Hybrid Working: Tips, Trends and Developments

We show you how hybrid work has evolved and which tools can particularly support you in this.


Hybrid working - this term has been used and widely discussed more than ever in recent years. The (work) world has changed drastically and the demands on employees, companies and workplaces themselves even more so. But what exactly is behind the principle of hybrid work? How can it be implemented, what are the advantages and disadvantages it brings? And is it really the future of work? Our guest author Michael Wiedemann answers these questions and shows you how he and his colleagues at Jabra live and shape hybrid working.

What is hybrid working?

The definition is already in the name: Hybrid means that this form of work is a mixture. Specifically, this means that work no longer takes place exclusively in the office. Instead, employees can work outside the office as needed and preferred. This is not only limited to home office, but includes any form of so-called remote work - for example, on the road in the train on the way to a client meeting or in a café. This way, you can optimally and individually adapt each working week to your own appointments or needs.


Hybrid work enables flexible work from various locations. (Source: Jabra)

The origin of hybrid work

Of course, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine an exact date of origin for hybrid work. The development of hybrid work is by no means new, this trend has been around for several years. With the Corona pandemic, this has changed - as in so many other areas - a lot. When COVID-19 hit Germany, it was for the areas where it was possible in companies: all employees into the home office. This caught many employers unprepared and surprised. So it was important here to quickly acquire necessary equipment to enable as smooth a transition to working from home as possible. Now that some of the restrictions are starting to ease, staff are starting to return to offices in some cases, but many do not want to do this five days a week anymore. Instead, they want to have the option of deciding for themselves when and where they work - so it's safe to say that hybrid work has received a big boost from the Corona pandemic.

My change of the working world

My own work, like many of you, changed dramatically nearly 2 years ago. Before I joined Jabra at the beginning of this year, I spent almost all of my time in the office in pre-COVID19- times. During the peaks of the pandemic, there was a sudden shift: 100% home office.

At the beginning of the year, I made the switch to Jabra and started in the home office. This brings some challenges: getting to know colleagues virtually for the time being, getting processes explained in Teams Call, and asking questions mostly via chat rather than in person. But I quickly realized that Jabra and the whole team had deeply internalized the concept of hybrid work. This made my virtual start easier. Now, after almost a year of hybrid working, I wouldn't want to give up this model. If I want, I can meet my colleagues in the office or elsewhere or just work focused at Home Office. But more on the pros and cons later.

The current state of hybrid work

Since we at Jabra have long believed in hybrid work as a future model, we have investigated the changes caused by COVID-19 and carried out the Jabra Hybrid Ways of Working 2021 Global Report. Here we asked a total of 5,000 so-called knowledge workers in five countries about their views and wishes regarding hybrid work. The clear result: For 59 percent of respondents, the opportunity for hybrid work has replaced salary as the most important criterion for an employer. An even clearer result can be seen in the question of how often the respondents want to work in the office in the future: Only 17 percent want to return to the pre-Corona status and thus to five office days. An indication that employees do not want to miss the advantages of hybrid work.

The advantages and disadvantages of hybrid work

But what exactly are the advantages of hybrid work? And what are the disadvantages you should also expect?

The advantages

  • More flexibility - Work from where you want
  • More autonomy - You can schedule your workday freely
  • More concentration - You will not be disturbed by colleagues or hear other conversations
  • More productivity - Less interruptions also mean that you get more work done

The disadvantages

  • Less personal conversations - Social conversations outside of work hardly take place anymore
  • More video conferences - Seeing colleagues and customers mostly virtually can be tiring in the long run
  • Technical challenges - Connection problems, lack of hardware, software problems
  • Work and private life mix - Checking emails briefly after work? Unfortunately very tempting when working from home

In addition to the above pros and cons, you can certainly find more, but with this overview you definitely have the most important arguments for both sides. Interestingly, while the advantages relate to the work itself, the disadvantages are more about factors around the actual work. And these can not only be remedied, but can even be turned into advantages.

3 tips for hybrid working

1. Invest in professional (technical) equipment

Anyone who has technical problems with hybrid work is often not equipped with the right hardware by their employer. Because although employees have not been working exclusively in the office for some time now, not all companies have provided for the correct equipment.

The basis for successful hybrid working is the technology. We need to access our emails and documents from anywhere and communicate with our colleagues easily and uncomplicated. For this, companies must build a secure IT infrastructure that allows remote access, and provide their employees with platforms like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. In addition, of course, you need a good technical equipment and as ergonomic as possible workstation at home. Find out from your employer what you can get or address it. Some companies provide their employees with a one-time or regular budget for equipping the home office. In addition to basic equipment such as laptop, docking station, monitor, mouse, and keyboard, as well as a desk and office chair, professional audio and video solutions for virtual meetings and meetings are essential. The better you hear and see your colleagues, the better you understand each other and the more productive you work together. In addition, you avoid digital fatigue when you see your counterpart sharp and hear well.

When choosing the right audio and video solutions, it makes sense to use devices that have been optimized for the major platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Google Meet  and are best certified for them. This way you ensure that the devices work smoothly and easily together with the different video conferencing solutions. We recommend the Evolve2 series headset and the PanaCast 20 personal video camera for remote work. Depending on whether your remote workplace is noisy or quiet, you can decide for a headset with active noise cancellation (ANC). It is definitely worth trying a few different headsets to find the best solution for you. The big advantage - regardless of which headset you choose - is the excellent microphone technology of these headsets. Your counterpart will only hear your voice - ambient noise and annoying echoes no longer disturb your conferences and conversations.

