Designing New Hybrid Workplace
What is a Hybrid office?
A hybrid office is designed to support both in-person collaboration and remote work. Unlike an agile work environment, which makes it easy for employees to choose from different types of spaces while they’re in the office, a hybrid office assumes employees will be moving more frequently between home and the office.
Policies in this type of workplace lean toward flexibility rather than rigidity. A flexible policy can allow for work arrangements like split time between the central office and home, non-traditional work hours, and more. Policies can support productivity by allowing employees to build a work-life balance to maximize their own energy and motivation.
Elements of a hybrid office include:
- A mix of collaborative and private spaces
- Multipurpose areas employees can use depending on the work they’re doing
- Furniture that’s easy to reconfigure
- High-quality conference room technology
- Technology that makes it easy for employees to find and reserve workspaces anywhere.
Hybrid Office Design Basics
Office Design to support this new frontier for business factors in needs like video conferencing capabilities and workspaces for employees who split their time between the office and home. One challenge to design is increasing productivity in an environment with distractions. Interruptions from co-workers or office noise can cut into crucial focus time. A hybrid office floor plan built for productivity should focus on three factors: motivation, environment, and digital tools.
The Office of the future will be different. It will no longer accommodate all acitivites associated with work, but provide a place for those tasks that cannot successfully be done at home. IN order to successfully evolve and embrace hybrid working, business will need to consider the four C’s :
Selecting the ideal workplace model involves a set of compromises between flexibility and structure, real estate and culture. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Organisations must adapt to suit their business and employee needs and engage their people to understand their experiences and expectations.
Workplace design should consider:
- Leaders and individuals needs
- Nature and style of the work
- Organisational culture and values
- Organisational purpose and goals
In a hybrid environment, it’s possible that some roles require a dedicated workspace. The employees that find the most productivity with assigned desks will vary based on the organization. You may have employees who prefer to work in the office full-time. You might have them assigned in a hierarchy based on role seniority. You may also choose to accept requests from any employee who finds designated workspaces crucial to doing their work well.
The rest of the individual workspaces can be hot desks. Make sure to use a booking system that allows employees to dedicate a space for themselves for the day. This can give employees a sense of their own space where they can leave their laptops to attend meetings or take breaks throughout the day.
Conference areas in hybrid workplaces are more than seating and a table. Hybrid work means employees can participate from more than just squeaky office chairs. Video conferencing capabilities are a must in conference rooms and tools like digital whiteboards for brainstorming can round out the hybrid meeting style.
A hybrid office supporting all types of work includes spaces like modern phone booths for Zoom calls with clients and meeting rooms on a smaller scale than conference areas where smaller teams can connect.
With almost everything on the cloud, it’s easy to find digital solutions accessible at home and in the office. The difficulty comes with finding tools that fit teams’ working styles while avoiding clunkiness or poor user experience. Aside from obvious tools like email suites and operating systems, size up your digital messaging platform (Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.), select a project management tool, and weigh productivity tools that work for the whole team – like Clockwise.
Meeting the needs of the hybrid workforce means marrying the best aspects of in-office and remote work. Leaders can look to the design of these new offices to find the productivity many employees found working from home while spurring teamwork and social ties among team members. By taking into account the factors of motivation, environment, and the digital workspace offices can transform to meet the needs of a changing workforce. One hot desk at a time!!