HR Florida


Florida State Council Affiliate of SHRM

Leveraging Creative Hybrid Models for Successful Collaboration

By Taylor Queen

After several years of hybrid work taking over the corporate world, leaders of major corporations may be rethinking hybrid models in 2024. According to the 2023 KPMG CEO Outlook Survey, approximately 60% of CEOs said they anticipated their staff would return to the office full-time over the next three years. One reason for leaders to rethink hybrid work might be their belief that hybrid work has reduced collaboration or employee engagement. They recognize the benefits of greater flexibility and a competitive edge in the labor market, but may think hybrid work undermines teamwork, organizational culture and innovation.

However, hybrid models remain extremely popular with employees. Research from the Pew Research Center found about one in three workers were exclusively remote as of March 2023. Another two in five were remote part or most of the time. Rates of remote work have decreased from the pandemic high of one in two employees working from home all the time. Nonetheless, many employees have become accustomed to a hybrid schedule and are not convinced they need to come back to the office full time.

It is important for leaders to pause and consider the alternatives before making drastic changes to their employees’ schedules. Conventionally, hybrid companies often adopt a “core days” or “split week” model, which either identifies specific days each week when employees must attend the office or come to the office on a set number of days at their discretion.

These models may not work for every business. Split-week schedules allow employees individual flexibility but do not guarantee they will interact with their teammates at the office. On the other hand, a core days schedule may not give employees the flexibility they need. Before turning away from hybrid work entirely, leaders should consider implementing an alternative hybrid work structure. Through a creative approach, leaders can often find a way to stay hybrid and keep their teams happy while improving collaboration.

Manager-driven scheduling

A manager-driven scheduling model puts authority over hybrid work into the hands of managers and their teams. For leaders concerned about lack of collaboration among teams on a split-week schedule, a manager-driven schedule can promote teamwork and social interaction between coworkers.

A manager-driven schedule also avoids the pitfalls of a core days schedule, which can be more convenient for some teams. Instead, teams have the flexibility to collaboratively determine what works best for them. For example, a team with many fully remote employees can choose to come into the office less frequently than a team where all employees live in the area.

Of course, manager-driven scheduling has its downsides as well. Not every member of the team will be satisfied by the schedule their manager sets out. Managers also may need to be willing to compromise to meet the needs of their employees. Still, manager-driven scheduling has powerful benefits for collaboration and cohesion.

Core weeks

A core week schedule designates “core weeks” throughout the year when employees are expected to come into the office. Some core weeks may be mandatory, while other organizations give employees a choice of which core weeks to attend. During core weeks, HR leaders can plan events to engage employees, promote teambuilding and encourage idea sharing.

There are many benefits of core weeks, including the ability to hire fully remote team members while maintaining the expectation they work in-person for certain weeks out of the year. Employees can schedule personal obligations or travel outside of their core weeks, provided their whereabouts are known to their manager so HR can ensure compliance with state and local tax laws. When employees do come into the office, they may feel excited to see their coworkers and make the most of their time at the office.

A core weeks model is not for every business. During core weeks, employees may need extra support so they can manage personal commitments without being overwhelmed. Leaders also need to share a core weeks schedule in advance so employees have enough time to plan for travel, child care and other personal obligations.

Manager-driven scheduling and core weeks are only two examples of creative hybrid models that accommodate the needs of a diverse workforce. While every hybrid model has its pros and cons, if continuing to offer hybrid work is a priority, leaders should feel confident that they can find the hybrid model that works for them.

Taylor Queen | HR Florida

Taylor Queen is a senior HR adviser with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources offering the most comprehensive suite of scalable HR solutions available in the marketplace. For more information about Insperity, call 800-465-3800 or visit