Today, we see organizations adopt different types of remote work to find the fine balance of client needs, employee needs and success needs. As a candidate, it helps to have a good understanding of what they involve for your happiness at work.

the ‘remote time’ model – remote work tolerated, but not the norm.

This is a model that recognizes the inevitability of remote work, though leaders may not agree with it. Here, a few employees are approved to work remote on certain days. While it is commonly encountered in an agency model of employment, some corporates also use this as an incentive — with initiatives such as ‘remote Fridays’. The overall mandate is that employees must spend the bulk of their work time in the office. The small autonomy this model provides does improve employee experience.

the ‘remote exception’ model.

Here, the majority of employees work in the office, and some employees are allowed to indefinitely work remotely, based on their role or location. Though strictly not hybrid, it allows organizations to hire outside their locations — say, for 24-hour support responsibilities, or for

niche and hard-to-locate skills.

the hybrid-remote model – some are allowed to work remotely all the time.

This model allows almost everyone to work remote (except those whose roles cannot be mobile). There are quite a few variations of this model — such as ‘hot desking’, where certain employees come into office for a certain number of days per week or month. The office still

remains the centre of work, but there is greater flexibility that is allowed. While the leadership team mostly works in the office, employees are called in for events and meetings.

Man and woman sitting at table having a chat, while woman working on a tablet.
Man and woman sitting at table having a chat, while woman working on a tablet.

the hybrid-remote model – some are allowed to work remotely all the time.

Organizations that practice this model allow some — but not all —employees to work remotely 100% of the time. There are many variants of this model, based on who works remotely and who are present in the office. Many companies are experimenting with this model, and while in some, employees get to choose where and how they work, in others the decision is made by the management.

The downside here is that it could give rise to two conflicting work groups, and managing the differences can be challenging, both for the employees and the leadership. If you were to apply for a role in such companies, be sure and clear about what it involves.

goodbye, hassles of commuting.

This is a reason that finds unanimity in almost all people. The relief of not having to be stuck in traffic every day and the tremendous freeing up of time are benefits that all employees have experienced — and they are in no mood to trade this advantage. Empty hours behind the wheel or on public transport can be extremely stressful, and across the world, flexible work has also been found to reduce the increasing costs of healthcare.

For the green champions, reduced commute time equates to a lesser carbon footprint they leave on our planet.

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remote days – creating a level playing field.

Not a commonly practiced model, it ensures that the entire company works remotely at the same time. It creates an equal advantage for the employees and works for companies where most people have to commute long distances.

This way, there is a fair remote and in-person element of work. Yet, unless teams are well- geared for one day of completely remote work, it could be challenging.

remote-first, remote-only and remote-all — evolving to no physical offices.

These are different versions of workplaces optimized for all work being executed remote. Their workflows, policies and documentation are created on this assumption, even if there are occasional work from office situations. From offices being simply venues to work from, they

progressively move to a ‘no-physical’ office with all work being done remote, sometimes across the world too.

While flexibility scores high here, employee engagement could well take a hit, and candidates must be aware of this, and ask the right questions during their interviews. Candidates will need to view these models as scenarios on a sliding scale, ask the right questions, weigh their pros and cons, and opt for customized variants that align to their work


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