Hybrid Remote Work Arrangements: How Employees and Employers Can Make Partial Remote Work, Work

Photo by Tim van der Kuip on Unsplash

Photo by Tim van der Kuip on Unsplash

Have you ever typed in "remote work jobs near me?" on Google? If so, you aren't the only one. Remote work is getting some serious shine right now. Individuals are realizing the benefits and want to take advantage of them. From saving money on gas to experiencing greater work flexibility and balance, remote work has its perks.

However, what if a 100 percent remote work arrangement isn't your end game? What if you want to have the opportunity to work where you are most productive, but also want to take advantage of having access to a physical office. Well, you can have the best of both worlds in the form of a hybrid remote work arrangement. A hybrid remote team situation is excellent for those who don't want to jump into working remotely full-time. So, what exactly is a hybrid remote work arrangement? We cover that and more in the next section.

What is a Hybrid Remote Work Arrangement?

A hybrid remote work arrangement is where you work part of your time in an office, and the other at home, remotely. You get the opportunity to work where you feel the most comfortable, while also having a set space where you can meet team members.

For those thinking about typing "remote jobs near me" in Google, there are many benefits to pursuing a hybrid team arrangement:

Get the best of both worlds - Again, you get to have a set time to collaborate with your team, while also having the opportunity to be productive while working alone when you need to.

Being in the same time zone - Working across time zones can be a considerable challenge. By having a hybrid or remote job near you, you can ensure that you will be working with individuals who are in your time zone (except for those who may be working entirely offsite).

Avoid isolation - One of the toughest parts of working remotely is dealing with loneliness and little interaction with direct teammates. A hybrid team arrangement allows you to have time to socialize with team members.

Can meet with supervisors or team members to ask questions - For those who already work remotely, you know that you can hit a roadblock when you need a quick answer to a question from a coworker or supervisor. A hybrid team arrangement lets you have the time you need to meet with those you need to.

Can find a "remote job near you." - Asking yourself what "remote jobs are near me?" Well, a partial remote work arrangement may make it easier to make the case for remote work at a job you are interested in. Even if they don't offer it, they may be more apt to allow you to partially work remotely if you are open to a hybrid team arrangement and live close to the workspace.

How Can You Find a Remote Job Near You to Take Advantage of a Hybrid Remote Work Arrangement?

Finding a remote work job isn't easy. It can take a while to find a job, especially in a competitive market like this one. Nevertheless, it isn't impossible to find a hybrid remote work arrangement. You will need a mix of creativity, determination, and a willingness to connect with others to find a remote work position. So, if you are on the search for a job that will allow for a hybrid remote work situation, take a look at these tips that can help.

  • Ask your network to be on the lookout - Did you ever think that your personal and professional network is one of your best resources to find a hybrid remote work arrangement? This statement especially applies to those who are looking for a remote job in their local area. Your friends have family and friends they can reach out to about your remote job search. So, make sure you are letting people know what you are looking for, and the type of partial or full-remote work arrangement you are looking for.

  • Tailor your resume to remote opportunities - Before you even reach out to your network, make sure that you have a resume that is tailored to a distributed or location-independent position. Highlight any times where you have had to use virtual tools to communicate with coworkers, work outside of the office, or demonstrate characteristics common to remote workers. However, since you also want to have some time in the office, show how you have effectively physically collaborated with others as well.

  • Show that you can handle a hybrid arrangement - How can you do this before the interview? One of the best ways is through your cover letter. If you are directly applying for a hybrid remote work position, use it to discuss your past experiences in the cover letter. Talk about collaboration, any leadership roles you may have taken in these situations, your interactions with asynchronous and synchronous communications, and your routine discipline.

  • Use resources like Google and Angellist to find "Remote Jobs Near You" from companies offering a hybrid arrangement - Search engines and job search sites are your best friend here. If you are in marketing---and even if you aren't---you may have heard of the importance of keywords. The right keywords can help you find exactly what you need. This situation is especially true as you are in the process of finding a remote work job. Using keywords like "remote jobs near me," "[industry or sector name] remote jobs," "[city or state] remote work jobs," can help you find the remote positions in your local area. If you want to sharpen your search, use platforms like Angellist. This platform allows you to specifically search for remote jobs with startups in your immediate area.