If you also have the problem that you do not have a workroom at home and you do not want your colleagues to inspect your private furnishings in the living, dining or bedroom, you can easily remedy this with a virtual background. However, you should be aware that virtual backgrounds often also send their own message and select the background accordingly if you want to appear professional. We generally recommend rather restrained motives and calm colors, as this is more pleasant for the eyes of the other conference participants. Companies should provide their employees with appropriate backgrounds in corporate design. The times when everybody found it funny when we took part in the conference from the Death Star or the Caribbean beach are slowly then over and such backgrounds should at best be used for informal internal meetings.

2. Make videoconferences varied

In hybrid teams, video conferences are part of the working day. They replace personal meetings in a conference room and are often seen as a poorer alternative. But if they are supported by the right technology and interactive tools and designed to be varied and dynamic, they can compete with “real” meetings. There is a wide range of new-work-tools, that can improve collaboration during meetings and in general. With the Miro app, for example, you can work with your colleagues on a live, endless virtual whiteboard during brainstorming and creative workshops, organizing ideas, creating mind maps, and visualizing strategies and processes. This creates a friendly and playful atmosphere on the one hand, and brings variety and creativity to the meeting on the other.

When designing the agenda of a video conference, you should avoid long monologues and lectures by a single person. Instead, topics should be broken down and feedback from everyone, especially remote participants, should be actively sought again and again. More reserved employees tend to not speak up even more in virtual conferences than in real meetings. In hybrid meetings - i.e. meetings where a part of the colleagues in a conference room in the office and another part in the home office - it is generally important to ensure that the remote participants are treated equally and have a similar meeting experience as the employees in the office. Here, too, the right technical equipment in the conference room itself helps. The intelligent video bar Jabra PanaCast 50, for example, with functions like Intelligent Zoom, Virtual Director and whiteboard feature, makes the dynamism in the room also arrive at your home. Thanks to the 180° coverage of the camera, you can see the whole room and all participants on the one hand, while the Intelligent Zoom and the Virtual Director focus on the speakers and swing between them.

3. Adapt digital collaboration

Since you don't run into your work colleagues as often by accident at the coffee machine with hybrid work models, you should plan regular short check-ins with them - preferably via video. This way, you can meet with your team for a joint lunch or coffee break and consciously not only talk about work. For the team feeling and collaboration, it is important to build and maintain a personal connection to your colleagues. To meet your colleagues with empathy, it is important to not only communicate via e-mails, but also to exchange “face to face”. That's why we at Jabra also recommend turning on the video camera for short conversations. For team leaders and managers, it should also be an important part of remote leadership to regularly hold meetings with their team members via video. Emotions can simply still be read better when we see the face of our counterpart.

In our study on hybrid work, it also turned out that many employees fear that their professional development could suffer if they see their superiors less often compared to other colleagues. So 52 percent of respondents stated that they would prefer to work from home, but fear that this would harm their career in the long term. So if you like to work from home, but have similar fears, the hybrid work model is a good compromise. It is worth communicating clearly within the team and with superiors, on the one hand to enable individual arrangements, what place of work and time concerns, and on the other hand to ensure the equal rights of remote, hybrid and on-site working employees. It should always be transparent for everyone when who works in the office.

In order to be able to work best with the team on various projects and always stay up to date, in addition to the regular check-ins we also recommend project management software & tools. Whether Monday.com, Asana, Jira or Trello, depending on the tool, there are different uses and implementation options. Be it the internal team coordination, the coordination between departments or the one with agencies and partners. In addition, there are differences in terms of the functions and complexity. Once set up and installed in the team or the company, these tools offer great possibilities to collaborate with each other regardless of location. You can find out which software or which tool is right for you on OMR Reviews.

Especially from the marketing perspective, I personally prefer Asana or Monday.com because they give me more possibilities to approach projects in the team quickly and easily and implement them efficiently. You can assign clear contacts and deadlines, so that everyone knows what to do and at which stage the project is. Colors and tags additionally help with organization and overview. All in all, it can be said that all tools have advantages and disadvantages - just try it out. Almost all tools offer, for example, a 7-day free trial.

Recommended project management software

On our comparison platform OMR Reviews you can find more recommended Project management-Software. We present over 300 tools that are particularly suitable for small and medium-sized companies, start-ups and large corporations and offer support in all areas of project management. Take the opportunity to compare the different software and rely on authentic and verified user reviews:

The future belongs to hybrid work

Hybrid work has come to stay. The pandemic has shown even skeptics that remote (collaboration) is possible and can be successful. However, many companies have been and are still not optimally positioned to enable flexible work models. But in the future they will become more and more of a real competitive advantage in the fight for talent. A lot will move here in the next two to three years, companies, managers and employees will learn from their experiences and continuously improve their processes. Depending on the position and job function, employees will be able to choose from different work models with the majority of employers. While until recently companies like Google and hip start-ups lured their employees with creatively designed offices, free food and team activities to spend as much time on site as possible in order to promote productivity, creativity and collaboration, forward-thinking companies will distinguish themselves by offering the best of both worlds – namely individual and flexible work in the home office or from other locations and personal collaboration in the office.

Also in terms of sustainability, companies with remote and hybrid work models can make a major contribution. Less commuting to work, fewer business trips and smaller office spaces help reduce the CO2 footprint.

Michael Wiedemann
Michael Wiedemann

Michael Wiedemann ist seit Anfang des Jahres Channel Marketing Manager DACH bei Jabra und hat dort ein komplett remotes Onboarding erlebt. Er brennt für digitales Marketing und Themen rund um hybrides Arbeiten. In seiner freien Zeit macht er gerne Sport und ist in der Natur unterwegs.

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