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Hybrid 2.0: Journey To Our New Hybrid Work Model

Apr 5, 2022 | Corporate Insights, People and Culture

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Hybrid 2.0: Journey To Our New Hybrid Work Model

The trend towards more flexibility in the workplace has definitely been accelerated by the pandemic, yet it has always been a key component of our working culture and a clear benefit for our employees.

On the first of April, we officially kicked off our new and improved hybrid work model, which offers additional flexibility when it comes to the number of days employees have to be in the office. We moved from a biweekly in-person cadence to monthly in-person collaboration days, requiring employees to be on campus only four days per month. We empower our teams to choose the setup that works best for them as we trust that they can collectively decide how to ensure a productive collaboration to achieve the best business outcome.

As always, shaping this new model was a collaborative effort between leadership and our whole workforce. Here’s a peek inside our process of reinventing trivago hybrid 2.0!

What matters to us most?

Our work philosophy will remain in-person first, whilst providing much more flexibility for mobile work than we did before. This means that our campus is always open and our employees are welcome to work from there whenever they prefer beyond the dedicated campus days. Events and important meetings will take place in person whenever possible to ensure efficiency, increase alignment and create opportunities for authentic social interaction.

We highly value our in-person interactions and peer relationships as they’re an integral part of our culture and success as an organization. Throughout the years, we’ve understood that we collaborate better in person, although the pandemic has proven that individual focus time can be more productive at home. That said, we believe that in-person collaboration helps with resolving complex problems more efficiently and with generating long-term trustful relationships with peers.

How did we shape our new hybrid model?

We’re committed to being a place for outstanding people who want to grow and have an impact together. Therefore, we considered three main aspects while planning our new hybrid work model: productive collaboration, talent retention and talent attraction. We believe that a balance between these three dimensions would help us further shape trivago into an exceptional workplace as they’re key to helping us succeed as a business.

Furthermore, we wanted each employee to help shape the future of our hybrid set-up with us, so we sent around a survey with a set of questions about their preferences and motivation to come back to campus. Surprisingly, more than 80% of our talents showed an interest in coming back to our campus and seeing their teams at least on monthly basis. We’re aware of how important peer relationships are at trivago and this was also clearly reflected in the responses to our hybrid survey. After several feedback rounds and processing input from our teams and leads, we were confident that we’ve found a model that will meet both our business and organizational needs.

What does our model look like now?

Based on the findings from our survey as well as our in-person-first philosophy, we set a minimum of four in-person days and we further classified them into trivago day, unit day and team days:

trivago Day: When we asked employees what they love the most about working at trivago, the most consistent themes were about our “people and culture”. We know from the pre-pandemic era that there is a unique energy on campus when our whole team comes together, and there’s no denying we missed this over the past two years. Whether it’s running into each other in the kitchen or staying late for after-work events on Fridays to disconnect from daily tasks and connect on a personal level – we want to experience this unique energy again by bringing everyone together under the same roof. That’s why we decided to go for at least one trivago day when the entire talent force is present on campus. The purpose of this day is to ease alignment, hold in-person and strategy meetings, and most importantly, socialize with each other after a long time apart. Our quarterly core events and other company-wide events will also take place on these days.

Unit Day: A significant number of our employees also expressed interest in joining their unit (department) on campus one day to collaborate in person, ensure a faster strategy planning process and streamline alignment within their unit. We expect Units to hold their Unit All-Hands as well as unit-wide stakeholder meetings on this day.

Team Days: Firstly, our campus is always open to our talents which means that all talents are welcome to work from campus whenever they prefer. However, we wanted to allow some additional flexibility to talents commuting from far away. Therefore, we’ve set a minimum of two team days on campus per month. Nonetheless, individual teams may decide to include additional days as part of their monthly collaboration cadence depending on the nature of the projects they’re working on at the time. We encourage teams to hold their team events and weekly team meetings on these days as well.

For more insight into what these days on campus will entail, head to our Life at trivago blog.

What’s next?

We’re aware that the success of our hybrid work model is ultimately in the hands of our workforce as a whole. Any organization consisting of hundreds of employees requires a regulated work model, which is why we’ve set a framework with basic guidelines. That being said, our hybrid model is based on trust, rather than strict rules or principles.

We hope that our new hybrid model will help our talents have an even better work-life balance without completely missing out on social interaction. We’re looking forward to hopping on the hybrid learning journey over the upcoming months and as always, we’re willing to adjust and learn from our experience.


Author: Thanks to Danish Hussain from our Strategy & Operations team for compiling this article.