to Launch Company-Wide Hybrid Work Model Group, an online travel company, announced Monday that it would implement a hybrid work model throughout the company. Starting from March 1, on every Wednesday and Friday, all business divisions and functional departments of the company can choose their own office locations according to actual needs, gradually implementing a hybrid work model for one or two days every week. Group said that the purpose of setting up the new working system is not only for epidemic prevention and control, but also to relieve pressure on employees who need to take care of their families and children, which they hope can help increase the fertility rate. Group has simultaneously released matching policies, such as employee applications, management processes and equipment support, which means that the company has become the first major firm in China to actually implement the hybrid work model.

Given commutes that can last 1-2 hours, the new working model is sought after by many netizens. “The hybrid work model is becoming a global trend, and more companies are expected to follow suit and promote it,” said Liang Jianzhang, the chairman of Group.

As soon as the news came out, one netizen said: “This working model is enviable and enhances employees’ happiness and flexibility.” Some netizens also expressed concerns that it will blur the boundary between work and life, and that working from home is equivalent to being on-call 24 hours a day.

In order to promote the hybrid work model, Group has started several rounds of hybrid working experiments. As early as 2010, the company had started a hybrid working experiment for customer service staff. The results showed that working from home improved employees’ merit pay by 13%, employees had higher satisfaction and the quitting rate decreased by 50%.

After the epidemic, Liang Jianzhang once again advocated hybrid working experiments with wider functions. According to Group, this round of promotions is based on the hybrid working experiment with more than 1,600 participants since August 2021. The results showed that after nearly half a year’s experiment, employees’ willingness to participate has risen to nearly 60%, and the quitting rate has dropped by about one third, without obvious impacts on merit pay.

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In a survey of employees supporting the hybrid work model, Group summed up the three primary reasons: less commuting time and more efficiency, improvements to employees’ work-life balance, and feeling happier and more creative.