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According to workplace development analysts, hybrid work environments are on the fast track to becoming the norm with experts at Gratner stating: “Hybrid is no longer just an employee perk, but an employee expectation.”

It isn’t hard to see why this is the case for so many employees: a hybrid workplace offers your employees the best of both worlds. They have the flexibility of working from home and the benefits of face-to-face interactions with co-workers and clients. These advantages can make the hybrid model the most energizing work environment for your employees.

However, just like any major shift in the workplace, the transition from fully remote or in-person to hybrid can be challenging to navigate. This guide will provide you with all the tools and information you need to make a successful pivot to a hybrid workplace. Let’s dive in!

Hybrid Workplace FAQs

If you’re like many workplace leaders, you likely have questions about why and how hybrid workplaces function. Let’s get on the same page by answering some hybrid workplace FAQs.

What is a hybrid workplace?

A hybrid workplace is an environment where employees work both in-person and remotely. This model has grown in popularity in the past few years due to the rise of conferencing technology that has made working from home more convenient.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of a hybrid workplace?

The hybrid model has advantages and drawbacks that make it better suited for some organizations than others, such as:


  • Increased flexibility for employees allowing them to work where they’re most comfortable, satisfied, and productive
  • Reduced commuting time and environmental impact
  • Reduced office expenses since employees are only there part of the time
  • Larger access to talented candidates since geographical constraints are less of a concern


  • Difficulty maintaining a cohesive company culture and engaging remote employees
  • Over-reliance on technology can result in challenges in the instance of power outages or malfunctions
  • Potential for unequal treatment between on-site and remote workers
  • Difficulty communicating urgently to quickly solve problems when team members are in different locations
  • Trouble monitoring employee accountability for work quality

Your organization should consider your current technology, office space, workflows, goals, and culture to see if you’re a good fit for the hybrid model. 

How can we assess our hybrid model’s effectiveness?

If you’ve already implemented a hybrid workplace model or are rolling it out, continually monitor its effectiveness so you can make targeted improvements. You can gauge your hybrid approach’s success by:

  • Surveying your employees: Your employees have an in-depth understanding of your internal practices. Send them a survey periodically throughout your hybrid rollout to see what you can improve on and what you should maintain. 
  • Testing ideas with a focus group: If your leadership team is still considering rolling out a hybrid model, you can test your proposed workflow with a small focus group. For instance, you could ask a diverse group of employees to start a hybrid schedule while the rest of the organization continues fully remotely or in person. This allows you to catch any issues before introducing the structure to the entire organization. 
  • Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs): Your KPIs include metrics such as the amount of work completed, quality of work, employee retention rate, and employee satisfaction. Track these metrics while you introduce the hybrid model to gauge its impact on your workplace. 
  • Ask external parties: Sometimes, it can be difficult to detect flaws in your organization from the inside. Ask important external stakeholders, such as your clients, partners, or board of directors, to provide feedback about your organization after the switch to the hybrid model. 

Ensure that your leadership team collects this data frequently, especially at the beginning of the hybrid rollout. Maintain transparency with your team to let them know that their feedback is valuable and follow through on your promises to improve the hybrid workplace experience. 

Let’s answer some of the questions you might have about the hybrid workplace model.
How to Master the Hybrid Workplace Model to Engage Employees 5

Aligning Management Practices with the Hybrid Model

Your organization’s leaders must make significant adjustments to your work culture to ensure employee satisfaction and productivity in a hybrid environment. Start optimizing your workplace for employee engagement by:

The management practices outlined below will create an effective hybrid workplace for your organization.
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Establishing clear communication channels

Maintaining open communication across remote and in-person teams is the key to an efficient hybrid workplace. Not only does clear communication allow you to achieve your work objectives, but it also promotes bonding and forges connections between employees that don’t see each other daily.

How do we achieve this?

Fortunately, with modern powerful technology, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with your team. Instruct teams to meet regularly via video call so that remote and in-person employees are on the same page. Also, use technology such as chat platforms and project management tools to keep everyone connected and on track.

In addition to providing technology solutions, you can implement regular touchpoints between middle management and directs with weekly one-on-one meetings. This provides your lower-level employees with a mentor that can help guide them through workplace challenges and offer constructive feedback. It also gives leadership insight into how employees are faring and how the workflow can be adapted to accommodate different work styles. 

Defining expectations

It’s essential that you set clear expectations for both remote and in-person environments so that your employees understand what a typical workday should look like.

How do we achieve this?

Add your work expectations to your job postings and offer letters to successful applicants. If guidance shifts over time, reflect these changes in your internal office policies. 

Ideally, you should strive to make your workplace expectations consistent across remote and in-person environments so that all employees have a similar experience. Take your organization’s unique workflows into account and at least ensure that your expectations are clear about deadlines, meeting schedules, and response times for each environment. For example, if a regular in-person meeting falls on a day when an employee needs to work from home, provide the option to conduct the meeting via video call or reschedule for a different day.

Prioritizing work-life balance

One of the most difficult challenges of remote work is the separation (or lack thereof) of boundaries between work and personal lives. However, a healthy work-life balance is a key contributor to employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

How do we achieve this?

Help employees working at home maintain a work-life balance by ensuring your leadership team understands that your employees’ jobs shouldn’t consume their lives. Boost your employees’ quality of life by providing them with resources to create a dedicated workspace at home, such as a take-home desk and monitor. This allows them to better separate their work and home lives and avoid burnout.

