October 25, 2021

5 Lessons We Learned From 1 Year With a Hybrid Work Model

Two weeks didn’t seem all that long when we first heard about “flattening the curve” in March 2020. The PHOS team packed a few things from our desks and settled in for a weird two weeks. Well, a year-and-a-half later, we are still navigating, dare I say it, an unprecedented time.

Fortunately, we’ve become even more comfortable with pivoting and grown stronger as an organization from that initial work remotely announcement. One of the biggest changes that a global pandemic brought on for PHOS was our hybrid work model.

For six months, we operated completely remote, something that we had never done before. Before 2020, less than 10% of our team had worked remotely on a regular basis. We had to quickly get creative about protecting our culture, being indispensable to our clients, and operating under new circumstances. But last summer we also realized another need: to be together safely.

A New Normal

You probably cringed because you’ve seen the term new normal plastered everywhere for the past 18 months. I’m sorry for that. As a team, we have craved face-to-face interaction, but there were hurdles to work through, including the health safety of team members and our newfound love for working remotely.

Enter a great compromise: our hybrid model.

Our leadership brought a new idea to the team in which we would come into the PHOS Studio for 2 days and spend the other 3 days of the workweek working from home. These days wouldn’t be back-to-back, so we could break up our workweek with dedicated in-person and online time. It’s a model that a majority of the nation prefers as a response to the pandemic.

This is the same model we operate with today! Fortunately, the hybrid model is just one of the new ways businesses are adapting to the ever-changing in-person and digital workplace. We break down lessons learned after 1 year of hybrid working under our belt.

Lessons Learned From Our Hybrid Model

1. Being Hybrid Allows for the Most Flexibility

With 60% of our time spent working from our homes, our hybrid model allows our team to lean into their needs outside of the office. Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment or their kid’s activities, our team can use flex time to make up missed hours right from home. That way, Paid Time Off (PTO) hours are used intentionally, rather than burned for necessary time away from work. PTO is a reward and a vehicle for rest and restoration.

The hybrid model also paved the way for our “Work from Anywhere” policy. The policy is just like it says: our team can work from anywhere! From our back porches, a local coffee shop, or even our parents’ basement for a holiday, our team has conducted their work from various locations — within reason — across the nation!

We will note that there are some exemptions to this policy. You’re still expected to dress as you would be if you were physically in the studio (sorry, Hawaiian shirts), and you still need a stable internet connection. So, a deserted island or the middle of the forest will likely be ruled out.

2. Culture Isn’t Building-Bound

When we were fully remote, we learned very quickly that culture needed to be continually cultivated. It’s easier to pour into culture when you are all together, but it becomes even more difficult to stay connected to others when you’re remote. We grew stronger in those 6 months because everyone on our team took it upon themselves to stay engaged. We held daily calls just to catch up or ask an off-the-wall question and we held remote PHam nights to stay connected.

But the sweetest part of our hybrid model? Our culture isn’t bound by a video call, nor is it exclusive to our studio. We continue to develop new and intentional ways of fostering community.

3. Mission Should Be Tangible

Your company’s mission, vision, and core values should be at the forefront of your organization and lived out by your team. When we’re apart, the mission can feel further and further away if we don’t protect it. This year, we introduced BaaM cards to highlight our focus for 2021, Business as a Ministry. These are found across our desks, at home, and in the studio as a physical reminder of ways to challenge ourselves and grow.

But, in true PHOS fashion, we took it a step further. Our Founder and Chief Purpose Officer, Brandon, crafted a living, tangible, and hard-to-ignore symbol of our mission. The PHOS Light Wall is a reminder each day we come into the studio that we exist for a greater purpose. If you’re looking for ideas to showcase your mission in a tangible, intentional way, hit us up. We’d love to help you brainstorm!

4. Time Together Shouldn’t Be Taken for Granted

When we all came together for the first time since March of 2020, you couldn’t wipe the smiles off of our faces. You don’t know a good thing until it’s gone, right? Our hybrid model creates ample opportunities to build into in-person connections and gives our team something to look forward to. A Wednesday just isn’t a Wednesday anymore! It’s a time to see everyone in person and not just through a video call. There’s such celebration in these moments that would be overlooked 2 years ago.

5. We Love Our PHocus Days

Being fully remote allowed our team to lean into the wonderful world of remote work. There are obvious benefits, such as never having to leave our pets, walking around in fuzzy slippers, and having no one to see what number cup of coffee we’re drinking.

But one of our favorite benefits of working from home is the uninterrupted focus time. It’s very simple to turn off notifications and zero in on work while you’re remote. There are fewer distractions and temptations to chat with other people. It’s the perfect balance to in-studio celebratory days.

How You Respond To Change Matters the Most

There are pros and cons to every type of work cadence and environment. The hybrid work model has been fantastic for us here at PHOS. In fact, our team is unanimously behind it, as evidenced by our recent Florida Trends award for the best places to work in Florida!

Unsure how to grow your business remotely, hybrid, or in person? Let us help you!

Bailey Revis

Bailey Revis

Bailey is dedicated to creating and cultivating not only exceptional content, but also valuable relationships. As an Inbound Marketing Executive, she implements hands-on strategies and innovative thinking to build strong client relationships and deliver valuable content.

Outside of PHOS, you can find Bailey managing her own Etsy shop, enjoying a cup (or two) of coffee, or frequenting Walt Disney World. Her obsessions include Dolly Parton, Drake, and the color navy.