  • Ask if everyone is onsite during the interview - Okay, so you've got the interview, but it is with a company that you aren't sure is offering a hybrid remote work arrangement. So, what do you do? One great way to do this is to subtly ask about whether all employees are onsite. You don't want to be the guinea pig, so be wary of companies that do not have any partial remote workers, or do not have a remote work policy established.

  • Negotiate for a hybrid arrangement - Only do this with a company that is open to a hybrid remote work arrangement. If some people are working offsite, or the employer expresses interest in offering it during the interview, see if you can negotiate for a favorable hybrid remote work arrangement. Whether it be an extra day, additional software, or the partial remote work arrangement itself, discuss what you want.

A hybrid remote work arrangement can offer the best work environment blend for those looking for more work flexibility. However, companies have to be equipped to create a workplace structure that allows a hybrid remote work arrangement to thrive. How can companies develop a great hybrid remote team work experience? Check out our suggestions in the next section.

How Companies Can Optimize The Hybrid Team Work Experience

Your next candidate may type in that "remote jobs near me" keyword phrase, but you want to be sure that your company is ready to support a flexible remote work situation. For those who are looking to set up these structures, take a look at these essential steps for developing a stable hybrid remote work arrangement.

Be Clear About Your Expectations

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

In some ways, handling a hybrid remote team situation can be even more challenging than a fully distributed work style. You have to establish expectations about each component of the arrangement. For example, are there set times when workers should be in the office? Also, do you have set days for individual remote workers to work at home or in the office? You need to make sure you have a hybrid remote work policy that addresses all aspects of your team's work environment. Be clear about what you expect, and make sure you have resources in place for team members to refer to these policies if needed.

Have the Right Tools

The tools you select should help you not only facilitate a hybrid remote work arrangement but also make distributed team activities efficient. This situation means that you need to look at your strategies and find tools that complement each one. This means investing in the following: 

  • Video conferencing

  • Project management

  • Team communication

  • Shared drives

  • Task delegation

  • And anything else that will streamline communication and collaboration between your hybrid team. 

You may find tools that have many of these capabilities. However, your goal is to find the one that best works for your office. Ensure that you are looking at tools that can facilitate in-house as well as out-of-office collaboration.

Offer it to All Employees

One of the most surefire ways you can create division in your workforce is to only offer remote work to certain people and positions. If you are going to establish a hybrid remote work arrangement, make it open to all professionals. If there are specific criteria a worker needs to meet before they are allowed to work remotely, make that clear. Also, make sure that the requirements are equitable and followed by all who want to work remotely partially.

Assess Employees Based on Their Results

Remote work and hybrid remote work arrangements require a different approach to leadership and assessing success. It mandates a transition from just looking at time spent in the office and worker output to accessing success based on actual results. This situation requires intentional goal-setting, feedback sessions, and performance reviews that focus on how well employees are meeting the goals you have set. You want them to focus on the work they are producing, not the number of hours they are spending in the office. However, you also want to encourage them to take opportunities to come into the office more if additional collaboration or face-to-face meetings are necessary.

Create Routine and Effective Meetings

Make routine meetings a practice. However, it is crucial to ensure they are not a constant disruption to those in and outside of the office. Here are a few ways you can make sure meetings are productive for your company:

  • Limit meetings to one hour at the most. If they need to go over, set up a time to meet again, or establish times to meet offline with those who are relevant to the topics.

  • Only involve those who are relevant. Does everyone need to be there? Determine the workers that have to be in the meeting. Also, if some workers are busy with other things, allow them to miss it if they need to, and develop ways for them to catch up later.

  • Create an agenda and distribute it ahead of time. Make sure that your team knows what is going to be discussed so team members can prepare the documents and data they need ahead of time. The more your team is prepared for the meeting, the better chance you all have to get through it efficiently while handling everything on the agenda at one time.

  • Make meetings open for employees onsite and offsite. Make the meeting accessible to workers who are outside of the office as well as those onsite. Ensure that all equipment is working correctly, and allow remote workers time to speak or catch up on information during the meetings in case there is technical lag.

