10 Principles of Successful Hybrid Working

working from home

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced employers and employees to reevaluate how we work. For many, the traditional 9-5 work day in an office is no longer feasible or desirable. Instead, a hybrid working policy of working from home part-time and in the office part-time has become the new way of working

But making this model work successfully is more complex than just splitting your time evenly between the two. Here are some principles of hybrid working you should follow to make hybrid working a success for you and your employees.

The 10 principles of hybrid working

1. Define the purpose of hybrid working

The first step to successful hybrid working is to plan purposefully. You need to decide what percentage of time each employee will spend in and out of the office and clearly understand why you are making that decision. 

For example, if you have an employee struggling with focus at home, it might make sense to have them come into the office more often. Or if you have an employee whose child’s school schedule doesn’t allow for a full work-from-the-office day, you might decide they should come in for a partial day. Whatever your decision is, make sure it aligns with your company’s goals and values.

2. Trust your people

If hybrid working is to be successful, employers need to trust their employees to work effectively both in the office and out of it. This can be difficult to achieve, particularly if employees have previously worked in the office full-time. You might think that using surveillance software is a way forward. However, employees often see this as a step too far and can damage morale. It can also lead to a feeling of mistrust and paranoia, which is counterproductive to the goal of hybrid living. Therefore, it is better to focus on building trust through other means, such as clear communication and regular check-ins.

3. Create flexibility

While having a plan for how each employee will spend their time, it’s also important to create flexibility within that plan. Things change, schedules shift, and life happens. Employees may need to adjust their days or weeks depending on what’s going on in their personal lives; this does not mean they are any less dedicated to the job than that person who is available anytime you need them. 

As an employer, it’s important to be understanding and accommodating when these requests come up. The goal is to create a system that works for both the employer and the employee, so be open to making changes as needed.

4. Encourage your remote workers to leave the house

For hybrid workers struggling to adjust, it may be helpful to encourage them to take some time out of the house. This could involve going for a walk during lunchtime or working from a coffee shop. By getting out of the house, hybrid workers can help to improve their focus and productivity. In addition, they can also enjoy the social benefits of interacting with other people and enjoying the fresh air. 

5. Encourage communication and collaboration

One of the most important things you can do when implementing a hybrid working model is to communicate regularly with your team. This means setting aside time for regular check-ins, whether that’s daily catch-ups, weekly one-on-ones or monthly team meetings. This is an excellent way to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding deadlines, expectations, and deliverables. It’s also a good opportunity for employees to raise any concerns or questions about how things are going. 

Some important things to find out from your employees are:

  • What work do they do best when working from home/independently
  • What work do they feel is better done collaboratively or in person
  • The pros and cons of working together online vs in person
  • If they feel connected to the rest of their team
  • If they feel part of the company and its culture
  • The times they think they have created exceptional work or value for their customers/clients. 


Related Reading: The Hybrid Working Model: What Is It and Can It Work?

6. Set clear guidelines and expectations 

As with any new system or process, it’s important to set clear guidelines and expectations for employees working in a hybrid environment. What hours are they expected to be available at home? How often should they check in with their supervisors? When are they coming into the office to work, and why? Setting these parameters from the outset can help avoid any confusion or frustration down the line.

This is especially important if you are making your office space agile to accommodate hybrid working, as you won’t want all of your staff turning up on the same day and not having a workspace to use. By introducing a flexible desk booking system, your team can ensure they have a workspace (or even car parking space)  to use when they come into the office, plus you can monitor who is coming in and when.

It’s also important to remind your family and friends that while you may be at home, you are working and that they should respect that you can’t be disturbed unless it’s something urgent. 

7. Take advantage of technology 

Technology can be a huge asset in making hybrid working arrangements successful. Many different tools and platforms can help with tasks such as time tracking, file sharing, and task management. By taking advantage of these tools, you can ensure that your remote employees have everything they need to be productive even when they’re not in the office. 

According to a 2022 study by Gallup on the advantages and challenges of hybrid working, 35% of respondents said that lack of access to work resources and equipment was the most negative aspect of remote working. So to make hybrid working arrangements successful, employers should invest in their employees by providing them with smart office solutions, up-to-date computers, ergonomic chairs and decent audio equipment that they can use from home. 

It is also vital to ensure your remote staff are educated on cybersecurity risks, such as ensuring their devices are secured and teaching them how to set up a VPN and strong passwords. You should also advise how best to set up a proper workstation at home. By taking these steps, employers can ensure that their hybrid working model is secure, successful and sustainable.

Related Reading: A Guide to Remote Work Cyber Security for Hybrid Teams

8. Experiment, reflect and learn

Hybrid working can also be challenging, and hybrid workers must experiment, reflect and learn to make the most of this type of working arrangement. One way to encourage hybrid workers to experiment is to allow them to try new things and explore different ways of working. This could involve letting them work from other locations or giving them a chance to try out new technologies. 

Reflecting on their experiences is also crucial, as it helps hybrid workers identify what works well for them and what doesn’t. What does their ideal day look like? Are they more productive at 5 am or 8 pm? Would the freedom to have an afternoon nap every day be a dream come true? Finally, hybrid workers must be willing to learn from their mistakes and continue adapting their approach as they gain more experience. 

9. Stop measuring productivity in terms of hours

The traditional way of thinking about work is to measure it in terms of hours. You work for X number of hours per week, and you are expected to get X amount of work done in that time. However, this thinking is outdated and no longer relevant in the modern world. 

With the rise of hybrid working arrangements, it is no longer possible to neatly divide work and personal time. Instead, we need to start measuring work in terms of output. As long as an employee is engaged and able to complete their assigned tasks and meet their deadlines, it doesn’t matter how or when they do it. This shift in thinking will help to create a more flexible and successful workforce.

10. Show your people how it’s done

A hybrid work model can be successful if the right behaviours are role modelled at the top. What are some of these hybrid working behaviours? For one, respecting others’ time and space is key. In-person interactions should be thoughtful and deliberate, focusing on hybrid team members’ needs. If you want to send an email at midnight, that’s fine, but make it clear that you don’t expect your colleagues to do the same. 

Second, hybrid workers should over-communicate rather than under-communicate. This means being clear and concise in written and verbal communications and using video conferencing technologies when face-to-face interactions aren’t possible. Finally, hybrid workers should be flexible and adaptable, willing to change their approach as the hybrid working model evolves. 

Related Reading: What Is an Open-Door Policy and Why Do Workers Want It

Hybrid working can be a great way to provide employees with more flexibility while still maintaining productivity levels. Follow these principles of hybrid working, and you’ll be well on your way to making hybrid working work for you and your team.


Be sure to follow the Cloudbooking blog to get more insights on how to support employee work-life balance in your organisation. If you need a solution to help you create an efficient, flexible or hybrid working environment with smart office capabilities, get in touch with the Cloudbooking team. Schedule an obligation-free demo to learn how our workspace management platform works. 


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