Why you should think twice about hybrid work

Remote Work & Culture
Panther
October 5, 2021

You might be making the wrong choice. 

Well, not you specifically––but the people at your company who are making the decisions about whether you should go back to the office, stay remote, or implement a Frankenstein-ish mix of the two.

Here’s the problem: We’re writing this in 2021, and the conversation about remote work is as omnipresent as unnecessary Zoom meetings. 

But lots of businesses aren’t ready to abandon the office. So, about 70% of companies are going hybrid. 

In theory, going hybrid lets, you keep the best of both worlds:

  • Your employees keep the added happiness and flexibility from remote, most of the time.
  • You get the assumed culture and togetherness benefits from being in the office.

But the above theory isn’t really true. 

So below, we’ll break down the differences between truly remote and hybrid––and explain why some companies might have to pick a lane.

Panther believes the future of work is remote. Panther puts global payroll, benefits, taxes, and local compliance on auto-pilot.

Get a glimpse of Panther and help shape the future of work with us, book a demo today! 

The biggest misconception: Hybrid and remote are similar

Let’s clear this up: Hybrid and fully remote are completely different. 

And to figure out which is best for a business, it’s essential to understand the real meaning behind each. 

Here’s what a fully remote team looks like:

  • You don’t have offices.
  • Everybody on your team works remotely.
  • You’re either globally distributed or distributed across a single country or continent.

Fully remote usually means you also operate asynchronously, meaning communication doesn’t always happen in real-time.

Here’s what a hybrid team looks like:

Naturally, hybrid work is more complicated. We can break it down into three camps:

  • Concrete hybrid: In this model, everyone works in the office on specific days and is remote on certain days. The days in-office and remote might change by team, but everything is very structured.
  • Partially flexible hybrid: Most employees work in the office on at least some days, but they can choose when they come in. There may be some remote-only employees.
  • Fully flexible hybrid: Offices exist, but employees can mostly choose when to work in them. There are many remote-only employees on the team.

Why hybrid shouldn’t be the obvious choice

Large organizations find it easier to transition into hybrid work, at least for now, than it is to go fully remote. 

But the truth is that hybrid kills many of the greatest things about remote work:

  • Employees don’t get to choose where they live.
  • Employees don’t get to be fully flexible about when they work.
  • If some employees are remote-only and some aren’t, inequality quickly arises. This has been proven time and time again.
  • You’re still mostly limited to hiring people from your area.

If you can go fully remote from the start, it’s the better choice. 

You’ll unlock the great benefits of hiring remotely without worrying about the headache of hybrid work. 

If you’re a big team (you have more than 50 or 100 people in your company), hybrid could still be a good choice as you start to transition to remote work.

There’s more to the remote vs. hybrid story

We understand that fully remote isn’t going to work for every single team. And neither is hybrid. 

Each comes with a different set of challenges, but this playbook is about the remote portion of work: If you’re hybrid, we’re speaking to the work you do at home. 

If you want to learn more about the specifics of hybrid work itself, read Almanac’s guide.

We took large parts of this blog post from our upcoming playbook on remote work. 

It’s v1.0 of our handbook on what great remote teams––and the future of work––looks like. 

In it, you’ll learn about what remote teams are doing wrong (and right) and what successful remote companies are doing. 

Panther believes the future of work is remote. Panther puts global payroll, benefits, taxes, and local compliance on auto-pilot.

Get a glimpse of Panther and help shape the future of work with us, book a demo today! 


Latest from our blog

Read more

Global hiring as easy as employing locally.

Book a demo