The past two years have revolutionized the way of working. As a result, many businesses have had to evolve how they handle their operations according to pandemic guidelines. A decade ago, most of the global workforce was hardly acquainted with hybrid and remote work models.
However, the height of the Covid-19 pandemic saw an abrupt and mandatory shift to remote work, causing a lot of uncertainties about the future of the workplace. Subsequently, embracing hybrid or remote work arrangements became a significant workplace development in response to the Covid-19 conundrum and has had an incremental growth trend since then.
Surprisingly, these models proved lucrative. Organizations that facilitate remote or hybrid work systems enjoy immense growth as they access higher-quality talent. Flexible working allows ventures to access diverse talent around the globe at affordable prices. Also, it’s cost-effective as they don’t require an investment in office space, overhead costs, transport expenses, etc.
It’s almost impractical to elucidate all the benefits of adopting hybrid or remote work systems. However, these models also bring unique challenges, and adapting to the transformation that caters best to all stakeholders hasn’t been like taking a picnic.
For instance, as the uncertainties settle and things gradually fall back into place, some firms prefer to have physical contact with their employees and want to get back to the traditional work model. On the other hand, others prefer to continue working flexibly. As you can imagine, It’s becoming quite challenging to settle for the optimal work arrangement acceptable to the employers, employees, clients, and, in sum, all parties involved.
Therefore, we have prepared this masterpiece that gleans insights into the structure and differences of hybrid vs. remote work systems, and in turn, you can make an informed decision on the ideal model for your startup.
Hybrid work system
We have shed many insights on a hybrid work system in the post: how to prepare your team for hybrid work. In a nutshell, a hybrid workplace arrangement incorporates a mixture of in-office and remote work in an employee’s schedule. As a result, your team members won’t be confined to a particular place, either home or office. Instead, hybrid workers can work at home, or anywhere they like for a few days a week, and the rest of the time, they report in person to an office.
Remote work system
The remote model also referred to as work from home, work from anywhere, or telecommuting, is a flexible working arrangement that allows employees to work outside the physical office. This is prevalent for most startups since it doesn’t need office space to connect work. As a result, team members utilize digital tools to connect to work, collaborate and handle tasks remotely. Effective communication is crucial for any remote work system to be successful.
Telecommuting is not a new concept, but it became much more mainstream during the Covid-19 pandemic as the global workforce was forced to start working remotely for the first time. Unfortunately, some individuals tend to mix up remote workers with outsourcing. The two are disparate since freelancers are independent contractors of the business.
Hybrid vs. remote work system: how do they compare
Besides the most obvious difference (all-remote model, WFH, and WFA is the default, no exception while hybrid model requires an on-site work presence and involves occasional commutes to the office), hybrid and remote work systems slightly differ in other aspects.
A hybrid work system accommodates two sets of employees, those away from the office and those on-site. As a result, your startup must tailor a medium and create policies that pass information uniformly to the in-office and remote teams. On the contrary, all remote setup allows a uniform system to communicate all information.
There is no doubt both hybrid and remote work systems offer improved flexibility than the conventional 9-to-5 system. Still, a hybrid model somehow limits your team members from living anywhere, since they have to be within a commutable distance to an office. On the other hand, a fully remote model doesn’t care about the location of your team members and can have members working too far apart.
3. Team meetings
In a hybrid system, meetings can either happen virtually or on-site. On the other hand, an all remote system solely depends on virtual meetings held through video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet.
4. The hiring process
A hybrid work system limits your startup from sourcing talent from anywhere globally, since the acquired workforce has to report and relocate to the general office area. In reverse, all remote systems don’t necessarily have to find talent within a commuting radius and can source from anywhere around the world.
Hybrid vs. remote work system: which is best for your startup
The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to the ideal arrangement for your startup. Instead, your startup’s context predominantly establishes the appropriate model. For instance, if your clientele demand to negotiate and transact face-to-face, you might have to settle for the hybrid model in lieu of a fully remote work system.
Other factors to help you make an intelligent choice include:
What works for your team members?
Your startup employees are most affected by an entirely remote or hybrid work system. Studies reveal that remote workers tend to be more productive than their in-office peers. Still, this isn’t necessarily accurate for all individuals. If a significant portion of your startup’s team members has been struggling over the height of the pandemic with WFH, then a hybrid model might be a favorable option.
Where does your startup’s culture fit in?
It’s vital to settle for a workflow that remains consistent with your culture. For example, if your startup’s culture relies on teamwork and collaboration, a hybrid work system is the appropriate model since colleagues can meet and collaborate. On the flip side, organizations that emphasize employee autonomy, self-improvement, and communication should prioritize a fully remote work system.
An all remote work system is easier on the budget than a hybrid model. Far-fetched as it sounds, the cost of hybrid working is almost as much as being in-office full time since you have to cater for overhead costs and expenses of maintaining an office. Therefore, if your startup is in its early stages, you might opt for a fully remote system to cut on such costs.
Hybrid vs remote work systems have several benefits, the most notable and common ground being providing flexibility to team members, consequently improving their productivity.
Thanks to the ever-evolving technological perks, accelerated digital transformations, and collaboration tools, the day and age workforce can work in any of these unconventional ways. But, unfortunately, neither system will be compatible with all businesses equally and successfully. As a result, it’s paramount to weigh in your workforce, startup operations, and business goals to determine the ideal path for your venture’s needs.