The United Indian
The United Indian

From Cubicles to Couches: Exploring WFH vs. Office vs. Hybrid Work Model

hybrid work model

Reimagining Work for Future

Apr 10, 2024

The COVID-19 epidemic prompted a global experiment in work culture. Offices were empty, commutes were eliminated, and kitchen tables served as improvised work stations. Now, as the globe emerges slowly, a critical question remains: what will the future of labour look like? Three primary approaches have emerged: classic work-from-office, completely remote work-from-home, and a hybrid work model strategy that combines the two. Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of each, employee preferences, and what the crystal ball may tell about the changing work scene.


The Familiar Friend: Work From Office


The term "traditional work from office culture" refers to the practice of employees completing their job obligations and responsibilities in a defined physical workspace, which is often a commercial office environment provided by their employer. For decades, the concept of office as the workplace reigned supreme. The watercooler chats, the collaborative brainstorming sessions, the camaraderie of shared lunches – these were all hallmarks of a productive work environment. Employees commute to the office on a regular basis, following a fixed schedule and working closely with colleagues and superiors. Traditional office culture values in-person collaboration, communication, and supervision, which fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among coworkers. This approach frequently includes set work hours, hierarchical management structures, and adherence to established workplace standards and practices.

Here's a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages:


hybrid work model



  • Enhanced Collaboration and Communication: Face-to-face interaction fosters a sense of team spirit and allows for real-time problem-solving. Nonverbal cues and spontaneous discussions can lead to breakthroughs that might be missed in a virtual setting.


  • Clearer Boundaries and Work-Life Balance: The physical separation between work and home creates a clearer mental divide, potentially reducing the risk of burnout.


  • Company Culture and Camaraderie: The office environment fosters a sense of belonging and shared purpose. Social interaction with colleagues can boost morale and job satisfaction.


  • Structured Work Environment: The office provides a dedicated workspace with fewer distractions, promoting focus and productivity for those who thrive on routine.



  • The daily commute can be a significant drain on time, resources, and well-being.
  • While often considered a benefit, office environments can be rife with distractions, from noisy colleagues to impromptu meetings, hindering concentration as opposed to work from home or hybrid work model.


hybrid work model


The Remote Revolution: Work From Home


"Work from home" refers to the practice of carrying out work obligations and responsibilities remotely, usually from one's own house rather than a traditional office environment. This arrangement requires employees to connect with colleagues and supervisors using digital communication tools. As one of the benefits of working from home, it allows for greater scheduling flexibility, removes the need for commuting, and improves work-life balance.


It has grown in popularity, particularly with technological improvements and shifting views towards remote work, allowing individuals to be productive and effective while working in a comfortable atmosphere. It has hugely increased the work opportunities for freelancers in all fields. With the rise of technology, working remotely has become a viable alternative for many. Let's explore the benefits and drawbacks of this increasingly popular model:


Benefits of working from home :

  • Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: Similar to hybrid work model, Remote work offers employees greater control over their schedules, allowing them to manage personal commitments more effectively.
  • Reduced Costs: Employees save money on commuting and professional attire. Companies benefit from lower overhead costs associated with office space.
  • Increased Productivity: Studies suggest that many employees experience greater productivity when working remotely due to fewer distractions and the ability to work during their peak hours.
  • Improved Well-being: Remote work eliminates the stress of commuting and allows for a healthier work-life balance.


hybrid work model


Cons of work from home model :

  • Lack of in-person interaction can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, hindering team building.
  • Communication can be less effective in a virtual setting, leading to misunderstandings and delays.
  • Home environments can be filled with distractions, from family members to household chores, making it difficult to focus.
  • Working from the same space where one lives can lead to blurred boundaries between work and personal life, potentially leading to burnout.


The Middle Ground: Hybrid Work

The hybrid work model is a flexible approach to work that incorporates characteristics of both working from home (WFH) and working from an office (WFO). Employees in this approach have the freedom to balance their time between remote work and in-person office attendance, resulting in increased flexibility and adaptability. This arrangement provides the advantages of remote work, such as improved autonomy and work-life balance, while also allowing for collaboration, networking, and in-person encounters at the office. Hybrid work allows organisations to create a balance between the benefits of remote work and typical office environments, thereby increasing productivity, innovation, and employee satisfaction.


hybrid work model

The hybrid work model aims to combine the best of both worlds: offering flexibility while maintaining some of the benefits of in-person interaction. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to consider:



  • Flexibility and Choice: Employees can choose when to work from home and when to come into the office, allowing them to tailor their work environment to their needs.


  • Improved Productivity: The hybrid model allows employees to leverage the benefits of both focused work at home and collaborative sessions in the office.


  • Work-Life Balance: Hybrid work model can contribute to a healthier work-life balance by offering employees more control over their schedules.


  • Company Culture: Regular in-person interaction can help maintain a sense of company culture and team spirit.



  • Logistical Challenges: Coordinating schedules and ensuring seamless collaboration between remote and in-office employees can be tricky.
  • Unequal Opportunities: Remote employees might feel excluded from important discussions or miss out on informal networking opportunities that happen in the office.
  • Need for Clear Communication: Communication strategies need to be especially clear and consistent to avoid misunderstandings between remote and in-office teams.
  • Defining the "Hybrid": Companies need to create a clear definition of the hybrid model, including how many days employees are expected to be in the office and how collaboration will be structured.

hybrid work model


Preferred Model by Employees

When it comes to choosing between WFH, WFO, or a hybrid arrangement, preferences vary widely among employees based on their individual needs, job roles, and personal circumstances. According to recent surveys and studies, a significant portion of the workforce expresses a preference for hybrid work model, citing the benefits of flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance. However, it's essential to recognize that one size does not fit all, and organizations must tailor their approach to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of their workforce.


The Future of Work: A Hybrid Horizon

Predicting the future of work is no easy feat. However, the widespread adoption of remote work during the post pandemic era has undoubtedly ushered in a new era of flexibility. It's likely that hybrid models will become the norm, with companies offering a mix of remote and in-office work options.


Here are some potential trends that could shape the future:


  • Technology Advancements: Continued advancements in communication and collaboration tools will further support and facilitate effective remote work.


  • Focus on Outcomes: Companies will likely shift their focus from presenteeism (being physically present in the office) to results and outcomes. Performance will be measured by deliverables rather than hours spent at a desk.


  • The Rise of the "Work from Anywhere" Workforce: Geographic restrictions might become less important as technology enables seamless collaboration across borders.

hybrid work model

This shift towards flexibility will require a significant transformation in company cultures. Fostering a strong sense of community and belonging within a hybrid workforce will be crucial.  Leaders will need to develop clear communication strategies and invest in tools that facilitate collaboration and information sharing regardless of location.


The future of work is likely to be a hybrid landscape, accommodating diverse work styles and preferences.  Companies that embrace flexibility and invest in creating a positive work environment, whether remote, in-office, or a combination of both, will be best positioned to thrive in the years to come.

Read more in Economy

The United Indian