As the name suggests, hybrid remote work is an amalgamation of on-site and remote work models. Many organizations have embraced this model to offer their employees more flexibility while maintaining the stability and camaraderie often associated with in-office work. 

Generally, people working for these companies may choose to work remotely, at a physical office, or find the right balance between the two options. They have a certain level of autonomy to work from wherever they want as long as they keep up with the deliverables or the set guidelines.

This post will explore the hybrid remote work model and its types. Plus, we’ll also share a few noteworthy tips that may facilitate its implementation.

So, without further ado, let’s get started. 

Try Hubstaff free for 14 days

Get started

What is hybrid remote work?

Hybrid remote work is the sweet spot between fully remote or in-office work. It usually involves breaking up each week with a mix of in-office and remote work days. 

The model is a slightly different arrangement compared to a fully remote workspace. So, you may still need to maintain an office space. This may seem counterintuitive, but the benefits of hybrid working will make everything worthwhile.

The model enables you to cater to the diverse preferences of the workforce by creating an ideal hybrid work environment for everyone.

Whether your workforce encompasses Generation Z, working mothers, or people with disabilities, hybrid work provides the most important component of your business (people) the flexibility they need. 

Furthermore, employee engagement is significantly higher in companies that embrace hybrid remote working or go fully remote compared to those that prefer operations at a physical office.

Employee engagement remote vs. in-office work


The model serves as a fitting option for companies that can’t or don’t want to go fully remote. There may be different things that come into play here, such as the tasks that demand the workforce’s presence at a co-working space or the leader’s preference.

Plus, going fully remote is not as easy as it sounds and presents its own share of challenges. So, implementing the hybrid work models may be a wise strategy at the start.

Hybrid remote work models

The hybrid remote work model encompasses four core classifications that companies can consider. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages, making them all viable choices for different use cases.

1. Office-first hybrid work model

A company implementing an office-first hybrid work model expects the on-site presence of its employees most of the time and gives them the option to work remotely for a few days each pay period.

This model is generally preferred by companies that perceive in-person collaboration at a physical location as fruitful for the business and expect to drive better results from it. They don’t mind occasional remote activity but prefer employees to commute to a physical location in general. 

The advantages of implementing the office-first hybrid work model include:

  • High collaboration among different departments
  • Improved teamwork 
  • Effective communication
  • Better networking opportunities
  • Improved work culture

The model also encompasses the following disadvantages:

  • Low flexibility
  • Less work-life balance
  • High commuting costs
  • Increased workplace expenses
  • Increased potential for time off requests

2. Flexible hybrid work model

This hybrid work schedule model offers a bit more flexibility to employees compared to the office-first hybrid work model. Here, employees are free to design their hybrid schedule and choose the days they’ll work remotely.

According to this model, if employees think working remotely can help them better focus on a particular project or task and achieve optimal results, they can freely choose to do so.

The advantages of implementing this model include:

  • Easy recruitment
  • High employee satisfaction
  • High employee engagement
  • High employee retention
  • Reduced commuting costs

The disadvantages of implementing the model are:

  • Underutilization of equipment and office space
  • Less direct team communication
  • Greater effort in building team chemistry and camaraderie

3. Fixed hybrid work model

This model requires companies to specify the number of days their respective teams will either work remotely or on-site. For example, an employer can allow a team to operate remotely only on Thursday and Friday. For the rest of the days, they should be active on-site.

Here are a few of the advantages of implementing this model:

  • Hassle-free management for team leaders
  • Improved coordination
  • Better performance tracking
  • Minimal shift scheduling conflicts

The disadvantages of implementing the model worth mentioning are:

  • Minimal flexibility
  • Decreased employee satisfaction
  • Poor focus at work

4. Remote-first hybrid work model

The companies implementing this model are reminiscent of those that are fully remote. The only difference is that the employees still get to commute to a physical location from time to time for certain tasks or team-building activities.

These activities may encompass collaborative tasks, training sessions, internal meetings, or other things that require the physical presence of the workforce.

Some companies following this model may not even have a permanent office space and choose to rent one as needed.

To further enhance team collaboration and productivity, companies can take advantage of  communication technologies, contact center software, or time tracking tools for project managers. 