Also, your leadership team can open the floor to employees to create after-work social clubs and hobby groups. Some popular options include book clubs, knitting circles, movie watch parties, and foodie groups. This allows your employees to get to know each other in a casual atmosphere and stimulate conversation about their interests, helping build a positive work culture even while some team members work remotely. 

Promoting transparency and trust

Two-way trust between leadership and directs is crucial to make the hybrid model function. Managers should trust that their directs are getting their work done, whether they’re remote or in person, whereas directs should trust that managers are providing them with the resources and intel they need to succeed.

How do we achieve this?

Everyone should feel trusted to take ownership of their workload, produce a high-quality product, and have the autonomy to govern themselves when away from the office. The leadership team shouldn’t pry too much into their directs’ work unless issues arise that must be addressed. Instead, instruct leadership to make themselves available for their directs to approach them when necessary, giving them the agency to problem-solve on their own. 

Use a calendar-sharing tool that allows employees to view their team members’ availability and arrange meetings if necessary. Or, encourage managers to host “office hours” once a week for their team members.

Encouraging team building

A strongly bonded team helps boost morale and work quality. However, it can be difficult for team members to bond when there’s physical distance between them. Provide your employees with opportunities to forge connections with each other across in-person and remote environments. 

How do we achieve this?

Ensure that your team-building activities are accessible for anyone to join, no matter if they’re working remotely or on-site. For instance, if a leader is giving an in-person presentation, offer the option to join via video call so that everyone has the same access to enrichment opportunities. This also allows workers to get to know each other, even if they aren’t communicating face-to-face daily. 

Celebrating successes

Regularly recognizing employee achievements, both on- and offline, helps increase your employees’ confidence and commitment to their work. This is especially important in a hybrid environment where employees are more likely to feel disconnected from their work while away from the office and their team. 

How do we achieve this?

Ensure that positive reinforcement is baked into your organization’s culture by regularly recognizing employee achievements, both on- and offline. It isn’t just important for leadership to recognize directs; peer-to-peer recognition can help strengthen relationships between employees in different workplace environments. 

One way you can help employees recognize each other is by offering celebratory eCards. This cost-effective and customizable solution allows employees to send unique commemorations to one another via email. 

Offering professional development opportunities

Did you know that 68% of employees consider development opportunities to be one of a company’s most important factors? Engage your hybrid employees and attract talent by providing robust opportunities for skill development in both in-person and remote settings.

How do we achieve this?

Organize programs such as training sessions, workshops, and mentorship meetings for all employees to participate in. Boost the engagement potential further by allowing employees to host development programs for their peers. This shows that the organization is invested in the growth and success of its employees, which can lead to greater retention and innovation.

Starting internal charity programs

Encouraging employees to participate in charitable initiatives through your organization not only benefits the community but your organization’s productivity and reputation. Organizational philanthropy programs can improve employee retention rates, inspire teamwork, and elevate employees’ mental and physical health. Plus, your brand will get a boost for being associated with reputable nonprofits and charities.

How do we achieve this?

You can involve your hybrid employees in workplace philanthropy by starting your own social responsibility initiatives. Some popular options include offering volunteer grants, paid time off to volunteer as a team, matching gifts, and peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns on behalf of a nonprofit. Having a variety of options allows most employees to participate, regardless of their work environment or location. Ultimately, these programs can help your employees work together to support a deserving cause while making friends and achieving a healthy work-life balance.

How to Adopt a Hybrid Model in 8 Steps

Now that you understand the basics of hybrid workplaces, let’s put it all together and develop a comprehensive process for adopting the hybrid model.

The steps listed below are crucial to implementing the hybrid workplace model for your organization.
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  1. Decide if the hybrid model is a good fit for your organization. 
  2. Develop a clear plan based on your organization’s values and workflows.
  3. Collect feedback and test ideas.
  4. Pivot your strategy accordingly in response to feedback.
  5. Acquire the right technology to facilitate your employees’ work, no matter which environment they’re in.
  6. Establish new communication channels, cadences, and expectations based on the work environment.
  7. Develop employee engagement offerings, such as professional development opportunities, recognition programs, social responsibility programs, and social groups.
  8. Collect and analyze KPIs periodically to gauge the program’s effectiveness.

By implementing these eight fundamental steps, you can reduce overhead costs, attract a variety of talent to your organization, and support healthy lifestyles for your employees. Remember to be transparent with your team about when changes are going into effect and address their concerns as necessary.

Conclusion: The Hybrid Workplace is Here to Stay

Ultimately, while hybrid work is the new normal for many industries, it can be a difficult transition that requires lots of in-depth planning and fine-tuning.

As you get started shifting to a hybrid workplace, ensure that your employees’ well-being and job satisfaction are at the core of each decision you make. Take their feedback into account and offer compromises when possible. And remember, building a functional hybrid workplace requires effort on all sides, fueled by discourse and a shared pursuit of your organization’s goals and values. With the right priorities and tools, you can improve your workplace in the long term and provide your employees with a superior work experience.

To learn more about how to recognize employees in a hybrid experience, explore these additional resources:

eCardWidget can help you show appreciation for your employees in a hybrid workplace. 
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