Working in a hybrid model. A risk of team disorganization or a chance to increase employee efficiency and corporate CSR?

The list of economies that were not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic is short. However, it must be admitted that the economic effects of the corona-crisis are less negative than assumed in the first “dark” scenarios. At least for Poland.

The impact of the pandemic is certainly more noticeable in the labor market. Some changes are irreversible. It is not only about the fact that we are again talking about the “employee market”. It is a matter of the work model. Many companies – also outside the IT sector or creative branches – declare that they will not return to the office, because remote work is more effective and cheaper. Those that have returned to desktop work in the face of the rumored so-called 4th wave pandemic are now wondering if it was a good idea and are paying more attention to hybrid work. A phrase that is now making a rapid career in HR and employer branding. But do all employers know what the hybrid work model is and how to implement it?

Let’s start with a definition. The hybrid work model is a combination of remote and office work, in different proportions. Contrary to popular belief, it did not appear with the outbreak of the pandemic. Large corporations, but also smaller companies that care about the wellbeing of employees and know that CSR activities are about taking care of the team too, have been using the hybrid work for a long time. They have applied this solution because they have found that in the case of specific tasks, employees work more efficiently when they carry them out at home and that in other situations the results are better when everyone works from the office. But these are not all the components of a successful ” hybrid” model. What else does it include?

An employer must provide employees with comfortable conditions and tools for both in the office as well as at home

Here the situation is quite obvious. No employee will work effectively, regardless of the environment, if, for example, she or he is faced with some technical, IT issues or if, she or he is moved from a comfortable and quiet room in the office to an open space without warning.

You need to make sure you have the right balance of remote and office work

This issue should always be settled individually – for a given department, team, or even a single employee. It is necessary to realistically assess whether all tasks can be performed by the employee during the home office. Companies that want to formalize hybrid work more can choose more “arranged” solutions, such as: fixed sections – dividing the entire staff into teams working only in the office and only remotely, rotation – a given team is divided into subgroups that work remotely and stationary and swap after a scheduled time.

However, the experience of companies so far shows that in practice employers usually choose an individual model, in which employees have an office at their disposal all the time, but they can also work remotely and decide for themselves in what mode they do their duties on a given day, of course with the approval and control of their immediate supervisor. In Intrum, since July we have been working on a hybrid model and we have decided to apply this version of the hybrid model. Our employees have done well during the remote work, which, like all companies, we had to switch to at some point in 2020. As a result, we have no concerns about how they will deal with hybrid work. Everyone has been briefed on how it will work in practice and what rules we need to follow. Transparency is the key. Therefore…

Be sure to make your work rules transparent

Employees should know what their working hours are defined in a hybrid model. Does the workday last the same time, no matter if they work in the office or from home? Can the employer contact the team at any time if the team is working remotely? Employees should know the answers to these questions.

It is essential to define one “part” of the hybrid – remote working

Remote work doesn’t always have to mean working from home. It is the decision of the employer how flexibly she or he approaches this issue. If we care about always knowing where the employee is and that when the need arises, she or he can urgently appear in the office – let’s rely on remote work in the form of the home office. When the most important thing is simply to get the work done, and less important is where the employee performs it, remote work can mean working from the forest, a coffee shop, etc.

And finally, the most important thing: working in the hybrid model does not mean chaos and lack of control of the employer or superiors! Companies that have properly implemented it have shown that it could be a highly effective model of work, because it is tailored to the needs of individual employees and entire teams.



Last Updated on January 27, 2022 by Łukasz