New ways of working: hybrid work

How has our way of working evolved?

Before March 2020, work and office seemed like two concepts that were impossible to separate. It was hard to understand one without the other. Suddenly, the pandemic turned everything upside down, which made us learn two things: first, you can work from home and the results can be just as good (or better); second, the company is the sum of its employees, no matter where they work.

We could consider that Covid-19 has been a technological revolution that has made us rethink the work models we are used to, giving rise to others such as remote work and hybrid work (or mixed work).

In March 2021, Microsoft launched the results of the Work Trend Index study, which, thanks to the collaboration of more than 30,000 individuals and organisations, showed that most of them want the best of both worlds: most of them want flexible remote working options to continue, but without losing the contact and face-to-face contact with their teams.

We also wanted to do the test, so we conducted a survey and several interviews with professionals from different sectors to see what they thought about it. The study showed that the vast majority prefer a flexible, hybrid working model,, where they can work from home most days, but where there are times when they have to come to the company, as group work sessions and decision making is much more agile.

Reverie Sleep (2013) by Synchrodogs, Inner Garden (Galleri Urbane)

This post is a summary of our report “Hybrid Work”. f you want to know more, click here.

But what is a hybrid working model?

A hybrid working model (or mixed working model) is one that combines face-to-face and remote working.

When people refer to the hybrid model, we cannot standardise a clear, single model of working, as there are several variations depending on the combination of ways of working chosen by the entity. Among the most common models are the following:


Entities that opt for this model base their work mainly on home office, which means that most of the work and operations of the company are carried out from home.

This option tends to be quite typical in startups or small companies, as they generally have a remote philosophy but, for various reasons, need to meet face-to-face.

With this model, employees have greater freedom in the management and organisation of their work. The reasons why these teams usually meet are usually for group dynamics, decision making or to foster bonds between the team.

The main benefit of this option is to be able to recruit talent in different cities or even in different parts of the world.


Another option is to keep the main job in the office but, with the exception of one day (e.g. one day a week) to work from home.

It tends to occur mainly in large corporations or in leadership team environments because, due to their position of responsibility, their work has to be more agile, either in decision-making or in supervising staff.

The main characteristic of this model is that the company is committed to the connection of its workers, but facilitating some remote days to promote the reconciliation of personal and work life.

It is also quite common for this model to be chosen in companies that require human presence and attention, for example in the service sector, and days at home are limited to the performance of purely administrative tasks.


With the famous “back to the office” after the pandemic, many companies were faced with the problem that employees were divided as to where they wanted to work. With the implementation of a hybrid mixed model days a week will be remote and 3 days a week in the office (or viceversa).

This combination has been preferred by many companies that already have large offices of their own, but do not want to give up the benefits of remote working.

Thanks to this model, workers do not lose the feeling of what face-to-face work conveys but, at the same time, they can manage several days from home.


Usually, we tend to associate hybrid working with part of the workforce working from home and the rest in the office, but sometimes this goes beyond that.

Within the same company, there may be a situation in which it has several offices distributed in different locations, but the teams interact with each other. On this occasion, we would also be talking about hybrid work because, although both teams work in person or remotely, we do not have the same physical workplace for all of them and the implementation of technological tools is essential to ensure good communication between the teams.

Parte de la serie Model Kits por Michael Johansson.

How has hybrid work affected corporate culture?

With the rise of hybrid work, establishing a corporate culture has been a key factor for companies and, at the same time, an opportunity to change their corporate vision by thinking not only about the interests of the company but also by adding more value to the thoughts and feelings of their employees.

Hybrid working has broken down in corporations. Having a common culture used to be easier

Startups and SMEs, being small, are more flexible and have a greater capacity for change. Corporations have a size, a complexity, a history… And that generates inertia. Change is slower and there is a conflict between individual identity and the company line.

We also need to look for new ways to help us align the technology we use with management and employees. We need a framework to give to employees, which allows us to maintain the culture of the company.

In a hybrid or remote working model, we need to be especially attentive to the human relationships between team members to keep them strong. Teamwork increases employee motivation helps us to meet objectives, encourages creativity, and the development of social skills.

What are the benefits of hybrid working?

