Our first annual Sustainability Report, detailing 2023 performance, is now available. View Here

Our 2023 Sustainability Report is now available. View Here

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The Executive’s Guide to the Hybrid Workplace

Modern enterprises often don’t have a fully in-person or fully remote workforce. They may have some employees who come to campus every day. Others may be distributed across the country—or even the world—and rarely, if ever, come into the office. And plenty have employees work in the office on some days and remotely on others.

This mix of virtual and in-person workforces has given rise to the hybrid workplace, also known as the dynamic workplace, where businesses adapt their physical space to accommodate both types of work.

Hybrid workplaces are designed to accommodate both in-person and remote work. They either allow employees to work remotely part time, or have a mix of in-person and virtual workforces.

While there’s been heated debate over the last few years, hybrid workplaces are here to stay. COVID-19 forced a lot of businesses to temporarily become hybrid or fully remote, and now employees and executives alike have seen the appeal on a much larger scale. Many employees now expect this flexibility, and some business leaders are eager to reduce their real estate portfolios.

For most offices, the question isn’t whether to become a hybrid workplace, but what type of hybrid model to adopt. Who gets to be remote? How often? Today’s business leaders have to strike the right balance between giving employees complete autonomy and providing the structure their organization needs to be effective.

In this guide to the hybrid workplace, we’ll walk you through:

To begin, let’s look at some of the different ways businesses run a hybrid workplace.

Hybrid workplace models

While all hybrid workplaces have virtual and in-person workforces, there are many ways to structure them. For example, you may want greater control over how your space gets used to optimize utilization, or you might want maximum flexibility to increase employee satisfaction. Most businesses fall somewhere between a rigidly structured or fully flexible model, balancing their facility’s capabilities, leadership’s desires, and their employees’ preferences.

The trick is to ensure that you always have enough supply of space to keep up with demand, whether that demand is fixed or dynamic. Facilitating a hybrid workplace means you won’t need the same number of dedicated workstations as you would with a completely in-person workforce. Still, you’ll have to decide how much space to allocate for hoteling and where remote employees can reserve areas to work on campus.

And that all depends on whether your hybrid workplace uses a structured or flexible model, and how you’ve defined your work from home (WFH) policy.


In a structured hybrid workplace, you decide who works remote and when. Your virtual employees may have a set schedule for when they’re remote and when they have to be on campus, or you may simply have set employees who are always remote and others who are always on campus. This is more common in organizations where some roles can’t be performed remotely, or where your workforce is more distributed. Increasingly, “structured hybrid” is serving as a middle ground between employees who want total autonomy and employers who want in-person workforces.


A flexible hybrid workplace gives employees more autonomy over their work environment and schedule. They may have a limited number of days they can work remotely each week or month, or they could have complete freedom to decide which days (if any) they come to campus. Depending on the type of work being performed, employees may also be able to set their own hours as well. Offering this level of flexibility requires a greater percentage of reservable workspaces, as you will have to expect more variance in where and how people want to work each day.

However you run your hybrid workplace, it’s essential that you understand how your space is being used day-to-day and that you manage it accordingly.

Benefits of a hybrid workplace

Hybrid workplaces have several key advantages that benefit your business and your employees. While many of these benefits come from simply having some remote employees, by continuing to use physical office space, a hybrid model can keep your business flexible in other ways as well.

Increase employee satisfaction and wellness

When employees can control when and how they work, it’s easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance. If your WFH policy doesn’t include a set work schedule each day, employees can plan their workday around childcare, social activities, errands, appointments, and other commitments that are much harder to juggle with a commute to work and a fixed schedule.

Not all employees want to work remotely, either. They may not have an environment at home where they can be productive. You can’t always control interruptions from kids, roommates, pets, and solicitors. And you can only spend so many hours at local coffee shops.

Despite the popularity of working from home, it’s not for everyone. With a hybrid workplace, that’s OK. Employees who want or need to come into the office, collaborate with colleagues in-person, and access all the equipment and amenities on campus can do so, and people who can be productive at home can do that as well.

An all-or-nothing approach to a virtual workplace will always negatively affect some employees. Hybrid models can increase employee satisfaction and wellness by making both environments an option at least part of the time, so employees can work in the ways that are ideal for them, and employers can balance that with their own needs.

