Hybrid Work Models – The 3 Primary Types

Most companies will adopt a hybrid work model when they return to the office, but every organization won’t choose the same one. Why? Because the model that a company selects is influenced by many factors – what the company does, and its cultural and spatial priorities. With this said, most models can be categorized into one of three primary types, which we’ve briefly described below:

  • A Centralized Hybrid Work Model is one where all decision-making power lies with the leadership team. This group mandates how many days per week employees must come into the office and what those days will be. This model, however, can take many forms. A company can, for example, require all employees to come into the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, or alternatively, ask some teams to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and others, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The permutations are limitless, but they’re always driven by the people at the top.

  • In a Decentralized Hybrid Work Model, significant decision-making power is shifted from the leadership team to middle managers. Leadership might, for example, assign a certain number of seats to each team and ask managers to decide how they would like those seats to be filled. Managers, then, might assign some seats to employees that they require to come in daily, or make all desks shared, and ask all employees to come in just a couple of days per week. How they choose to use the seats that they’ve been handed is left up to their discretion and what they deem to be best for their teams.

  • Finally, a Blended Hybrid Work Model lies somewhere in between a centralized and a decentralized one. In this model, leadership sets clear parameters that middle managers are expected to operate within. Leadership might state that employees must come into the office three days per week, with one of those days being a Monday or Friday, and then empower managers to select the other 2 days in which they’d like their employees to be in-office.

To gain a better understanding of the above, take a look at the diagram below:

No one model is better than the rest

The “best” hybrid work model is the one that’s best for your specific organization. The model that you select should align with what your company does, your culture, and your spatial priorities. Additionally, for it to work, it’s important that you clearly communicate its selection to your employees, and that you transform your workplace to support it.

coDesign has been using workplace strategy to help companies determine which work model they should choose. Additionally, our designers and project managers have been helping organizations build out spaces that will enable them to thrive under their new operational style. For assistance with your return-to-office and transition to hybrid working, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We are always here to help!

Interested in reading more about hybrid working and returning to the office? Check out the following: