A Definitive Guide to Hybrid Work In and Out of the Office
Are you having a hard time choosing between jobs that are in the office and jobs that are remote? Or maybe your current job is bringing you back to the office part time. You’re now entering the always interesting, and at times, challenging world of hybrid work.
At a hybrid workplace you can get the benefits of both remote work and an in-office environment: collaboration and networking with colleagues on location a few days a week, while starting your weekends earlier by avoiding Friday afternoon rush hour. What could go wrong? Well, a few things. We’ll go over the pitfalls of a hybrid work environment as well as how to get the most out of a hybrid work schedule.
What Is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid working means spending some of your work hours in the office and others remotely. It can be optional, where you work remotely or in the office but have the option of a hybrid model, or mandated, where you’re required do to both. About 60 percent of employees are working in a hybrid model.
How Does a Hybrid Schedule Work?
Employers differ in how much freedom they give employees to structure their hybrid schedule. At some workplaces you’ll have a choice of what days to come into the office as long as you meet a quota, such as two days a week minimum in the office. Other offices give you full control of when you’ll be there and when you’ll be at home.
A more common setup is that upper management or department managers regulate the hybrid schedule, so everyone either works in the office on the same days of the week or different teams come in on different days to optimize the use of office space.
A hybrid workplace doesn’t always offer the benefit to everyone on staff. Security rules regarding paperwork and electronic documents can restrict certain employees from working from home. Other common exclusions are customer-facing jobs or jobs that require heavy or expensive equipment.
Two Typical Hybrid Work Schedules
The typical hybrid week is divided into days in the office and days at home, but at some employers you can instead split the workdays in half. For example, you can work in the office in the morning and remotely in the afternoon to pick up children from school.
These are some of the most common hybrid schedules:
- 3 days in the office, 2 days remote, 2 days off: also referred to as 3/2 or 3-2-2
- 2 days in the office, 3 days remote, 2 days off: also called 2/3 or 2-3-2
The days you’ll spend working remotely are either alternated with days working from the office or stacked together. It’s also common that Friday is a work-from-home day, letting employees wind down for the weekend.
Here are two typical hybrid work schedules:
3-2-2 Hybrid Schedule:
- Monday: Office
- Tuesday: Office
- Wednesday: Office
- Thursday: Remote
- Friday: Remote
2-3-2 Hybrid Schedule:
- Monday: Remote
- Tuesday: Office
- Wednesday: Remote
- Thursday: Office
- Friday: Remote
12 Common Hybrid Jobs
Hybrid working is most common for traditional office jobs that are mainly performed on computers, making the work either portable by laptop or easily accessed online. It’s also most common for jobs that don’t require daily interactions with others, whether customers or coworkers, (even if certain in-person communication can be replaced by virtual meetings, emails, chats, or phone calls).
These are some examples of jobs that are commonly hybrid or remote:
- administrative jobs
- computer jobs
- finance jobs
- art jobs
- math jobs
- sales jobs
- marketing jobs
- human resources jobs
Some of the most common hybrid job titles are administrative assistant, recruiter, program manager, and accountant. However, even positions that we traditionally think of as in-person jobs can be hybrid. For example, doctors can participate in telemedicine during some of their workweek.
What Companies Offer Hybrid Work?
Looking for companies offering hybrid work? Here are a few major companies to try:
- CVS Health
- Robert Half International
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- UnitedHealth Group
The Benefits of Hybrid Working
A hybrid workplace enables you to work remotely without giving up the advantages of coming into the office, such as the exchange of ideas, networking, and casual socializing that happen naturally in an office environment. At the same time, you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of working remotely, including:
- Less commute time, resulting in more free time and less stress.
- A healthier lifestyle with more time to exercise and more food choices.
- More money in your wallet due to eating out less, less money spent on gas, and fewer office outfits and dry-cleaning bills.
- More customization: Prefer to work with the air conditioner set at 65 degrees, with loud music, or from a couch? Or maybe you just want to heat up leftover fish in the microwave. Now you can!
- The ability to work from anywhere: Are you out of vacation days but want to take a short trip during the work week? Always wanted to work from that quirky coffee shop down the street? A hybrid workplace can usually accommodate that.
- Increased quality of life from less stress, more job satisfaction and better work-life balance.
The Challenges of Hybrid Working
While a hybrid workplace can result in a happy medium between remote and office work, it also poses challenges, such as:
- Fewer social interactions: Depending on whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, limited socializing could feel like a negative or positive. But regardless, remote work can limit networking opportunities, as well as the ability to make work friends.
- You might struggle to form a positive connection with your supervisor if you’re not on-location at the same time.
- Irony, jokes, and subtext can be lost in electronic communication, so be extra careful when expressing yourself.
- The free exchange of ideas and spontaneous brainstorming that an office can spur can suffer with a hybrid schedule and cannot quite be replicated in virtual meetings.
- Whether you have roommates or family members that distract you at home or loud colleagues, distractions can appear in either setting.
- Even if you have a work laptop, Wi-Fi outages and other technical challenges can place bumps in the road when you work from home.
- Working from home can make it more difficult to unplug (both mentally and literally) at the end of the day, especially if you’re not an hourly employee.
- You risk forgetting equipment at home on your in-office days if you have to bring devices, such as a laptop, back and forth.
6 Tips for Successful Hybrid Working
You can overcome many of the challenges of a hybrid workplace by having a clear strategy in place. These are some suggestions for managing hybrid work:
- Use virtual networking tools. Large companies may have their own systems in place, but you can also network with colleagues on social media.
- Make the best of each setting by focusing on tasks that are easier at home versus in the office. For example, you can leave team meetings and collaboration to the office and working on tasks that require a lot of focus at home if the office is too loud
- Mimic your office environment at home. Dressing professionally and staying organized, for example, will encourage you to associate your workspace with work.
- Most people thrive on routine, so try to have a set schedule even if you don’t have to.
- Use electronic documentation as much as possible with mobile scanning apps, portable scanners, and cloud services, as long as you comply with company security policies.
- Keep a second set of equipment at both places when reasonable, such as headsets.
Use a Hybrid Model for Your Job Search
Looking for a new job with a hybrid work model? With Monster, you can both apply for hybrid jobs and make your resume available to recruiters who are hiring for hybrid roles. Just create a Monster account to get started.