What Is a Hybrid Work Schedule And How You Can Create One?

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Bored of hearing the term new normal?

It’s actually everywhere!

But the term pretty much fits the bill regarding the changes seen at workplaces.

During the pandemic, a lot of organizations transitioned their way of working. While some had to make slight changes, others had to try a new approach altogether.

One such major change that came to the limelight during the pandemic is remote working.

Now that offices are reopening, companies plan to balance remote and in-office working. And this is what a hybrid work model is all about.

Today, we’ll tell you everything related to a hybrid work schedule.

So, if you are planning to transition or maintain the hybrid model, stay tuned!

What is a Hybrid Work Schedule?

A hybrid work schedule is a mix of in-office and remote work models wherein employees alternate working in the office and from their homes. It creates a more flexible work environment as the structure balances remote work and on-premise models.

There are several ways to structure a hybrid model, and the hybrid work schedules can also vary according to the teams in the organization.

Here are the three employee work models that we have mentioned above.

  • In-office or on-premise – Traditional way of teams working from the office
  • Remote – Teams working from different geographical locations
  • Hybrid – A combination of in-office and remote models.

What are Hybrid Work and Hybrid Work Models?

Before we get into the details about the hybrid work schedule, let’s tell you about a few terms that you must understand.

Hybrid workforce

A hybrid workforce is a group of workers or employees who get the opportunity to work both in their company’s office and from remote locations as well. Such a workforce works under the hybrid model.

Hybrid work

Hybrid work is the designing of work experience for employees regardless of their location. The options in hybrid work include-

  • Split teams: That has both remote employees and full-time in-office workers
  • Flexible: That offers the option to your employees to choose between working from the office or home
  • Shifts: That offers employees to work from the office for a few days a week and from home for the rest of the week.

Hybrid work model

A hybrid work model gives employees the option to work flexibly from their physical office or home. In short, employees in the hybrid work model have the freedom to work from the most comfortable and productive.

There can be different types of hybrid work models. For example – Employees might choose to work from the office for a few hours, leave early, and get the complete work done later from home. Similarly, employees can also work with teams on-site or remotely.

What are the Different Types of Hybrid Work Schedules?

If you are still trying to figure out hybrid schedules and what they look like, don’t worry!

We are here to take you through the different hybrid work schedules. You can choose to implement any one that best suits your organization.

Cohort schedules

This hybrid work schedule is the baseline. It is just like the vanilla flavor in ice-creams – classic, tried and tested, and loved by all.

If you implement the cohort schedule, your employees will work certain days a week daily. In this schedule, the work routine is set. The schedules are predictable, easy to manage, and less time-consuming.

The cohort work schedule works best for companies with employees who need to be present in the office but do not need to interact with other departments.

If we consider hybrid work schedule examples for better understanding, an example for cohort schedule would be –

Employees working from the office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And works from home on Tuesday and Thursday.

Flexible schedules

This hybrid schedule is of two types: Manager- led and Employee-led. Let’s understand what each of the two types means.

Flexible schedules (manager-led)

As the name suggests, the flexible manager-led schedule lets the manager decide who works from home and from the office. Considering the team goals and meeting discussions, the manager determines when and who will be working from home. On certain days the managers might require you to be at the office.

Example – The manager says that a team must work from the office for three days due to client meetings and on-site work. But they can work from home for the entire next week.

Flexible schedules (employee-led)

After the manager-led model, you must know what an employee-led flexible schedule could be.

In employee-led flexible schedules, employees decide where to work from and when. But the, employee decisions cannot be impulsive. They need to plan when and where they will be working ahead of time.

For instance, an employee saying that they will be working from home the next day at 2 pm today won’t go well with the team or the manager.

So, employee-led flexible schedules demand proper planning and effective communication.

Example – An employee decides to work from home the next week as they have been working from an office in the present week due to a client visit.

Staggered schedules

Staggered schedules sound a bit complicated, right? Well, it is easy to follow once you understand. Following staggered schedules, employees can have both remote work and in-office days. But the twist here is that all employees do not arrive at the same time in the office.

Multiple tenants working in the same building generally use the staggered schedule. They prefer to use staggered schedules to cut down on long security queues or check-in times.

Example – Every team member works in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But everyone’s arrival time in the office is different. The employees begin work and leave the office in hour increments.

Permanent work-from-home (WFH) schedules

This hybrid work schedule does not need an example to understand. It is clear as water. The permanent WFH schedule is the one where employees work from remote locations.

