What are the 5 different remote and hybrid working models?

hybrid working from home

The current pandemic has changed the working habits of many across the globe. Whether working remote or hybrid working from home, it seems that this is the new normal for many businesses. However, what is the difference between hybrid and remote working?  

Hybrid working model definition: “a company has a hybrid work model if it has employees working both in-office and remotely”

Regina Borsellino (themuse.com)

This definition differs from remote work where people work solely from home. However, there are different variations of these which this article shall cover in more detail. 

These include:

  1.  Off centric hybrid working
  2. Fully flexible hybrid working 
  3. Remote friendly hybrid working
  4. Hybrid remote- office
  5. Remote first
  6. Distributed work (alternative)

Off centric hybrid working

An employer may require an employee to work in the office a majority of the time, with a minority of days working at home. Furthermore, many refer to this as off centric hybrid working. Employers may select this model to help increase communication between staff members whilst still allowing some autonomy. Some companies may allow for even more freedom, allowing employees to choose which minority of days they will work away from the office. 

Fully flexible hybrid working

A fully flexible working model allows for even more flexibility than the off centric model mentioned above. Furthermore, this model allows employees to have control over whether they work from home or from an office. It is a model currently in use by many companies, including Ford. 

However, this model does not come without any danger for those who are hybrid working from home. Visibility bias can become an issue, where staff are not as visible as other staff and miss out on the same opportunities, such as promotions. This can happen as employers do not recognise their efforts as they are not around to see it in practice. 

For more information about unconscious biases in the workplace, read out article of diversity considerations for hybrid workers. 

Remote friendly hybrid working 

This model allows for employers to put more limitations on employees wanting to work from home. An employer here can select which employees may work from home or restrict the days they can select to work from home.

One benefit here is that you can consider top job applicants from non local positions to work from home whilst still having local employees in the office for day to day running and communications. However, similarly to the fully flexible model, this can disadvantage those working from home as they may miss out on certain perks and opportunities received from being in the office. 

Hybrid remote-office working

Similar to the remote friendly option, this model works by supplying employees with a range of options regarding how they work. An employer may distinguish these options however they choose but may typically include the option to work remotely or fully in the office. 

A benefit of this model is that it is attractive for employees who still receive some freedom to choose how they work, yet allows employers some predictability of where to expect their employees to be located. 

Remote first working

Slightly different from those who are hybrid working from home, remote working allows employees to work from home on a full time basis. A benefit of this is that different forms of biases are usually minimal in this model, such as those that link to race, gender and appearance. However, this can cause some problems for communication if people are not available all the time to answer emails and calls. On the other hand, it can be negative on people’s mental health where employees don’t have the opportunity to get immediate support and chat with their friends. 

Distributed working

Furthermore, different from remote working, distributed work does not fall under the categories of hybrid working. This may involve distributing work across separate locations. It refers more to the decision of how work is distributed rather than where and remote working is not always included as a part of this. For example, two offices can work together from different locations but would not be considered to be working remotely. 

For more information regarding hybrid working or for more HR support, contact us.