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Hybrid jobs: What they are and how to start a career with hybrid work


Even before many offices closed due to COVID-19 lockdowns, hybrid work was becoming an increasingly popular option for businesses and employees. According to a Gallup survey on the future of hybrid work , one-third of remote-capable employees were already splitting working hours between their homes and their offices before the pandemic. And although some organizations are prioritizing returning to the physical office, many others are embracing the new work setup that proved functional and, in some cases, more efficient during the pandemic. 

If you are looking for hybrid work, certain industries may prove more fruitful than others. You may also want to brush up on specific skills that enable you to perform your best from a remote setting. Start building the skills you need to succeed with edX.

What is hybrid work?

Hybrid work is a flexible arrangement that allows employees to divide their working time between their home and office. The amount of time that employees spend working from home and in the office can vary depending on employer and employee needs. 

Workers in hybrid jobs often depend on technical and digital capabilities to perform their work remotely and securely. For example, employees may need to use video conferencing software, collaborate on documents stored in the cloud, and safely access company applications, data, and files through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

“When something is a hybrid version of itself, we associate it with being something new, unique perhaps, even something exciting,” edX founder and CEO Anant Agarwal said in an article for Forbes . “The same can be said for hybrid jobs and hybrid professionals. Hybrid jobs are taking the workforce by storm, mixing equal parts traditional business knowledge, like management skills or relationship building, with equal parts in-demand and in-the-moment new skills, like data analytics or coding.”

Types of hybrid jobs

Hybrid work model examples can vary by business, product, or service. Some companies may offer all employees the option to hybridize working arrangements, while others might determine that limited options make the most sense for business. There are a variety of ways that businesses can implement hybrid work for employees. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Working remotely except for special instances, such as in-person client meetings.

  • Working partially remotely on pre-specified weekdays.

  • Alternating weeks remotely and in-office.

  • Working half-days in the office and half-days remotely.

Employers might require workers to attend regularly scheduled in-person meetings or special events in the office. Other organizations might offer job-sharing as an option for a part-time hybrid work arrangement.

Skills needed for hybrid jobs

If you are interested in hybrid jobs, you can benefit from learning skills and tools to perform your responsibilities and interact with coworkers remotely.

Add computer and data science skills for hybrid work

Hybrid work can require employees to work independently and rely on interpretive skills. Familiarity with computer and data science knowledge can be particularly beneficial on remote-work days, when employees are less likely to interact with colleagues. 

Computer and data science skills can be useful in a range of hybrid work models, regardless of industry. Basic knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Word and Excel can be useful for individuals in a variety of roles. 

Work processes where computer and data science skills may be helpful include, but are not limited to: 

  • Project management: Automate and track tasks efficiently using software, such as Jira, Asana, and Trello.

  • Communications: Update and interact with employees and clients using email and communication apps, such as Slack, Zoom, and Google Chat.

  • Content management: Create, manage, and publish digital content in different formats such as articles, videos, and podcasts. 

  • Budget planning: Collect, organize, and review financial data, advise management on spending, and identify where to cut costs.

By honing these skills, you can better position yourself for success whether you work in the office, remotely, or a blend of the two. Understanding how your work environment may impact your ability to access or transmit important information within various technical platforms can also be helpful. Additional aspects such as cloud storage, multi-factor authentication, and IT support protocols can also impact hybrid workflows.

edX offers opportunities to expand your technical skills through online learning. Enroll in computer science courses to attain greater technical proficiency, or choose a data science program that aligns with your professional goals.

Add creative and “power” skills for hybrid work

Blending remote and in-office work means that employees will interact with each other in a variety of ways and through different channels. In addition to technical abilities, employees in hybrid jobs can benefit from skills that help them collaborate effectively, communicate clearly, and think creatively.

These skills are often referred to as "soft skills" or "power skills" and include, but are not limited to:

  • Communication: State messages and instructions clearly and concisely, whether face-to-face or in emails, direct messages, or virtual meetings.

  • Active listening: Pay attention to colleagues’ input and feedback without interrupting, and understand how that can differ when meeting in person versus in a virtual setting.

  • Relationship building: Acknowledge employees and stakeholders respectively, practice inclusivity, and make a point of getting to know individual colleagues.