Several companies have transitioned from the home model due to employee preferences and productivity. They have permanently switched to the WFH culture using the top tech tools and platforms to make remote work hassle-free.

Alternating hybrid schedules

The alternating hybrid schedules take the best aspects of the above types of hybrid work schedules and allow the employees to work for 1-4 days a week out of a single cohort office. On the other days, the employees can work from home.

Example – An employee works from home for 2 days a week and works from the office in August, but for September, the employee might be working from the office 1 day a week and 4 days a week from remote locations.

Combo schedules

Combo hybrid work schedules are all about mix and match. Employees might choose to mix manager-led flexible schedules with cohort schedules or employee-led flexible schedules with cohort schedules or a completely different combination that suits your organization and your teams the best.

How to Create a Hybrid Work Schedule?

What is a hybrid work schedule? Check.

Types of hybrid schedules. Check.

Now comes how do we create hybrid work schedules.

This section will tell you the step-wise process of crafting hybrid schedules. Let’s start!

Step 1: Collect data

The first step is to collect your team’s opinions and suggestions about hybrid schedules. To gather the required data, you can;

Ask your team

Take feedback from your team through one-on-one meetings, surveys, or both. Listening comes first when you are creating a hybrid schedule. So, listen to your team first.

The survey and individual meetings will tell you what percentage of employees want to work remotely and how many would like to stay connected to the office space. This data will also help you construct a custom hybrid schedule that fits your organization.

For instance, Salesforce had surveyed to gather employee data about hybrid schedules. The employee feedback showed that 80% of the workforce wanted to stay connected with the physical space. This information helped the company create a hybrid model that satisfies all employees.

Read about other teams

Reading about other teams can also help you get ideas for the hybrid schedule creation. Several companies share their survey reports, findings, and processes that you can read about for extra help. Here are a few examples to consider.

  • Etsy operated as a fully remote workforce. After 16 months of remote working, the organization offered three work options to its employees – fully remote, fully office-based, and flex (2+ days per week in the office).
  • Quora transitioned to a ‘remote-first’ company during the pandemic. Three months into it, the company witnessed the successful remote work model. 60% of Quora employees already chose to stick to the work from home mode. But the CEO opted for ‘no leadership teams’ in the office as that might result in bias against the remote workers.

So, read about other companies creating their hybrid schedules and get inspired!

Step 2: Segregate tasks by remote-friendly and office-friendly

Once you have the data from your teams, you need to sort that out. It is necessary to sift through the data to get the best of both worlds (remote and in-office).

The next thing you must do is categorize the different tasks into remote and in-office. A manager has to realize that every task has a different requirement.

So, find out which jobs your employees can perform remotely and which ones require physical presence. According to the jobs, you can create a hybrid schedule.

For example, at TruePeopleSearch, employees visited the office only for meetings, conferences, collaborative events, brainstorming sessions, and networking. Though all the tasks could be performed from home, these things are better done in person.

Step 3: Consider equity and inclusion in your hybrid schedule

When it comes to hybrid work-from-home schedules, giving your team freedom and flexibility is surely nice. But keep an eye on the unintended diversity effects that might come with it.

When the work is fully remote, there are diversity advantages as companies can hire employees from different locations. But when companies switch to a hybrid model, they might risk isolating a few employees.

For instance, when you create a hybrid model, certain people might show up in the office (especially those with proper access to transportation and childcare). But this could mean that the mothers and other women might feel left out of the team.

So, what can you do to promote equity and inclusivity?

Consider a rotating schedule

Inclusivity is a common challenge that leaders face within hybrid organizations. It is always a risk that remote workers will feel isolated.

So, how to ensure that both in-office and remote employees feel the same level of importance and belonging?

Try out implementing a rotating schedule. Here’s an example of a rotating schedule to draw a clearer picture.

ChurnZero has an R3 schedule which means each employee sees all of their colleagues in person within the six working days. This schedule helps the co-workers to interact and bond. It also promotes a sense of belonging as everyone meets each other and connects in person. So, even if it is just for a couple of days, employees get a physical space to interact and know one another.

Try keeping out leaderships to prevent bias against remote employees

This might seem a little out of place, but keeping leadership out of the workspace can help prevent biases.

It is difficult to ensure equity when you have a hybrid workforce, especially when you have leaders. With leaders favoring the in-office employees, you might not ensure that the remote workers get equal access to what they need.

So, a potential solution to this is Quora’s no leadership rule. Quora’s CEO has said that no leadership should eliminate the potential bias.

Why?