There are a number of reasons why companies are opting for hybrid working models, one of them being the happiness of employees in adopting this approach.

The productivity of remote teams has been quite positive since the pandemic began, but only employees with sufficient tools and space to carry out their work are fully satisfied with this model, and unfortunately, not all companies have the infrastructure in place to bridge this gap.

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According to our surveys of employees in different companies, we can highlight the following positive aspects of hybrid work:

  • It fosters a sense of belonging.
  • Increases productivity.
  • It encourages the relationship between workers.
  • It improves the work-life balance.
  • It facilitates the sharing of documentation.

What are the drawbacks of hybrid work?

Unfortunately, the hybrid working model has a number of disadvantages and drawbacks that companies have encountered when adopting this way of working among their employees.

According to the surveys we carried out among workers in different companies, we can highlight the following aspects:

  • The internal dynamics of the company may be adversely affected.
  • It can lead to work-related stress or burnout.
  • Employees may feel disengaged in decision-making.
  • Not everyone has a suitable environment.
  • The confidentiality of the company may be at risk.

How has the pandemic and new working models affected corporate culture?

With the rise of hybrid work, establishing a corporate culture has been a key factor for companies and, at the same time, an opportunity to change their corporate vision by thinking not only about the interests of the company but also by adding more value to the thoughts and feelings of their employees.

Startups and SMEs, being small, are more flexible and have a greater capacity for change. Corporations have a size, a complexity, a history… And that generates inertia. Change is slower and there is a conflict between individual identity and the company line.

We need to look for new ways to help us align the technology we use with management and employees. We need a framework to give to employees, which allows us to maintain the culture of the company.

Corporate culture trends in hybrid work

When we work remotely, if we do not establish a number of factors that define us as a company, the culture weakens and can lead to alienation, dissatisfaction, and even lack of interest.

Hybrid working has not only changed our perception of the way we work, but it has also created new needs and opportunities for companies. The aspects that are becoming more important with the transformation of organizational culture are the following:

  • Health as the main pillar.
  • Digitalisation and transformation.
  • Culture of trust or the power of people.
  • Flexibility.

Uncertainty about the impact on productivity

We have talked several times about how the hybrid work model generates a feeling of autonomy in workers, but how can we know if their productivity is real?

When we adopt ways of working that require self-discipline on the part of all team members, it is important to establish a series of metrics that serve as an evaluation of productivity. These metrics will also serve as a first approach to detecting problems that may arise in the work team.

Some of the metrics we can implement are:

  • Work in sprints with a fixed duration.
  • Evaluation of tasks completed within a time frame.
  • Assessment of the quality of the work.
  • Employee appraisal according to the work they do and the team they work with.
  • Availability of working hours and indicative allocation of hours to a task.

While it is true that metrics can help us detect possible levers to increase labor productivity, it is important to listen to our employees, especially by knowing what tasks they are most comfortable with and their skills.

Fotograma del video Blown Minded de Young Galaxy

Hybrid meetings: what are they like?

When holding a group session, be it a meeting, a group dynamic, or a creative session, if the members are not in the same physical location at the same time, it is important to take into account a number of aspects to ensure a good working session.

  • Use specific platforms to make video calls.
  • Assign a facilitator or mediator to the session.
  • Share thoughts and ideas in real-time.
  • All opinions matter, wherever they are.
  • Utiliza Use online diary planners.

How does the hybrid work model affect motivation?

When we opt for a hybrid working model, we often wonder how the employees will feel, and assessing the motivation of the team is crucial to be able to carry out all the tasks.

When working from home or away from the company’s location, it is common to sometimes experience feelings of loneliness and isolation, and we may even feel disconnected from the company. Humans need to live together in society, both in our daily lives and in our work environment.

In corporations, human resources teams are tasked with maintaining the motivation of their employees.

According to the employment platform Infojobs, t is estimated that 27% of workers plan to leave their jobs in 2022.

We can say that a person is motivated at work when he/she feels that he/she is doing well, feels self-confident, enjoys doing his/her job, and is eager to improve and continue learning.

The first key factor for this to happen is that the employee feels valued and recognized in his or her contribution of value, feeling that he or she is an important part of the team.


