I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

There is so much talk at present about hybrid remote/in-office work models.

For those contemplating this way of working, you do need to understand that these are THE hardest to manage.

“It’s easier to have a team of 20 all being remote rather than 15 people in a room and five remote.”— Jesper Frederiksen

One of the reasons is you end up having a “two-tier workplace” driven primarily by two completely different communication apps. One for the in-person team and one for those not at the office.

The “office communication app” – that quick conversation over coffee, or a tap on the shoulder to ask a colleague a question EXCLUDES those not physically there.

“The threshold for asking a colleague something when walking by — and not ever documenting it [or] sharing it in a way that becomes accessible to those working remotely is very low.” — Job van der Voort

As you can understand this can get problematic really fast. (Btw as an aside the “office communication app” although easy to use is massively inefficient if retaining institutional knowledge is a priority for you.)

One way to overcome this, if it must be hybrid, is to have EVERYONE working remotely at the same time.

We have shared insights on this topic before:

Hybrid remote work models = high failure rates
Managing hybrid teams (co-located + remote the hardest of all
Hybrid remote work models