The Complete Guide to Running a Business in the Age of Hybrid Work Models

By Megan Marshall, Friday, April 8, 2022
Hybrid Work Models Image
Graphic by sketchify on

The wave of remote work crashed into us when the pandemic began. Despite the move back toward in-person conferences and meetings, we continue to enjoy the luxury of working straight out of our homes. It has even been projected that, by the end of this year, 25% of professional jobs in North America will be remote. But where does that leave company culture?

With a hybrid work model, you are able to establish a system that caters to the needs of your team. They are provided with more autonomy as you allow them to split their time between their home offices and the on-site office. For corporate reopening plans, this model has been a keystone. In this article, we are going to walk through the ins and outs of starting a business that is largely managed online.

Infographic: Pros and Cons of Hybrid Work Models

Hybrid Work Models Are They Right for My Business

Infographic resources from and Megan Marshall

  • Pros
    • Less time spent commuting to the office
    • Preservation of quiet time to increase productivity
    • Lots of available tools to effectively collaborate
    • Greater schedule flexibility to reduce stress
    • Ability to build customer relationships online
  • Cons
    • Less in-person contact with the rest of the staff
    • At-home distractions, such as kids and pets
    • Misunderstandings can occur over email
    • Reduction in day-to-day structure
    • Missing out on in-person client visits

Setting Up Your At-Home Workspace

You may not have the same conveniences at home as you do in a typical office. That being said, being in your own space offers the opportunity to do a lot more with it. Instead of being confined to a cubicle, you can make use of an entire room. It’s just a matter of developing the optimal working environment so that you can remain productive.

Make the Room Comfortable

Spending several hours sitting in a chair can have negative impacts on your health. Luckily, when you work from home, you are able to more freely move about your space as you please. But you will still be stuck in your chair for extended periods of time. If you don’t have the right chair or the right desk, you could end up with back and neck pain. Your chair should be supportive of your posture, while your desk should be at the perfect height for your position. You may even be interested in purchasing a stand-up desk so that you can stretch your legs as you complete tasks. Take as much care in achieving the proper computer setup as you do with decorating your home office space.

Establish a Technology Strategy

Will you be implementing a bring-your-own-device policy into your hybrid work model? When not at the office, your team can make use of their own computers, laptops, iPads, and or smartphones. With over half of today’s most high-performing companies allowing personal devices to be used for work, it is entirely possible to be successful with this strategy. It also allows your company to save money. Where you could be paying for mobile devices for each employee, you now can focus your funds toward making sure the office is well-equipped. You will need to teach about acceptable use, though, if you do go the BYOD route. Determine what their devices can be used for, as well as what disciplinary actions will be taken otherwise.

Find a Communication Channel

Your team needs to be able to have live conversations during working hours. Instant messaging platforms can be beneficial if something comes up that needs a quick answer. Sometimes you don’t want to have to deal with making a phone call or creating a new email. Instead, you can send direct or group messages on a long-running thread. Team communication has been found to actually increase when you use instant messaging. There are many that are currently available, so it’s a matter of figuring out which one works best for you. Slack is a platform that has particularly revolutionized workplace communication. Its collaborative channels offer an organized space for messages, files, and tools.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Building a High-Quality Website

Every business needs a website, no matter what working model you take on. You can’t afford to go without one in the digital age. Not only does a website make you appear more professional by having all of your information organized, but it allows you to attract new customers. Securing those online sales is so important for your business’s success in the long term.

Locate a Web Developer

While you can certainly construct a website on Wix or Squarespace yourself, having an expert build your site is strongly encouraged. Templates can be too basic. A custom WordPress site, on the other hand, will make your business stand out from the rest. That uniqueness means you get more of a competitive advantage. Hiring the pros can actually save you time, money, and stress in the long run. This is on account of your site being high-quality, consistent, and perfectly responsive. You want anyone, on any device, to be able to enjoy what you have to offer. Even if errors should arise later on, a good web developer can handle them with ease and bring them back to being functional.

Produce an Attractive Design

Your prospective clients need to have a solid first impression of you. Brand your site to aid in name recognition, and ensure that all of the text and images are purposeful and easy on the eyes. Understand that people don’t trust poorly designed sites. They come across as sketchy and make you not want to input your credit card information, just in case. Once you have positively captured a lead’s attention on a landing page, they will feel more inclined to search around the rest of your site. At this point, they must be able to navigate without any confusion. Similarly, your employees should be able to locate everything that they need on the site to complete their tasks.

Kick-Off an SEO Campaign

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your site’s visibility on search engines like Google. This is accomplished through auditing your site’s performance, updating metadata information, and maintaining a linking strategy. Businesses need to be able to harness the power of SEO if they want to see growth, especially in local searches. If you are an Austin-based company, for instance, this organic practice can deliver your site to potential customers living in the Greater Austin area. Partnering with an SEO company will get you the quantifiable results you need to see where you should be improving in other aspects of your web presence.

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Photo by wocintechchat on Unsplash

Sustain Your In-House Relationships

In a hybrid work model, the good thing is that there is still the possibility of building relationships with your team. Some people need that physical interaction to feel that they have a genuine support system. The issue is that not everyone will be able to regularly collaborate in person. So, how do you make the most out of the time you do share together?

Talk on Video Chat

It’s nice to see the face of the people you work with, even if you aren’t able to be with one another at the moment. For the past couple of years, Zoom has capitalized on this fact. In 2020, the Zoom mobile app had been downloaded 485 million times. The platform is easy to use and offers an intuitive user experience. However, there are plenty of Zoom alternatives for holding video conferences. Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) comes with Google Meet, while Microsoft 365 has the Microsoft Teams integration. After you have picked out the service that best fits your needs, stick to it so that your team and client meetings can be consistent.