Improve productivity

By now, we have enough data to know that not only do employees still get things done when working from home and other locations, but they’re often more productive than they would be in the office. This certainly isn’t true for every employee or every workplace. It depends on the individual and their circumstances, their role and industry, and how the model is implemented in the workplace. But when employees are free to choose when and how they work best, that’s often when they work best.

Reduce your real estate portfolio

If a percentage of your workforce is virtual, you don’t need dedicated space for them all. You will likely need some hoteling space so that remote employees can reserve workstations, offices, or collaborative areas as needed, but ultimately, you don’t need as much space as you would with a fully in-person workforce.

Many businesses have found that they can save so much space with a hybrid model that they can actually downsize their offices, sublet floors, or reconfigure their space in a way that allows them to significantly reduce occupancy costs. Real estate is usually one of an enterprise’s top expenses, and even minor changes can have major implications for your budget.

Even if implementing a hybrid model doesn’t allow you to make reductions right now, it will make the space you have last longer. As your company grows and you need to add teams, departments, or types of spaces, you’ll already have some flexibility to reconfigure your current space instead of just being stuck paying for more.

Access a greater pool of talent

In a traditional workplace, the further you are from large talent pools (such as major cities and large universities), the harder it is to hire the employees you need. Opening the door to remote work means that your business won’t be limited to local talent or people who are willing to relocate to your area when you need to fill positions.

This is extremely valuable whether you have locations in cities with a high cost of living or more remote (and perhaps less desirable) areas. It also helps if you’re in competitive regions where major companies keep scooping up your best prospects or even poaching your employees.
In the past, it was often seen as an inconvenience when a job candidate wanted to work remotely. But with the wealth of remote collaboration tools and the normalization of working from home, your in-person employees are likely already used to working with peers, superiors, and subordinates in virtual formats.

Companies used to compete for talented employees by offering bigger and better amenities, transforming the office into a space people felt like they never had to leave. But for many of the most in-demand people, the most appealing companies to work for aren’t the ones that keep them on campus more—they want to work for businesses that empower them to live the life they want, where they want it.

Some people want to uproot their lives and start over in a new city. Others want to keep their kids in the same school, stay close to friends and family, and continue living in the same community. A hybrid workplace lets your company appeal to both types of people, making your job offers more competitive than fully remote or traditional workplaces.

Use your space more creatively

In-person employees need workstations. By shifting some of these employees to remote work, you need fewer workstations, so you can allocate this space for other purposes. Facilitating a hybrid workplace makes it easier to pivot plans and reconfigure space to accommodate changing goals, spontaneous needs, and increased demand for specific types of spaces (such as conference rooms or “neighborhoods” where teams can collaborate).

Potential drawbacks of hybrid models

While hybrid work has numerous advantages over fully remote and fully in-office models, managing virtual and in-person workforces can create new workplace challenges as well. Some of these challenges can be remedied with technology and/or best practices, but others are simply the cost of using a hybrid model.

Bias toward in-person workers

Throughout the workday, the office naturally promotes interactions between employees. Even if their desks aren’t right next to each other, managers are more likely to see and be aware of the team members they manage in-person—because they occupy the same space. They’re more likely to have personal conversations, and managers may think of them first when assigning tasks or asking for support.

Over time, these small, seemingly innocent occurrences can sway who receives better opportunities and even promotions—due to proximity, not merit.

When you couple this with the fact that marginalized groups are more likely to gravitate toward remote work to avoid discrimination and microaggressions that still regularly occur in the workplace, and that bias toward in-person workers can become much more problematic.

Thankfully, employers can work to mitigate these concerns. To combat any perception that being in the office is inherently more valuable, organizations can foster a culture that explicitly values remote and in-person work equally and highlights the successes of remote employees. And to address concerns about the lack of facetime, leadership should plan to meet frequently with employees, whether they’re in-person or remote, ensuring that everyone can get the support and opportunities they need to thrive.

Coordinating office schedules

Over the years, the value of in-person collaboration and face-to-face interactions has been one of the biggest arguments employers have made to encourage workers to return to the office. But without deliberate, careful coordination, hybrid workers can easily find themselves commuting to an empty office—or one that may as well be empty, because the people they need to collaborate with happened to be working remotely that day.

