Pesto Blog

Is Your Hybrid Model Remote-first or Office-first?

Doug Safreno
Doug Safreno
May 19, 2021 - 2 min read
Is Your Hybrid Model Remote-first or Office-first?

Today, it feels like everyone is going hybrid. However, not all hybrids are created equal.

At Pesto, we've had the opportunity of working with many hybrid teams pre-pandemic, and we want to share some learnings to all of the teams thinking about going hybrid.

In this article, I'll guide you through the two ways of working, remote-first and office-first, and how to determine which option your hybrid workplace should embrace.

Remote-first vs Office-first

The key difference between remote-first and office-first is the way you communicate - do you make sure all communication happens through a product, or do you just chat in the office?

When you're remote-first, you ideally take calls at your desk (even if some people on the call are in the same building) to be inclusive of remote workers. Worst case, you do "Brady Bunch" style meetings rather than in-office meetings.

How To Choose

When you're office-first but have some remote workers or remote days, those people become heavily siloed when working remote.

They miss out on key decisions, have a harder time getting help, and are more inclined to treat remote days as "laundry days," where they either focus on personal tasks or deep work rather than collaboration.

Therefore, the key question when deciding to be office-first is "Can my team get by treating every remote day as a non-collaborative day?"

We've found that teams that are only in the office 1-2 days per week need to figure out remote-first collaboration because 1-2 days are not enough "collaborative" days.

On the other hand, teams that are in the office 4 days per week can easily get by with one heads-down / laundry day.

Teams that are in the office 3 days per week are in the gray zone. Consider whether:

  • Those 3 days are the same for everyone on the team. If they are different, people will miss each other, and there won't be enough face time.
  • 2 days are too many non-collaborative days per week
  • There are any fully remote teammates - if so, you'll need to operate remote-first for them to be included


Pesto is a virtual office for remote and hybrid teams. We enable team community and serendipity while being remote-first. After trying Pesto, you may find you don't need the office at all.

Learn more here - it's free!

🦥 Great Sloth Race

🦥 Great Sloth Race

Doug Safreno
Doug Safreno
Mar 20, 2021 - 3 min read