What if there was a perfect work schedule that combined the best of both worlds - the freedom of working from home, and the structure of an office job? Believe it or not, such a thing exists! The hybrid work schedule is quickly becoming one of the most popular options not just for hip tech companies but every company, big or small. So, what exactly is it? And more importantly, how can you make it work for you?
Before we dive into the details of creating a hybrid work schedule, first, we need to ask the foundational question: What is a hybrid model of working?
Creating a schedule is just one very small part of it. The bigger picture is that it's the ultimate work framework that combines the best of both worlds: the connection and collaboration that a physical office space brings and the freedom and flexibility of working remotely.
Essentially, the concept rests on the employees and trusting them to get the work done at their own time and chosen space.
How do you plan a hybrid work model? First, it’s critical to have a people-first approach, so your decisions are based on what’s best for your employees without sacrificing your company goals.
Okay, you've got the foundations of a hybrid model down to a tee. But what does a hybrid shift mean? In a nutshell, a hybrid shift is an employees' daily schedule that determines what time their work starts and ends and where they are doing the work.
A good example of a hybrid shift is when all employees work in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays. The rest of the week, they work at home. Whether they're at home or in the office, they can start and finish work anytime they want as long as they clock in a total of 8 hours each day.
This is the most common example for smaller companies with less than 50 employees. This way of working ensures that everyone has the same common days in the office while giving them the flexibility to work anywhere, anytime for the rest of the week.
What about if you have hundreds of employees though? The logistics of letting your employees choose whatever schedule they want seems like too much to bear!
The good news is there are more options to choose from that will suit larger teams too. That's the best thing about having a hybrid work model! It's like making your own pizza; you can choose any topping you want as long as it works for you and the other people who are eating it.
So, what is a typical hybrid work schedule? What you can do is have one area in which employees have the freedom to choose (schedule) and then one area where it's the employer's call (location).
For example, you can let employees choose any time they want to work, but they still need to report to the office every day. Or it can be the complete opposite: you can let everyone work remotely, but you want to lead their schedule.
Now, what is a hybrid work pattern? It’s a matter of choosing the right amount of predictability and flexibility.
Predictability helps office managers with the logistics and plan safely. Flexibility, on the other hand, provides employees with a better work-life balance.
Some companies may need more predictability because of their industry and the type of work while a few companies may have the luxury to have more flexibility.
Here are other popular work hybrid schedule samples that you can choose from:
For a more predictable schedule, choose cohorts or groups and which days and times they come to the office. It still gives employees the hybrid setup where they can work some days in the office and some days at home.
It's a modified version of 9 to 5. Instead of everyone starting at 9, employees start their shift at different times (or in one-hour increments) to prevent having too many people in one place at any given time.
This is the most flexible schedule that any employee could ever dream of. There are two options here as well: The leadership team can give the power of choosing the schedule to the manager or their employee.
For companies with dozens of teams, it’s good to start with a manager-led schedule that may opt for a work from home rotation schedule.
For smaller companies with a couple of teams, an employee-led option can be a smarter choice.
There are more types of hybrid work schedules. But what is the best hybrid work schedule? The short answer? Let your employees work 50% of the time in the office and 50% of the time remotely.
But this doesn’t always work for all companies. The best strategy is to choose tried and tested methods if you want predictability. Or you can have an employee-led schedule for more flexibility. Just remember, with great flexibility comes great responsibility.
Depending on which country your business is operating in, your policy should include the basics: who is qualified, schedule options, and the process of choosing schedules. Essentially, you need to answer these questions:
Now that you have a clearer idea of the different hybrid work schedules to implement, the next question to ask is, How do you manage a hybrid team schedule?
Ideally, you should have a tool where it's easy to see where everyone is, so managers can plan safely and employees can have the opportunity to have some in-office collaboration.
Using tools to manage the complexities of hybrid shifts and teams is a game-changer.
For example, when a team uses Where, they simply choose their status and location on Slack. For an employee-led hybrid work schedule, an employee can choose their status: on-site or working remotely. This makes it easier for everyone to see where everyone is on any given day, week, or month.
Of course, you can always use the good ol’ Google Sheet to manage your schedule. Your policy and calendar should generally include:
Get our free hybrid work schedule template if you want something simple that works for smaller teams.
Having the right mindset and the best tools help. But there’s really no wrong or right way to pick and manage a hybrid work schedule. As long as you have the employees’ experience and the company goals working in harmony, you can trust that you’re on the right path. As always, the hybrid model needs many iterations and improvements and will always be a work in progress.