14 Hybrid Work Schedules Being Tested Now

hybrid work schedules
Image Credit: Kazoo

Let’s be honest with each other for a minute. The state of hybrid work is a mess right now. That could be the reason you’ve landed on this article – you’re looking for some direction on how to run a team in a hybrid model.

Why is hybrid work such a mess right now?

  • Basically everyone worked in an office until 2020
  • Basically everyone worked remotely from 2020 – 2022
  • Now, basically everyone is trying… both at the same time

For most, it’s an entirely new way to work and comes with major challenges.

As we’ve been tracking every company switching to a hybrid work model, we’ve come across 21 unique names for hybrid work schedules. Companies are making it up on the fly (and making up new names for their hybrid schedules as they go). We consolidated the 21 schedule examples into 14 since a few of them mean the same thing.

You’ll find a breakdown of each hybrid schedule example below. You can click the links below to jump to a specific hybrid schedule:

2/3 | 3/2 | 50/50 | Bring Your Own | Flex-Time | Cohorts | Manager Scheduling | Office First | OptionalPartial | Remote First | Shift Work | Week-By-Week | Work From Anywhere

 

What is a hybrid work schedule?

A hybrid work schedule is a company policy that outlines when remote work happens and when in-office work happens for which employees, on which days.

 

Hybrid Work Schedule Examples

2/3 Hybrid Work Schedule

2/3 hybrid work schedule

  • Other names for this schedule: 3/2 hybrid model
  • Companies that use this schedule: BP
  • Who leads the decision: Executive Team

Employees are expected to come into the office for two days per week, and work remotely for three days per week.

This hybrid policy could come with set days for everyone to come into the office (like Tuesday and Thursday) or it could be expressed as an expectation for number of office visits per week.

Pros Cons
  • Close to even mix between remote and in-person
  • Less commute for employees
  • Consistent expectations for all employees
  • Schedule is not tailored for certain employees, teams
  • Big swings in the office attendance on a given day
  • Requires more office space than might be needed

3/2 Hybrid Work Schedule

3-2 hybrid work schedule

Employees are expected to come into the office for three days per week, and work remotely for two days per week.

This hybrid policy could come with set days for everyone to come into the office (like Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) or it could be expressed as an expectation for number of office visits per week.

Pros Cons
  • Close to even mix between remote and in-person
  • Simpler scheduling, management for team leaders
  • Consistent expectations for all employees
  • Schedule is not tailored for certain employees, teams
  • Big swings in the office attendance on a given day
  • Requires more office space than might be needed

50/50 Hybrid Policy

50-50 hybrid work schedule

  • Other names for this schedule: Half & Half
  • Companies that use this schedule: Microsoft, Facebook, Uber
  • Who leads the decision: Executive Team

Employees are expected to visit the office for 50% of their work time and work remotely for 50% of their time. This is a policy for office visit expectations rather than a set schedule.

Pros Cons
  • Even mix between remote and in-person
  • Takes a longer term view than weekly set schedules
  • Consistent expectations for all employees
  • Schedule is not tailored for certain employees, teams
  • Lacks consistency for employees (requires changes week-to week)
  • Requires more office space than might be needed

Bring Your Own Hybrid

bring your own hybrid work schedule

  • Other names for this schedule: Bottom-up model
  • Who leads the decision: Manager & Employee

Executive teams come up with choices for hybrid work schedules (like 2/3, 3/2, or 50/50). Then, managers present the options to their teams. Each team decides together which schedule to pursue for their team only, and then team leaders manage expectations to that schedule. This gives employees more autonomy over their schedules but also aligns teams by location and day.

Pros Cons
  • Allows for customization by team
  • Gives employees more say in their schedules
  • Aligns teams by location and day
  • Does not provide full schedule autonomy to employees
  • Could lead to remote work from the office (Zoom meetings in person)
  • Could sow dissent from team to team

Flex-Time

flex-time hybrid work schedule

  • Who leads the decision: Employee

Under this model, the executive team typically sets a company-wide policy (like 2/3). Then, employees can set their own work hours within those days. Some may start at 7 AM, others may start around 10 AM. This model is a step closer toward asynchronous work than most hybrid models, but still aims to have synchronous blocks of time overlapping for most employees throughout the day.

Pros Cons
  • More schedule autonomy for employees
  • Allows employees to commute outside of rush hour
  • Inconsistent culture – work days are set, work hours are flexible
  • More complex to manage than other options
  • Requires more office space than might be needed

Cohorts Hybrid Schedule

cohorts hybrid work schedule

  • Other names for this schedule: Split-week, rotational regional remote
  • Companies that use this schedule: ChurnZero
  • Who leads the decision: Executive Team

Employees are clustered together into similarly sized groups – cohort A, cohort B, cohort C, etc. The schedule rotates weekly for each cohort’s days in the office and days at home. The idea of the cohort schedule is to rotate in a pattern that has all employees across the company cross paths in the office on a predicable time period (every other week for example).

Pros Cons
  • Overlapping in-person time for all employees
  • Sets company-wide expectations
  • Overly complex, hard to manage
  • Lacks consistency for employees (requires changes week-to week)
  • Gives no schedule autonomy to employees

Manager Scheduling

manager hybrid work schedule

  • Companies that use this schedule: Credit Karma, Amex
  • Who leads the decision: Manager

The executive team gives the power to every manager to select a hybrid schedule policy for their teams. This allows for flexibility based on the team.

