5 Remote Work Models to Consider - The Collection Skip to content
5 Remote Work Models to Consider - The Collection

Since the pandemic, it’s safe to say that remote work models are here to stay. But which one is for you and your business? Read below for all the details of the different types.

 

Even as we approach an end to the pandemic, many businesses in and outside of tech have realized the efficiency and potential for remote work – if managed and implemented properly.

 

The pandemic has taught us to diversify and innovate on how we work, whether from home or through coworking spaces, in work cafes, in the outdoors, or in offices with mandated social distancing. We have learned to better communicate and collaborate over great distances, improve our efficiency in the absence of daily physical meetings, better integrate virtual toolsets, and benefit from the flexibility of remote work and its many different forms.

 

Over these last few months (and over the course of the last few years), there are distinct remote work models that have come to the forefront as effective ways to integrate remote work into any given team. While remote work can be approached with complete flexibility, most remote work models can either be categorized as completely remote, split or distributed, hybrid, or virtual/remote-centric.

 

Each of these work models have their pros and cons, and managers as well as business leadership need to take into consideration how their team best functions, under what conditions their core talents thrive the most, and to what degree they might be willing to adopt or invest into any given remote work model. Let’s go over the basics.

 

1. Fully Remote and Asynchronous Work Model

 

A fully remote and asynchronous work model is usually tilted towards teams that operate across the world, with talents stationed in different corners of the globe, collaborating asynchronously through email, group chats, cloud storage, team task management systems, and more.

 

Video conferences or live calls might be few and far between, planned ahead and reserved for moments where the whole team needs to come together to answer questions quickly, solve problems immediately, or come up with a solution on the fly.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

A fully remote team can completely embrace the freedoms provided by a business that operates remotely, through total workplace flexibility. This means that when you’re working in a fully remote team, you can work from anywhere: be that your home office, a coworking space, a local café, or a park. Furthermore, you can live anywhere, and as a manager or entrepreneur, you can source your talents from all over the world without a single care for issues like commuting.

 

But there are distinct cons to an asynchronous work model, as well as one that is fully remote. For one, it can be difficult to get things done right away. With proper management, you can ensure that your team meets all their deadlines. But if something comes up and needs to get fixed immediately, you will have to wait until your CSS specialist, or your developer wakes up and gets caught up with the situation.

 

In many cases, the boundaries between work and life can blur awfully hard when working in an asynchronous team.

 

While there is an understanding that everyone should take time for themselves and be offline from time to time, it becomes almost normal to check into work at odd hours, stay up much later than usual to resolve an issue because you had to wait for someone in another time zone to show up to work, and there are far more issues with communication and the team’s ability to react to problems.

 

With careful management, and certain considerations (such as ensuring that everyone on the team is online and working together at some point in the day, for at least an hour or so), some of these issues can be alleviated.

 

2. Fully Remote and Synchronous Work Model

 

Another fully remote work model is one that specializes in staying remote but working synchronously. In this case, the team collaborates on a similar or even exact schedule, despite minor (or massive) time zone differences. This might mean that some team members are stuck in a night shift.

 

Ideally, however, remote teams that work synchronously try to source their talent from areas in and around the same time zone, give or take a few hours, to minimize needing to put team members through the stress of long-term nocturnal living.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

Otherwise, the pros and cons are much of the same. Fully remote teams may lack a centralized location, and because it doesn’t make much sense to be both fully remote and have a professional location, many businesses that embrace a fully remote work model lack the means to physically host clients, enjoy the benefits of face-to-face onboarding, or grow a company culture through personal interaction.

 

Some of these cons can be alleviated through a virtual office, which may exist solely to provide a place to meet and talk with clients, as well as intercept calls and relay packages.

 

3. Hybrid Work Model

 

Hybrid work models blend the benefits of a remote work model with the benefits of having an office, usually by having at least a portion of the teamwork from a central location (usually team managers) while individual team members work from home, or from different coworking spaces, nearby or abroad.

 

The exact definition depends on personal preference. Some people maintain that a hybrid work model requires at least 50 percent of a company’s workforce to work from a centralized, commercial office location (regardless of whether that space is a flex space or coworking space or owned/leased commercial property).

 

In many cases, hybrid teams form when a company realizes that it cannot serve its clients solely with local talent. In that case, a company may source remote workers to supplement the main office staff.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

Hybrid teams only take limited advantage of the benefits of remote work, as the majority of the staff is still working from a central location.

 

This may be a popular model for most businesses interested in getting their toe in the water, but it limits the flexibility afforded by a true work-from-anywhere model.

 

4. Remote-First Work Model

 

This is a hybrid work model that prioritizes remote work, with a small subset of employees working from a centralized location. There are many benefits to a remote-first hybrid work model.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

Remote-first work models allow team members to report in from time to time and collaborate mostly virtually. However, it may not be an ideal fit for team members who work best with other people and need a place where they can socially interact with other team members beyond the limits of a computer screen.

 

5. Distributed/Split Work Model

 

In a distributed work model, teams are split up into multiple physical locations, with a few remote team members. Most teams, however, collaborate physically and on-location in offices or coworking spaces around the region, country, or world, and work with the other teams through virtual meetings and the occasional physical event.

 

      • Pros and Cons

 

It’s expensive to fund and manage multiple commercial spaces. Coworking spaces relieve a lot of the managerial and financial pressure but stationing multiple teams across multiple coworking spaces is still more expensive than having a coworking hub, with multiple remote teams. But for many businesses, this blend of coworking and remote workspaces helps improve productivity and create a more defined and cohesive company identity.

 

Which Work Model Best Suits You?

 

Finding a model that best suits you can be difficult, and it depends on the size of your business, your resources, where your team members live and work from, and what your goals are for the growth of your company.

 

If you’re interested in ways to expand your team and benefit from both a physical location and a largely remote work model, you should consider leveraging coworking spaces.

 

5 Remote Work Models to Consider - The Collection