28th March 2024

Hybrid Work: The Model of the Future

Companies worldwide are bridging the gap between a past that had most employees physically present in the office, and a future that remains uncertain. Remote work became a temporary solution for many businesses as a response to the COVID-19 episode. However, it looks as if remote work will persist in the form of hybrid work models to allow companies to effectively engage talent and create value.

Research from the Boston Consulting Group indicates that most employees are most productive when they combine individual work with collaboration with colleagues. Approximately 70% of companies, from small ones to multinational giants like Apple, Google, Citi, and HSBC, plan to implement or have already implemented some form of hybrid work arrangements.

Hybrid arrangements balance the benefits of in-person office work — such as collaboration, innovation, and culture-building — with the advantages of quiet and commute-free remote work. Companies often recommend that employees work, say, two days a week from home performing individual or independent tasks, and three days a week in the office engaged in teamwork, brainstorming, and social events. Recent research from Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) suggests that small meetings can be as efficient via a video call as in-person. While in-person meetings facilitate communication through visual cues and gestures, video calls save travel time. However, large meetings and training sessions with ten or more participants tend to be less effective via a video call due to the limited visibility of visual cues and disruptions caused by muting and unmuting conversations.

Another critical question is how much freedom workers should have in choosing their remote workdays. Some managers advocate for employee autonomy in determining their own schedules. A survey by National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows that 32% of employees express a desire never to return to the office post-pandemic. These individuals often have young children, live in the suburbs, and find commuting burdensome. On the other hand, 21% prefer never to work from home again. They miss live communication, teamwork, and social events.

A study by Harvard Business School demonstrates that hybrid work models offer the best of both worlds, enhancing productivity and job satisfaction while addressing challenges like isolation and privacy. As organizations navigate the transition, they must consider equity, equal treatment, and the well-being of their workforce. While remote work may not suit all professions, it remains an essential option.

At SOLEAD Software, we have been practicing a hybrid work model for the last two years that typically allows our employees to work from home up to 50% of time. This may, of course, vary depending on many factors, such as employee seniority level, current project stage, and project team configuration. Moving forward, we continue to explore innovative ways to engage employees, prioritize their well-being, and maximize productivity.

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+380 32 240 2220

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