Because managers or leaders tend to promote the employees who they see in person. Even research suggests that the act of merely being seen at work boosts the chances of getting pay raise, promotions, and other benefits. So, to avoid bias, try out the ‘no leadership teams’ strategy.

Step 4: Start small

For over a year or two, people have been working from home. It has become standard for quite some time now. Heading back might require a trial for employees. So, offer them the opportunity to dip their toes before diving in.

When transitioning to a hybrid model, start small. That means letting employees only come back to the office for one or two days. It will give them the time and space to adjust to the office environment, the commute, and lifestyle change. Along with the adjustment time, employees will still connect with employees in person. Beginning with such small steps, you can also call employees at the office for meetings and discussions.

Step 5: Reassess and make changes as per requirements

No matter how perfectly you want to do it, transitioning to a hybrid work mode will require tweaking from time to time.

So, avoid perfectionism and start embracing the hiccups at the start. It is normal to face challenges and identify issues with the transition or the model. So, re-evaluate your hybrid work schedule, make changes, and gradually create the perfect one for your organization.

While there are different hybrid schedules, you can choose the ones that work the best for your organization.

Take, for example, the Lock Search Group – a recruitment agency where the general manager’s team had been a closely-knit one. Transitioning to the hybrid mode disturbed the bonding among the team members. So, the manager came up with virtual team bonding events like coffee breaks, movie nights, happy hours, etc.

How to Roll Out Hybrid Work Schedules?

After choosing the hybrid schedule that will work the best for your organization, you must create the roll-out plan.

  • The first step towards the roll-out plan is to find a tool that can help you manage the scheduling for your office employees. Get a tool that gives transparency into every employee’s schedule and allows managers to process any WFH/ in-office requests from employees.
  • If it starts getting complicated, try out with a smaller group first. The test group can help you make adjustments to your plan.
  • The last step is to collect employee feedback. Ask the employees about the schedule, how well it is going, whether or not they are facing issues with the system, etc. Also, ask them for suggestions that can make the hybrid schedule better.

How to Manage Your Team’s Hybrid Work Schedule?

It is not easy to transition from a traditional workspace to a fully remote work model or a hybrid schedule.

The main challenge comes with managing the model, like remote scheduled tasks management. Here’s a process that can help you make the transition hassle-free.

Set right expectations

Remember that most employees are not accustomed to the hybrid work environment. So, be clear about your goals and set your expectations right.

  • What is the reason behind the transition?
  • How will the transition work?
  • What are your expectations from the team?
  • How will you (or the team) schedule the hours?
  • Is any specific training required?

Such questions can clear a lot of confusion and help you maintain transparency regarding switching from traditional to hybrid.

Define your priorities

It is necessary to set expectations. But it is also important to set clear goals. Let your employees know whether they must attend the virtual meet or finish the task at hand. They should be aware of urgent tasks that need completion on a priority basis.

Using tech platforms, you can assign tasks to specific employees, set due dates, monitor progress, send notifications, etc. You can also build a public dashboard for your organization to keep everything in one place.

Centralize resources

It is important to build a single source of information in your hybrid workplace. This will help in keeping transparency. Also, everyone will stay updated on the ongoing tasks within the organization.

You can create dashboards and invite the entire workforce to the same platform using a few tools. For instance, tools like monday.com can help you build dashboards using features like highlighting, tagging, activity logs, automation, etc.

Organize the workload

The final step in managing hybrid schedules is paying attention to the team’s workload. When you have in-office and remote employees, it is easy to lose track of who is under-allocated and who has been over-allocated. You don’t get to see the employees every day. So, you might miss out on organizing the team’s workload.

Use a visual interface to manage your team’s workload. For example, Monday.com has such an interface wherein you can view and track the allocations, timelines, and use of resources.

Create the Hybrid Work Schedule Shift with Multiplier

The right implementation of a hybrid schedule can give you’re the best of both worlds -remote and in-office models.

We know that the shift might be difficult. So, to ease the process, we suggest partnering with Multiplier.

Multiplier’s onboarding solution can help you hire the right talents for your hybrid model and remote workforce. Plus, it can take good care of their taxes, payroll benefits, contract management, and compliances.

Also, Multiplier can serve as the primary employer to your remote employees through its EOR solution.

So, if you are looking forward to making the transition with ease, then Multiplier can help!

Hiring and onboarding using Multiplier ensures you hire remote talent with locally compliant, fool-proof job contracts, offer emphatic benefits and disburse salaries accurately with absolutely nil errors in payrolls.