2021 is inspiring a movement towards hybrid office work. In CBRE's 2021 U.S. Occupier Sentiment Survey, it found that 62% of large companies would be adopting a hybrid-first work model. We have included some helpful tips for you to consider in promoting employee engagement, as your team adopts a more hybrid approach to work.
How much space does each employee require?
The first thing to consider is the amount of space each employee needs in order to work productively and comfortably. Depending on the industry or the kind of work performed, this number will have some variance. The average of office-wide space will generally range from 75-150 sq ft.
As offices move towards a more hybrid approach, this offers the opportunity to reconsider a new layout for your office. It is also important to consider how future work trends may impact how much space each employee needs. Striking the right balance will improve wellbeing, which will in turn increase overall engagement.
How will the space be used?
Every office utilizes space differently. The movement towards the hybrid work model means you may have to change your expectations of how your office will be utilized. Consider the balance between collaboration and independent work, when determining your final configuration.
A few considerations, also mentioned in a previous post, would be to reassess the spaces provided for: team working spaces, meeting rooms and social spaces. When designing offices in the past, open plan work areas were often just a space planning calculation of number of employees to number of desks. Now with more flexible schedules and a hybrid workforce, the answer is far less clear. Will there be designated workstations? Or will there be bookable desks—and if so, how many employees will be in the office at any given time? Flexibility opens up the spaces being underutilized and injects them with new possibilities.
Have a flexible approach to the design
It seems there has never been so great a change in the workplace during this pandemic. We don’t really know what the long-term requirements will be, but an office configuration that accommodates flexibility will be a timeless option moving forward.
Dynamically changing one’s approach to the office and remaining flexible in one’s design approach, is a great way to energize employees and make working in the office more enjoyable. What the pandemic has taught us, is that we choose to work in a physical space to connect and collaborate with others. While focused work can happen anywhere one can find solitude, a well-designed office offers synergy in the sharing of ideas. Consider this when deciding on the final configuration of your space.
Reconfigure each space in accordance with new requirements
Existing spaces may need to be reconfigured to accommodate new office design configurations. This can be done in any manner of ways. When moving offices, you can immediately set to work using the ideas outlined above to map out your space. It will be important to keep an open mind, and to get feedback from your team during the decision-making process.
Most importantly, you want your team to be comfortable and productive in their new environment. If you are in an existing space you would like to modify to fit into more hybrid work environment, consider reaching out to an office furniture professional, and exploring reconfiguration options.
As your team moves to adopt more hybrid approaches to work, you can utilize the design of your space to promote employee engagement. Our team at OFH can help you create the ideal layout for your next office. Feel free to reach out to our team, to discuss the possibilities of your next space, as we make a safe return to the office and a new way of working.