For many businesses hybrid working has – by definition – become the medium for giving staff the flexibility to work from home, but also mandate some office time for in-person communication and collaboration.

As the largest organisations continue to enforce full-time return-to-office policies, smaller businesses have nowhere near the same leverage to enforce this and whilst hybrid working long predates the pandemic, it has become much more commonplace and even expected across a wider range of roles.

That amount of time spent in an office has largely been left to employer discretion – there’s no written, or unwritten, rule on the best hybrid working split, at least not yet. By nature, hybrid working is entirely open to interpretation.

Subsequently, for a typical five-day hybrid working week, a colleague either:

  1. works predominantly in an office, with some availability reserved to work from home, or,
  2. works predominantly from home, with some availability reserved to work from an office.

The Key Hybrid Consideration

Understandably, the typical availability and extent of hybrid working varies per business vertical and so there is no perfect hybrid working split. Where the majority of technology roles, marketing, and even GP roles can be hybrid (or fully remote), roles like engineering, primary and secondary-level educators, and beauty services can’t typically work at all in a hybrid setup.

When it comes to introducing any hybrid working policy into your team, the key consideration is, feasibly, how much of the role could be done without the facilities you have on-site. Again, for many technology and marketing roles, this is typically >90% Therefore, it’s somewhat fair for staff to expect a hybrid working opportunity of up to 3 or 4 days per week from home. For teaching staff that are required to be on-site to deliver education, they may be able to work 1 day per week, if at all, from home. In both cases, these roles would qualify as hybrid.

The Preferred Split

With something so commonplace in today’s working practices, particularly for technology roles, a preferred or even expected hybrid working split has started to come to light.

In a poll run by Embeddable, we asked “When it comes to ‘hybrid’, on average how many days do you expect to spend in an office per week?

Chart showing that 2 days is the preferred number of days working in an office as part of a hybrid working setup.

  • 11% of poll respondents expected to spend no more than one day per week in an office,
  • 48% expected to spend no more than two days per week in an office,
  • 30% expected to spend no more than three days per week in an office,
  • 11% expected to spend up-to four days per week in an office.

Immediately from the results, we can see that the majority of hybrid workers expect to spend multiple days both working in and away from the office in any given week, with preference leaning towards a ‘work-from-home-driven, office-supplemented’ approach.

Using This Data

As an employer, staff retention is a key focus. With hybrid working becoming more commonplace across a wider range of roles, businesses must be as flexible as possible when it comes to offering opportunities for home and general off-site working. Where the behemoths of FAANG have leverage and a line of potential future hires to make a return to office mandate achievable, the small business focus remains on striking the right balance.

  • Review your current hybrid working approach, if it exists and is applicable,
  • Speak to your team, and understand their preferences when it comes to hybrid,

Beyond those two simple points, you can also review your data. Whilst some are not directly linked to only hybrid working, it can be implied that hybrid working deserves some level of attribution. If you have already introduced hybrid, you could begin to measure since its introduction:

  • Have staff absences increased or decreased?
  • Has staff retention increased or decreased?
  • Has staff morale and happiness increased or decreased?
  • Has measurable business productivity increased or decreased?
  • Has customer or client satisfaction increased or decreased?
  • Does any given job advert typically receive more or less shortlisted applicants? It’s possible to A/B test this by advertising the same role with different working structures.