What Is a Work Model? Choosing the Best Model for Your Team

Your business’s work model plays a huge part in your company culture – & ultimately your bottom line. Which one is right for you?

April 20, 2023
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The work model you choose for your business plays a huge part in your company culture, your employee engagement and turnover, and ultimately your bottom line.

Simply put: pick the wrong work model for your business and you’ll be fighting an uphill battle from day one.

To help you make sure you’re not falling at the first hurdle, here’s a breakdown of the three types of working models – and a look at which one is right for your organization.

What is the definition of a work model?

A work model is how a company is structured and how it functions on a daily basis. It includes:

  • Where your people work from.
  • What they’re responsible for.
  • Who they report to.
  • Who they manage.

Organizations of all sizes have been leaning on technological advances to experiment with new work models for decades. And remote and hybrid work models have been commonplace since the Covid pandemic.

But which works model is right for your business? Read on to find out.

Try Assembly today to take the pulse of how your employees feel about your work model.

What are the three work models?

There are three main types of work model: in-office, remote, and hybrid

Here’s a quick look at each so you can start thinking about which is right for your business.


Until a few years ago, the vast majority of businesses required their employees to come into the office every day of the work week. Most leaders didn’t question whether this working model was the best way of doing things until the Covid pandemic, which opened their eyes to the fact their workers could get just as much done – if not more – by working from home. 

While working from the office is still necessary for some companies, it’s well worth thinking about whether it’s the best option for you if that's not the case with the kind of work your people do.


Companies that run a remote working model don’t have a physical office at all. Instead, they provide their employees with laptops they can use to do their work wherever they like – whether that’s their dining room or a local cafe. 

While this working model isn't possible for all businesses, a lot of companies that were forced to work remotely during the pandemic found it worked so well for them they never went back to the office. And it’s a working model that shows no sign of losing popularity, with 25% of workers expected to be working remotely by the end of 2023.

Book a demo of Assembly so you have all the tools you need to manage a remote team in one place.


A hybrid working model is a combination of in-office and remote work. A hybrid business has a physical office employees can come into if they choose, but is also set up for people to work remotely. Some hybrid businesses mandate that each employee needs to come into the office a certain number of days a week, while others leave it up to their people to decide how often they want to come in – if at all. 

If given the option, the majority of workers would prefer to be in the office between one and three days a week. Which means a flex work model tends to be a big hit with employees.

How to choose the right working model for you

No two businesses are alike, and taking a blanket approach to choosing your company’s working model could end up being a very costly mistake. 

Here’s a look at the questions you should be asking to make sure you’re implementing a work model that’s going to suit your staff the most – and drive the best results.

What kind of work needs doing?

The most important question you need to ask is whether remote working is even an option for your business.

If your employees need to use specialist equipment or materials to do their jobs then they’ll obviously need to work from a physical location. However, if they only need to access that equipment some of the time, don’t fall into the trap of mandating they come into the office every single day. 79% of people say they’d be more loyal to an employer that allowed for a more flexible work model, so you can do wonders for your staff turnover by not tying your people to their desk when they don’t need to be there.

And if your employees only need a laptop and an internet connection to do their job, then offering remote or hybrid work is a no-brainer in 2023. In fact, 56% of remote workers would look for a new job if their company asked them to return to the office.

However, keep in mind that not all work can be done to the same standard from home. For example, 45% of people think meetings with ten or more attendees are worse when done on video call rather than in-person. So, you might want to make sure your team always has space available to meet as a group if they often have large meetings. 

Thinking about what your people’s needs are is the first step to finding the right work model for you.

Try Assembly to make the switch to a hybrid work model as seamless as possible.

What are the costs?

Office space is expensive. And while it’s a necessary expense if your people can only do their job on-site, today it’s a luxury for companies that perform knowledge work. 

So, while 59% of workers prefer a hybrid work model – compared to 32% who’d prefer to work exclusively remotely and just 9% who’d choose to work fully on-site – office space is a big expense if it’s not getting used every day.

Companies can actually save up to $11,000 per employee when they work at least partly remotely – and even more if they get rid of their office completely. So, it’s well worth weighing up the ROI of renting office space if you could adopt a fully remote work model.

What do your employees want?

Last but not least, you should check in with your people about what kind of work model they’d prefer before you follow in Elon Musk's footsteps and tell your staff “the office is not optional”

Research shows that:

  • 71% of employees currently open to looking for a job aren’t happy with how flexible their current organization is willing to be.
  • Hybrid workplaces have seen an average 12% reduction in employee turnover.
  • 78% of employees have said that a hybrid work plan leads to a better work/life balance. 

So, it’s clear expecting your staff to commute to a physical office and sit glued to a desk from nine to five isn’t likely to go down well with them if they could just as easily be working from home.

But that doesn’t mean embracing telework is a silver bullet. In fact, research shows remote employees work 10% longer than their office counterparts – and a massive 69% of remote workers have experienced burnout while working from home.

The thing is: everyone is different. While the data suggests most people prefer the flexibility of working from home, others much prefer the social side of coming into an office. Make sure you’re providing your people with the working model that best suits them through regular  engagement surveys and by making sure to regularly ask your teammates about it during one-to-ones.

Which working model is right for you?

An in-office work model is obviously a must if your people can only do their job on-site. Just make sure you’re not being overly rigid with staff that could work from home some days, as a lack of flexibility is a common reason people are leaving jobs in the age of remote work.

A remote work model is the right choice for a lot of businesses that perform knowledge work. It means you don’t have to pay for expensive office space and can hire top talent from around the world. Plus, the majority of people enjoy working from home to having to go into an office every day. Just be sure to keep a close eye out for burnout, presenteeism, and lack of recognition among your remote staff. 

A hybrid work model is what the research says most workers would choose if they could. Which makes sense, as it lets them design the workweek that works best for them. Just be sure your staff don’t feel forced to go into the office if they don’t want to, or you’ll run into the same problems in-office businesses have with lack of flexibility. Plus, it’s important for hybrid businesses to make sure their people are actually using their office space enough to justify the hefty expense.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at support@joinassembly.com.

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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Please schedule time with an expert and we will help you to get all your questions answered