What is a Blended Work Model?

What is a Blended Work Model?

Work is no longer about “place” or being in a certain location for a certain amount of time.

The Blended Work concept is whereby employees split their time between home and office. The typical location for a successful Blended Workforce is a small office or central hub where a small percentage of people can use the facilities each day.

This shift is driving businesses to develop new working environments, to bridge the physical and sometimes mental divide that can happen as a long-term result of remote working. The Blended Workforce is essentially the happy medium, making interactions amongst colleagues more seamless, cohesive and collaborative.

We’re seeing both positive and negative reports of 100% remote working and Dr. Greenberg jokes that people are now wondering if they’re “working from home, or sleeping from office.”

Zarion believes that with the right technology in place as well as a hybrid approach to work, the negative impacts can be overcome.

Hybrid Workforce Challenges & Painpoints

Change is painful, it’s difficult and naturally most people try to avoid it as much as possible. However, there is no avoiding the fall out of a global pandemic. Understandably, there are new challenges and obstacles to overcome.


With people and therefore operations going digital – fragmented systems, manual workarounds and dizzying excel files will no longer make the cut in managing large, distributed workforces. Enterprises specifically need a way to digital manage work, people and teams – no matter where they are based. It is crucial for Departmental Managers and Team Leaders to have visibility of work, deadlines and people’s availability in order to be able to efficiently manage work activity and back to middle office operations across the company.

The evolution to cloud infrastructure is earmarked as the key change that has the power to effect the processes and culture when it comes to  digitization, so in many cases “this could further widen the gulf between ‘digital champions’ and those in a state of inertia”, says Consultancy UK.



The pragmatic question that business leaders should be asking themselves right now: What do businesses need to allow for people to work in a hybrid manner, that is people-centric and fosters a mutually beneficial relationship between the organisation and individual?

Culture & Community can be a difficult job to build, regardless of the size of company. Constructing a new hybrid or remote culture for your employees, where they feel they belong and are listened to is posing a challenge for businesses today.

Managers at all levels will need to upskill to understand their people better and to be able to manage a distributed team. Additionally, they need to be able to trust their staff. But let’s not forget, trust is a 2-way street and doesn’t appear overnight. Trust across people at all levels in the company will need to be developed over time. The next few months are crucial for businesses and leadership to lead honestly and openly.

An important step to building trust in a blended work model is to focus on your people and their needs, put them at the heart of the operations and provide them with autonomy.

You can have all the technology and systems that you’d like, but if you don’t understand people — customers, employees — then it’s very difficult to deliver the capabilities that you’re really after,” says Kristine Dery, Scientist and Programme Manager at MIT Sloane. 



Switching to digital operations is complex, with lots of moving parts and things to consider. Data and analytics shine a light on what would be a black box of uncertainty and confusion.

Simply, it’s down to the approach of the organisation. Those that leverage data to make better decisions and lead the way to the vision and holistic goals are the organisations that are successful. This allows for more “balanced investments in data and digital platforms, helping businesses move forward with changes” without conflict between departments, says Consultancy UK. 

Additionally, there are questions around the security, governance and control of customer data. Without adequate technology in place that allows for the secure storage and sharing of data to employees, businesses will find themselves in an uphill battle.

The Opportunity: Triple Bottom Line 

Stephen Ralph, Product Manager at Zarion says “The shift to a blended workforce is a golden opportunity for leaders to re-engineer how work will actually get done. Shrink needlessly high costs, boost employee collaboration and productivity, ensure staff health and safety, and ultimately drive simpler experiences and agility. Creating a positive environment and healthy culture for your teams will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.”

Considering the Triple Bottom Line of corporate responsibility, we can correlate societal, economic and environmental benefits for both businesses and individuals with the shift to hybrid working.

“Organisations can show off their environmental and ethical credentials by accentuating the lower impact of their operations in terms of pollution, less need for physical office space, and more family time for employees,” says Martin McCracken, senior lecturer in organisational behaviour at Ulster University. 


Making the case for the Blended Work Model

Economical: Businesses can lessen their overhead costs of running an office and rethink facility and infrastructure costs.With location no longer an issue, businesses could diversify their workforce and the skills within the organisation with access to global talent.

Social: The younger workforce who crave flexibility can work from their chosen location and in some cases, during their chosen work hours. People will have time to spend with their families and will experience a greater level of work-life balance. This balance provides people with a better relationship with work and naturally drives motivation and productivity.

Environmental:  Less commuting means traffic on the roads, resulting in less long-term environmental damage. Less power usage and less waste generated by large Enterprises also contribute to a thriving environment.