The future of work is hybrid

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

Hrishikesh Pardeshi

Google is joining other giant tech companies shifting towards a more permanent work from home setup.

It is reconfiguring its offices to become a place for "on-sites",  which are days where employees come together.

Who would've imagined remote work becomes the norm eh?

Here's what our users had to say:

  • Hrishikesh Pardeshi said "Thanks for sharing this Hanadi. I am seeing a lot of articles talk about how hybrid models are the way to move forward and most companies are embracing this now. However, I still believe hybrid should always be a transitionary phase where you have the ultimate goal to go fully remote. Although, in this particular article, Sundar Pichai talks about using offices only for 'on-sites' rather than the typical hybrid of x days/wk remote + y days/wk in office. This doesn't technically classify as a hybrid model, so it might still work great (although I doubt if & how soon Google will implement this). For large companies like Google or FB, if some teams or groups (entirely) are fully remote while others are in-office, that might still be a sustainable long-term structure. The problem arises when you have some members of the same team or group work remotely while others in-office. Nevertheless, this is an interesting experiement and we've never observed hybrid remote work at such large scale. Who knows, it might actually work. @Borisov91 @nancy @jon-550 @charley-453 @cathzchen What are your thoughts on hybrid vs. fully remote, particularly in context of large companies like FB or Google?"

  • Hanadi said "indeed hrishikesh, this is an experiment bigger than any which humanity has ever had to dabble with throughout the history of work perhaps... Transitioning from fully on-site to hybrid work and a hybrid workforce, to fully remote in some industries (not all will be fully remote) will require HR to learn the what and how of hybrid vs fully remote, and learn FAST too, in order to guide their orgs at the same speed business is transforming. like you curious to hear thoughts on hybrid vs fully remote in large tech companies"

  • Ashley Thomas said "Agreed, Hrishikesh. I feel there is a huge misconception around remote working as companies still want their employees to be working from home within the same city as their offices. Remote working = working from anywhere, not necessarily at home."

  • Charley said "Every organization has to forge a path that fits their operational needs and culture. That said, flexible work makes a lot of sense (and saves money and time) for most knowledge work-based organizations to adopt. And it's also what most younger employees look for in a job above all else. So there will be a competitive advantage when it comes to hiring if a firm can advertize they're hiring for a flexible position. I recommend reading Alison Baum's Flipped Workplace thesis, which she wrote before the pandemic:"

  • Catherine Chen said "Personally, I like the hybrid model best.  For large companies, it really depends on the company, but like Pichai said, being together in person is very important.  There's just this feeling of community and collaboration that Zoom and distracting laptops aren't able to replace.  Maybe in the future, if VR workplaces explode, things may get better, but not as of now."

  • Boris Borisov said "@hrishikesh , @cathzchen , @charley-453 , @hanadi-540 , @srivatsan-44 , @karthikIt's great news that Google is embracing remote work - even if not the fully remote model. There are still many companies that are in the late majority/laggards segments. They are still concerned "will this work". So having respected companies such as Google embracing remote work really helps. Hybrid models got very popular after the start of Covid-19 - I think they are more popular than fully remote models as of now. (although I'm not fully sure in this, it is based on my own observations) There is certainly a difficult challenge in integrating remote employees with on-site employees when there is a hybrid model. But there are also major benefits of the hybrid model: (1) it is much easier to transition from fully on-site to hybrid, (2) some functions have lots of interaction while others do not, and hybrid allows for optimal environments for each of them. I am not a big fan of Hybrid myself - I prefer fully remote. But I understand why many companies choose the hybrid approach, and maybe hybrid will be the most popular choice going forward. This post is my working theory so far. I'm open to new ideas and knowledge in this area. If someone has good observations on the topic, I'm very curious to read it!P.S. For sure there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to on-site vs. hybrid vs. remote."

  • Stella Russo said "You are right, Catherine. I don't think there is a true substitute for in-person interactions. Yes, there are video meetings & tools to help us work productively but the feeling of community also plays an essential role in a workspace."

  • srivatsan said "I think companies that offer flexibility to those who want to work remotely and who want to work in an office will utimately win the war for talent."

  • Hrishikesh Pardeshi said "True, the moment you're ready to offer flexibility, it opens up such a vast talent pool. Plus there's also data that suggests retention is much higher when you do this."

  • Nancy said "I totally agree here. I think any number of setups could work if expectations are set correctly when people join an organization. However, I have a huge preference for "choice". This is probably closest to a hybrid setup, but there are different ways to interpret "hybrid". I like the setups where people can choose what is best for them - whether that is in office all the time, some of the time, or none of the time. I prefer that to hybrid models that dictate X days per week.  Choice is really powerful - it increases productivity, engagement, and satisfaction."

  • Boris Borisov said "I agree completely with @Srivatsan-44 and @hrishikesh Remote unlocks so much potential in the recruiting for companies, plus retention improves, motivation, and if done well also engagement. Productivity is also higher, particularly for individual contributor work."