much as possible.

🎬 Follow deskbird on YouTube and discover how Mr. Purple helps you fix your hybrid work issues!

Feelings of isolation sometimes appear when working remotely

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Working from home doesn’t suit everybody. Isolation and disconnection are two challenges companies need to focus on. If your team members don’t feel connected to the workplace, their job, and their colleagues, their mental health and performance might decrease. We first recommend prioritizing a hybrid work model instead of going fully remote to avoid this situation. It gives the chance to employees to be at the office and meet their coworkers regularly. Second, your flexible work policy can state that people have to come on-site at least a minimum number of days weekly. Employees who prefer to work in the office can go as often as they want.

A strong corporate culture is more important than ever

Organizational culture is more challenging with people working from many locations and rarely in the office simultaneously. . Yet, it is one of the most important aspects of an organization. Strong and positive workplace culture is what attracts talent and makes them stay. Managers of hybrid workforces need to maintain this fundamental aspect. It can be by organizing on-site and online events, encouraging social interactions with team icebreaker activities, promoting DEI initiatives, etc.

How to manage a team that is working hybrid?

Communicating clearly is fundamental when working flexibly

Communication is a central pillar for successful collaborations. As a leader, you must stipulate clear goals and be transparent with your hybrid workforce. No employee likes being excluded and missing key information. In a flexible work environment, workers must clearly understand the organization’s expectations and objectives. Otherwise, they might lose time doing the wrong tasks, feel isolated from what is happening in the office, and get tired of not being considered.

Being attentive to the needs of your hybrid workforce

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Working hybrid is what employees want but it doesn’t make switching to a flexible schedule always easy. Each workforce is unique and has different needs. Their job position might also require specific adjustments. Managers play a key role at the beginning of the transition but also later in order to constantly improve and meet your workers’ needs. Therefore, listening to your hybrid team’s feedback and encouraging them to come to you to discuss any issue they might encounter is essential.

👉 Would you like to understand better how your workers feel? Read our article about employee satisfaction questionnaire to know how to conduct a survey efficiently and create a tailored-made one!

Building trust and recognition is as important in a virtual environment as in the office

To make a hybrid workforce thrive, knowing how to trust and recognize the value of your staff needs to be part of your soft skill set. You need to build a reliable relationship with your team members. The fact that they don’t come to the office every day should not alter how you feel toward them and decrease your trust in them and their abilities. Remember, the goal is not to foster a toxic workplace culture but to embrace the benefits of employee empowerment and to create a healthy working atmosphere.

What changes should be made when collaborating with a hybrid workforce?

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The office layout should be redesigned

You can make a few practical shifts to help your employees in their daily professional lives. We suggest you analyze whether your office layout matches the needs of a hybrid workforce or not. You might wonder: “Why should I change the office design just because employees are allowed to work from home some days a week?” First, the physical workplace can be optimized. Second, its purpose evolves when you allow more work flexibility. It becomes more of a place for collaboration and social interactions.

➡️ You have no idea how to redesign your workspace? Check the deskbird workspace analytics feature to discover how your office is used and how to optimize it!

A seamless hybrid scheduling system is required

Because the purpose of the office changes, hybrid teams often take the opportunity of being on-site to work on collective tasks. How can they know if their colleagues will come to the office that day? How can they be sure that they will have access to a meeting room to discuss their project? The solution is to use a seamless hybrid scheduling system like deskbird. With a few clicks (mobile and desktop versions available), your coworkers can plan their week, book the desk they need, view their peers’ timetables, and much more.

Flexibility is the key to creating a successful hybrid workforce

The last tip is not really a change you should make. It is more of a way of thinking to adopt. It might sound silly but, if you want to add more work flexibility in your employees’ lives, you should be ready to be … flexible! Implementing the exact same hybrid work policy as your competitor because it makes their workers thrive doesn’t mean it will have similar effects on your workforce. There is not one flexible work concept that matches all businesses because, as we said, every workforce is unique. You have to listen to your staff’s expectations and create your way of working. This is also why we offer a hybrid workspace management platform tailored to your needs and not the same fixed system for all our collaborators.

Do you now feel like you are an expert in hybrid workforces too? We hope so! Although hybrid working has become a norm, it requires understanding employees’ needs and efforts to embrace all its benefits. The deskbird app helps you in many aspects to reach this goal. Request a free demo to discover all our features and the perks of a smooth flexible work model!

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deskbird

deskbird is the most intuitive workplace solution — one that your employees will love! Available as mobile, web, Slack, and MS Teams app. www.deskbird.com