Hybrid Working: Advantages, Concepts and Practical Tips

In an era when the office and home are increasingly merging, the hybrid work model is taking center stage. But what exactly does hybrid work mean? What concepts are there, what are the advantages, and what needs to be considered when using mobile devices? We provide interesting insights and practical tips.

Flexibility in the hybrid work model: An employee takes advantage of the opportunity to work efficiently from home.

What is hybrid working?

Hybrid working combines traditional face-to-face work in the office with the ability to work from other locations, usually from home. Often introduced as a necessary response to the pandemic, many companies quickly realized the value of the workforce flexibility that the hybrid work model brings and how effective it is in keeping the business running. Much has changed again since then, but one thing is certain, hybrid working will be with us well into the future. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid working?

A hybrid work model offers both employees and the companies themselves a number of advantages, while also bringing challenges. However, the choice of model also plays a decisive role. 

Advantages of hybrid working:

  • More flexible models enable employees to achieve a better work-life balance. The time saved through reduced travel times and the ability to fulfil family obligations more easily are clear advantages.
  • A better work-life balance can increase employee satisfaction and productivity.
  • Companies can save on operating costs by using less physical space and resources.
  • The possibility of hybrid working can be a decisive argument when recruiting talent and makes it possible to search for new talent more independently of location.

Challenges of hybrid working:

  • Without the right tools, it can be difficult to communicate effectively and maintain team dynamics.
  • With more people working outside the corporate network, security challenges can arise, especially with regards to IT.
  • Models in which employees must choose between home office and office can lead to the formation of “in-groups” and “out-groups”, which can affect corporate culture.
  • Models with fixed office and home office days (such as the synchronous hybrid model) offer less potential for space savings.

All these challenges can be easily overcome through careful planning and the implementation of appropriate measures. 

What are the hybrid work concepts?

Hybrid work concepts take many forms and adapt to the dynamic requirements of modern working environments. There are many ways to classify them. A common one is grouping them according to work location and time. The following models are often highlighted.

  • Office-first model: Thefocus is on working in the office, but employees have the option of working remotely if required. The model is appreciated by companies that want to promote personal exchange and on-site collaboration but want to offer a certain degree of flexibility.
  • Remote-first model: Work is primarily done remotely, with occasional office days for meetings and collaboration. The model is suitable for companies that want to maximize the benefits of remote work while providing space for personal interaction.
  • Synchronous-hybrid model: Employees work synchronously i.e., they adhere to a fixed schedule, regardless of whether they work remotely or are in the office. The model is suitable for companies that value regular, simultaneous collaboration. 
  • Asynchronous-hybrid model: Employees can choose their working hours independently of other team members, on the premise that they meet their weekly work hours and attend important meetings. This model is ideal for globally distributed teams and companies that value autonomy and flexibility. 
  • Work-from-Anywhere: Employees have the freedom to work from anywhere, whether from home, a coffee shop, or while traveling. This model is great for companies that want to offer complete geographic flexibility without being tied to fixed office locations. It’s especially useful for organizations with a global employee base or those looking to tap into a broad talent base that isn’t tied to a specific location.

When selecting a hybrid work model, companies should consider various factors, including the nature of the work, the corporate culture, the technological infrastructure, and the preferences of the employees. Only then can they choose a model that best supports productivity, employee well-being and business goals.

How do I find the right hybrid work model for my business?

When searching for the right hybrid work model for your business, follow these steps:

  1. Understand company needs: Analyze your company’s specific needs, goals, and culture.

    Example: If your company relies heavily on teamwork and collaboration, a model that includes regular shared office hours might make more sense.

  2. Involve employees: Actively involve your employees in the decision-making process. Gather their preferences and concerns about hybrid work models.

    Example: Conduct an anonymous survey in which employees can express their opinions and wishes regarding different work models.

  3. Analyze work tasks: Examine which tasks can be done remotely and which require presence in the office.

    Example: A customer service team might work mostly remotely, while the product development team needs regular presence times to work effectively.

  4. Review the technological infrastructure: Ensurethat all employees, regardless of where they work, have access to the tools and technologies they need. Consider mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which are increasingly used as work tools.

    Example: Ensurethat all employees have powerful laptops, smartphones, a secure Internet connection, and secure access to enterprise software and databases.

  5. Foster communication and collaboration: consider strategies to strengthen communication and collaboration between remote and present teams.

    Example: Use collaboration tools and platforms that enable video conferencing, collaborative work on documents, and other forms of online collaboration.

  6. Flexibility and adaptability: Choose a flexible model that can be adjusted as needed to respond to new challenges and changes.

    Example: Create policies that allow the working model to be regularly reviewed and adjusted based on feedback and experience.

By following these guidelines, you will ensure that your chosen hybrid work model meets both the needs of your business and the needs of your employees, helping to increase productivity and employee satisfaction.

The role of smartphones in hybrid work concepts and what to consider

Smartphones have become more than just a status symbol and are indispensable in the context of “new work” and hybrid working. They serve primarily as a means of communication, enabling employees to be reachable at all times. 

The use of smartphones also offers better control and management of workflows. Response times can be reduced, and customer loyalty strengthened. Special apps enable employees to record their working hours, manage projects and access customer data, which in turn improves efficiency and customer service.

Of course, the professional use of smartphones also brings challenges, especially when it comes to security and data protection. Nevertheless, the benefits outweigh the risks. When used properly, the devices can boost productivity, improve employee retention, and help companies stay competitive in today’s fast-paced business world.

The security risks that mobile devices can pose range from loss to data leaks to cyber-attacks. This is where mobile device management (MDM) systems like Cortado MDM come into play.

MDM provides enterprises with a layered security architecture. By managing mobile devices centrally, enterprises can set and enforce security policies. These include password policies, data encryption, and the ability to remotely lock or wipe lost or stolen devices. Unsafe apps can also be identified and blocked, minimizing the risk of malware or other harmful intrusions.

In addition, MDM offers the ability to separate business and personal data. This is useful when devices are used simultaneously for business and personal purposes, such as in BYOD or COPE models. This separation ensures that corporate data is protected from unauthorized access, even if personal data is compromised.

Implementing mobile device management not only ensures the security of corporate data, but also compliance with industry standards and regulatory requirements. With the growing number of cyberattacks and data breaches, it is critical for enterprises to have sound MDM strategies in place to protect their mobile assets and valuable data.

Between office and home: Our Conclusion on hybrid working 

Hybrid working is more than just a trend. While it brings some new challenges, hybrid working models offer a solid foundation for success in the digitized world of work.

When implementing a hybrid work model, it is important for companies to define clear guidelines and communication strategies and to obtain regular feedback from their employees in order to flexibly adapt and optimize the model. The technological infrastructure plays a central role here, especially the integration of smartphones as effective work tools.

Smartphones and tablets should be seamlessly integrated into the work environment to enable flexible and efficient communication and task processing. This ensures that employees can work productively regardless of their location and are optimally networked. This not only increases collaboration and productivity, but also promotes employee satisfaction in the hybrid work environment in the long term.