The workplace is transforming. Hybrid work, a combination of in-office and remote working, is set to eclipse the traditional 9-5 in-office work week.

The 2020 shutdown forced workers to clock in remotely, highlighting the benefits of working at home for some while bringing to light multiple challenges like juggling childcare, collaborating remotely, and managing burnout.

Without a doubt, there’s still a lot to learn about how to improve the future of work as a more productive and inclusive environment for all. Companies and employees alike seem poised to take up this challenge and make the leap. More than half (52%) of employees prefer a hybrid work model and a recent Mckinsey report found that nine out of ten organizations will be combining remote and in-office work in the future.

And for organizations who aren’t ready to make the jump? Bloomberg reports that 39% of professionals would consider quitting their roles if their organization did not offer flexibility around remote work. And of millennials, who make up the largest generation in the labor force (35%) and Gen Z, that figure bumped up to 49%, a strong indication that younger generations are willing to look elsewhere for work flexibility.

So how do you prepare for the hybrid future? We’ll give you the rundown of what hybrid work is and the advantages of flexible work, examples of a hybrid work model, and tips on how enterprise video tools can power and connect your hybrid team wherever and whenever they work.

Let’s dive in!

What is hybrid work?

Hybrid work is a type of flexible environment that combines in-office working and remote working for employees. It stands apart from remote-first or office-first environments where teams are either completely dispersed or together in a dedicated workspace. Video, project management tools, and other resources help connect hybrid employees so they share a digital workspace.

However, the term “hybrid work” comes with variations. Organizations may choose to have teams work fully remote while some work fully in-office while other organizations may choose to build a workweek that combines both remote and in-office work. 

Many companies have already laid out plans for a hybrid work environment. Flexible work environments empower employees to choose where they can deliver their best work. It also benefits companies by expanding the potential talent pool while helping to reduce some carbon emissions.

How to build a hybrid work model for your organization

There is no standard hybrid work model for organizations to implement. This gives each company a chance to build and refine a customized plan based on goals, resources, and employee input.

For organizations that haven’t considered or communicated their plans, it’s helpful to start with a goal for hybrid work. The goal of a hybrid work model is to allow employees to choose where and when they work best, recruit and retain talent, foster creativity and collaboration across teams, and maintain the health, safety, and equity of individual employees.

So how do you build a hybrid work model? There are three considerations organizations should keep top of mind as they roll out a hybrid plan: virtual workspaces, physical workspaces, and employee equity and experience. Let’s break down those components below:

Invest in a virtual workspace

First, organizations will need to evaluate technology to help digitally connect their in-person and remote teams. A video-first workspace will be imperative for building connections across the hybrid organization.

It’s important to note that Zoom fatigue and employee burnout are constant challenges that plague knowledge workers in a remote world. That’s why it’s important to arm employees with the right tools to do both collaborative work and focused, individual work.

Video will be a key component for a lot of touch points in the hybrid environment including: collaborative work managed in real-time or async, executive communications, training and onboarding, internal and external events, as well as how client facing teams will communicate with customers. We’ll dive into a few examples of how video can power your hybrid workforce in-depth later in this article.

Also look to point-solutions and tools time management and productivity, project management, file or digital asset management, and communication tools. For more details, check out our top tools for remote work.

Consider your physical workspace

Second, organizations will want to consider the physical office space. In a hybrid world, only a percentage of employees will be together in a physical space at any given time. This means offices have an important role in fostering collaboration and creativity. In addition, offices should provide spaces that are inclusive for both in-office and remote employees who connect through video.

To start, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Should employees come together to a headquarters or main office that has an assigned desk for each employee?
  • Should employees have the option to come to smaller micro-offices or “touchdown spaces” where workspaces are booked in advance?
  • Should organizations invest in local offices or coworking spaces across the world to make it easier for teams to collaborate?

Organizations can consider one type of physical workspace or a combination of spaces depending on the size and requirements for work.

Design for employee equity and experience

An equitable workplace in a hybrid or remote-first world will require tools to allow employees to thrive in a digital space. To do this, organizations will need to rethink how to attract, hire, engage, and retain employees.

