What is a hybrid workplace?

A hybrid workplace is a workplace where the majority of the employees work from home one or more days per week, but also attend the office one or more days per week. It blends many of the advantages of office based/traditional work with those of fully remote work. 

The primary advantage of a hybrid workplace is that it offers both businesses and employees flexibility. Proponents of the model suggest that it works best because a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works out for an entire workforce.

Whereas, a traditional workplace is one in which the majority of staff are collocated in an office from Monday to Friday. Advocates of this model claim that it fosters innovation and collaboration due to the proximity of staff that wouldn’t otherwise meet. It also has the obvious advantage of allowing staff to share physical resources (everything from printers to MRI machines), which don’t work cost effectively if each staff member independently needed access to one without the use of an office.

In contrast, a fully remote workplace is one that operates entirely without a physical office space. Each employee works from home and all meetings are conducted virtually. The major advantage proposed by this model from the businesses perspective is that the business isn’t required to pay for a commercial lease. Advantages reported by employees typically include the lack of need to commute, the ability to focus and work without distractions, and the freedom to “live anywhere”.

In a hybrid working environment companies are able to leverage the fact that the do not need to maintain a desk-to-person ratio of 1:1. They can use hot desking to allow more than one employee per desk. This can afford them additional collaborative working spaces as well as allowing for significant cost savings if the total amount of space required can be reduced through hot desking practices.