Vacation? The Perfect Time to Start “Hybrid 2.0”


Get a pencil and draw the following curve. First horizontal, then gradually rising parabolically to the top. Afterwards dropping steeply to the bottom of the paper to rise again and continue horizontally a little higher than the first line. It’s called a hype curve and it illustrates the life cycle of trends.

At the highest peak, the trend is everywhere. Everybody talks about it, tries it and pretends that it’s essential. If you look at your curve, you know what to expect. Decline and oblivion. Only then the hardening of the trend and its actual and mainly useful implementation into practice. Effective and efficient.

Work a couple of days from home and a couple of days in the office and everything else is business as usual

Why such a complicated exercise? To make you realize that the hybrid mode of work- i.e. the combination of staying in the office, is a trend like any other. And like anything else, it needs a major audit to be really functional.

Many companies have already tried the hybrid model. However, in many cases, the results haven’t been as great as they expected. It makes sense. A hybrid model doesn’t mean that you allow people to be at home on Fridays or move to a 3:2 model. The measures have to be much more complex. Hardly any company has managed to do that. That’s why we’re getting to know that “the hybrid doesn’t work and if people didn’t press for it, we’d rather have them in the office”.

What are the most common problems?

Lack of impact evaluation: Many companies don’t collect enough data to really evaluate how the hybrid mode is working.

Low flexibility: Some companies fail to adapt the specific needs of their employees or the market. So, the hybrid is then a model that suits nobody.

Failure to follow-up: Implementing the hybrid mode requires a thorough intervention in culture and management. A large number of companies haven’t matured into it at all.

Low management involvement: “I don’t get in the way but I disagree” is a position that slows down more than you might expect.

Lack of data for qualified planning: I can think of 12 main ways to grab the hybrid mode. Which one is yours? You won‘t find it out without data.

Hybrid 2.0

Take another look at the curve you’ve drawn and decide. Either you enjoy the sobering and decline (well, okay, it won’t be as steep as on the paper) and the feeling that much of your effort to push the hybrid mode forward will be destroyed. Or you’ll be smart and move to the right side of the paper where the situation is already stabilised.

This is where a mature trend called “hybrid 2.0” is settled. How does it differ from the first one? First of all, it can be a good win-win model. It’ll suit the employees and the company as well. It’ll increase efficiency. You’ll be more competitive. It’ll be supported by the management.

You should think about:

  • Greater respect for the employees needs: Flexibility and individualisation of working patterns based on the natural needs for a well-done job.
  • Make monitoring and efficiency better: Using advanced tools to monitor employee performance and their satisfaction, as well as the effectiveness of their work.
  • Clear rules and expectations: Transparent communication and clear expectations from the outset. All of this linked to the company culture.

What will make it the most different?

  • Build it together. People will feel like it’s their model.
  • Every “favor” to your people will be balanced by a “favor” of the people towards the company. The balance is a must and it creates important added value for both parties.
  • Update regularly. What was true six months ago, may not be true now.
  • You can measure its meaningfulness. Any fluctuation your intuition senses will be recorded by the data too.
  • Update the company culture around it. Not vice versa.
  • You won’t be afraid to say “no” to some people if the rest say “yes”. You’ll feel the move of your new model more than the old one.
  • Explain until there’s consensus within the company. If you haven’t underestimated point 1, you’ll quickly get the feeling that everything is working to satisfaction of people and management as well.Strategic Work

Vacation as a good time to experiment

Why this topic right now? Because vacation is the perfect time to test new working regimes- we wrote about it last year. Summer is a good training period because it offers:

  • Less workload: Summer months are often calmer, making it easier to implement changes.
  • More flexible working hours: Many employees have more flexible schedules during vacation time, making it easier to experiment with new models. This legitimises to some extent what would in practice be an unnecessary “grey zone”. After all, why not make it an annual practice?
  • More time to result evaluation: If there’s less work pressure, there’s more space to monitor and analyse the results. They might be more enjoyable.

Have we lured you? Have you decided to test hybrid 2.0 this summer? Great. So, where to start?

1) Back to the beginning. Set clear goals and expectations within the management

° Make sure everyone in the company understands exactly what hybrid mode means and     what its goals are. It may include increasing productivity and employee satisfaction or reducing the cost of running the office.

° Make it clear that you all see the benefit of the hybrid mode (or at least the necessity) and won’t place obstacles in the ways.

Sloneek’s research shows that the hybrid mode benefits are often associated with the employee benefits. The direct impact on setting of HR strategy and processes hasn’t been strongly emphasised by companies yet.

2) Critical evaluation of the existing rules

° Focus on evaluating as you normally do. Again, involve department managers and team members too. We recommend combining a survey with gathering qualitative input in the form of discussions.

° Collect information about what works, but also what doesn’t work. Categorize each input into soft ones (usually collected from the team members, they’re “emotional”) and hard ones (usually provided by management).

