Is a hybrid work model in your future?

This blog isn’t a crystal ball, but we can offer some valuable insights into what it takes to transform your workforce into a hybrid team. We will break down the decision-making process into a few key areas including technology and tools, personnel and talent management, and efficiencies. 

While we don’t claim to know the future, we predict you’ll feel more confident in whatever work structure you choose.

1. Understanding the needs and preferences of employees

Not all people operate at their full capacity in structured, organized environments. Sometimes offering the flexibility of hybrid work allows them to fully realize their potential. But before you dive in, it’s important to consider all the factors with your team’s perspective at the top of the list. Simply asking them a few targeted questions in a survey can surface critical insights as to whether a hybrid model will facilitate a healthier and more productive environment. 

Ask your team questions like:

  • Do you feel you can be productive when working from home?
  • How many days are you willing to come to the office?
  • If you had access to an office close to home, would you prefer to go there instead of the company headquarters?
  • What would you need in order to feel productive and equipped to do your job well from home?

Another way to determine what will be the most effective setup for your hybrid plan is to group your employees into personas. Yes, personas, just like the categories your marketing team uses to tailor messaging for segmented audiences. However, in this application you are grouping employees by work preference, productivity style, collaboration proficiency, independent-working capability, and so on. With the employee personas in mind, you can facilitate better surveys that will allow anyone in the organization to achieve success in a hybrid model.

2. Understand the company’s infrastructure

Going hybrid means re-imagining your corporate infrastructure. Hybrid work models could impact every facet of the business, including the areas of responsibility, project workflows, communication protocols, talent development, succession planning, team-building and culture activities, and more.


Communication, for instance, is a complex organism. In-office communication practices cannot just be overlayed onto a hybrid work model. Collaborating with distributed teams requires more intentional communication and more dynamic conversations. Later in this blog, we’ll share details about how to have more impactful meetings in a hybrid structure.

Working hours

Since work has migrated into the home, the boundaries between the two are completely blurred for some professionals. Extra steps need to be in place to ensure that teams aren’t burning the candle at both ends and can manage their time, even though Slack is just feet away on their laptop. 

Keeping a healthy balance of hours at work can start with how accessible work should be to the individual. In other words, you may want to consider keeping work apps off of personal cell phones. While team members and leaders may not intend to pull back employees into work after hours, a notification may do just that, compelling that person to answer right away. This can be the catalyst of a vicious cycle, and it may be best to have a no-app policy on personal devices and a hard workday sign-off time. If that’s the route you decide to go, you can continue that philosophy by encouraging management to lead by example so that policy and culture match. 

Meetings & collaboration

The cubicle pop-in might have been traded in for a Slack message, but teams are still collaborating no matter their location. The name of the game here is “intentional” as all meetings and working sessions need to have a purpose if distributed teams are meant to sync. 

Perhaps one of the biggest threats to high-quality work is the dreaded “communication silo.” To avoid redoing work or adding more meetings to your calendar, think strategically about the tools at your fingertips. Leverage your software more effectively and institute more structures and policies that facilitate better communication and collaboration. 

If your team hasn’t leveraged RACI Charts yet, this could be the perfect opportunity to explore that as you revisit your standard operating procedures, or SOPs.

3. Assess the company’s technology 

Before purchasing a full tech stack of enterprise-level software, run inventory. Collecting all the available resources along with their current uses, possible uses, and gaps in capability will lead to better-informed buying decisions when and whether or not it is time to invest in new tools.

In a hybrid model, your tech assets will be offsite. Since they are outside the safety net of the office, teams should consider what they need for working efficiently and safely from remote locations. Cloud-based software allows team members to sync and have one source of truth. Cybersecurity products protect the company and the client. Remote access to key systems and tools is a necessary part of business operations as well as communications and video conferencing tools.

4. Evaluate the physical work environment 

With all the thought and budget going into making hybrid models function seamlessly, the physical work environment can’t be forgotten, both at home and at the company office.

Evaluating the home work environment

Workers may be reporting from the “comforts” of home, but that chair might cause back problems after hour five of the workday. Depending on the particular role and job functions, there are several considerations for the at-home office. Upgrades to furniture like standing desks and ergonomic chairs can make all the difference to the talented professionals who make the company tick.

