What is the Best Workplace Model: On-Site, Remote, or Hybrid?
Hey there! We are back with another meaty and value-filled blog post just for you! Today, we'll be discussing how to identify the best workplace model for your business needs.
You've probably heard of the various workplace models that have arisen nowadays to create a more flexible and self-sufficient workforce. If you aren't familiar, these are on-site, remote, and hybrid work setups.
While these setups are nothing new, remote and hybrid work both grew in popularity during and after the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively. Let's do a quick recap for those of you who've been living under a rock for the past couple of years.
Many offices were shut down due to lockdowns, forcing most businesses to adapt by adopting a remote work setup. As the restrictions lifted, many of these businesses re-opened their offices, setting the stage for the resurgence of on-site work. However, there was a change in the air—after seeing the viability of remote work, there were several companies that opted to keep that setup. Others went for for a mix of remote and on-site work.
Each of the three workplace models has its own pros and cons. So to help you identify the best one for your needs, here's a quick rundown of the three workplace models.
On-Site / In-Office
On-site or in-office work is the traditional way, the set “standard” of most companies that prefer their employees working in an office environment or a specific location. It gives a unified experience for the whole staff, allowing them to establish a physical sense of awareness, synergy, and collaboration with one another. A work-focused environment offers fewer distractions, faster communication, and quick access to the company’s facilities and supplies.
However, its major disadvantage is the need to commute, which can be time-consuming and expensive. A long, arduous commute can also affect your employee's mood and performance. Aside from the travel to and from the site, some offices can have inherent structural disadvantages as well. Working in a cramped, busy space can lead to errors, accidents, and higher levels of stress. Being confined to a specific location can also limit job candidates due to geographical factors.
If you are looking for something more independent, you might want to consider the next model...
Remote Work / Telecommuting
Advancements in telecommunications technology have effectively changed the way we work. Workers can now perform tasks anywhere in the world as long as they have the necessary equipment and an internet connection. This removes the need for commuting and opens up opportunities that might have been previously closed off due to geographical limitations.
On the employer's side, there are many digital applications and systems that enable leaders to monitor an employee's work and maintain efficiency. Remote work also means cutting down on expenses—so no more office operating costs, transportation allowance, etc.
With all of that said, this setup seems to be the least costly for employers and the most convenient for employees. Pretty much a win-win! But... everything has a catch.
Remote work often comes at a strong social cost. The isolation can be too much for some workers who tend to perform better when they are around others—add to that the various distractions from home and you have a recipe for poor performance. Remote work can also be plagued with communication gaps between teams and fewer opportunities to build camaraderie between colleagues. Fortunately, these issues can be resolved with the right mindset.
Interested in seeing what a mixture of the two models would look like?
Hybrid Work / Mixed Setup
As the name suggests, this is a mix of on-site and remote work. On some days, you will work in the office, and on other days, you will be working from home. By choosing this model, your employees have the best of both worlds! They can enjoy working with colleagues face-to-face while still having the freedom to work anywhere they want (on certain days, of course). Business owners also enjoy a reduction in overhead costs due to lesser consumption of electricity and on-site supplies, albeit not as much as a fully remote setup.
But of course, like the other models, it also has its disadvantages. Balancing two different setups can be tricky, and collaboration may be impacted negatively by the division between on-site and remote workers. It takes a keen mind to navigate these struggles, but overcoming them is certainly not impossible.
To succeed, you need to understand how these workplace setups can impact your operational efficiency and productivity while still being a good culture fit for your team. What works for your competitor may not work for you because every business and each job is unique.
On a final note, it's also worth looking at it from a personal perspective. How do you prefer to work? Are you sociable and love working with other people or do you prefer working alone? If you're the type who loses motivation easily and procrastinates, perhaps the busy and productive atmosphere of an on-site setup will give you that extra push you need. But if you want the greater freedom that working independently grants you, then remote or hybrid setups might suit you better.