On-Site vs. Remote vs. Hybrid: The Three Major Work Models And How They Differ

How we work has changed dramatically in the past few years, and different working models have risen to the forefront.

Today, companies can decide between three major work models: on-site, remote, or hybrid — and their choice can make all the difference in attracting and retaining talent.

But how does each working model differ? What are the benefits and drawbacks? And how can you determine which is best for your company? Let’s dive in.

On-Site Work

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Free to use image sourced from Pexels

The on-site work model is the traditional way of working that most people are familiar with. It is a workplace setup that involves having all or some of an organization’s employees work together at the same physical location, typically the company’s office.

This helps create a sense of community within the office, allowing for better collaboration and cooperation between colleagues. It can also increase productivity as teams can communicate more easily and quickly, leading to faster problem-solving and decision-making.


  • Increased productivity: Working from the office means employees are not distracted by family members and other home-related tasks, thereby increasing productivity.
  • Improved communication: Communication is more efficient since all team members are in one physical location.
  • Better collaboration: Being in the same office makes it easier for different teams and departments to collaborate.
  • A structural routine: The traditional on-site work model has a structured schedule, which helps keep employees focused and organized — another productivity booster.


  • Long commute time: The long commute can be stressful for employees and, in turn, affect morale and productivity.
  • Increased cost for the company: When employees work exclusively from one location, you pay rent, utilities, and other costs associated with having a permanent office.
  • Limited talent pool: Companies that offer only on-site work options restrict themselves to local talent,  leading to less diversity and limited innovation.

Remote Work

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Free to use image sourced from Pexels

Remote work is a newer model that has gained more traction recently. In fact, an Owl Labs study found that the number of employees choosing to work remotely increased by 24% in 2022.

This working arrangement allows employees to do their job from anywhere outside the company’s physical office space. This could mean working from home, a co-working space – perhaps using co-working space software, coffee shop, or even another country.

This could mean working from home, a co-working space – using co-working space software, coffee shop, or even another country.

Today, various cloud solutions such as DialPad CA VoIP phone systems make it easier for people to work and communicate remotely. By connecting over the internet, employees can reach team members, clients, and customers from anywhere in the world.

Webinar tools are another great way to facilitate remote communication and collaboration among team members, clients, and customers, especially for businesses that offer training or other educational services.


  • Zero commute time: No commute means less stress, high morale, and increased productivity.
  • Access to a diverse talent pool: Companies that only offer remote work options have unlimited access to talent across the globe, meaning you could consider hiring abroad.
  • Increased employee productivity: Employees who work from home are typically more productive than those working from a traditional office. It also offers your employees a better work-life balance.


  • Management challenges: Since managers aren’t in the same physical space as their team members, tracking who is doing what can be challenging.
  • Potential lack of communication: Although technologies like email tracking, video conferencing, and workspace apps like Slack can help with communication, face-to-face meetings are often more effective.
  • Social isolation: This can be detrimental to employee morale.

Hybrid Work

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Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

The hybrid work model is a new way of working that combines traditional office work with remote and virtual collaboration.

As more companies transition to digital operations, the hybrid model offers an attractive solution for team members who want to stay connected with colleagues while still having flexibility in their schedule.

This innovative model requires employees and employers to plan and communicate proactively. Employers must provide clear expectations for all remote workers and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed.


  • Improved work-life balance: An effective hybrid working policy can improve work-life balance. This gives people more flexibility over their schedule while saving time (and money) for those who formerly commuted five days per week.
  • Increased productivity: Employees can increase productivity by removing the distractions of back-to-back meetings and water cooler chats.
  • Access to a broader talent pool and increased employee retention: Businesses can improve employee retention by providing flexible and hybrid working as a benefit to employees. This model may also attract potential employees from further afield, expanding the talent pool.

As companies adopt hybrid work, one challenge is tracking employees’ productivity and work hours. Fortunately, time tracking software can help monitor remote workers’ productivity and ensure they are fulfilling their responsibilities.


  • Management can be challenging: Mentoring, training, and developing staff who aren’t always in the office can be more difficult.
  • It can feel isolating for some people: Some team members may feel cut off from their colleagues when they work alone most of the week. A survey from Kadence revealed that 81% of those under 35 feared loneliness from working at home for long periods.
  • Collaboration is more challenging: Since each team has its workflows and processes, they may have difficulty working together.

The Bottom Line

The pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives, including the way we work. Many professionals who have experienced the benefits of remote working want to continue doing so. As a result, an increasing number of companies have become flexible in their work models. 

That said, with so many aspects to consider, the work model you offer will depend on the type of work your business is in and the targets your teams need to meet.

Ultimately, each company must consider the pros and cons of each working model and their employees’ needs to make the most informed decision.

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