What is a hybrid workforce, and will it work for your company? This article will provide more information about hybrid work models as well as tips for creating a productive hybrid workplace.

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what is hybrid work?

Hybrid work incorporates aspects of both the onsite and remote work models. It can work in two different ways. The most common option is where employers allow their employees to work some days from home and some days in the office. The second hybrid work model is where some employees can work remotely, while others must maintain an onsite work schedule.

benefits of a hybrid workforce

In the post-pandemic era, many companies have adopted the hybrid workforce model, enjoying great benefits, including:

• increased productivity: Our research shows that 34% of employers admit that they noticed an increase in productivity from remote workers.

• greater employee satisfaction: Additional research shows that 35% of employees surveyed consider a hybrid work model to be the ideal work schedule.

• larger talent pool: Requiring employees to only work onsite a few days a week can attract talent that is seeking greater flexibility at work as well as those who don’t want a daily commute.

• better preparedness: Although the effects of the pandemic have subsided, the future remains uncertain. Maintaining a hybrid work model can ensure your employees are prepared for any future workplace disruptions.


best practices for a hybrid workplace: do’s and don’ts

If you are considering implementing a hybrid model, it’s important to have a plan in place right from the start. To help you get started, we have created a list of do’s and don’ts regarding hybrid work best practices.


do: understand your employee’s needs

By and large, employees across the globe stepped up and did what they needed to do to get through the pandemic. While things have returned to normal, many of the extra stressors on your employees' work and personal lives remain. Certainly, you can’t create a work model that addresses every employee’s needs, but you can get a sense of the major challenges facing your workers.

With this understanding, you can create a hybrid work environment that promotes productivity and employee morale while helping your workers maintain a healthy work-life balance. It’s equally important to schedule frequent check-ins with your workers to monitor the success or weaknesses of the new work model and adjust as necessary.

do: set clear expectations

Research shows that employees want greater guidance when it comes to hybrid work options. Basically, they want to know what’s expected of them. According to our Randstad Workmonitor research, 27% of employees want stronger policies on work hours, while 24% are looking for more stringent protocols involving both remote and onsite work.

When creating new policies for the hybrid workplace, always be clear and concise. Workers should understand what their responsibilities are (work hours, communication obligations, etc.) whether they are working from home or at the office. Your workers should also know exactly how performance will be measured and who to contact for various issues.

do: invest in communication tools

Internal communication is one of the biggest challenges to the hybrid work model. However, it’s imperative to ensure both onsite and remote workers are up-to-date and on the same page. Otherwise, you risk your company’s reputation due to miscommunication.

If your workers have been remote since the pandemic, it’s likely that you’ve already dealt with multiple communication issues. Fortunately, the advancement of technology in recent years has involved the development of a vast number of communication tools. Take the time to identify your company’s communication pain points. Then, seek out alternative communication options that can help your company overcome these obstacles.

do: restructure the office setting

A new work model involves a new way of working, which, in turn, may require a new work environment. Think about the way your employees will be working from home and at the office. Onsite workdays should focus on team building, collaboration, meetings, brainstorming sessions, and training. Having space available for teams to hold these types of meetings will be extremely important as your company transitions into a hybrid workplace model.

This doesn’t mean that your company needs to invest in costly renovations or move to a new location. It just means you need to reimagine the workplace. For example, if your employees are working alternative days, you may be able to create shared office space and convert the other offices into meeting rooms.

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don’t: put all the decision-making in the employee’s hands

It may seem like the ideal model to just let each employee determine what days they want to work from home and what days they want to come to the workplace. Unless these employees work independently of their coworkers, this type of arrangement could incur multiple challenges.

First, most employees are going to choose to work Monday and/or Friday from home. So, if your goal is to have fewer workers at the workplace on any given day, this could be a major challenge. Secondly, if team members have alternative days off, using the workplace to enhance innovation, creativity and team building will not be possible.

For a better hybrid work schedule, let the team leaders together with their employees set the parameters for remote work. You can still offer some flexibility with hours, but the remote model works best if schedules are set at the team, department or company level.

don’t: rush to make permanent decisions

It’s important to understand right from the start that creating a hybrid work model takes time. It’s highly likely that the policies you put in place today will have to be modified over the upcoming weeks and months. In fact, it could ultimately take several years to develop a hybrid workplace that is ideal for your company. These changes are ok because this happens when implementing any new business process.

The one mistake you don’t want to make is promising that these new work arrangements are permanent. Instead, let your employees know that developing a hybrid model is a work in progress and that the company will evaluate its effectiveness periodically and initiate changes if necessary.

don’t: create an ‘us versus them’ workforce

Another problem that can quickly occur within a hybrid work model is the development of an ‘us versus them’ mindset. This obstacle is particularly challenging when some employees are working onsite full-time, while others are working remotely or even hybrid. Many workers are so used to working onsite that it can be difficult to remember that their offsite coworkers are not there to hear all conversations or to have knowledge of events happening at the workplace.

It’s vital to have safeguards in place to ensure all workers are kept up to date and have access to the materials they need when they need them. For example, onsite team leaders can create a daily end-of-the-day memo that provides important information of the day. When held accountable for this passage of information, onsite employees will make a greater effort to share all pertinent information.

Female smiling, looking away from computer, two male sitting behind computer next to her
Female smiling, looking away from computer, two male sitting behind computer next to her

don’t: allow for digital overload

Digital burnout is real, and it can affect productivity. According to data provided by Microsoft, the monthly active user base of Teams has surged from approximately 20 million in 2019 to 320 million in 2023. 

For remote work to become an effective reality, employers must face the challenge head-on. Some tactics that can help alleviate stress include:

• encouraging leaders to send employees an agenda before meetings to ensure only the people that need to be there attend

• allowing workers to have do-not-disturb time frames, so they can work without distractions

• urging employees to be more thoughtful as to who and why they are sending emails

don’t: focus on all work and no play

You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ There’s a lot of truth to this. Studies show that the lack of breaks throughout the day can lead to creative blocks and hinder innovation. Other studies reveal that workers who take breaks tend to be more productive than those that don’t.

Additionally, 27% of workers said a major challenge to remote work was the feeling of isolation. Your company can help to alleviate this feeling of isolation and spark creativity at the same time by hosting social breaks throughout the day for both onsite and remote workers. Consider having breaks, such as virtual coffee breaks, lunchtime trivia games and even an after-hours virtual happy hour.

key takeaways

• Nearly 2 in 5 employees firmly insist on working from home

• 41% of employees surveyed are already allowed to maintain a hybrid work schedule

• 24% of employees want employers to develop stricter policies involving onsite and remote work

• Employers must take the lead when creating hybrid work schedules

• Creating a workplace environment that promotes collaboration is a must

• Employers can help avoid digital burnout in the workplace by developing meaningful workplace practices that limit digital touchpoints

Infographic do's and dont's
Infographic do's and dont's

For more tips about developing an effective hybrid work model that improves production, job satisfaction and retention rates, download our mini guide to improve employee engagement in a hybrid work environment.


This is an updated version of an article originally published on 19 January 2022. 

download now

how to improve employee engagement in a hybrid workplace?

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about the author

sofie maervoet

vp global concepts staffing

Sofie is one of the staffing leaders in Randstad with a track record in process optimization, training and coaching. She started her career as a staffing consultant in Randstad Belgium in 2002. Later, she joined the team in Randstad Switzerland as concept manager until she joined the global concept development team in 2018.

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