The key benefits encompassing this model include:

  • Enhanced employee productivity
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Higher flexibility
  • Reduced costs
  • Easy recruitment
  • Improved retention

The disadvantages of implementing the model include:

  • Lack of interaction among employees
  • Low team bonding
  • Hybrid remote team members working in silos
  • Lack of in-office experience

Tips for implementing a hybrid remote work model

Choosing the right hybrid work model for you and implementing it may not be as easy as it sounds. The following are a few recommendations that may help you successfully implement the model of your choice and ensure optimal results from it:

1. Choose a fitting model

It goes without saying that the first step to implementing a hybrid work model in a workplace is selecting the one that best fits your requirements.

The model encompasses four core classifications. To identify the one best suited for you, it’s important to know what you want to achieve from the transition to drive optimal results.

Once you have an idea of what you want, reach out to your employees and hear their preferences. The goal here is to find the right balance between what you desire and what your workforce prefers. Inability to compromise can negatively impact retention

2. Set clear expectations

No matter which hybrid work model you choose to go with, you should always set clear goals and expectations. This means you should have clear job descriptions and effectively communicate what you expect from your remote employees in terms of their performance.

You’ll need to come up with the core metrics you plan to use to assess performance. This will enable you uncover the insights that help grow your business

3. Create transparent workflows

You need to create transparent workflows to ensure effective implementation of the hybrid work model. This means documenting processes, roles, and responsibilities before the transition commences to minimize any and all confusion among the workforce. This also minimizes the impact of the transition process on your overall productivity and ensures that you don’t lose ground on your deliverables when making these changes.

4. Ensure coordination

No matter which hybrid work model you choose, effective coordination is the key to ensuring success. For this, you should consider scheduling team-wise and interdepartmental meetings. There are a variety of meeting formats that you can explore, like: 

  • 1:1s
  • Daily Stand-ups
  • Weekly performance update meetings
  • Brainstorming sessions
  • Monthly town hall meetings 

This allows you to consistently track the performance of your teams, get acquainted with their concerns, and guide them along the way.

Hubstaff Tasks Automated Standups

5. Be flexible with remote workers

Being flexible not only helps you improve employee retention but also enables you to widen the talent pool and hire the best personnel available in your respective industry. The hybrid work model is different from traditional ways of working, but it certainly provides that flexibility. 

If we compare all classifications, the office-first model is the least flexible of them all. However, you should keep in mind that it still offers a certain level of freedom to the employees.

6. Ensure effective communication among hybrid and remote workers

Ensuring effective communication can be tricky when you choose to transition into a hybrid workspace. Your teams aren’t always available under one roof. For that reason, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

To overcome this challenge, start by maintaining a centralized database or portal where you keep all necessary documents and ensure each of your teams has access to this hub of information. Tools like Notion, Evernote, and Google Drive are helpful here. 

Furthermore, you should have a standardized channel for communication. This will help your teams communicate effectively in real time, join video conferencing when needed and collaborate on different tasks without being physically present at the same location. Tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams tend to top the list. 

Communication is good in remote teams

7. Be patient

Do not expect the operations to be in full throttle during the transition period or immediately after shifting to a hybrid remote work schedule. It’s a no-brainer that your teams will take some time to get used to the new ways of working. So, a few missed deadlines or minor productivity fluctuations should not raise the alarms for you.

It’s highly likely that the majority of your remote employees are already confused and trying to keep up with the to-do list. Be patient with them and give them time to get their flow back. 

8. Keep tracking

Keep an eye on the key metrics once you have successfully implemented your model of choice. You already have set expectations for the transition. So, just keep tracking things to ensure that you’re moving in the right direction. Time and productivity tracking tools like Hubstaff can help here. 

Hubstaff time tracker

9. Create a discrimination-free hybrid work environment

Don’t discriminate against employees based on their preferences. Those who choose to work remotely and those who prefer to work on-site should get to enjoy the same access to perks and benefits.

The number of remote executives vs. non-executives wanting to shift to fully in-office work

Discriminating against teams that choose to stay active remotely will be counterintuitive and may lead to conflicts down the road. In fact, research shows that remote workers are more productive

Final Words

Hybrid remote teams with a successful transition get to enjoy a variety of benefits. You’ll likely see a boost in employee satisfaction that can have a positive impact on retention (which then leads to better cost savings). By offering your company a better work-life balance, you’ll also have access to a larger talent pool in your respective industry.

Have any of your own remote and hybrid work success stories? Any ways to bridge the gap and maintain the culture of an in-office environment? Let us know in the comments. 

Category: Remote