As we start to rise again from the ‘covid remote working experiment’ it seems more and more likely that the world of work has changed and will never be the same again. Many web surveys and our client discussions testify to the fact that the majority do not want to return to the one-hundred percent office based model. To replace this three main hybrid working models are emerging, although others may yet transpire.
Hybrid working is actually more akin to BC (before covid) remote working. Back then it was often based around a hybrid approach, so although more of us will be involved this time, there is already a lot of understanding about some of the potential issues and best practices we can all learn from. An example of this is the issue arising from a lack of parity; history shows it was harder to get a promotion as a remote worker compared to being office based. This and other subjects can be dealt with easily so long as we share and understand what can go wrong and how we can solve it.
The differing approaches to hybrid working bring their own unique challenges and opportunities. Here are the three main approaches being talked about and explored for potential adoption:
The rotational model
The rotational model divides up the team and the working week, creating a rota for being on or off-site. This can be a permanent or rotational split ie. Group A on-site when Group B is off, or a constantly changing rota so that the on-site team is always changing (allowing a greater mix of interaction over time). This is the most complex of the three models, and needs good planning on a par with running a shift rota.
The permanent split model
This model was more common BC, typically with specific roles being remote and others office based. An obvious example of this would be a situation where the sales team were remote workers but the marketing team office based. Going forward this approach seems to have less advocates, probably because it’s the BC office workers that are now calling for increased flexibility.
The scheduled in-days model
The current front runner seems to be the ‘scheduled in-days’ model. This is where whole teams agree specific days of the week to operate on-site together. The number of days might vary, but could for example be, Monday off-site, Tuesday on-site, Wednesday Off-site etc.
Of course there could be a mix of these models too, so going forward, a ‘rotational scheduled in-days’ arrangement might be popular?
As hinted at earlier, each model has specific issues for workers and managers, these need to be understood, considered and factored into new ways of working once the dust starts to settle.
Watch out for our blogs over the coming weeks, as we start to articulate some of the specific for you.