Hybrid working models in comparison

Gina Schumacher

The coronavirus pandemic forced many people to work from home from one day to the next. What was previously unthinkable was suddenly possible. Companies realised that employees could work from home and still be effective in their job. The pandemic has now been declared over. Nevertheless, many employees still want to continue working from home - at least part of the time. In times of an employee market, companies must therefore offer hybrid working models and cater to these wishes.

What is hybrid working?

A black woman is sitting outside in a cafe in front of her laptop doing hybrid work.

Hybrid working is a modern and flexible approach that makes it possible to work both in the office and on the move. This can be from home or from wherever the employee wishes. The implementation varies in the degree of flexibility, depending on how many days the employer allows remote working.

However, some jobs are not suitable for this model, jobs that involve physical labour are usually location-bound. Employees who work at a desk, on the other hand, can simply move their workplace to another location as long as the technical conditions allow. Hybrid work takes advantage of the benefits of digitalisation: employees access the data and information they need online. This can be done at home, in a café, on the train, or even from the beach abroad.

What types of hybrid working models are there?

Hybrid working means a flexible choice of location and flexible working hours. There is not just one solution, but different approaches to implementing hybrid work:

Office First

In this model, employees spend most of their time in the office and only a few days (if any) a month working remotely. Employees must be predominantly on-site, although there may be exceptions in individual cases.

Limited remote working

This model is also known as fixed hybrid work scheduling. As the name suggests, managers determine the number of days on which employees are allowed to work from home or elsewhere. In this case, employees have greater flexibility than in the office-first model. Some companies define a maximum of X days per year, X days per month, or X days per week on which remote working is permitted.

Fully flexible

Often referred to as "work from anywhere" or "hybrid at will". This means that employees are completely free to choose their place of work - except for abroad, as there may otherwise be tax issues. Some may go into the office on certain days, while others prefer to work completely remotely. In any case, there is no obligation to be present in the office with this model.

Remote First

In this case, mobile working or working from home is the predominant form of work. There is therefore usually no longer a fixed workplace for employees, although workstations can be rented as required, e.g. via desk-sharing apps such as Flexopus. This model often involves one or two fixed team days per week, with the rest of the work being done remotely.

‍Flexopus: Your partner for the organisation of hybrid working models

The desk-sharing tool Flexopus on different technology.

Many people perceive hybrid work as a balancing act between flexibility and chaos. There is a widespread belief that the combination of office and remote working inevitably leads to disorganisation. But the truth is that hybrid working offers practical solutions and tools to create an organised working environment, one of which is called Flexopus.

Flexopus is a desk-sharing software that offers innovative solutions to facilitate the organisation of hybrid working models. The intuitive booking platform allows employees to flexibly plan and book workstations, meeting rooms, and car parks in advance. Users can decide for themselves whether they prefer to use the progressive web application, the smartphone app, or the Microsoft Teams integration. In a nutshell: Whether it's coordinating team days, flexible use of office space, or promoting collaboration, Flexopus helps companies make the most of the benefits of hybrid working models.

What hybrid working time models are there?

Hybrid working models are characterised not only by the freedom to choose where to work but also by time flexibility. Employees can not only decide where they want to work, but also when they want to do their work:

Fixed working hours

This is the standard model of working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. where the employer sets the work schedule. A fixed work schedule is a strict timetable that specifies the times of day and the number of hours per day that employees must work. This is still common in companies and professions with fixed daily work schedules.

Partially flexible

With this time model, employees enjoy a certain degree of flexibility in organizing their working hours. For example, flexitime allows employees to change the start and/or end time of their work as long as they work the scheduled or expected time. This is the most common form in office jobs.

Fully flexible

With the completely flexible working model, employees can work whenever they want - as long as the legal regulations are complied with, of course. At what time is usually irrelevant for the company. This working model is most common in companies that have individual employees who do not really work in teams. One example of this is location-independent sales employees in the sales area.

Are hybrid working models the future of work?

Flexible working arrangements create a balance between the benefits of working in the office and the advantages of mobile working. Flexible hybrid models also contribute to a better work-life balance. Failure to provide flexible working arrangements can cost companies dearly. Employees today expect the greatest possible flexibility and take this into account when choosing an employer. The proportion of companies with flexible models is therefore likely to increase further.

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Markus Merkle
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