Hybrid Working 101: Your Complete Guide to Thriving in the New Normal of Work

July 9, 2024 / date
/ Reading time
Hybrid teams/ Category

The pandemic has dramatically reshaped our work lives, throwing hybrid work and flexible offices into the spotlight. As offices closed and dining tables transformed into desks, we discovered new ways to work that were both flexible and effective. Hybrid work, a blend of remote and in-office work, has emerged as the modern workforce’s preferred model, meeting changing expectations head-on.

In this article, we’re diving deep into the nitty gritty that is hybrid work; the challenges, the benefits, the options out there to suit everyone. Grab your coffee and get comfy, it’s a good one (if we don’t say so ourselves).

What is Hybrid Work?

Hybrid work is a flexible model that allows employees to split their time between working remotely and in the office. This approach enables people to work in environments that best suit their needs on any given day. Whether it’s a quiet home office, a private office, or a collaborative meeting space, hybrid work offers the best of both worlds. We would know – this is where we thrive!

And because we’re kind of professionals in the space (no pun intended) we know how to get you the best deals for the space you want. All you gotta do is ask!

Benefits and Challenges of Hybrid Work

Let’s dive straight into the benefits and challenges that hybrid work provides, where we’ll provide actionable advice for both individuals and companies to thrive in this new work paradigm. Ready? Go!

The Benefits of Hybrid Work

Increased Flexibility

One of the most significant advantages of hybrid work is the flexibility it offers. Employees can choose where and when they work, which can lead to a better work-life balance and significantly reduced commuting time. Imagine swapping your daily rush-hour stress for a couple of days in a swanky space with your team.

At FlowSpace, we offer on-demand bookings. So, if you’ve woken up and decided you’d prefer a desk within a coworking space for the day, we’ve got you covered.

Enhanced Productivity

Hybrid work can cater to individual work preferences, allowing employees to work in environments where they feel most productive. For some, this might mean fewer distractions at home on days where it’s really needed; for others, the collaborative energy of the office, surrounded by like-minded individuals to bounce ideas off. Either way, productivity gets a boost and the option to enjoy home days, as well as office days, can really help employees feel more in control.

Improved Employee Well-being

The increased autonomy and flexibility of hybrid work have a positive impact on mental health. Employees often experience reduced stress and better overall well-being, knowing they have control over their work environment and schedule.

Long gone are the days of having to be in the office 5 times a week, arriving before 9:00 and leaving after 17:00, with little wiggle room for appointments, fetching children, or taking a 15-minute breather away from the screen. The ability to enjoy a flexible office environment that often provides amazing amenities as well, is a huge factor behind fueling employee well-being.

Cost Savings

Hybrid work can also lead to significant cost savings. Employees save on commuting and childcare expenses with days at home, while employers can cut costs on office space, lengthy rentals, and utilities. It’s a win-win situation!

The Challenges of Hybrid Work

Communication and Collaboration

Maintaining effective communication and collaboration among team members in different locations and time zones can be tricky. Ensuring everyone stays in the loop requires thoughtful planning and the right tools. 

However, with FlowSpace’s amazing range of spaces available across the UK and Europe, your international team can enjoy the benefits of flexible workspaces too. Plus, team members can see who has booked where and join accordingly, making collaboration and flexibility more attainable.

Building Trust and Relationships

Trust is crucial in remote teams, and building relationships virtually can be challenging. However, regular virtual interactions and transparent communication can help bridge the gap. Remember those virtual team building activities during lockdown (what a throwback, right?!).

Maintaining Company Culture

Fostering a sense of belonging and connection among hybrid teams is essential. Company culture doesn’t have to suffer in a hybrid setting, but it does require intentional efforts to maintain.

Ensuring coworking days are marked in the calendar each week or month to ensure team collaboration and connection is hugely important to maintain morale and motivation among hybrid teams.

With the option of monthly desks or flexible private offices, maintaining that company culture is easier than you think.

Work-Life Balance Challenges

While flexibility is a benefit, it can also lead to blurred boundaries between work and personal life. Setting clear boundaries is key to ensuring work doesn’t encroach on personal time.

This is where opting for a coworking space regularly comes in handy. Step out of the pjs for a day and make your way to an amazing meeting space with the team, where you can seriously focus on your work without the distractions of home life (we know you’ve got the washing going in the background of the Zoom call – don’t worry, so do we!)

