Nearly every organization in the world was forced to run shop completely online for the bulk of 2020, a rare moment that changed the corporate DNA of countless companies.  


Working from home is a new and, sometimes, polarizing experience for millions of people. 


Some enjoy the new lifestyle, increased personal schedule control, and lack of commute that comes with work from home life. 


Others, however, don’t enjoy the physical isolation, Zoom meeting fatigue, and lack of location diversity. 


For companies and employees, whether to stay remote or return to the office is a point of conjecture. Especially when you have a divided workforce with some for, and others against.


That’s where hybrid work arrangements come in. 

Hybrid Work: The Promising “Middle Ground” of the Future of Work


In a working world caught between working from home and the office, a hybrid work model offers a happy medium. It leverages both remote and in-office setups to significant advantage. 


If implemented correctly, a hybrid work model can meaningfully impact company performance through core operating fundamentals. 


Companies can gain several unique advantages through remote work, such as recruiting better talent, retaining employees by offering flexibility, and supporting more cost-effective staffing. Realities that, in sum, make teams more efficient and effective. 


Despite the clear upsides, hybrid work models can be tricky to implement. Especially without prior experience or full understanding of remote workforce management and the work from home software needed to make it work.


Here’s how any organization can successfully use a hybrid work model to experience the best of in-office and remote worlds. 


What is “Hybrid” Work?

Hybrid work is a technology-enabled evolution of traditional workforce models that uses on-premise locations as centralized hubs for activity.


As the name suggests, in a hybrid work structure, elements of an organization work from home, while others work from a centralized office.


Deciding who works in the office, and who works from home can be calculated based on many factors, including job function, proximity, or simply managerial or staff preference.


A great example of the hybrid model is popular freelancing platform UpWork. 


While the company runs many of its core functions out of offices in the United States and Europe, it leverages a fully distributed customer support team to manage requests during all times of day. 

Technology Makes Hybrid Work Possible 


The mainstream popularization of taking all or part of an in-house team remotely was facilitated by technological advances in the past two decades, particularly heating up in the last ten years. 


In short, monitoring work from home employees is largely only possible thanks to computer monitoring software.


Communication is key to anytime. Even more so for hybrid teams. That's what makes communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams vital to managing remote workers and hybrid teams. 


Similarly, employee monitoring software like Workpuls has made it easier to gain productivity insights that even in-office setups miss.


Hybrid vs Fully Remote


While remote work may be abuzz today, hybrid models may well be the way of the future.


Roughly 40% of the American workforce are currently working remotely. As offices reopen throughout 2021, 25% of people will continue to work from home, and it’s anticipated about 22% of people will work from home through 2025. 


Employers are seeing increased productivity from remote workers who, data shows, are roughly 35% to 40% more productive than their in-office colleagues.


However, despite the productivity bump, there are some upsides of office-bound work that can be missed. 


A centralized office offers numerous benefits, such as the enhanced ability to collaborate with coworkers within a close proximity. 


This serendipitous collaboration is a valuable phenomena that results from the casual conversations in office settings. And this “water cooler” collaboration has yet to be solved for in remote settings. 


In-office work models also lend themselves well to company culture, which can become hard to maintain in remote work setups.


A hybrid work model can deliver the best of both worlds, granting employees the freedom and autonomy of remote work, while also fostering the friendly gravitational pull and flow of ideas of in-office work models. 


How to Make Hybrid Work for Your Team

Much of remote work’s many moving pieces are confined to the digital world, and the only way to stay on top of things is through software. 


In other words, embracing technology is vital. 

Workpuls, for example, is work from home software designed to help any remote, hybrid, or in-office organization track employee productivity and generate valuable operational insights.


The digitization of everything in the workforce means that managers will have much more data to draw from.


Data is now critical to any modern workforce. Perhaps even more so for hybrid teams.


When managing a hybrid team, it’s important to be able to analyze your data in two contexts: in-office work and work completed at home.


By splitting the two versions of your organization, you can better understand what degree of “hybrid” works best for your organization. And whether your employees do their best work at home or in the office.


Workpuls employee monitoring software, for example, lets you split data between “from home” and “in office” employee groups. Using an employee time tracker is also an effective tool.


Gaining a dual understanding of your workforce is fundamental to making a hybrid work best for you. It helps you find balance, maximize team performance and continue to evolve your hybrid structures.


If you’re unsure whether in-house, remote, or hybrid models work best for you, why not experiment with both and let the data speak for itself?


Hybrid Takes Flexibility

Distributed, or hybrid, workforces are not without their challenges. Supporting a remote or hybrid workforce in 2021 and beyond requires light-footed adaptability.


Many hybrid work model companies list threats like difficulty maintaining company culture and collaboration difficulty.

 

Zoom fatigue, or the feeling that results from being battered with dozens of Zoom calls every week, is a legitimate concern. 


Hybrid allows you to counter Zoom fatigue by adding a location diversity to meetings. For example, have your all-hands meetings in-person, and your one-on-ones or breakout sessions over Zoom. 


If you fear losing your company’s culture when managing remote workers, use a hybrid work model to host in-person team building activities, and your remote meetings strictly for operational purposes. 


The Positive Economics of Going Hybrid


Businesses that hire remote workers save an average of $11,000 per half-time teleworker per year. 


Hybrid, too, can help you reap a portion of these savings.


In theory, the money saved with remote or hybrid work models can be reinvested into the business. Whether that’s through additional staffing and resources, or to specifically combat some of the challenges presented by your new hybrid workforce. 


Keep in mind that working from home is also a new experience for your employees. Many digital leaders offer employees unique perks tailored to remote work environments. 


Buffer, a social media management company, offers its employees a $500 stipend for their home offices, and it also reimburses coworking memberships. 


Final Thoughts: Balance the Best of Both Worlds

Few managers thought they’d be experimenting with their work models with as high a velocity as demanded by 2020 and 2021. Many were quickly forced to learn the art of remote workforce management.


The pandemic and stay-at-home orders made in-person collaboration nearly impossible, but the silver lining was that every organization was introduced to the benefits of remote work at the same time. 


The remote work genie is out of the bottle. But, as hybrid work models show, it’s not a zero-sum game with in-office work models. In-office organizations still offer substantial benefits that shouldn’t be overshadowed by the shiny novelty of remote work.


Embracing remote work today will pay off dividends tomorrow; but neglecting the value of in-office setups may also have negative ramifications in a long-enough time horizon. 


A hybrid work model allows an organization to balance itself between the best of both worlds. With the right technology, tools, and systems, the perfect balance of hybrid work is within reach of any forward-thinking company. 

Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
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Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
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SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
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Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
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User behavior analytics
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REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
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Email reports
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PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
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Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock BeeBole
OVERVIEW
Price(per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user+$16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan:$30 for 5 users+$5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user+$8From $2.20 per user$5.99 per user per month
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days30 days,no credit card required
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
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Timesheets
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Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
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Alerts
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PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
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Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
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Geofencing
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REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
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MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
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Windows desktop app
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OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlineOnline chat and video support in English,French,and Spanish
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
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IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
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Project adding
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Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
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Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

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