Hybrid work is commonly thought of as employees who work in an office, in the field or at home. That definition has taken hold thanks to the pandemic and the sudden change in the way people work. But the hybrid work model is more than just remote or distributed teams.
Project management software has proven key in supporting people who work from home. However, there is so much more it can do in terms of providing tools to work the way you want, no matter if you’re an executive or team member. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What Is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work refers to a work schedule where employees divide their time between working in an office and working at home. Before the pandemic, the term distributed teams referred to this hybrid work model.
Hybrid work is a flexible term, though. Another definition is the use of different methodologies to achieve modern project goals. There are traditional methods such as waterfall methodology, and more flexible, agile approaches. Hybrid work combines these two different ways of working.
Think of a project which involves multiple departments of a company. Developers might be engineering a new software product, while marketing figures out how to advertise it to their target market. These two distinct disciplines often speak in different languages. However, they need to communicate and work together; hence, the hybrid work model.
Hybrid work, then, can be teams that are spread out across time zones, teams that use different tools to get their work done and even teams that connect seasoned professionals with beginners. Whatever definition fits your organization’s way of working in a hybrid model, you need to provide them with a framework to collaborate and work together better.
What Is a Hybrid Work Model?
The hybrid model refers to teams that are distributed across many locations, with varying skill sets and different tools. The model lets teams stay productive by taking techniques from different methodologies.
Managers and teams can take from the methodology that best suits their habits and needs. For example, a manager that likes the structure of the waterfall method can work on detailed Gantt charts, while teams who prefer a more agile approach can use kanban boards to prioritize and collaborate.
The beauty of hybrid project management is that it finds the connection between different work methods so that they can work together. This proved especially useful during the pandemic. Organizations that adopted a hybrid work model were able to maintain business operations, while industries that were unable or unwilling to suffered economic consequences.
Hybrid work requires hybrid work management software. ProjectManager is a cloud-based tool that gives you real-time data on your work no matter where you are. Share documents and comment on tasks. Get notified by email or in the tool. Organize your work on a task list and see its status. Try ProjectManager for free today.
Benefits of the Hybrid Work Model
The hybrid work model is supported by organizations for a number of reasons. It gives teams autonomy and flexibility, which fosters high performance. It also encourages collaboration, positive work relationships and effective work habits.
Another reason that hybrid work is becoming popular is that it suits our global economy. Projects are incorporating people from all over the globe. Teams are working in more flexible, iterative ways, while managers and stakeholders are more wedded to traditional methods of planning. The hybrid work model was organically developed in response to the growing complexity of the working environment.
The hybrid work model lifts both the business and its employees. The flexibility of the model allows for greater retention of workers. When you’ve trained somebody or hired a talented new worker, the hybrid work model might help keep them around. The work-life balance, for certain workers, can improve the morale of your workforce.
There’s the bottom line to think about as well. Having a hybrid work model means lowering expenses for high-ticket items such as office space. While you should still contribute to office supplies, the savings will still be reflected in your books.
Hybrid work also opens up the pool of talent you can attract to the job. If you’re no longer requiring that someone sit at a desk, your radius for a job search has just expanded greatly. This makes your organization more competitive, in that it can reach potential employees who would have been outside your grasp.
Types of Hybrid Work Model Structures
There are multiple types of hybrid work. Employing the hybrid model can be just as broad as the term’s definition. If you’re looking to set up a hybrid work model in your business, here are five ways to do so.
Here, the office remains the focal point of business. Employees are required to come to work as usual, but not every day. They can talk to their managers and figure out days when they can do their work from home or another location. They can also negotiate their hours. There is an office philosophy that believes people need to work physically together to increase creativity and productivity. This structure allows for that while providing some flexibility.
This structure puts the employee in the decision-making position when it comes to where they’d like to work. They can work in the office if the company still has office space, or they can work from another location. They can also create a schedule where they come into the office on specific days. The power here is in the hands of the employee because the employer believes that this freedom fosters greater productivity, collaboration and morale.
The opportunity to work from home or another location is on the table here, but when is not freely chosen by the employee. There can be work-from-home days, but only on specific days chosen by the business. The organization might allow a percentage of its workforce to work exclusively from home, but again this is the business’s decision. It allows for companies to widen the talent pool while remaining more traditionally focused.
Some companies are developing a hybrid remote office mode that is like a menu of items that the employee can choose from. There is a remote option, a flexible work option, such as dividing up time between the office and another location, and the old-fashioned office option. This option gives employers more control over the work environment but can lead to issues of equity if some feel others are taking advantage of the situation.
Remote By Default
Now we’ve come to the option that doesn’t have an office or the office space is created secondary. The company is set up for all its workers to be remote. That means the business has built an operational structure that directs its processes, systems and culture around its remote staff as opposed to the traditional office worker. The pros are that everyone is in the same boat, whether an executive or a new employee. But it can be difficult to develop a sense of community.
How to Make the Hybrid Work Model Work For You
If hybrid work is a model your organization wants to pursue, then you need to decide on which of the above five structures is most suitable to your business needs. But that’s only the start. You’ve created the framework, now you have to fit everyone in it.
A hybrid work model needs flexible tools that provide transparency, foster collaboration and give everyone what they need to boost productivity. Clear communication is hard enough when you’re working in the same office; it becomes exponentially more difficult when teams are working remotely.
Without software that connects teams in real time, hybrid work will never succeed. Once you’ve made the decision to go with some manner of hybrid work model, be sure to equip your teams with work management software that lets them deliver on the promise of hybrid work.
How ProjectManager Is Built for the Hybrid Model
ProjectManager is hybrid software that can be used for structured or agile projects. Hybrid teams can use multiple project views to work how they want, on a collaborative platform that connects everyone with the most up-to-date data they need to work better together.
Plan Your Work on Gantt Charts
Work management begins with a plan. Those who prefer to chart everything out before starting a project can use ProjectManager’s interactive Gantt chart, which organizes tasks, links dependencies and shows all the work on one timeline. More than most Gantt tools, you can also filter for the critical path and set a baseline to track project variance to keep you on track.
Go Agile on Kanban Boards
Agile teams prefer the more iterative approach of kanban boards, which visualize workflow, letting teams manage their backlog and collaboratively plan sprints. Managers get transparency into the work and can clear bottlenecks to keep teams working at capacity.
Monitor, Track and Report on Progress
But how do you gain visibility into progress and performance when working with hybrid teams? Live dashboards collect project data and automatically calculate that information into easy-to-read charts and graphs that track time, costs and much more. One-click reports go into even greater depth and can be filtered to share just the data stakeholders need to stay updated.
ProjectManager is award-winning software that organizes work for greater productivity. Real-time data gives you greater insight into decision-making, connects hybrid teams and facilitates better collaboration. Plus, you get resource management tools, timesheets and more. Try ProjectManager for free today.