Evaluating the office environment

The in-office spaces need to be upgraded as well in order to entice people to work on-site. Soundproofed pods, task and mood lighting, comfortable and inviting break areas, and a variety of refreshments are a few ways to turn ho-hum into a bragworthy space they’d happily Instagram.     

5. Developing policies and procedures for a hybrid work model

It may be easier to keep track of compliance with labor laws and regulations when employees are on the property. However, how can companies remain in compliance when employees are at home? After all, compliance still needs to be met no matter where the team member is.


Institute dedicated break times while employees are working from home. If your company has a collaboration tool like Slack, encourage the use of status updates to display when a team member is away. With all the icons available, employees can have some fun with how they choose to communicate their breaks. For example: 🍣 🏃 😴 🍔 🐕‍ 


Overtime laws and regulations vary from state to state, so please check with your legal counsel before rolling out hybrid work policies. That said, it is critical for companies to be aware of the laws and regulations in the state where the company is headquartered as well as have an understanding of the requirements in the states in which their employees live. 

Regardless of the specific guidelines, time cards need to be tracked to ensure all parties are within compliance. Some companies can follow digital receipts of when employees become active and inactive on Slack, send correspondence, and so on. Leaders should partner with individual team members to ensure work is appropriately paced within a regular day, individuals are signing off on time, and any overtime is requested in writing through the right channels.

Data Privacy

Distributed teams can present greater exposure to cyber threats. However, there are many accessible safety nets for distributed teams to leverage in order to protect themselves, their employees, and their clients. A managed service provider (MSP) specializing in cybersecurity is an invaluable resource to ensure team members aren’t inadvertently leaving a back door open for a black hat hacker to access sensitive data. Many companies already have access to an MSP, so this becomes less of a ‘resource-hunting expedition’ and more of a ‘using what you’ve already got’ exercise.

6. Assessing the organization’s culture

Company policy and culture can be two different things. When the day-to-day doesn’t match the shiny, aspirational mission statement, it can lead to a demoralizing environment. Managing a company’s reputation starts internally, so it’s important to actively live out company values and encourage leadership and team members to do the same. 

When trying to determine if a hybrid model is right for the team, decision-makers can think of the process from the perspective of the company culture, value set, and goals. Does a hybrid work environment allow the team to meet and exceed expectations? Will it allow and facilitate bigger and better ideas? Does it help retain stellar talent? 

When near-future and long-term goals require a big shift in daily operations, this can be an indication that a hybrid structure is right for your team.

7. Developing a plan for flexible work arrangements

If a hybrid work structure is in the company’s future, a plan should be developed that allows all questions and concerns to be addressed and teams to establish a transitional communication plan amongst themselves. In other words, they need to figure out how they will communicate and collaborate while this workplace evolution takes place. Additionally, they need to have all their questions answered in order to create minimal disruption during the transition.

Then there is the physical lift of going hybrid: packing up and moving equipment, files, and fiddle-leaf trees. The company may also need to consider extra equipment, logins, and the at-home office setup.

8. Measure success

Measuring success is a key piece of keeping goals on track for any organization. Consider what the OKRs and KPIs are for each team and establish a tracking system. In some cases, it may make sense to have the team themselves help with this as it creates buy-in and a feeling of ownership within their roles. With regular touchpoints from direct supervisors, most team members can feel seen and valued.

Alongside a scorecard, a mid and end-year survey can help leaders assess how their team members are feeling, how empowered they are to deliver on their goals, and what could be an opportunity for improvement. Leaders can also establish some kind of internal company feedback channel on Slack where employees can offer suggestions ranging from product and service to how to improve a cross-functional project kick-off meeting. 

How Industrious can help with the move to a hybrid workplace 

Going hybrid is easier with a great partner like Industrious. Industrious is the workplace solution for hybrid teams, equipped with all the amenities, tools, and tech that dynamic and forward-thinking companies need. These are spaces that wow teams and clients, inspiring your best work and biggest deals yet.

Check out Industrious’s shared workspaces as well as our fully furnished offices and suites that are ready to welcome individuals and organizations both large and small.