Hybrid Work: What Is It and How Do I Find It?
At the start of the pandemic, employees were sent home in the name of social distancing; one-third of the workforce became remote workers. People began questioning the pre-pandemic model of cubicles and commutes in cars.
As we adjust to post-pandemic life, the hybrid work experience is looking more and more appealing.
Remote work opportunities are everywhere these days, but some people don’t love the idea of working from home full-time. Many employees find that a hybrid work model offers the best of both worlds. Essentially, a hybrid schedule means that employees work some of the time at home and some of the time in a more traditional office space.
What are the key differences between hybrid and remote work? What are the perks and drawbacks, and how do you find quality jobs with a hybrid arrangement?
Below, Poised answers these questions and advises you on how to excel in the hybrid workplace.
What Is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work combines in-office and remote work. Businesses use a variety of hybrid work models depending on their needs and abilities.
Some companies employ full-time office workers and all-time remote workers. Other businesses require all their employees to alternate the days they come to the office and work from home.
In some hybrid arrangements, some of a company's employees are in the office full-time, while some employees work full-time remotely, and other employees alternate throughout the workweek.
A Flexible Working Environment
Perhaps the most obvious perk of working for a company that offers a hybrid arrangement is the flexibility. Unless you are one of the employees required to be on-site every day, you'll enjoy much more flexibility than what used to be the norm.
Even if you are a full-time on-site worker, chances are your company's managers and executives will provide additional leniency in one area or another.
Many businesses adopting a hybrid model are taking other measures to ensure a flexible working environment. For example, bring-your-dog-to-work days are becoming more popular, as are many other special events to boost morale and cultivate company culture.
A Mix of Remote and In-Office Work
As discussed, every hybrid work model hinges on combining remote and in-office work. The difference is how the work is distributed to each employee via work schedules. Companies that use the office-first model expect their team members to clock in between traditional work hours, such as 9 a.m. to 5 a.m.
A hybrid arrangement allows for more flexibility and encourages employees to work during their most productive hours. Some people perform best in the morning while others are most productive in the evening. In certain arrangements, a hybrid workforce can choose when to collaborate with teammates on-site or fly solo from a remote location.
Get the Best of Both Worlds
While there are certainly benefits to remote work, working from home full-time is isolating for many employees. They miss out on the in-person interactions with colleagues and struggle to collaborate on projects.
Hybrid working, in many aspects, provides the best of both worlds. Most employees prefer to alternate between days in the physical workspace and days at home instead of working full-time in one environment or the other. While they aren't perfect, hybrid work models are keeping many employees and teams happy.
Differences Between Hybrid and Remote Work
We've already talked about some of the key differences between hybrid and remote work, but let's dive a bit deeper into the details:
Hybrid Workers Spend Time In-Office Each Week
Most hybrid workers spend at least a portion of their time in the physical workplace every week. This means two or three days a week in some arrangements, but it can vary, depending on the specific model.
Some companies even allow employees to choose which days they come into the office, which can be great for maximizing productivity and overall satisfaction. It’s no secret that satisfied team members mean higher employee retention and business growth opportunities. More companies are catching onto these benefits, meaning you will probably see more hybrid work opportunities in the coming years.
The Online Imperative
As partial remote workers, hybrid teams are still going to need to have all the strengths of their fully remote counterparts. This includes video conferencing. Whether over Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or others, the virtual workplace is here to stay. Even fully in-person employees need to be proficient as they are asked to network with clients in other time zones or even countries.
That’s where Poised, the real-time communication coach, comes into play. Communication is key whether you are interviewing for a new post, playing some fun team-building activities, or pitching a product to a client.
With Poised, you can receive real-time feedback on how you present yourself on a virtual call. It can alert you to your use of filler words, rambling, and rushed pace. It can instruct you on how to portray yourself with more confidence and clarity, making Zoom-based exhaustion a thing of the past.
