Home Office or Hybrid: This is the opinion of experts at the Work Models Forum

Note published on June 10 in Recursos Humanos TV, Noticias [News] Section, by the Editorial Department.

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The first Work Models Forum, organized by RHTV and Cuponstar, took place this Thursday. The implementation of new work models, chiefly the home office and the hybrid schemes, was analyzed in in order to learn about the changes that organizations have undergone and their collaborators have gone through in the last few years,

The forum featured an opening analysis by Santiago Quiroga, Public Speaking Coach; and the participation of  Blanya Correal, an Expert on Labor Strategy; Alejandra Arellano, Assistant HR Director at Becton Dickinson; Anwar Limón, Senior P&O Business Partner at Novartis México and Lyz Escalante, Top Voice Linkedin, as moderator.

At the beginning of the talk, Santiago Quiroga stated that the changes brought by the pandemic, and other events that we have gone through in the last few years, have made it necessary for us to learn to change and adapt to the new needs.  These changes have also affected the labor environment, with the emergence of new work models that have brought significant challenges.

“If we had not been flexible, we would have remained in the past. (…) Prejudices did not permit these models to be adapted before; we had to wait for the world to change unexpectedly and suddenly, to understand that something that was taking shape within organizations would be the very thing that would guarantee the continuity of operations”, he said .

Subsequently, panelist participation began; they started by analyzing the changes brought by the pandemic, specifically, remote work models.

Hybrid models in organizations

In her participation, Alejandra Arellano said that this type of schemes used to be timid and even not well regarded; nevertheless, this point of view changed as a result of the pandemic and Becton Dickinson has been making good use of it.

“This is a wonderful opportunity provided by the pandemic to allow us to transform these work schemes. We undertook the task of listening to our collaborators in order to determine the model under which we were going to return; we are now operating under a hybrid scheme, with a gradual return. All of this accompanied by a very solid change and working on the leadership area”, she shared.

For his part, Anwar Limón said that “the pandemic forced us all to move to a quasi-virtual scheme. We saw the advantages of working from home, the agility, the steady rhythm for the business and the patient.”

However, a certain connection with people is lost and, as a result of  this, we started to see that collaborators’ well-being was being affected “because the pandemic taught us that virtual models curtail the work experience, and a balance needs to be found.” Because of this, at Novartis “we have a model in which they come to the office some days, but they have the freedom to choose where they work.”

In regard to this topic, Blanya Correal said that the challenge was to see how prepared companies were for these hybrid models. This is why two axes emerged, because there are positions that require that people be present and, on the other hand, positions that can be conducted virtually came to light.

“We did not have a very clear focus on the people who had to remain working in person. What is happening is that we are returning, thinking that we are returning to the pre-pandemic reality, and we are not realizing what needs have changed, both at the work level and at the family and personal levels”, she shared.

The adaptation of work models

Talking about models and adaptations in their organizations, Alejandra Arellano said that they are working hard on the vision on how the want to continue working.

“What we have been working on, in the first place  is on a very robust change plan. There are two key points, the technological part, how we are preparing ourselves in this sense for the return. We are also working on a behavioral scheme, to know how to work in this adaptation and in a leadership style of service, moving to a collaborative leadership style and the achievement of objectives”, she added.

Taking the floor, Blanya Correal said that these times have seen the emergence of people from within the teams who joined in the tasks, who took the lead to help coordinate the work.

“We started to see the emergence of other leadership figures that are worth following, who are going to grow and became connectors within the organization. New figures that must be capitalized arose within the organizational environment and we need to learn how to do so”, she stated.

In his participation, Anwar Limón said that, regarding the hybrid model, there are many advantages and disadvantages: nevertheless, at Novartis they know that it had to be understood that they would have to go through a learning process, taking the business model, the client and the employees into account.

“The key lies in the flexibility of your model, but you cannot please everyone. Leaders must be taught that competitiveness in the market is lost if these models are not adapted. (…) The leader and the employees need to learn to trust each other”, he added.

The implementation of new schemes

Alejandra Arellano said that it has been proven that these models were successful and that companies that are not in favor of these models have to identify where these fears come from. “I could say that they come from believing that they are not productive. Upper management must be reassured that results will continue to be obtained.”

“I believe that these messages are very powerful and, through them, we can convince organizations to migrate to hybrid schemes. They are a differentiator because they are part of a benefit that is sought by the talent, it is part of the job offer”, she pointed out.

For his part, Anwar Limón said that polarizing a model will make you lose attributes that you could have compensated with others. “Polarization will make you lose important things such as connection, culture, focus, sharing. The key lies in not going completely virtual, that is polarizing; the key lies in flexible models that allow the employee to decide the time and place to create results”, he stated.

In her participation, Blanya Correal said that the collaborator must be treated as an adult, not as a child who has to be supervised in regard to the way in which he conducts his work. The bottom line lies the manner in which you give the person the possibility to decide.

Additionally, she added that “we have to pay heed to the leader’s needs, as he was the one who had to understand how to maintain communication with his collaborators and continue giving results at the same time. We must work to reinforce this leadership and not focus only on the collaborators.”


Lastly, Alejandra Arellano said that this must be handled more as a flexible model than as a hybrid model; it has to meet the needs of the collaborators, of the business and work on service leadership through which they empower and enable their teams.

“This must be seen as a dynamic model, it must be adapted, contributing to the business needs and to the collaborators’ experience”, she concluded.

In his final  thoughts, Anwar Limón said that the adaptation of these models is a learning process, of listening to the needs of your employees, your client and the business.

Nobody taught us how to deal with a pandemic, and we had to learn how to adapt, there is more awareness on how to act as HR. It is valid to learn as you go”, he said.

Lastly, Blanya Correal said that there are many challenges in the implementation of the new work models. However, “we must take this as a fun challenge, not as some horrible thing that we have to implement.”

If you want to obtain information on the contributions and opinions of the panelists in detail, keep an eye on our social networks to have access to the complete recording of the Work Models Forum.