Hybrid work has had a massive — and arguably unexpected — positive impact on many organizations and employees alike. But it also presents new and unprecedented challenges when it comes to handling your hybrid team’s in-office schedule.
With many employees juggling between working from home and coming into the office, it can be difficult to create a schedule that meets everyone’s needs and ensures adequate space and resources are available when they’re needed.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- Strategies for creating a hybrid work schedule
- How to decide which employees come to the office, when, and why
- Tools for managing hybrid team schedules
- How flexible work spaces optimize hybrid work
Here’s what you need to know.
Strategies for creating a hybrid work schedule
The first step in creating a functional hybrid work schedule–one that’s clear, effective, and creates efficiencies rather than issues–is to build a framework that encompasses how it all will work.
This starts with finding the right strategy. Here are a few to consider.
Hybrid work schedule strategy #1: Rotating schedules
One option is to rotate which employees come into the office on different days. For example, one group of employees might come into the office on Monday and Wednesday, while another group comes in on Tuesday and Thursday.
This is optimal for:
- Collaboration: If the team needs to collaborate frequently and in-person communication is essential, a rotating schedule can be beneficial. Team members can work remotely on days when they don’t need to be in the office and come into the office on other days when they need to work together in person.
- Flexibility: If the team’s work is not time-sensitive or dependent on specific office hours, rotating schedules can offer more flexibility to team members. For example, some team members may prefer to work from home on certain days of the week to accommodate personal or family commitments.
- Reduced office capacity: Reduced office capacity: Rotating schedules can be useful when office capacity is limited due to space constraints or health and safety measures. By rotating schedules, team members can take turns coming into the office, reducing the number of people in the workspace at any given time.
- Cost savings: If the team is distributed across different locations or time zones, rotating schedules can help reduce costs associated with travel and accommodation. For example, team members can rotate schedules to ensure that at least one team member is available during a specific time zone, reducing the need for frequent travel.
Hybrid work schedule strategy #2: Staggered schedules
Rather than rotating schedules by days of the week, this strategy involves staggering start and end times for employees.
For example, some employees might start work at 8:00 a.m. and finish at 12:00 p.m., while others might start at 12:00 p.m. and finish at 5:00 p.m.
Staggered schedules are ideal for:
- Time-sensitive work: If the team’s work is time-sensitive and requires a certain level of coverage during specific hours of the day, staggered schedules can be useful. Team members can stagger their schedules to ensure that someone is available to respond to urgent issues or emergencies.
- Client-facing roles: If the team has client-facing roles, staggered schedules can provide better coverage to clients across different time zones. For example, team members can stagger their schedules to cover different parts of the day, ensuring that clients are always able to get in touch with someone.
- Reduced office capacity: Staggered schedules can be useful when office capacity is limited due to space constraints or health and safety measures. By staggering schedules, team members can take turns coming into the office, reducing the number of people in the workspace at any given time.
- Flexibility: Staggered schedules can provide more flexibility to team members who have personal or family commitments that require them to adjust their work hours. For example, team members can stagger their schedules to accommodate childcare needs or other personal responsibilities.
- Reduced commute times: Staggered schedules can help team members reduce their commute times, which can improve work-life balance and reduce stress. For example, team members can stagger their schedules to avoid rush hour traffic.
Hybrid work schedule strategy #3: As-needed scheduling
If your employees can all work freely from wherever they are, your office might simply be somewhere that they can come if and when they want or need to.
How to decide who comes to the office, when, and why
Once you’ve decided on the best hybrid work scheduling strategy to use, the next step is to decide who will be in the office, when, and why.
Generally, this can be determined by:
- Job duties and daily needs: Some employees may need to be in the office to perform their work while others may be able to work effectively from home.
- Communication needs: Employees who need to communicate frequently with colleagues or clients may benefit from being in the office as it provides them with access to professional meeting spaces and the opportunity to connect with their peers in real-time.
- Personal preferences: Some employees may prefer to work from home, while others may prefer to be in the office. Hybrid offices with flexible schedules allow employees to get the most out of their days by working when, where, and how it suits them best.
Depending on your organization’s specific situation, you can decide to mandate time in the office or make it a place where people can come on their own terms.
Tools for managing hybrid team schedules
If you’re going to allow employees to choose when they work from the office, make sure to have scheduling software in place and be clear with employees about how to use it.
Having tools that help manage desk and meeting room bookings will ensure you avoid an overcrowded workspace on any given day.
How flexible work spaces optimize hybrid work
Flexible office spaces present an innovative solution for hybrid teams and organizations alike on account of five main benefits.
Rather than maintaining an inflexible long-term lease on a large-scale office space that rarely has full occupancy, having a flexible office space allows you to lease a smaller workspace that accommodates a portion of your full team, all on flexible terms.
This means that, rather than having an office for a full team of 50 people that only ever reaches 50% occupancy, you can have a smaller workspace for 25 people that often reaches 100% occupancy–all at a significantly lower price than a traditional office lease.
Flexible office spaces provide a place where employees can come together and collaborate in person. This can be especially important for projects that require a high degree of teamwork and communication.
Instead of having a large office with your own conference spaces, flexible office spaces offer on-demand meeting spaces that you can use when your team needs a professional setting in which to meet with clients, colleagues, or partners–without paying for that space when it’s not in use.
Access to resources
Remote workers often need–but rarely have access to–resources like printers and scanners. Flexible office spaces are a turnkey solution that offers employees every imaginable essential for their workdays.
Isolation is one of the biggest challenges for remote workers, and flexible workspaces help mitigate this. Even if there are only a few employees in your workspace at once, there are communal areas and a professional community within your flexible office space that provide people with essential human connections.
Hybrid work is becoming increasingly prominent in the modern professional landscape. And it can be incredibly beneficial to both businesses and employees alike.
But in order for it to run smoothly, it’s essential to be strategic in how you manage your hybrid team’s in-office schedule.
If you’re in search of a flexible office space for your team to call home, book a tour of your nearest iQ Offices location today.
Kane Willmott is the co-founder and CEO of iQ Offices, the largest independent Canadian-owned co-working operator with offices in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. iQ Offices provides beautiful office spaces with safety, service, privacy and design at the forefront.