Web developer, Ben, describes some of the issues he has experienced regarding hybrid team meetings

The biggest single challenge is that I'm not in the room. Conference calls where you're the only one on the phone listening to a room full of people talk about a project are the worst. I've been lucky enough to work with teams where these kinds of things were alleviated by putting everyone on a voice call, and I've been unlucky enough to be on the end of that call where you can only hear every 3rd word in the room.

 So, be sure that your team understands how to involve hybrid remote workers in meetings, and that you have the right equipment to support these interactions.

Meetings for hybrid teams can be times of establishing clarity and answering questions all staff may have. However, they can end up decreasing productivity if they are not used correctly. So, create a routine that works for your team. Also, if there are moments where you need the team to be present in the office for specific meetings, make that known. Be clear about what you expect concerning in-house meetings, and daily and weekly stand-up meetings, and have a routine and stick to it.

Use the Right Tool for the Right Messaging

Some conversations need to happen on the phone, while others should occur in-person. Identify what those are and guide your team in recognizing these instances. For example, if there is a conflict over whether one member of the team was supposed to handle something, and it has spilled out into a more heated situation, these individuals should probably meet in-person. Nevertheless, if communication is a non-urgent message about a project, then it would be better suited for an instant messaging app like Slack. Make sure you convey the purposes of these communication channels and help your team navigate which communication channels are better for specific situations.

Katerina, a team collaboration consultant, describes the importance of using the right tools to support hybrid remote work arrangements:

Just because you can't see someone doesn't mean they are not part of the team. Generally, hybrid teams should use an electronic communication medium that gives equal access to information and opportunities to all team members.

Set up Times Where Everyone Can be in The Same Place

Isolation is a crucial issue for those who work remotely full-time. Fortunately, a hybrid remote work arrangement makes it easier for those who partially work offsite to interact with other professionals. So, to help with this, have events that encourage people to come into the office. Establish lunch-and-learns, or set up "uninterrupted cowork" days where people can come in and work without distractions, so they can still be productive while working in an environment with others. Also, set up times so hybrid workers can come into the office to collaborate and get questions answered if they have them.

Scott, a UX designer, discusses the importance of having time for partial and even fully remote work team members to interact with onsite teams:

I visit the mothership often enough to know what the culture is like. What are people's commutes like? Where do they lunch? What is their working environment? What's the setup in the conference room where they're all huddled for our daily? Knowing these things helps me be a fuller social participant in our conversations.

Embrace Trust

When you hire someone, you should be confident in your ability to trust that person if they are working outside of the office. So, only hire individuals that you know you can trust to handle their work, whether they are in the office or at home. Look for people who have shown they can produce results in and outside of the office. Ask about their experiences working remotely, how they overcame challenges, and how they would handle certain scenarios that may arise related to a hybrid remote work arrangement. You want to ensure you can rely on whom you are hiring, so make sure you ask the right questions.

Hybrid Teams Can Benefit Employees and Employers

Photo by Luke Peters on Unsplash

Photo by Luke Peters on Unsplash

A hybrid remote work situation can give employees and employers the best of both worlds. It provides the ultimate way to blend an optimal productivity situation with opportunities for collaboration. However, it is crucial that as a potential employee, you understand the pros and cons. As an employer, it is crucial that you develop a clear strategy to ensure a hybrid remote work arrangement creates an optimal work environment.

Also, if you are a business owner thinking of taking on a full or even partial remote work environment, it is essential to understand that the entire structure of your business has to change:

Laurel, a remote work consultant, highlights this in her interview:

Most companies that transition to a remote model assume that only the geographic location of the team will change. But in reality, all tools, collaboration techniques, workflow processes, and even management styles will be impacted. If the correct measures are taken, the effect of changing will only be positive, but if not, there seem to be three common 'killers' of remote work that appear: isolation, burnout, and micromanagement.

For those who are thinking of making the switch to a remote work arrangement, take a look at our interviews for more insights.

If you are a worker looking for a hybrid or fully remote job, take a look at our RemoteHabits job search site for help.

For remote job seekers, we wish you the best in your search. For employers looking to offer a hybrid remote work arrangement, we hope the tips above help you to establish a system that attracts the best talent and improves productivity.

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Posted on March 17, 2020
in Uncategorized

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