Back in the day, building a prosperous and healthy work environment was relatively straightforward. You would ensure that there were plenty of desks and meeting rooms for all your employees, create a lounge area if you were going the extra mile, and have a mini fridge stocked with snacks. You were focused on the office space and curating an area that would ensure success and a healthy work environment for your team. Maybe you’d have a few remote workers, but typically, that was temporary, and it didn’t make much difference because your primary focus was the office space.

Times have drastically changed today. Since the pandemic, remote work seems the new normal. Many companies urged employees to return to the office after the pandemic, but too many remote workers had forged their new routines. This forced more companies to choose between a remote or hybrid workplace. With the option of being fully in-office gone, there comes the problem of deciding which option is best for your company: fully remote, or hybrid.

If you’re on the fence about which decision is the best for you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll look at the different criteria for hybrid versus remote work models and how to determine what’s best for your business.

Hybrid work

Hybrid work is when you have employees coming into the office to work in person some of the time, and working remotely from any location they choose outside of the office during the rest of the week. A flexible hybrid work model supports in-office, on-the-go, and remote workers. This is a people-first approach that focuses on increasing productivity and job satisfaction. This model provides employees with flexibility and addresses the significant issues that employees deal with by working either full-time remotely or in the office. They can work wherever they’ll be most productive, whether at the office with their coworkers, at a coffee shop, or with others.

The hybrid work model gives employees the autonomy to choose how they want to design their work week and in doing so, promote productivity. You can choose a few different forms of hybrid models for your company, with varying degrees of rigidity or flexibility. With a rigid hybrid model, you’ll specify the number of days or give specific dates for employees to work remotely. A flexible hybrid work model allows employees to choose which days they want to work remotely and which days they work from the office.

Remote work

Remote work is when employees don’t come into a physical office and can work remotely wherever they prefer. They can work at home, their local coffee shop, a library, or wherever they feel most productive. While a hybrid work model focuses on allowing employees to work both remotely and in-office, a remote work model takes the office out of the picture completely. Today's technology makes it easier than ever for employees to communicate effectively remotely. There are numerous tools remote workers use to communicate with one another, including Zoom, Slack, and digital whiteboards so they can collaborate.

Remote work allows employees to have an unleashed level of flexibility. They can create a schedule that best suits them and work from whatever location will ensure they get the most done most effectively. Employees don’t have to worry about a daily commute, and they have more time to allocate toward their personal lives. Remote work also widens your employee base and expands your hiring criterion. When you have a fully remote team, you don’t have to hire people who are local to you. Instead, you can expand your talent pool and access expertise from around the globe. You can hire the best, regardless of their location, and ensure they have a flexible work routine.

Hybrid or remote work model?

When deciding whether a hybrid or remote work model is better for your employees, it comes down to what is best for your company. Neither the hybrid nor remote model can be considered better than the other for a company. Both models have pros and cons, and understanding everything about the two and their differences is imperative to creating a healthy work environment for your team and ensuring the highest level of productivity.

Although a hybrid model may appear to capture the best of both worlds, it has some disadvantages. Employees may find the mix of coming in and out of the office disorienting, and prefer one or the other. Remote employees can also feel excluded in the office and struggle to connect, participate, and contribute to the office environment. This can make remote workers feel pressured to come into the office even though they may prefer to work remotely. The benefits include that employees can have a better balance and set clear work boundaries when in and out of the office.

Remote work also has its pros and cons, with the benefits including the increased flexibility employees have and the lack of commute. It also means that you don’t have to rent or purchase office space or the cost of maintaining it, which can save you money. However, some employees might find remote work isolating and feel alienated from the lack of face-to-face interactions. Although there’s technology available today, it can still be harder to collaborate on projects as a team when employees are working remotely. It will take employees extra effort to collaborate when they’re working remotely, as opposed to being able to walk up to each other’s desks and talk in-person at the office.

What works best for you

Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use a hybrid or remote work model comes down to what works best for you, your employees, and your company. After looking at the information of the two models above, think about your team, what they prefer, and the environment they thrive in. Remember that both models have pros and cons, and neither is superior to the other, so it’s simply what your employees will work best with.

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