The most frequently addressed issues related to “hybrid” are “defining and respecting rules” (37%), communication (19%), office and HO equipment (12.5%).

3) Dive into the data

° Have you ever done “before hybrid” and “after hybrid” analysis? No? It’s high time you start.

° If you don’t have the data (which is more likely), create a new dataset that will map the hybrid mode effectiveness. We deal with it in a separate section below.

Only 51% of companies collect and regularly evaluate performance data, likewise feedback. Only half of the companies, that declare regular feedback, really measure or monitor it.

4) Choose the right tools and technologies

° Having the right tools is the key to a successful hybrid model. It includes audit of all the platforms you operate on. Video conference software, project management tools and productivity tracking systems. Do you really have the ones that suit everybody and they know how to use them?

° HRIS platform is a separate chapter that must have hybrid in its blood as we do in Sloneek.

According to Sloneek’s research, despite a large percentage of companies using (let’s say complete) HR digitalization through a regular HR system, there are still ¼ of those that have no system or use Excel, possibly in combination with an ATS system. Then, 60% of this number are the companies with size 50+!

5) Communicate openly and regularly

° Regular communication of collective approach is the key to a successful hybrid model. The most crucial detail is that it’ll map weeks rather than months.

° During vacation, set a few touchpoints where the team can comment on the changes and when you’ll collect feedback in a non-violent and natural way.

The main common denominators of the problems with the introduction of hybrid models are difficult communication (24%), interpersonal relationship deterioration (20%) or coordination (9%). It implies risks mostly in the form of lower productivity.

Assessment Center Examples

What to do “in a different way”?

First step: first of all, verify the hypotheses you set based on the research. Have you found out that people would appreciate more freedom and a chance to choose the home office days? You can make it one of your goals to test what impact it’ll have on productivity or morale.

Did they complain about too much control- for example, formal tracking of their active computer time and being strict about working hours?  Try to discuss why this rule is applied and how it could be set differently.

Try to meet people halfway. However, the rules must be clear. More freedom? Then, more analytics is needed. So, set new rules for efficiency control and ideally involve self-reflective evaluation.

More freedom and independence? It’s important to integrate more in the company culture- among other things- for example, development of the company projects beyond everyday duties.

To verify the hypothesis, you should start working with long-term research or at least with the data with sufficient resolution. Do you work in sprints? Then, it would be fine to measure the success rate of each one so that it can be compared to time it takes to implement changes. Do you report or invoice monthly? Set your frequency based on it.

Share the data with the teams so they understand the context of your actions.

What metrics should be newly included? In addition to the common ones, like measuring satisfaction, task completion rate or the number of reworks, you should include the following ones:

Tempo of adaptation

One of the key metrics for successful implementation of the hybrid 2.0 model is the tempo of employee adaptation to new rules. This metrics monitors how quickly and effectively employees adapt to new working conditions, processes and technologies. Monitoring of this metrics allows you to identify areas where additional support and training is needed to ensure smooth transitions and minimise performance failure.

Time management level

Measuring time spent on a task is one thing but being able to estimate the time necessary for a task, and then stick to it, is another. Time management productivity assesses how people use their time. By the way, tracking it is essential to the hybrid mode – it’s the collapse of time management that most managers concern about and it’s often the main reason why they write the hybrid mode off. Setting “time allocation” isn’t often embedded in company culture and it’s related to identification of the type of work.

Workload fit

One of the advantages of the hybrid should be that it combines the working environment according to the type of work activity. If a man has to concentrate and focus on work, they can often do that better at home than in a noisy team. Vice versa- creative activities might go better when you can share opinions and knowledge with your colleagues.

It’s also true that if the hybrid mode turns this advantage into disadvantage, its effectiveness naturally decreases.

If you can spend hours planning orders or projects, you can also plan their character. It allows to measure the efficiency of hybrid 2.0 by the “workload fit” parameter– i.e. if the character of work matches more with work in the office or remote work.

Draw on potential

Another key metrics is so-called “draw on potential”. If you work with competency models, you should be able to measure how fast colleagues move up the skills ladder. You should ensure that your model leads to a faster progress. The progress differences between specific periods are called “draw on potential”. It also shows clearly whether colleagues – in spite of the fact how efficient they work on tasks – don’t slacken in other areas because of the hybrid.


My favourite metrics which is based on a simple consideration: what gets talked about, gets thought about. Check your company communication channels every week to see how many times the team spontaneously mentions the changes you’re implementing. In case of being precise, measure the totality of the mentions as well.

To what extent people deal with your measures or use your internal terminology reflects the real acceptance of the innovations in your team.


Vacation is a great opportunity to experiment and find your “hybrid zen”. With a clear strategy, the right tools and willingness to adapt, you can create effective and flexible work environment that brings out the best in both the company and its employees. If you plan a careful evaluation of your experiment at the end of August, be sure that you’ll learn more about your company in two months than you will in the entire year. So, you’ll be well prepared for new challenges the autumn work season will bring.