Essential Strategies for Hybrid Work Success

To make hybrid work successfully for yourself and your team, aligning on certain aspects is essential. Here are our top tips.

Setting Clear Expectations

Establishing clear expectations for communication, availability, and performance is vital. Want to work flexible hours? Fine, just let me know when you’ll be online. Need to pop out to fetch your child? No problem, just put a note in your calendar. Clear guidelines help prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Creating a Hybrid Work Policy

A successful hybrid work policy should include eligibility criteria, scheduling guidelines, and communication protocols. It provides a framework that helps both employees and employers navigate the hybrid work environment effectively.

This includes setting specific days to meet up in a coworking space for face-to-face meetings. That face-time isn’t the same when done on Zoom or Teams, right?! All teams should be enjoying the interaction and collaboration that comes with meeting up in a space conducive to your needs.

Building a Strong Company Culture

Fostering a sense of community and belonging among hybrid teams is crucial. Virtual team-building activities are great, but booking in regular coworking days is even better. Navigating hybrid work is as simple as you make it; that means with the rise of flexible offices, you won’t struggle to book in your next coworking day! Whether it’s to celebrate achievements or power through some deadlines together, when done at a coworking space, a strong company culture can easily be maintained.

Effective Communication and Collaboration Tools

Invest in tools and platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom for seamless communication and collaboration. These tools make it easier to stay connected and work together, no matter where you are.

On that same note, join FlowSpace and get your team onboard, allowing them to book on-demand desks when needed. Or, take control and get a quote for a flexible private office space that allows you the enjoyment of a professional office while still thriving in the hybrid landscape.

Measuring and Tracking Performance

Tracking performance in a hybrid work environment requires clear KPIs and regular feedback. Regular check-ins and performance reviews ensure that everyone stays on track and goals are met. Autonomy in remote work is a huge benefit, but setting clear expectations is necessary to stick to your business’s goals.

Tips for Thriving in a Hybrid Work Environment

We want you to thrive! So here’s some of our favourite pointers.

For Employees

Time Management and Prioritisation: Plan your day and prioritise tasks to stay productive. Make sure you know what’s needed and who you need to work with in the team to get it done.

Setting Boundaries: Clearly differentiate between work and personal time to avoid burnout. When it’s time to shut the laptop, make sure to put it far away. Bonus points if you’re at a cool coworking space and enjoy an after-work event that some spaces often host.

Effective Communication: Keep lines of communication open with team members and managers, and schedule important in-person meetings when you know you’ll be together.

Proactive Self-Care: Take regular breaks and engage in activities that promote well-being. One of the benefits of serviced offices is their availability of great amenities, such as wellness centres and gyms.

For Employers

Providing Resources and Support: Ensure remote workers have the tools and support they need.

Fostering Trust and Flexibility: Encourage a culture of trust and allow flexibility. Offer employees the option of on-demand desk bookings to get out of the house if needed, on days you’re not meeting in a coworking space.

Investing in Tools: Provide access to effective communication and collaboration tools.

Regular Performance Tracking:  Measure and track performance to keep everyone aligned.

Case Studies

Successful Companies Thriving in Hybrid Work

Many companies have successfully implemented hybrid work models. For instance, tech giants like Google and Microsoft have adopted hybrid work, allowing employees to choose their preferred work settings.

Smaller companies such as Kope AI and Pleo (who are also our clients! ❤️)have also adapted to a hybrid work approach, enjoying the benefits of flexible offices for those in-person days.

Thriving Employees

Employees at these companies report higher job satisfaction and improved work-life balance, thanks to the flexibility and autonomy of hybrid work. 

As you can see, hybrid work offers increased flexibility, enhanced productivity, improved well-being, and cost savings. However, it also presents challenges like maintaining communication, building trust, and preserving company culture. By setting clear expectations, creating effective policies, and investing in the right tools, both employees and employers can thrive in this new work paradigm.

One of the most important things is to find a space that aligns with your business’s and team’s needs, while still offering that flexible approach that is so loved by companies all over. At FlowSpace, we’re really (really) good at finding the workspace that’s tailored to you.

Future of Work

As hybrid work continues to evolve, its impact on the workplace will grow and so will the need for flexible offices and on-demand bookings. Embracing this model can lead to a more flexible, productive, and satisfied workforce. The future of work is here, and it’s hybrid! Make sure to get in touch to find out how we can help you and your team’s path to success on your hybrid work journey!