To kickstart the conversation around employee equity in a hybrid world, organizations should consider:

  • How do you provide in-person and remote training and development for employees?
  • What resources do managers need to keep distributed teams productive and engaged while also providing opportunities for growth?
  • How can in-office spaces be designed for collaboration between in-person and remote employees?
  • What hiring practices can help attract and retain diverse talent?
  • What resources or programs can support employee wellness and health?
  • Do you have employee resource groups or employee community groups to advocate and support employee experiences and help voice their concerns?

6 ways to leverage video to connect a hybrid workforce

Hybrid work is an exercise in constant learning and refinement as organizations experiment, calibrate, and adapt to foster collaboration and productivity. As companies start to roll out and refine strategies, video will be key for hybrid success. Check out ways you can start using video to power every hybrid employee.

1. Provide full onboarding resources with an internal video library

An internal video library can help teams streamline communication and centralize important knowledge. A central knowledge base is critical not only for current employees but for new hires who need to train and skill-up for success in a hybrid and remote world.

Make sure you have the resources to produce training live and on-demand for easy employee access. Blend on-demand training videos with in-person and live working sessions to help new hires absorb information and get help from senior team members.

The go-to guide for virtual trainings

Discover how to build a great onboarding and remote team experience with video.

2. Celebrate employee milestones with video

Whether you’re welcoming a new hire or celebrating a team win — video is a perfect way to connect. We’ve got a couple examples of how to use Vimeo Create to celebrate a milestone.

Welcome a new hire

Bring in all the good energy for an employee’s first day with a personalized welcome video. Customize the agenda for the day so your new employee knows what to expect!

Here’s an example of a new hire first-day training template:

Spotlight departments, teams, and employees

Teams and employees are working hard to bring projects to fruition. Use video to spotlight their great work and thank them for all their contributions.

Here’s an example of a team appreciation video template:

3. Master the art of asynchronous communication

Asynchronous communication can help distributed teams collaborate and complete projects without the need for real-time communication. Leverage tools like Vimeo record, Slack, or Asana (just to name a few) to help teams meet asynchronously.

Here are three examples of how to power hybrid communication with video:

  • Try sending a screen record to asynchronously share Google or PowerPoint presentations, project kickoffs, or share a product demo to your internal team in lieu of scheduling a meeting.
  • Need eyes on an important email? Leverage video email to engage employees while distilling important information.
  • Host important video content in folders based on teams, projects, or topics for easy access.

4. Connect with employees using a live streaming town hall or all-hands meeting

Employee engagement can be especially difficult to sustain in a remote environment. Executives and communications team should consider live streaming video to connect with employees and communicate company-wide updates, spotlight projects, and recognize employees for their work.

How do I create a live streaming town hall?

Discover how Rite Aid built a video-first communication strategy for their virtual town halls.

5. Organize calendars for collaboration and deep-work

Time management is key to a productive and sustainable work environment. Encourage employees to build a schedule that offers time for video meetings and calls, in-person collaboration and team building, and quiet focus time. For larger internal events where multiple employees converge, like a sales kick off, virtual event, or summit, consider how to bring the team together for a hybrid event experience.

6. Stay flexible and focus on impact

A successful hybrid work environment can empower employees to choose when and where they do their best work, provide more opportunities to attract and recruit talent, and prioritize a healthy and safe working environment. However, it’s important to note that hybrid isn’t a one-size-fits all solution.

Each organization will need to implement and refine their hybrid strategy with clear goals and the openness for change. As Cal Newport mentioned in his recent New Yorker article, “the very definition of “work” itself, moving it away from surveillance and visible busyness, and toward defined outcomes and trust.” To make hybrid work, organizations will need to focus on how to empower employees to deliver outcomes wherever they plan to work.

Wrap up: the future of work with video

Hybrid work represents a substantial shift in the daily work paradigm. By adopting a blend of digital and physical spaces, investing in video, implementing nuanced hiring and employee engagement programs, leaders can embark confidently in uncharted territory.

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