August 19, 2021
For millions of businesses around the world, the pandemic has presented a real challenge: how to keep employees productive and engaged, while still remaining safe? While a transition back to the office is inevitable, it is clear that the experiences of the last 17 months have changed what working will be like forever. That is why, as businesses prepare to reopen their spaces this fall, the hybrid office is the most realistic and flexible option for employees returning to work in the near future.
What is Hybrid Working?
Hybrid working is a blend of remote and office-based work. It is a fluid concept, based on the principle of necessity: we do work wherever it is done best. Hybrid working embraces the idea that employees can come into the office some days of the week and work remotely on other days. Hybrid working also embraces the idea of an in-person, as well as a remote working staff. Having fluidity and flexibility will be essential in ensuring the productivity, creativity, and flexibility of a team.
Reconfiguring Your Space for Hybrid Work
If different teams will be present in the office on different days, it will be necessary to coordinate with management to ensure a working schedule is agreed upon. It will also be important to ensure that the furniture and equipment will match new arrangements.
Team working spaces
- Team working spaces are collaborative areas specifically designated for working together in groups. These spaces may encompass any size depending on the requirements of your team.
- Social spaces are collaborative areas meant for socializing, such as lounge areas and cafeterias. These areas might initially need to be readapted to meet safety requirements, with clear signage and instructions for intended use.
- Designated workstations are workstations that are meant for a single person. This will include the work areas of your fulltime in-person staff.
- In hybrid work arrangements, not everyone will be in the office at the same time. Bookable desks will be utilized by employees who will be in the office some days of the week. Management will ensure how a desk will be booked, with consideration to the needs of a space.
- Meeting rooms will need to (temporarily) include safe spacing between employees, in addition to have technology integration to accommodate employees that are both present and not present in the office at a given time.
An important detail to note about hybrid work, is the flexibility that it grants employees. A training day or client booking may require employees to come into the office, but otherwise work will be determined by where the work is best done, with some level of coordination by management.
In the last 17 months, with the stigma removed from remote work, working has taken on a new form. What the hybrid work model accomplishes: it brings together the connection, community, culture that is present in the in-person work environment and juxtaposes it with our modern expectations. This fall, as businesses seek to make a transition, hybrid working offers the greatest promise to reopen the office to employees, encourage connecting and safely increase face-to-face interactions.
Looking to adapt your office to accommodate hybrid work? Book a consultation with our team.