Host In-Person Meetings

Many people believe that in-person meetings allow them to form more meaningful business relationships. With this in mind, it’s important to carve out time in the schedule to get your staff together in the office. It may be the case that not everyone can show up, but putting the offer out there will be appreciated nonetheless. You will show that you are interested in engaging with your remote workers on a different level. Now, you don’t have to plan for greater office attendance on a weekly basis. But, when you do set up these meetings, the two core goals should be productivity and teambuilding. This can definitely boost morale for employees who don’t know each other well outside of a screen.

Attend Functions Together

Our society is continuing to push past the pandemic. Although we aren’t quite past it just yet, there is so much that we can do to come together. With the doors to events opening back up, it would be a fantastic idea to invite along your employees. It would allow them to improve their professional lives in a more interesting way than sitting behind a desk. South by Southwest, which is stylistically known as SXSW, is an Austin event that ties together film, music, and technology. During mid-March, this networking space offered its own hybrid model of online and in-person activities. Businesspeople from all over the world enjoy taking part in the conferences and festivals it hosts. But there are so many other local networking opportunities that your business can take advantage of.

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Photo by Antoni Shkraba on Pexels

Digitally Connecting with Clients

It is critical to your company that you provide a positive customer experience during every interaction a client has with you. When you show them that you care, you do a better job at retaining their business. Make sure that you are also providing them value. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to connecting with your clients through a hybrid work model, you should always keep it personal rather than transactional.

Create Beneficial Content

To have a solid web presence, you should be putting energy into having an effective content marketing strategy. You should be attracting, engaging, and retaining your audience as you express your industry expertise. This can be done through a multitude of media types. For one, you may have some team members contributing to a blog on your site. This blog should be targeted toward answering any questions that your audience may be curious about. Your in-person employees may decide to brainstorm topics as a collective in the office. They can use whiteboards and sticky notes to organize ideas before putting them into a calendar that makes sense. At-home employees, on the other hand, can just as easily contribute by posting concepts they think are worthy. Your team should be on the same page as you distribute valuable, relevant content.

Excellent Customer Service

Your employees should be ready to answer calls and review helpdesk tickets as soon as they come in. It can be frustrating to wait around for a response to a timely issue. Leaving your clients in that situation could make them not want to work with you any longer. That being said, offering the right solution can take time. Another team member may have to look deeper into the problem that is occurring because it’s something that can’t quickly be determined in the span of a phone call. Whether you are outsourcing your support or having it done by your in-house workers, make sure that they are handling things effectively. All of the information from the client should be recorded immediately and kept for documentation.

Show Your Appreciation

Remember that, at the end of the day, your clients don’t owe you their business. If you aren’t giving them what they need, there are competitors in your niche market that would be happy to take them off your hands. Give them a reason to have a sense of loyalty toward you. Customer appreciation supplies the greatest return on investment around. Even in a hybrid work model, where you may never get the chance to see them in the flesh, they should develop a connection. You can even do this in your own hybrid way. For instance, you can thank them for their glowing review on your Google Business Profile and surprise them with a card in the mail for using your service. Find ways to make each customer feel like a VIP.

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Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Keeping Private Data Secure

If you want to maintain the trust of both your clients and employees, you need to ensure their personal information is protected. There are regulatory standards that must be followed in your hybrid work model, from wherever in the world business is being handled. One example is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) which aims to reduce credit card fraud. You do not want anyone’s data to get into the wrong hands.

Purchase an SSL Certificate

Every day cyberattackers go after websites that have vulnerabilities. With a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, data is transferred within an encrypted algorithm. Any sensitive details, such as customer addresses, are hidden from those cyberattackers. Nobody wants to try to visit you and see a message that reads: “This website is not secure.” When this is the case, they more than likely won’t return. Not only does having an SSL certificate keep prospects from bouncing, but it also benefits your page load speed and optimization. As far as Google is concerned, HTTPS-enabled websites have the upper hand. Plus, with its easy installation process, there really is no reason not to get an SSL certificate.

Regular Software Updates

You need to make sure that all of your technology is running as well as it could be. With software updates, you can repair any discovered security holes that could deeply affect your productivity. If you let those security holes continue to sit there, vulnerability-seeking malware can get to you. A cyberattacker may even end up holding the data stored in your systems at ransom. The odds are, you would never get it back. So, updating your software regularly will keep it from being exploited, thereby protecting your reputation. In the remote work environment, you especially have to be clear about your policies for updating. By neglecting them, at-home employees could directly impact your security.

Use Firewalls and VPNs

When implementing a hybrid work model, it is crucial to consider the significance of zero trust in NIS2, an EU-wide cybersecurity law that aims to improve overall cybersecurity resilience across member states and the internal market.

Cybersecurity best practices are important for everyone to follow, regardless of where they are working from. Protect your network by blocking out users that don’t need to be there. Firewalls are devices that monitor the traffic of your network. They use pre-established rules to determine whether they should block someone, such as if they keep putting in passwords that aren’t working. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for businesses follow the same principles of data privacy, but in a much different way. With its secure connection to the company network, remote workers can use it to access files and applications from anywhere. While VPNs bypass geo-restrictions, firewalls create access restrictions. Pairing them with antivirus software will bring you maximum security for your online activities.


By following best practices as you empower your team to choose how they work, you can make something truly great. But don’t forget to receive regular feedback about the system in place. That way, you can adjust and make time spent on the clock even better. WEBii offers professional web services to keep your business alive and thriving once it goes online. We can help you with the foundation of your digital presence so that you can focus on employee and customer satisfaction. Request to learn more about how we can support your hybrid work model.

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