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It’s no secret that the working world is evolving. Not all that long ago, countless people wished they could work from home, but few actually had such a luxury at their disposal. Getting the job done meant commuting to the office every day no matter how bad the weather or traffic happened to be.

Eventually, remote work became more practical in certain fields. That gave more people the opportunity to have more freedom and flexibility while still earning a paycheck. Of course, when the pandemic hit, quite a few companies were forced to switch to a remote work model whether they were planning to or not.

Reaching a New Norm

Between those extreme ends of the spectrum, hybrid work models came into existence. Though they were few and far between at first, they’re quickly gaining steam. In the post-pandemic world where shelter-in-place mandates are being lifted and businesses are coming back to life, many are searching for a new norm that meets their needs as well as those of their employees.

Hybrid work models offer benefits for everyone involved. Still, they’re changing people’s work days as well as the way they view their jobs. Those emergent work models are also affecting people’s journeys to and from work. With that in mind, you may be wondering what hybrid work may mean for your commute.

What Does Hybrid Work Mean?

First of all, let’s take a closer look at hybrid work. Generally speaking, hybrid work means employees spend some of their workweek at the office and the rest working remotely. Different hybrid work models have been developed, each with its own distinct features.

Remote-First Hybrid Work Models

For companies that use remote-first hybrid work models, employees spend most of their time working remotely. They come to the office or meet at specified locations when required, such as for collaborative projects and training courses. Team members can even choose to get together on their own while working remotely if they like. They may meet at a coworker’s home or in a coworking space to touch base with one another in person or work on projects.

Office-First Hybrid Work Models

In contrast, office-first hybrid work models entail spending more time in-house than working remotely. Companies typically designate a certain number of days per week or month their employees are required to come to the office. Employers may specify the days or allow their staff members to choose for themselves as long as they meet the in-office requirements.

Flexible Hybrid Work Models

Flexible hybrid work models are a bit different. Employees who follow these standards can essentially choose whether they want to work from home or in the office. If they’re able to collaborate on projects remotely rather than meeting face to face, they can do so.

When staff members begin to feel isolated or run into problems that can’t be solved remotely, they can come to the office. They can also arrange in-person meetings with coworkers in the office or elsewhere if desired. These hybrid work models offer more freedom than their counterparts but can also lead to more complications.

These are a few of the basic hybrid work models. Several variations of them are also being developed. At the same time, each company has its own needs and requirements. That means no two businesses’ hybrid models will be identical even if they’re based on the same principles.

How Do These Work Models Affect Commutes?

All that brings us to the impacts hybrid work models are having on people’s commutes. For one, with more businesses adopting these practices or switching to wholly remote work models, quite a few commutes are bound to be less chaotic moving forward. On the days you’re required or inclined to go to the office, you may not encounter nearly as much traffic as you did before things started to change.

If your company adopts a flexible hybrid model, you can even choose to go to the office when traffic is typically lighter. Either way, having to travel to and from the office less often means you can expect significant savings in terms of fuel costs. That’s certainly welcome news considering the ever-climbing gas prices we’re facing right now. On the other hand, if you’ve been working on a completely remote basis, switching to a hybrid schedule could make for more stress and expense than you’ve become accustomed to.

Employer Commuter Services

If you work for a company that offers commuter services, fuel prices, traffic, and vehicle maintenance may be irrelevant. Transitioning to a hybrid work model is likely to affect your commute nonetheless.

Some companies that offer employee shuttles for their commuters are eliminating those options altogether. That’s especially the case for those following a flexible hybrid model because knowing which employees will be in the office each day and planning ahead for them is virtually impossible. Trying to maintain an employee transportation program would be neither practical nor cost-effective.

Several software solutions are now on the market to help companies optimize their transportation programs, though. Those tools allow businesses to better meet employees’ commuting needs while adhering to their chosen hybrid work model.

Many companies are also providing other alternatives for their commuters. They’re helping employees find shuttles and carpooling options for getting to and from work. They’re also offering assistance with transportation scheduling. Those are only a few of the common measures companies are taking right now.

Commuter Benefits Programs

If you receive commuter benefits from your employer, the hybrid work model could bring changes to those, too. Those who work from the office less may receive reduced benefits as a result. In the case of flexible and remote-first hybrid work models, companies may completely do away with their commuter benefits. That could mean the costs of commuting will fall solely on their employees’ shoulders.

Adjusting to the Hybrid Work Model and Commute

Whether you’ve been working from the office all along or your company is switching from a remote work model to a hybrid one following the pandemic, you can expect major life changes ahead. Simply adjusting to a new schedule can be difficult even if you’ll primarily be working from home.

How those changes affect your morning commute will depend on the hybrid work model your company chooses. It will also revolve around the ways the new work model influences the transportation program or benefits your employer has been offering up to this point. No matter which hybrid work model you’ll be following, enjoy the newfound freedom it brings and take advantage of those days when you don’t have to commute at all.

Let’s grow together. Reach out today to learn more about how you can build your own SUCCESS Space that can thrive in a community-driven environment!

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