While the concept of remote work is not new, it is certainly gaining traction as companies wrestle with ways to keep employees safe but still productive. Large companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are shifting to a “hybrid office model,” which allows some portion of a company’s workforce to work from the office (pants please). In contrast, the other part works remotely (pants optional). And those groups may rotate on a regular basis.1

As a culture, we are currently undergoing a shift in understanding what is meant by “the office.” Because of hybrid offices and remote work models, many employers are downsizing or closing their space. Others are looking at renting a coworking space for a smaller number of employees and at a fraction of the price.

Almost every company has introduced some sort of remote work into their business model. In 2020, 74% of employers reported that they intended to shift some employees to remote work permanently.2 And almost 70% of full-time workers in the U.S were working from home as of 2020.3 But as restrictions come and go and vary widely by geographic area, employers are looking for a more sustainable solution.

The concept of a hybrid workspace may be that solution. Though it hasn’t found its way to the dictionary yet (yes, we checked), a hybrid office is defined as “a flexible workplace model that is designed to support a distributed workforce of both in-office and remote workers.”4

What are the benefits of a hybrid office?

Workers are enjoying the freedom of working remotely. Why? Maybe it’s because of the reduced health risks, a better work-life balance, or maybe they’re tired of hearing Steve from HR constantly talk about his boat. (Just kidding, Steve!)

But, let’s be honest, most people didn’t want to be in the office every single day, even pre-pandemic. And now, half of all employees say they won’t return to jobs that don’t offer remote work options.5

For companies looking for a compromise between a mandatory physical presence in the office and an entirely remote workforce, the hybrid office model offers several benefits.

Preservation of some face time. Sometimes video conferencing is no substitute for actual facetime, especially for projects that require team collaboration. The hybrid office model allows for such collaboration when smaller groups are present together in the office.

Increase in productivity. Research from Wharton suggests that, across all industries, productivity remained stable as the workforce went largely remote.6 What’s more, productivity even increased in many companies.7

Decrease in overhead. Fewer people in one space means fewer assets to buy and maintain. Companies migrating to coworking spaces usually benefit from pre-furnished spaces and lower rent, with utilities included. One analytics group found that a typical employer can save an overage of $11,000 per half-time remote employee per year.8

Employee satisfaction. Across the board, people have found fulfillment in being able to do their duties from home at least part of the time. Research even suggests that there are significant mental health benefits from hybrid office arrangements.9

How do you set up a hybrid office?

When establishing a hybrid office model, some best practices can ensure a successful transition and help you avoid some of the pitfalls that remote work can entail.

Establish a routine. Communicate clearly when employees are scheduled to be in the office, when they are scheduled to work remotely, and when those groups will rotate. To make sure everyone is on the same page, publish that schedule, and make sure everyone has access to it. For employees scheduled to work remotely, you might even want to offer some guidance on productivity when working from home.

Be patient. It’s important not to overcorrect when transitioning to a hybrid office model. Employers might be tempted to think everyone has to be in constant communication and must respond to emails immediately if they’re working remotely, but be patient.

Use project management tools. Give employees a chance to figure out what works best for them. And explore workflow tools that help employees keep projects moving forward. Some popular options include:

Maintain the human connection. While some people still squirm at the idea of a video call, it can help foster better communication for employees to see each other while they communicate. Plus, video calls are becoming the norm. In 2020, people began using video meetings significantly more than they did before.10 When determining your hybrid schedule, mix it up so that different employees get the chance to interact with each other when they’re in the office.

Keep your company safe online. Coworking spaces and even working from home can mean an unsecured Wi-Fi connection, which is an open invitation for malicious hackers. In fact, 90% of IT leaders are adamant that remote work creates additional cyber risk. However, when asked whether the benefits of remote work outweigh the risks, 92% said they believe so.11 Make sure to train your employees about how to maintain security standards when working remotely.

Keep communication open with employees. A business owner has freedoms (and liabilities) that don’t apply in the same way to their employees. When implementing a hybrid office model, make sure that all employees fully understand the plan and that the system is equitable for everyone when allocating remote hours versus in-office hours.

Find the workspace. If you are downsizing your office footprint as you transition to a hybrid office, sites like Coworker and Spaces are making it easier to find coworking spaces near you.

What is the outlook for hybrid offices?

With so much uncertainty for the future, companies are getting more agile. By all accounts, the trend toward hybrid offices looks like it will continue. Employees will certainly demand some kind of remote working arrangement. Up to 98% of remote workers would like to continue working remotely — at least some of the time — for the rest of their careers.12

And it’s not just good for employees. There are benefits for employers as well, beyond just saving costs on overhead expenses. Three out of every four employees report being at least as productive when working remotely, and many have been getting even more done working from home.13

Is your hybrid office fully protected?

The hybrid office model, when implemented correctly, can be beneficial to both employees and employers. But whether your employees are working remotely, in an office, or somewhere else entirely, you need to make sure your company has the protection it needs.

Thimble is here to help. If you provide professional services, our professional liability insurance can help protect your assets against claims of errors or mistakes in your work that cause clients a financial loss. And if you own an office, Thimble’s business owners policy (BOP) combines both commercial property insurance and general liability insurance.

There are enough things to worry about in the world right now — insurance doesn’t have to be one of them. Just click “get a quote” or download our mobile app, answer a few questions, and you’ll receive your quote in just a few minutes. Nothing too complicated about that!


  1. Forbes. The ‘Hybrid Model’ Of Working Remotely And In The Office Could Create Big Expenses for Companies and Give Rise to Two Classes of Employees. 
  2. Gartner. Gartner CFO Survey Reveals 74% Intend to Shift Some Employees to Remote Work Permanently. 
  3. Owl Labs. State of Remote Work Report. 
  4. Mersive Technologies. What is a Hybrid Workspace? 
  5. Owl Labs. State of Remote Work Report. 
  6. Microsoft. Building resilience & maintaining innovation in a hybrid world. 
  7. GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.Telecommuting Trend Data. 
  8. GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.Telecommuting Trend Data. 
  9. Flexjobs. FlexJobs, Mental Health America Survey: Those With Flexible Work Report Better Mental Health. 
  10. Owl Labs. State of Remote Work Report. 
  11. OpenVPN. Remote Work Is the Future — But Is Your Organization Ready for It? 
  12. Buffer. 2021 State of Remote Work. 
  13. Owl Labs. State of Remote Work Report.