It has been almost two years since we were forced to move our offices to our homes, resulting in the rise of telecommuting. According to Google Trends, the volume of searches for the terms “work stress”, “burnout” and “changing jobs” have increased significantly since the start of the pandemic. The WHO also recognized burnout as a disease that makes it difficult to manage one’s life normally due to job dissatisfaction.

But… What is it really?

According to the Spanish Institute of Labour and Social Affairs, “Burnout syndrome is a pathology derived from the interaction of the individual with certain harmful psychosocial working conditions”. We are therefore talking about chronic stress suffered by the worker and which leads to problems such as physical and mental exhaustion, anxiety, lack of motivation, irritability… among others.

This problem has generally been considered to be the responsibility of the worker, but could companies avoid this problem? How could they provide a better working environment?

Organisations have not stopped thriving and asking themselves how to improve

Although this type of work-related stress can occur in any sector and organization, several studies have found that workers are more likely to suffer from burnout when they are in a tense work environment, are overloaded with tasks, and lack autonomy and flexibility.

Tips to avoid Burnout

We must stop thinking that our values are something obvious that all employees know. Companies must take measures and establish good working habits to ensure the happiness of their employees and their work performance.

AWhen implementing a hybrid working model, it is important to consider the following aspects to facilitate the adaptation of employees and their well-being in the company.

  • You should never assume what employees want or need.
  • Communicate clearly your approach to the hybrid model.
  • It supports a healthy balance between work and personal aspects.
  • Measuring labor productivity.
  • Remote contact must not be lost.


We held an event together with Ofita, pecialists in the manufacture of office furniture. In this event, we invited several members of different collectives to highlight, based on the corporate culture and hybrid spaces of companies such as Enagás, Endesa, Nationale-Nederlanden.; and architecture firms such as Cano-Escario, Plug & Go y Cushman & Wakefield.

During the event, participants discussed what hybrid work meant to them and, based on their responses, we discussed the benefits and drawbacks they encountered in adopting this work model.

Photos of the Thinktank organised by Thinkers Co. and Ofita.

What did attendees think about what hybrid work is for them?

During the session, we asked the participants to express, through a post-it note, what they conceive as hybrid work and then to discuss with the rest of the team the reasons for their answers. These were some of their responses:

  • A 180º turn.
  • Opportunity.
  • Classic meets new.
  • Searching for the lifelong way with new means.
  • Convenience and conciliation.
  • Support for individuals.
  • Modularity and adaptability.
  • Chaos at home. Balance.

What benefits has this working model brought you?

As we have seen in the first part of the session, hybrid work means very different things to different people and, in each opinion, there are different nuances and perceptions. Therefore, we asked them to tell us about the benefits they had found. These were some of their responses:

  • Redefining working models.
  • Remote work.
  • New working methodologies.

What problems have been encountered?

After finding out what our participants’ conception of hybrid work was and the benefits they considered this model of work to bring, we asked them to tell us about any problems or disadvantages they had encountered. These were some of the responses:

  • Need for technological disconnection.
  • 24/7.
  • Loss of team feeling.


Working offshore has allowed us to break with the way we used to work and has opened up a new paradigm. This has given us the possibility to make a radical change and improve the way we work, both in terms of productivity and quality of life benefits.

The offshoring of work has been brought about by a combination of technology implementation and agile methodologies

The change has been so rapid that, although it is already widely implemented, it has opened up challenges at a personal and work level that we still have to resolve, among which we can highlight the following aspects:

  • Organizations must confront the dichotomy of expectations, possibilities, and culture that the new way of working has generated, generating new frameworks to re-transmit a working culture in the company.
  • Individuals are facing widespread burnout. It is important to achieve work-life balance while adapting to the new frameworks that companies are creating.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution to each of these challenges, but any proposed solution will need to be tailored to each individual organization, its culture and its employees.

What do we propose from Thinkers Co?

Discover it from our research click here.

At Thinkers Co. we transform the culture of your organization and develop new ways of working based on design and human capital,, so that your team can face strategic challenges in a more agile way, achieving effective solutions in highly uncertain projects and providing greater value to your company.

Published at 21/04/2022

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