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3 min read

Choosing the Best Work Model for Your Business

Choosing the Best Work Model for Your Business

The work model landscape has undergone remarkable transformations in the wake of the global pandemic. The unforeseen challenges compelled millions of workers to confront terminations, furloughs, remote transitions, or the uncertainties of being essential workers during this unprecedented time.

Amid these circumstances, the 2022 Workmonitor report offers a glimmer of positivity—78% of the global workforce is willing to return to physical workplaces. Additionally, 70% of surveyed workers acknowledge the support they received from their employers during the pandemic.

Yet, the air of uncertainty lingers, casting a shadow on the future of work. The pervasive anxiety among workers can potentially lead to diminished job satisfaction, heightened burnout levels, and reduced productivity.

Recent research underscores that clear communication can significantly alleviate this anxiety. However, 40% of employees reveal that their employers have failed to communicate a clear vision for the post-pandemic work environment. This communication gap often stems from employers grappling with the decision of which work model to adopt.

In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into distinct work models, empowering you to chart a course for the post-pandemic workplace. The key phrase, “work model,” surfaces organically throughout, giving you essential insights into the choices that can shape your business’s trajectory.

Deciphering Work Models

At its core, a work model encapsulates the day-to-day operations of a business and outlines workforce arrangements. Diverse departments often operate under different work models. For instance, a company might adopt a remote work model for its sales team while adhering to an onsite work model for its HR department.

Traditionally, the five-day onsite workweek was the norm, but technology advancements initiated remote work even before the pandemic. Notably, a 2019 study found that 40% of US-based companies provided remote work options. Moreover, experts predicted a significant rise in remote work adoption in the UK.

Exploring the Trio of Work Models

While remote work gained momentum over time, the pandemic accelerated its embrace. As the effects of COVID-19 recede, three predominant work models emerge:

Onsite Work Model

The onsite work model entails employees reporting to a designated workplace daily, although occasional remote work might be permissible. Despite limited flexibility, most tasks must be executed onsite. Typically, employees adhere to specific working hours determined by employers. Some companies, however, extend flexibility through part-time and compressed shift options.

Pros of the Onsite Work Model

  • Real-time Communication: Face-to-face interaction remains unmatched, with studies indicating it’s 34 times more effective than electronic communication.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Virtual tools can’t fully replicate in-person collaboration, where non-verbal cues are pivotal.
  • Robust Online Security: Centralized servers facilitate heightened data security, especially crucial for handling sensitive information.

Cons of the Onsite Work Model

  • Limited Talent Pool: Restricting employment to a specific geographic area can hamper diversity and talent acquisition.
  • Safety Concerns: Lingering concerns about COVID-19 exposure might necessitate enhanced safety measures.
  • Worker Reluctance: Many employees, accustomed to remote work, resist a full return to onsite work.

Remote Work Model

In a true remote work model, all employees work from various remote locations. While there might not be a primary office, some businesses maintain locations for training and gatherings. This model permits work from diverse settings like home, coffee shops, shared workspaces, or on the go.

Pros of the Remote Work Model

  • Global Talent Pool: Embracing remote work broadens the talent reach, vital for diverse and skilled hires.
  • Work-Life Balance: Flexibility fosters a healthier work-life equilibrium, an aspiration for a quarter of workers.
  • Commute Elimination: Remote work saves employees time and expenses associated with commuting.

Cons of the Remote Work Model

  • Security Risks: Remote settings pose heightened data security risks, as not all locations guarantee secure connections.
  • Home Distractions: Inadequate home office setups can impact productivity, with 14% of remote workers citing distractions.
  • Company Culture Challenges: Remote work might strain company culture, necessitating proactive measures to foster connection.

Hybrid Work Model

The hybrid work model amalgamates onsite and remote work. It operates in two modes: employees alternating between remote and onsite work or a scenario where some roles remain onsite while others embrace remote work.

Hybrid Work Model

Pros of the Hybrid Work Model

  • Enhanced Productivity: Hybrid setups can boost productivity by offering focused remote work and collaborative onsite sessions.
  • Elevated Job Satisfaction: The flexibility of a hybrid model aligns with worker preferences, bolstering satisfaction.
  • Broader Talent Reach: Hybrid models attract candidates willing to commute for a few days, expanding the talent pool.

Cons of the Hybrid Work Model

  • Communication Challenges: Ensuring seamless communication between remote and onsite staff is a substantial hurdle.
  • Digital Burnout: A remote-heavy setup can lead to burnout due to extended online engagements.
  • Workplace Redesign: Implementing a hybrid model necessitates reevaluating roles, schedules, and physical spaces.

Determining the Right Work Model

Choosing the right work model demands meticulous evaluation. For roles where onsite presence is essential, like healthcare, construction, or manufacturing, remote work might not be feasible. However, for positions with remote viability and a strong communication platform, adopting a hybrid or remote model could enhance competitiveness.

Empowering your workforce with choices that align with their roles and preferences can cultivate a productive and satisfied team, regardless of whether you embrace onsite, remote, or hybrid work models.

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.