Flexible/Hybrid Working 101

For those schools/units exploring more flexible ways of working, this page will provide guidance on how to successfully manage a hybrid workforce.

How Do We Define Hybrid and Flexible Work?

Please refer to the definitions below to understand the difference between a hybrid onsite/remote operating model and Flexible Work Arrangements.

  • Remote work is work that happens anywhere that is not onsite. 
  • Hybrid work is work that happens regularly both onsite and remotely. The optimal hybrid mix of onsite and remote work can be planned and formalized, or shift as needed based on the work to be done and where it’s done best.
  • Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) are individualized flexible work plans. FWAs are approved by managers through a fair and equitable process. FWAs can be applied to hybrid, full-time onsite, and full-time remote work models. Columbia's FWA policy.

It might also be helpful to think about onsite/remote work and FWAs as two levels within a determined operating model:

Level 1Operating Model

Depending on the unit, this could be a traditional operating model with essentially everyone working 100% on campus, or a flexible operating model that combines mostly onsite, full-time remote, and hybrid work (a flexible combination of onsite and remote work). Determination of the operating model is the responsibility of the unit, taking into account the particular jobs or functions involved. 

Does not require an FWA. Determined in the unit, by the unit.  

Level 2Flexible Work Arrangements

The established policy/process that supports a place or time variation from the unit's determined operating model. An FWA would change the onsite/hybrid/full-time remote status at the individual level. 

Determined in the unit for an individual, but following the HR policy/process. 


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