Remote vs Office vs Hybrid Work Setup: What You Need To Know

Date Sep 16, 2021
Blog category Broadband
By Staff Writer

Work from home in NZ has been one of the best solutions to keep the workforce going through this pandemic. Worldwide, businesses are adjusting to either going back to in-office setups or employing a mix of traditional and home office.

What are the key differences among all these work setups? Is one better than the other? What are the advantages of choosing one over the others?

What is a remote work setup?

Remote work, work-from-home, home office — it comes in different terms but it simply means working away from an office space. Most businesses that operate on a remote model don’t have a physical office address. Entry-level positions, managers, supervisors, all the way to executives can have the option to work in their home offices, depending on their company guidelines.

Under remote work, some companies employ fully remote work or those that don't need to report to an office. Some companies do this to cut costs and hire people offshore.

However, some businesses organise meet-ups (e.g. quarterly, twice a year, etc.) to boost company morale internally, and so even their remote work employees within the country will have to attend.



Most employers use the remote work model because it works for them too! They can save from office space rental, utility costs, as well overhead costs.

For employees, remote work can be plenty beneficial, too.

  • Location: Working remotely means you can work anywhere! While most people simply work from home, you can actually work at the beach or your go-to cafe. You can even work while you’re away on a holiday. Well, if you really want to.
  • Schedule: You don’t have to commute to work, saving you time and money. Plus, most companies offering remote work have flexible work hours. This means that you can work whenever you feel the most productive.
  • Costs: Some people who work in the city can relocate to smaller towns, where the cost of living is cheaper! You can purchase more items on your grocery list with the same budget. Plus, rent is usually cheaper there too!


Of course, working from home can have its disadvantages. One of the biggest drawbacks comes with communication. Because of the distance, companies and their managers will have to double their efforts in making sure everyone feels connected, and are going after the same goal. There are loads of online channels available, but of course, it has its fair share of limitations.

  • Communication: To be able to work effectively, you need to communicate and do regular check-ins with the team. Promote an open work culture where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns.
  • Equipment: In an office setting, all the equipment you will need is provided for you. In an ideal remote work setting, all your work equipment will be delivered to your address. However, those who work offshore might need to request the things they need. For employees with open contracts, they might have to provide everything for themselves.
    • Make sure you communicate this clearly with your employer if you happen to have a remote work setup.
  • Internet connection: Finding a reliable Broadband plan is very important when working remotely. But even with the right plan, you still need to have a backup internet plan in case of power outages. A good mobile phone plan in NZ should cover the data you'll need for the meantime.

Read: The Best iPhone 12 Mobile Deals In New Zealand For Q1 2021

What is a traditional office setup?

Working in an office is straightforward. It's what most of us are used to. Essentially, you work in a designated space outside your home. This requires you to commute daily to and from your workplace. It also imposes regular working hours, working days, and maybe even a uniform that you have to strictly adhere to.

However, some traditional offices now offer flexible working hours. While it’s not as flexible compared to remote work, some employers allow you to come to work within a limited timeframe. For example, you may work for 8 hours as long as it’s within 6:00AM to 9:00PM.

Some employers can be a bit more flexible, simply requiring you to report 40 hours a week.


One of the reasons why traditional office setup has been the staple for many decades is its effectiveness. The team can communicate with each other and with different teams without much hassle or delay, thanks to the complete amenities in an office space. Huge corporations like Google and Facebook are known for providing the perfect office environment, work culture, and salary packages to their employees.

  • Fixed schedule: The most common office setup. Having a fixed schedule means you can organise and sort out your daily tasks, meetings, or incoming events. The team can easily collaborate knowing everyone is coming in to work at the same time.
  • Tools and amenities: Having complete tools and amenities means there’s no stopping you from being productive. Be it tools like ultra-fast desktop computers, printers, or even a stable internet connection, your workspace has everything you need.
  • Productivity: As face-to-face communication can be achieved easily in an office space, you can be more productive, especially with tasks that require teamwork. Brown bags sessions and Pizza days are just some of the popular ways companies encourage their employees' productivity.
    • Add this with the complete tools and amenities, and companies have more control over their employees' enthusiasm in the workplace.

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Traditional office setup comes with its fair share of disadvantages, too. As most offices today now have an open layout, some people can get easily distracted by noises and chatters from their colleagues. Instead of increasing productivity, the opposite may happen.

  • Timely and costly: As most offices start during the morning rush and end during the afternoon rush hour, this can increase your commute time to and from work. It’s also a bit costly because you have to pay for petrol or transportation fees.
  • Unhealthy conditions: Some workplaces can be unhealthy because of office politics. While it’s not as common as before, there are still offices that may foster unhealthy conditions. The catch is, it’s almost impossible to know which workplace is unhealthy.
  • Limited workforce: This means employers only have a limited pool of potential employees. Usually, it’s only within the city borders and its suburbs. There may be a more talented person for the job but is located far away from your office.

What is a hybrid office setup?

Coming from the name itself, it’s a mix of work-from-home and traditional office setup. It’s not as common as before, as you either only work from the office or home. However, COVID-19 has changed this landscape and introduced a hybrid work setup. As more people get vaccinated and restrictions ease, this may become more popular.

There may be some days where you’re required to report to the office. This can range from a day to 3 days per week, or even just once a month. For the rest of the week, it’s not mandatory to go to the office. You can work at home or anywhere you want, as long as you do your job.


Hitting two birds with one stone can bring plenty of benefits not only for the employees but for employers too. You get the best of both worlds, without compromising on productivity, teamwork, or communication.

  • Better communication among the team: Compared to fully remote work, this enables better communication among the team members. As you see each other face to face at least once a week, you can discuss topics that can be difficult to explain virtually.
  • Tools and amenities: Whenever you have urgent files to access, print, or scan, you can always rely on office tools. Plus, some employers also allow you to come to the office whenever your internet connection isn’t working properly.
  • Cost-effective: Even if an employer has a lot of employees, they don't have to rent a large office space. Different teams can set a day when their team will come to the office. No need for a big space, as it’s not going to be filled with employees each day, anyway.


A hybrid working environment brings the best of both worlds, but it can also be a bit tricky. Employers might need to ask for their employees' opinions on which one works for them.

  • Employee morale: As an employer, it’s extremely important to build employee morale by team building and get-togethers. If it’s hard to meet everyone’s schedule in an office setup, it’s even harder when you account for those working remotely and in-office.
  • Difficulty to adjust: As mentioned, it can be difficult to adapt to both working environments at the same time. Even within the team, some people may lean towards working from home while others lean towards an in-office environment.
  • Different setup, different rules: One of the biggest challenges to employees is to follow both company rules for work in both setups. Employers need to work harder to convey these rules through constant reminders and communication.

What is the best work setup?

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of each work setup, which one is actually the best for you? To answer simply, it will depend on you and your employer.

For example, marketing and IT may benefit greatly from a remote work setup. While they have team tasks, most of their jobs can be done with little to no supervision at all. The same can’t be said for the sales or insurance industry where they have to meet with clients and customers. For these kinds of industries, office setup works best.

On the other hand, those working in community outreach programs and credit assessing can benefit greatly from a hybrid work setup. They work in the field for most of the week and can report their findings once or twice a week in the office. Naturally, they can’t simply work from home or office full-time, as it’s not the description of their job.

Different work setups cater to different job titles and industries. What works best for you may not work for others. It’s a challenge for employers to find the best working setup for their industry to guarantee maximum productivity and quality output.

Whatever work setup you choose, having a stable internet connection is very important. Get the best broadband plan using our FREE comparison tool, right here at CompareBear!