Working styles like the hybrid, flexible, and agile models are changing the post-pandemic workplace. Find out the differences between each one in this guide.
As businesses move forward and adjust to the new normal, work structures also change. When the pandemic hit in 2020, it forced most businesses to close down their on-site operations and move to a remote workplaces if they could. Some companies flourished, while others found it challenging to adapt.
Many have realized the benefits and conveniences of remote working. They have modified their office functions to hybrid, flexible, or agile working models. You may notice that some businesses don’t have specified clock-in times anymore, or theysupport remote employees by giving them the freedom to either work on-site or at home.
These types of working models are revolutionizing the workplace. But, what is the difference between hybrid, flexible, and agile working? How can you adapt them to your business? Find out in the guide below.
Overview of the Difference
The terms hybrid, flexible, and agile working are often used interchangeably. However, there are specific differences that set them apart. Here’s a quick overview:
Hybrid - It’s a combination of office-based and remote work. Hybrid working refers to where you’re working or the workplace environment.
Flexible - It’s the working hours of the employee and how it doesn’t strictly have to be 9-5. Flexible working refers to when you work to achieve a work-life balance.
Agile - It allows employees to work with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints. Agile working mostly refers to how the business optimizes its workers to do their best work.
What is Hybrid Working?
A hybrid working model gives employees the option to work remotely or in-office. There are benefits to both setups. Some workers perform best collaborating with teams in-person, while others are comfortable doing their tasks alone. With this model, organizations can satisfy both types of employees. It’s also a great in-between solution for those still wary of transitioning to full remote or on-site work.
While hybrid working is ideal for office workers, it may not be the best setup for 50% of the workforce. They are the deskless or frontline workers on location for most days. For these employees, hybrid working may not be the best model.
Technology and the Hybrid Workspace
With hybrid working, everyone must do the work needed regardless of location. This means that technology will play a significant role. Communication and collaboration platforms must be accessible to all. Workers should easily join meetings, whether they’re held virtually or in person.
A hybrid office can reduce a company’s space requirements as not everyone will work on-site. It’s best to incorporate hot desks or a desk booking system to ensure employees have places to work once they come into the office. There should also be spaces or rooms where workers can hold video meetings with remote colleagues, clients, or outsourced teams.
What is Flexible Working?
In general, the flexible model refers to flexitime or flexible working hours. However, some companies adopt flexible working to integrate remote working. The model can cover the work-from-home setup, part-time working, and job sharing.
The Flexible Workspace and Working Hours
The flexible workspace is similar to a hybrid one since it can cater to on-site and remote employees. The company can have traditional desks and large meeting rooms for virtual meet-ups. You need to have a space where teams can work together.
With the flexible working model, employees aren’t required to come to work from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM. There are different approaches to flexible working hours:
Flexitime - There’s a set number of hours per week. It doesn’t matter when employees start or finish their workday, just as long they meet the required weekly hours.
Four-day week - Businesses don’t need to work five days a week to maintain productivity. Major companies like Panasonic started to adopt a three-day weekend this year. So far, they observed that teams were happier and gained 40% in productivity.
Work done - Working hours aren’t tracked as long as employees get the job done.
What is Agile Working?
Agile working is a model that focuses on employee performance and productivity. It doesn’t matter where or when teams work; the business pays more attention to what they achieve and how well they perform. It brings people, technology, and processes together by finding the most effective ways to carry out a task.
With this model, the team works within the guidelines of the job but without boundaries, opening up the work structure to flexibility. Some features of agile working include:
Flexible working conditions - The company can offer unlimited days off, remote work, and flexible hours.
Fluidity in job roles - Employees can work on varied and interesting projects beyond their job title.
Prioritization of speed - Because there aren’t any formal rules and job role limitations under agile working, more people can complete tasks quickly as they work in their preferred way and feel empowered to do their best.
The Agile Workspace and Its Benefits
Agile offices should be designed to foster efficiency. By creating a dynamic work environment, employees can stay alert and engaged. There should be spaces to focus, collaborate, and connect with remote colleagues. The company can remove dedicated desks and incorporate hot desking to do this.
By applying agile working to your business, you can increase productivity, improve job satisfaction, build up employee freedom, and reduce operating costs since there’s better space management. An agile workplace encourages organizations to trust their employees, which will create a strong bond within teams.
Join the Future of Work
As times changes, companies should adapt to and go beyond the needs of their employees. For desk jobs, a traditional 40-hour, in-person workweek is no longer the standard. Businesses are implementing hybrid, flexible, or agile working models. It’s also proven to increase productivity as workers feel more in control of their jobs.
If you’d like to incorporate these working styles into your organization, you should consider your options and create a strategy that you think will work best.
Author Bio: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is dedicated to providing powerful solutions for your HR teams and creating an exceptional employee experience. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, onboarding, and to save you valuable time!