Pros Cons
  • Allows for flexibility team to team
  • Allows for the ability to change policies if needed
  • Big swings in the office attendance on a given day
  • Does not provide full schedule autonomy to employees
  • Requires more office space than might be needed

Office First

office-first hybrid work schedule

The processes required to work in an office lead the company’s operations, with remote processes coming second. The company’s policy is to default to office-based interactions. Under this policy, the mix would be heavily tilted toward in-office days (3-5 days per week), meetings would take place in person rather than virtually, and all new hires would come within driving distance of a company office.

Source

Pros Cons
  • Consistent policy across the company
  • Easier to manage
  • Inconsistent message – allows for remote work but sets it up for failure
  • Does not provide full schedule autonomy to employees
  • Limits hiring pool geographically

Optional Hybrid Schedule

optional hybrid work schedule

  • Other names for this schedule: Flex, Pick & choose, At-will
  • Companies that use this schedule: Amazon, Google, Cisco
  • Who leads the decision: Employee

Employees have the option to work from home or the office. Under this policy, employees could be asked to set their preference and stick to it or decide on any given day where to work. This model allows for employee preferences to drive the long-term work model for the company. It will also inform the amount of office space needed company wide, although it may be hard to manage who sits where on a given day.

Pros Cons
  • Allows for flexibility for each employee
  • Allows for fully remote hiring (expands talent pool)
  • Hard to manage amount of office space needed
  • This model is essentially fully remote without fully committing to it

Partial Hybrid Schedule

partial hybrid work schedule

  • Companies that use this schedule: Facebook, Ford
  • Who leads the decision: Manager

Some employees, based on role and situation, are able to work from home when they’d like. The policy is determined by role and team rather than across the board. For example, people working in the manufacturing department may be required to come in every day. People is sales might be expected to come in one day per week.

Pros Cons
  • Allows for flexibility team to team
  • Provides the ability to select location based on type of work
  • Does not provide full schedule autonomy to employees
  • Could sow dissent from team to team

Remote First

remote-first hybrid work schedule

  • Companies that use this schedule: Coinbase, Dropbox, Amgen, Adobe
  • Who leads the decision: Employee

The processes required to work remotely lead the company’s operations, with in-office processes coming second. The company’s policy is to default to remote-based interactions. Under this policy, the mix would be heavily tilted toward remote days (3-5 days per week), meetings would take virtually, and new hires could come from anywhere (not just near the office).

Pros Cons
  • Provides a consistent operating system (remote communications)
  • Allows for fully remote hiring (expands talent pool)
  • Less commute for employees
  • Requires some office space cost (that may not be needed at all)

Shift Work Model

shift hybrid work schedule

  • Who leads the decision: Executive Team

Under this policy, the people in the office would turn over each day around lunch. One group is working from the office in the morning and then at home in the afternoon, and vice versa. This is not a popular option for companies with knowledge workers. It has been used as temporary measure for health and safety reasons in education and healthcare much more than offices.

Pros Cons
  • Could be used temporarily for specific reasons (health protocols)
  • Overly complex, hard to manage
  • Requires daily commutes for employees
  • Does not allow for schedule autonomy

Week-By-Week Hybrid

week-by-week hybrid work schedule

  • Who leads the decision: Manager

This schedule calls for alternating weeks of remote then in-person and so on.

Pros Cons
  • Provides a consistent operating system (remote communications)
  • Allows for fully remote hiring (expands talent pool)
  • Less commute for employees
  • Does not provide schedule autonomy to employees
  • Lacks consistency for employees (requires changes week-to week)
  • Requires full office space cost for 50% utilization

Work From Anywhere

work-from-anywhere hybrid schedule

  • Companies that use this schedule: Spotify, Shopify
  • Who leads the decision: Employee

Employees can choose to work from the office, a coworking space, or home – and can choose to move where they live entirely. Under this policy, the company is remote-first but still has office space available for employees to work from. It’s also likely that they company would provide a stipend for home office equipment or coworking spaces.

Pros Cons
  • Provides a consistent operating system (remote communications)
  • Allows for fully remote hiring (expands talent pool)
  • Provides full schedule autonomy for employees
  • Requires some office space cost (that may not be needed at all)

 

How To Pick A Hybrid Work Schedule Policy

Employee productivity and quality are not derived from the physical location where work takes place. A remote employee could provide $3,000,000 of economic value versus an in-office employee who provides $60,000, or vice versa. The output comes from the employee not the physical location. Keep that in mind as you choose the right hybrid work policy for your company:

  1. Ask managers and employees for their preference on work location (remote first, office first, hybrid, optional, etc.).
  2. Set the policy that satisfies each individual employee (this would tend to be flexible options, or options selected by individual teams rather than company-wide mandates).
  3. Avoid sunk cost fallacy. Just because you are committed to a lease for six more years doesn’t mean the office is the right place for your team’s productivity.
  4. As an executive team, invest time and effort into defining each role’s responsibilities, goals, and measures of success. If you get those right for each team and role, it won’t matter where or when people work… the work will get done (or new team members will be brought on).

 

About the author

Henry OLoughlin

Hi, I'm the founder of Buildremote. I have worked from home for a decade and run a fully remote, four-day work week company for eight years. I've made all of the mistakes running a remote company. I hope if you read my site, you'll be spared.

Add comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: