Employers are moving away from the pre-pandemic office layout as the Hybrid Workplace model is gaining in popularity. Many companies are looking to remodel their office spaces in a way that suits their needs. Hot desking, hoteling and shared workspaces have become more popular than individual offices that sit empty for days. Hybrid work requires a completely different design than the traditional workspaces that many companies had before the pandemic. A complete overhaul of your workplace is not necessary. A few simple, strategic changes can improve your workflow, increase employee satisfaction, and increase productivity.
Why is it necessary to remodel your space?
It is possible that you are still unsure of whether a hybrid environment is right for your company. Although the final decision is up to your company, it’s important to consider the needs of your employees. However, research into the best work environment in a post-pandemic setting has been overwhelming.
Microsoft has compiled a 2021 report that provides an explanation of why you might consider changing your space to allow hybrid work design.
Satya Nadella (Microsoft’s CEO) is quoted as saying that “No area has seen more rapid change than the way we work.” We need to redefine productivity in a way that includes collaboration, learning, wellbeing, and other aspects of productivity. This will help us drive career advancement for all workers, from frontline and knowledge workers to those already working and new graduates. This requires flexibility in how, when, and where people work.
The report provides hard data on the respondents. It states that employees want both the best and worst of both worlds. Over 70% of workers want flexibility in remote work while 66% want more face-to-face time with their team. To be ready, 66% of business decision-makers are looking at redesigning physical spaces in order to accommodate hybrid work environments. It is evident that hybrid work and extreme flexibility will be the hallmarks of the workplace after a pandemic.
Collaboration is important.
A hybrid model allows workers to decide how they will split their time between work and home. This makes interaction, communication, and collaboration more important than ever. Many employees and employers realised that while the vast majority of their daily tasks could be done remotely for more than a year after the pandemic, there was no substitute for human interaction.
Research shows that employees often miss out on social interaction when they work from home.
ViewSonic is an electronics company that shares important principles of office design with Tangram Interiors. These principles emphasise the importance of collaboration. We are sharing four principles with you:
1. Me + We: It is important to be able to work both alone and with a group. These spaces include private areas for video calls or collaborative areas.
2. Fixed to Fluid: The ability to arrange spaces in a variety of ways. It also includes flexible boundaries that can be moved to alter settings as necessary.
3. Enclosed + Open: This allows for both open and enclosed spaces. It also offers more opportunities for collaboration and private areas for privacy throughout the office.
4. Digital and physical integration: integrating technology in the workplace to improve collaboration and productivity. This includes access to mobile power banks and sensors to measure density and use them.
A Forbes Magazine article by Eric Mosley, CEO and co-founder of Workhuman, offers insight into how to design an office that is conducive to hybrid work.
Tips for Success: Planning an Office Renovation
Mosley wrote, “Designing hybrid workplaces offers the chance to re-set priorities and eliminate legacy processes or programmes that were exposed as inefficient.” It is important to place people at the centre of any change process. As the crisis subsides, the talent shortage heats up. These items are designed to help employees trust each other and retain them in turbulent employment markets.
Mosley continues to present the following items to management for consideration:
Analyse personal time taken that wasn’t during the crisis.
What technologies and routines have the greatest human benefits (bonding, creativity, brainstorming, problem-solving)?
What lessons have we learned from remote work that can be applied to long-distance relationships such as customer engagement, sales, and recruitment? Can we, for example, create a larger and more diverse talent pool by engaging with colleges via remote learning and certification platforms?
How can you increase feedback remotely?
How can management stop the development of a two-tiered culture — one in the office, one remotely — that limits the opportunities for choice assignments, skill development, and advancement?
Do compensation structures need to change in order to reflect changing cultures?
Ty Culver is the Client Development Director at CulverCareers. This executive recruitment agency, which specialises in marketing and sales recruiting, offers great advice on how to redesign your office for hybrid work. Below are three tips from Culver.
1. Start with surveys
2. Take into account the different types of workers
3. Technology will be more valuable than ever before.
Inc. magazine published a column written by Rebecca Hinds. Hinds is an organisational doctor and an entrepreneur. Hinds’ column, entitled “How to Redesign Your Office for Hybrid Work,” outlines three strategies she believes will “set your employees up for success.” These are Hinds’ three strategies:
1. Approaches based on data are encouraged.
2. Refrain from the temptation to have open offices.
3. Mental health is important.
Technology: The Staple of the Hybrid Office
People are increasingly working remotely and in hybrid settings, which has made technology more important than ever. Technology tools are going to be crucial in the future, particularly if hybrid models are adopted.
For office setup and staffing, workplace scheduling software is essential for companies. It ensures continuity and efficiency. Huber offers this software, which allows people to book conference rooms, desks, and parking spaces as well as events such as lunches.
Huber has been used by major brands such as Abbott, Dominos, and Coca-Cola to optimise their workplaces and improve the employee experience.
A good space utilization software goes hand-in-hand with workplace scheduling to enable highly effective and adaptive Workspace Solutions.