This generally happens when employees have more autonomy to select their own schedules. Without visibility into when their colleagues are in the office, they’ll typically prioritize days in the office based on how it fits with their personal lives. A structured hybrid workplace model can help resolve this issue by requiring particular teams or roles to be in the office on the same days and at the same times. However, employers can also help with better tech. Tango’s desk booking software, Tango Reserve, enables employees to share their reservation schedules with trusted colleagues, so they can easily book desks with the people they need to work with.

Tracking space utilization

Given the scale of real estate costs, many enterprises are beginning to see the value of workspace optimization metrics. If you want to maximize the value of your business’ real estate investments, you need a plan for space management. The more you can keep space occupied and in use, the less you’ll waste this resource.

However, if a space is constantly occupied, that’s a sign that you likely need more of this type of space. It’s being used so frequently that not everyone who needs to use it can. This is especially problematic if you have other spaces with high vacancy rates, indicating there’s not as much demand for it.

Managing a workplace with virtual and in-person employees adds another dimension to the challenge of space utilization: your demand for space tends to fluctuate more. This is particularly true if your hybrid workplace offers employees maximum flexibility, as it’s harder to predict when employees will be in the office or not. This can lead to businesses having far too much or too little space set aside for hoteling.

The more variable your demand for space is, the harder it is to manage your static supply of it. And that’s why having an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) is more crucial than ever.

IWMS software: the must-have solution for hybrid workplaces

IWMS software isn’t new. But as workplaces evolve, so are the tools enterprises use to manage them. And as the way you use your space becomes increasingly complex, you need better ways to organize, analyze, and react to space utilization metrics.

An IWMS can be a combination of modules from different vendors or a single platform, but it gives your organization solutions for things like space management, lease accounting, desk booking, facilities maintenance, and more.

Modern IWMS software like Tango can collate data from any Internet of Things (IoT) sensors you use to monitor how your space is being used, allowing you to predict future demand for space and adapt to potential space issues as they arise.

The future of hybrid workplaces

Hybrid workplaces have presented modern businesses with some unique challenges. Fluctuations in space utilization aren’t the only issue with a workforce that alternates between virtual and in-person work environments. Companies also need to consider the optimal combinations of employees to have together in the office.

Some organizations address this problem by requiring particular departments, teams, or groups to come to campus on the same days. But this inevitably means some people will be in the office or working remotely when they don’t want to be.

A better solution is real-time occupancy management. In addition to using IoT sensors to react to how your space is being used, enterprises can infuse their IWMS software with artificial intelligence and machine learning, allowing it to learn how particular employees prefer to work and who they prefer to work with.

Suppose Craig, Jessica, and Rochelle are on the same team, and they try to work together on campus when they can find a reservable space that works. Tango’s IWMS software includes an office booking module allowing it to analyze booking data for patterns. Tango can identify these employee preferences and recommend which days people come in and which spaces they reserve based on reservations their colleagues have already made. And that can all happen without an administrator trying to coordinate schedules or employees trying to figure it out on their own.

With real-time occupancy management, you can reconfigure and reallocate space based on how it’s currently being used. For example, if your hoteling space is full in your reservation system, but your sensors show some of these spaces are unoccupied, you can coordinate with the employees who reserved them or make the space reservable again if it’s still unoccupied after a set period of time. Missed reservations often go undetected, and by recognizing them, you’ll be better equipped to keep up with the fluctuating demand for space.

Want to lean more about hybrid workplaces? Download our free ebook, The Rise of the Dynamic Workplace. In it we explore what a hybrid workplace looks like, why it appeals to companies and employees alike, and how to decide if it’s right for your business.

Manage your workplace with Tango

You need tools to evaluate and analyze your space and make decisions based on your business’ unique circumstances. And that’s where Tango comes in. We give enterprises the technology to manage, optimize, model, and measure how their real estate portfolio is being used.

Want to see how Tango helps you manage your hybrid workplace?

Request a demo of Tango.

Tango 2023 Sustainability Report

We have released our first Sustainability Report for 2023, marking an important step in our sustainability journey. In the report, we announce our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, setting us apart as a pioneer in the larger ecosystem of real estate technology providers.