Hybrid Jobs Are Location-Dependent
Unlike fully remote work, hybrid jobs require employees to live within a reasonable commute to the company's physical site. Contrastingly, businesses that operate with a fully remote workforce often do not even have a headquarters in a specific location.
Hybrid Workers Typically Spend Three or More Days In-Office
In most hybrid arrangements, employees work at least three days in the office. Whether this trend will continue for the foreseeable future is anyone's guess.
But for now, companies seem to value on-site collaboration among team members. With that said, many businesses are proving to be open to more flexible arrangements if employees request them.
The Benefits of Hybrid Work
Many employees and job seekers are in favor of the hybrid work environment.
Here are some of the primary perks of being a hybrid worker:
Avoid the Drawbacks of Working From Home All Week
If you haven't done it before, working in your PJs on the couch day in and day out can get pretty stale. Even if you have an inspiring home office, being a fully remote employee can be lonely. Along with negatively impacting your mental health and well-being, this can make it challenging to stay productive.
Switch Up Your Routine Throughout the Week
In many aspects, hybrid working is much like high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Each week, you get to change your work environment and routine a bit, which can keep things interesting and help you stay on top of your game.
A hybrid work arrangement provides just the right amount of structure and flexibility in the workday.
Get Connected With Colleagues
Since you show up to the office a few days out of the week, you won't be missing out on opportunities to converse with coworkers.
You will also be able to collaborate on teamwork-based projects with people who are passionate about a similar field and pursuing the same goals. We are social beings, and sometimes sharing cat memes on Slack can only go so far.
Does Hybrid Work Have Drawbacks?
Yes. As with any business model, hybrid arrangements have some cons that will require a few adjustments.
Less Freedom To Move
When working fully remotely, you can perform your job from anywhere you have Internet access (provided you have the necessary software and equipment). Since companies that use a hybrid work model are location-dependent, you may not have the freedom to move homes as remote workers can.
More Structure and Routine (A Pro and a Con)
If flexibility is your main concern, you might enjoy being a remote worker more than working in a hybrid arrangement. The extra structure and routine of hybrid work is the primary factor that sets it apart from a remote-first model.
If you take on a hybrid position and start fantasizing about the greener grass on the other side, remember that there are benefits to the structure.
How To Find Hybrid Work
Now, you’ve determined that you want to give hybrid work a shot. Fully remote work sounds a bit lonely, but you don’t want to be stuck in the office five days a week.
Let’s talk about how you can land your first hybrid job:
Ask Your Company for a Hybrid Position
By far, the easiest way to get a hybrid job is to ask your current company for a position. Many businesses are converting to a hybrid model, and of those that aren't, many are showing a willingness to provide flexible situations for their employees. Happy workers exhibit less burnout and higher levels of employee engagement.
At the end of the day, why not ask? Your supervisor may take it to the higher-ups and give you an answer within the week. At the very least, you will make your wishes known. And chances are you won't be the only team member to request flexible work options, meaning it will be top of mind for the company. If they say no, you can move on to other options.
Look for Hybrid Jobs Near You
If you are happy with where you live, your next step will be to look for local hybrid jobs. Start by asking around your professional and personal networks, which is one of the most effective ways to find a position you qualify for and are interested in. Another strategy is to look at social media sites and local job boards.
Moving? Find a Hybrid Job in Your New City
Lastly, if you hope to relocate to a different city, you can use some of the same strategies for finding a hybrid position there. Connect with old friends on Facebook who live in the new city, and reach out to any relatives who live in the area. They might be able to recommend real estate agents who can help you relocate.
Narrow your search on Indeed and other job sites to the area and build your social network. Moreover, you may consider finding some freelance work that you can do remotely as you make the transition.
The Future of Work: Your Best Work
You're a hard worker, and you deserve to work in an environment that helps you stay productive and happy. Many workers and companies are moving to hybrid work models because the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Consider the information and advice above as you plan the next stages of your career to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward!