Understanding hybrid & remote work

Hybrid and WFH Protocol Guide: Choose with Confidence

GoRetro - Understanding  hybrid & remote workGoRetro - Capacity Calculator

The COVID pandemic left long-lasting effects for everyone. For workforces, a ubiquitous consequence was that work was made 100% remote for some time. But now, even in the face of no restrictions, companies haven’t regressed to their old days just yet; with most managers choosing to work with a hybrid work schedule. This is a brand new phenomenon to every manager who’s trying to get the best out of their team - how do you manage a hybrid team?

Let’s take a deep dive into the world of hybrid and remote work and help you decide what’s the best way your team should be working.

GoRetro - Hybrid and remote work workflows

Should my team be HYBRID WORKING?

Practically, hybrid work means supporting your team to have x amount of days working outside of the office and y amount of days working inside the office. Similarly to other work methodologies, there isn’t one size fits all for hybrid work, but many different incarnations. Some are more flexible than others, and some are more pro-employee whereas some are more pro-employer.

Let’s take a look at the different hybrid work models:


Flexible hybrid work is an employee-first approach. Here, employees hold the power in deciding which days of the week (if any) they want to work away from the office. Flexible hybrid work empowers employees to work in a way that’s best for them. Individuals can look at their calendar for the upcoming week, and make a plan that’s optimal for that given week.

Now, let’s explore the benefits of a flexible hybrid work model in more detail:

  • Improved Work-Life Balance: With a flexible hybrid work model, employees can tailor their work schedule to their personal needs, making it easier to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
  • Increased Productivity: Many of the distractions that come with working in an office such as commuting and chit-chat are eliminated which leads to increased productivity and focus.
  • Cost Savings: Employees no longer need to spend money on transportation, work attire, and other expenses associated with working in the office. For companies, they can reduce overhead costs such as rent, utilities, and office supplies.
  • Enhanced Employee Engagement and Retention: Enhanced Employee Engagement and Retention: Employees who have more control over their work schedule and environment are more likely to feel valued and appreciated by their employer. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty which reduces turnover.
  • Access to a Larger Talent Pool: Companies won’t be limited by geographic location when hiring employees, allowing them to recruit the best talent from around the world. This leads to a more diverse and inclusive workforce, which has better decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Flexibility for Last Minute Changes: If a spontaneous event happens either at home, or in the office which changes the plan, an employee can easily adjust their schedule to accommodate. This way, employees are always optimized for the work that they have in front of them.

⚠️ But there is a drawback of the flexible hybrid work model:

Difficult to Plan: Last minute changes and increased flexibility means that it’s difficult near impossible to say with certainty who will be on site, and who will not be. This can make team cultural activities and all-hands meetings difficult to plan and coordinate.


Fixed hybrid work means the company sets the precedent around when employees can work from out of office (OOO).

Management will inform what days you can choose to be away and then the employees decide (that is if you get a choice, sometimes only one day of the week can be chosen). It’s common for management to stagger the days that their employees can choose to work OOO so that a required number of employees still work in the office on any given day.

Let’s explore the benefits of a flexible hybrid work model in more detail:

  • Planned Team-work: When management is the only one planning OOO days, it’s easier to ensure that there’s specific days when every member of the team is present in-person.
  • Certainty: You can be certain on a given day who else is going to be in the office. This can make it easier to plan impromptu meetings.
  • No Required Thinking: Similar to wearing a uniform, there’s some comfort in knowing which days you’ll be OOO and which days you’ll be in office without having to think about it.

⚠️ But there are drawbacks of the fixed hybrid work model:

1) No room for personal choice: Employees are stuck with what they’re given, even if they’d prefer a different option.

2) Potential decrease in productivity: Suppose a meeting is canceled, or a project extended and it’s best for you to stay OOO, but you’re required to commute and waste time needlessly because” that’s the rule.” There are scenarios that see productivity decrease with the fixed hybrid work model.


The office-first hybrid work model sees a full 5 day in-office work week as default, but employees have the option to take days working OOO if they chose to do so. This means that employees can take days OOO that suit them, but the expectation is that otherwise you’re in the office.

Let’s explore the benefits of a flexible hybrid work model in more detail:

  • Employee Choice: Employees have control over the days that they choose to be in in office or OOO.

⚠️ But there is a drawback of the office-first work model:

Difficult to Plan who’s where: Weekly changes make it difficult to plot who will be OOO and who will be in office for a given week. This can make it tricky to find time for employees to schedule meetings, and difficult for the company to plan team events and all-hands meetings.


The remote-first hybrid model describes a setup where the default is for teams to be OOO, and when they’re required to do so, join up with the rest of the team. Note, that with the remote-first hybrid model the company might not have a dedicated HQ, and will instead be hot-desking in a shared-space or reliant upon other environments like coffee shops.

Let’s explore the benefits of an remote-first hybrid work model in more detail:

  • Reduced Cost: No permanent rent can be a huge cost-reducer for early teams.
  • Employee Control: With no one else making the decisions for them, employees have the most control of where they want to work.

⚠️ But there are drawbacks of the remote-first hybrid work model:

Separated Employees: Working together, but apart for long periods of time can lead to employees feeling isolated from one another.

Difficult to Create a Culture: Being apart from one another can make it difficult to monitor, upkeep and work on your team culture; which can be a hindrance on team productivity.

GoRetro - Should my team be HYBRID WORKING?

But which hybrid work model is best for you

It can be confusing to try and choose which model would be best suited for your team. Luckily, we’ve simplified things, take a look:

  • The Flexible hybrid model

    Is best for smaller teams that require a high degree of autonomy, and have self-motivated employees who can get work done by themselves.

  • The Fixed hybrid model

    Is best for larger teams and teams of teams, who focus more on company culture, alignment and mandates.

  • The Office-first hybrid model

    Is best for teams who are in industries that take advantage of collaboration that’s in-office.

  • The Remote-first hybrid model

    Is best for smaller teams that don’t have the resources yet for full-time office space, but still have a lot of work to do.

But which hybrid work model is  best for you

💁 Tip: To avoid confusion, make sure to keep your shared calendar up to date so people can see when you’ll be available, and when you won’t be.

What are the best days to work from home?

.According to Build Remote, the most favored day to work remotely is Wednesday, with ⅓ of respondents choosing it as so, followed by Monday and Friday.

If you’ve chosen to give your team one day of hybrid work per week, practically, we recommend Wednesday as the best day to work from home. Employees may choose Monday or Friday because it creates the feeling of a “long-weekend” but the reality is that productivity on these days is low. However, Wednesday breaks up the week nicely, and gives you a day of focus at home to complete tasks that you discussed in person with the team on Monday and Tuesday. Then you get in-person Thursday and Friday to review the work you did and make changes.

one day of hybrid work per week

If you’ve chosen to give your team two days of hybrid work per week, we recommend the best two days to work from home are Tuesday and Thursday.

two days of hybrid work per week

Best practices for hybrid work

Unfortunately, hybrid management doesn’t appear on the syllabus for most MBA programs. Learning how to manage hybrid teams is a skill that’s still being tested and fine-tuned.

Hybrid Work Option Icon
Stay organized:

Unfortunately, hybrid management doesn’t appear on the syllabus for most MBA programs. Learning how to manage hybrid teams is a skill that’s still being tested and fine-tuned.

Hybrid Work Option Icon
Be flexible:

Understand that some people will be in the office when others aren’t, so remain flexible to accommodate remote meetings and online messaging when you can’t be in-person.

Hybrid Work Option Icon
Focus on deliverables, rather than hours:

Set goals and requirements in the form of deliverables, instead of hours spent working. This gives employees the flexibility to work when they want to work, but also makes sure the job gets done.

Hybrid Work Option Icon
Value team culture:

With employees being OOO, it’s important to make sure they’re still part of the team. Pay attention to team-building games, and culture events to make sure the team feels like a team.


Going completely remote isn’t a light-hearted decision. It can be the deciding factor in your company’s success, or the main part in its downfall. Let’s have a look at the facts:

What’s the difference between Remote and Hybrid work

Remote work means you’re never in the office, whereas hybrid work means you spend a portion of time away from the office, but a portion of time in the office as well.

What’s the difference between Remote and Hybrid work

Benefits of working Remote

  • Reduced costs:

    Removing the need for a commute, and work attire saves your employees money.

  • More time to work:

    Without the commute and office chit-chat, there are more hours in the day for employees to work.

  • Increased flexibility:

    Employees can completely choose their own schedule, letting them work when it’s best for them.

⚠️ What are the potential downsides of remote work for companies?

  • Reduced collaboration and communication:

    Some teams/employees just aren’t made for remote work. Being distant from people can make finding time for collaboration tricky, and it takes away the social aspect of work.

  • Management difficulty:

    It can be hard to gauge how your team is doing both productively, mentally and emotionally when you can’t see them.

  • Security risks:

    WFH means that personal devices are often used for work purposes, and if you’re in a public workspace then you’ll be connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi.

How can companies ensure that their remote workers remain productive?

Companies can ensure that their remote workers remain productive by setting clear goals and expectations, providing the necessary tools and resources, and regularly communicating with their remote teams.

Best practices for remote work

Remote Work Option Icon
Establish clear communication channels:

Whether it’s through email, instant messaging, video conferencing, or PM tools, make sure you create ways to communicate.

Tip: Make sure you set expectations for response times and availability.

Remote Work Option Icon
Create a home workspace:

Creating a space at home that you know is for work can help you stay focused and minimize distractions. Ideally, you should have a separate room for your workspace, but if that’s not possible, set up a dedicated space in your home that’s free from distractions. When you get in that room, you know it’s time to work.

Remote Work Option Icon
Take breaks:

Remote fatigue is real; so taking breaks is essential for productivity and mental health. Step away from your computer and recharge by going for a walk, meditating, or doing something else to take your mind off work.

Hybrid Work Option Icon
Get a WFH set-up:

Using the right tools is essential for remote work. Invest in a reliable internet connection, a comfortable chair, and a high-quality webcam and microphone for video conferencing.

Remote Work Option Icon
Schedule regular check-ins:

Connect with your team by scheduling regular check-ins for you to discuss ongoing projects, upcoming deadlines, and any challenges you may be facing.

Remote Work Option Icon
Stick to boundaries:

It’s easy to blur the lines between work and home when you’re working remotely. Set clear boundaries between your work and personal life, and stick to them. For example, if you work from 9-5, make sure you log off at 5 and don’t check your work email until the next day.

Remote Work Option Icon
Stay organized:

Staying organized is essential for remote work. Keep a to-do list or use a project management tool to stay on top of your tasks. Set priorities and deadlines to ensure you’re meeting your goals.

Remote Work Option Icon
Encourage social time with team-mates:

Whether it’s a virtual happy hour, team-building games or an activity, put effort into fostering a positive environment for employees. Remote work can feel like you don’t know the people you’re working with.



Choosing the right work protocol for your team is critical for productivity. It’s important to start the decision making progress by understanding how your team operates. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my team working autonomously, or do they require continuous guidance?

  • Do I have a clear plan of action to implement  and track a remote or hybrid team?

  • Does the team have resources to work remotely,  like webcams, mics, laptops, WiFi and a home setup?

  • Will the team work more collaboratively in  the office or from home?

  • Will our company culture thrive more if our team is in the office or working remotely?

Truthfully answering these questions will help you see the right decision for your team. The reality is that remote work and hybrid work do suit some teams more than being completely in office, and vice versa.

A shift in working structure will shake the team no matter what; so understand what the benefits are for YOU and YOUR team.

Join thousands of companies

Start for free - update any time
Joining as an organisation? Contact sales
Contact Us
Thank you! Your message has been sent!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.