5 Tactics to Optimize Your Hybrid Work Model & Boost Employee Performance


Kathy Norman

on Apr 18, 2024 1:47:07 PM

Since the world-changing events of 2020, millions of businesses have been exploring the possibilities of hybrid work models. The blending of remote and in-office work offers many benefits for both employers and employees. 

Remote work reduces stress and minimizes the need for some resources, while increasing productivity and schedule flexibility. And of course, you still get some of that facetime on the days workers are in-office.

There are potential challenges to the hybrid work model, however, as businesses try to identify exactly the right balance between home and in-office time. This article will discuss ways to optimize your hybrid work model for the needs of each company and team.

What is a Hybrid Work Model?

Hybrid work is the blending of on-site, or in-office work and remote work. A mixture of attending the workplace and working at home. Many employers have found that some amount of remote work boosts employee satisfaction and productivity, but also find reasons to avoid going fully remote.

Collaborative meetings, hands-on time with the products, access to on-site resources, or necessary tasks at the worksite mandate some face-to-face time. On the other hand paperwork and cloud-based tasks can be just as easily completed at home.

A hybrid work model is a structure used by an employer to determine which days employees spend at home (or traveling while working remotely) and which days they will attend the office or worksite.

Hybrid Work Model Examples

As you might guess several different types of hybrid work models have been developed, each with its own value depending on the needs of the team and the work being done.

Flexible Hybrid Schedule Model

The flexible model invites employees to use their own discretion in deciding which days to come in to work and which days to work from home. Company culture or written company policies will typically dictate whether employees are expected to spend the majority of their time working in the office or remotely.

The flexible model is considered an incentive and is also particularly effective for self-directed professionals who do most of their work on cloud-based platforms. It also allows for flexibility regarding sick days when employees are too unwell to commute, but well enough to complete work tasks at home.

Fixed Hybrid Schedule Model

Fixed Hybrid Schedule Model, also referred to as Split Hybrid Schedule Model, is when employees have certain days they attend the workplace and certain days they work remotely. The fixed hybrid model can reduce the impact of a long commute and can be a practical way to reduce the use of office resources while allowing employees to work from home when their work tasks allow. 

Managers are encouraged to balance their schedules, holding meetings on in-office days and assigning independent tasks for remote days.

Rotational Hybrid Model

The rotational hybrid model has employees coming into the workplace on rotation. Teams or members of a team will rotate to monitor systems, work with products, or perform tasks that require some but not all of the workforce on-site at all times.

Meetings-Only Hybrid Model

The meetings-only hybrid model is a variant of remote work in which all remote team members live locally enough to commute once a week or month. They attend the office just for face-to-face meetings and special events that require occasional collaboration. This also makes it easier to hold team-building exercises and parties.

As-Needed Hybrid Model

The as-needed hybrid model is less free-handed than the flexible schedule but less strict than the fixed or split schedule. Managers have the freedom to assign in-office versus remote days based on the needs and progress of their projects.

The Benefits of Hybrid Work Models

Hybrid work models offer numerous benefits to both employers and employees. These include benefits of improved engagement and job satisfaction, more focus and productivity, and flexible compensation.

Better Engagement

Hybrid work can increase employee satisfaction by offering comfortable days of working at home and a better work-life balance. The schedule can help to reduce the risk of work-based stress, the difficulty of an unpleasant commute, and overall avoid burnout.

Remote work also increases employee engagement by providing workers with greater autonomy blended with in-office collaboration.

Enhanced Productivity

Many employers have discovered that their teams are more productive during remote work days because they are better able to focus in their personal work environments. Remote days also enhance the importance of in-office days, increasing focus on shared tasks.

Days spent working at home can decrease the overall time wasted in the office because office time is more valuable, and the use of office resources is reduced when employees are not in the office at all times.

Compensation Flexibility

Lastly, hybrid work schedules have been offered as incentives and a form of compensation. Additional remote days can be given as a reward for good performance. Employees can also have the option to work remotely instead of taking full time off if they are sick or otherwise cannot come into the office.

Optimize Your Hybrid Work Model With Best Practices

There is a perfect balance for almost any team depending on the needs of their projects and tasks. Use these best practices to find that point of balance and the hybrid model that works best for you, and your employees will do the rest.

Self-Audit Your Business

Start by exploring the potential of a hybrid work model with a self-audit of your business. Look for challenges that may arise when implementing hybrid work and ways to resolve them. 

You will also discover opportunities where hybrid work can enhance your team's productivity, satisfaction, and resource utilization.

Set Clear Expectations

Ensure that your team knows how to approach remote work days by establishing both your expectations and a set of guidelines. Things like team meetings for verbal explanation, and employee handbook policies are a great way for setting these expectations. 

This can help maintain order and structure when employees are working from home and help managers make the most of remote days in their team's hybrid work model.

Optimize Employee Schedules

Seek ways to optimize each employee's individual or team-based remote schedule. 

Use this strategy to ensure smooth communication and collaboration between employees who are on-site and working remotely. Better coordination between the two work modes will improve overall efficiency.

Utilize Automation and Workflows

Automation and routine workflows can help your team master the hybrid work model and become a well-oiled machine for every project. 

You can automatically assign separate tasks for remote work days, collaboration tasks for in-office days, and create a workflow that everyone adapts to together. Automation and workflow design will improve your project management process and results.

Embrace Flexibility and Autonomy

Flexibility and autonomy are among the greatest advantages of a hybrid work schedule. Employers should embrace this as an opportunity, encouraging employees to build their autonomous motivation, time management, and discover their ideal productivity through flexible schedule design. 

In this way, you can create a supportive, inclusive, and positive company culture where personal growth and individualized work-life balance are encouraged.

Optimize Your Hybrid Work Model for Optimal Performance

Every workplace and every team can find that ideal balance between on-site and remote work. The right hybrid work model can be found simply by optimizing what truly needs to be done at work and what your employees can more comfortably complete at home. 

Your company culture and the needs of the work will help you find that perfect balancing point between work attendance, with its benefits of collaboration and hands-on tasks, and the independent productivity of remote work.

Contact us for assistance in your search for the optimal hybrid work model.

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Author: Kathy Norman

Kathy Norman has been with The Human Resource Consulting Group for 15 years as a Sr. HR Business Partner, guiding client leadership. Kathy has over 30 years of experience in Human Resource management in a variety of industries including manufacturing, nonprofit, healthcare, financial, public, and retail organizations. She has specialized expertise in employment, training, and employee relations.

Topics:Connecticut HREmployee PerformanceHR & PayrollHybrid Work Model

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