  • Creative thinking: Consider new ways to perform tasks and improve processes to meet goals efficiently and effectively.

  • Problem solving: Identify a plan of action for either contacting an expert or troubleshooting a solution using available resources. 

With experience, hybrid employees can determine how best to tailor their interpersonal abilities to their various work environments. Learn active listening, how to give effective feedback, and other soft skills by enrolling in online soft skills courses delivered by edX.

Benefits of the hybrid work model

Workers and employers can benefit from the hybrid work environment. According to a different Gallup survey on the benefits and challenges of hybrid work, employees reported several advantages to of these working arrangements, including:

  • Improved work-life balance

  • More efficient use of time

  • Freedom to choose when and where to work

  • Less burnout or fatigue

  • Higher productivity

An article by Forbes also highlights employer advantages that come with hybrid work models , such as increased productivity and reduced costs. When workers are able to complete tasks more quickly, businesses can reduce office space costs, which can help boost their bottom line. Employees that feel empowered to choose how they work may also feel more connected to their organization, increasing employee satisfaction and boosting the company's reputation with potential recruits.

Challenges of the hybrid work model

While hybrid work can result in real advantages for both employees and employers, it can also come with its challenges. The Gallup survey on the pros and cons of hybrid work models reported that employees’ top challenges include:

  • Reduced access to work resources and equipment

  • Limited connections with their organization’s culture

  • Decreased team collaboration

  • Impaired working relationships with colleagues

  • Reduced communication and collaboration with other teams

  • Difficulty achieving work-life balance

Maintaining employee engagement can be difficult for many organizations. Regular meetings and online activities with leadership can help workers feel connected and included in important decisions and discussions. In addition, periodic surveys, one-on-one meetings with managers, and focus groups can help leadership and management understand the benefits of remote work and hybrid work arrangements.

Whether you work in a management position or are an independent contributor, you can explore hybrid skill-building courses and programs offered by edX. With the right training, you can overcome many of the challenges posed by hybrid work models and thrive in your role, no matter where you are.

How to succeed in a hybrid career

When implemented thoughtfully, hybrid work arrangements can make sense for professionals and organizations. 

Hybrid jobs offer employees the benefits of two very different work environments. At home, they can focus on tasks that require deep concentration. At the office, they can build relationships by collaborating with colleagues, attending training sessions, or networking with other professionals. 

While specific models can require different types of engagement from employees, here are some tips that can help you succeed in a hybrid work environment: 

  • Set clear boundaries between work and home life. Have a dedicated workspace at home and set your work hours on a shared team calendar to avoid working outside of your normal schedule.

  • Communicate effectively with your team. Use the appropriate communication tools and regularly check in with your team members. Explore business communications courses on edX.

  • Stay organized and on top of your work. Keep track of deadlines and set realistic goals for yourself. Let stakeholders know when you’re hitting roadblocks before it becomes a problem. Explore project management courses on edX.

Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly to maintain physical and mental health. Explore mental health courses and nutrition courses on edX.

Hybrid jobs FAQ

What is the difference between hybrid and remote work?

Hybrid work and remote work are both work arrangements that allow employees to work outside of a traditional office setting. However, there are some key differences between the two. ​​Hybrid work is a work arrangement in which employees work from a remote location in conjunction with in-office work on a predetermined basis. Remote work is a work arrangement in which employees work from home or another remote location on a full-time basis. 

Is hybrid work healthy?

Hybrid work can result in a healthier workforce by giving employees more flexibility in their work days which can potentially help them reduce stress and improve their mental health. 

What is a hybrid work model?

A hybrid work model is a work arrangement that allows employees to work both in the office and remotely. Employees may choose to work from home a few days a week and from the office a few days a week, but there are many models for organizations to choose from to suit their needs and the needs of their employees. This gives employees the flexibility to achieve a healthier work-life balance.

Can any job be hybrid?

Not all jobs can be hybrid. Jobs that require physical presence, such as manufacturing, construction, law enforcement, or healthcare, cannot be performed remotely. However, many jobs are not office-dependent, and are well-suited for a hybrid work model.

Last updated: July 2023