Enter the Hybrid Workplace
We have entered irrevocably into an era of hybrid working. It’s no longer a question of should we work at the office, or should we work at home – both are now acceptable. Workplaces that adopt this model early are most likely to thrive. In fact, a recent ONS Survey (May 2021) showed that 85% of UK working individuals favoured a hybrid approach of both home and office working. Similarly in the USA, 52% of US workers preferred a mix of both. And it’s not just a passive sentiment. The number of searches for jobs offering remote working has increased threefold in 2021 in comparison to the year before. What has changed for employees following the unprecedented disruption of the global pandemic is the way they consider work-life balance, well-being, and flexible working. Business owners and directors consequently need to address these concerns and make the appropriate changes to their office design and layout to accommodate hybrid working. This is one trend that’s likely to stay.
Defining a Hybrid Office
A hybrid office can be defined as one that simultaneously allows for face-to-face collaboration and remote work.
This collocated style of working is different to an agile office (or agile workplace) which creates dynamic spaces for employees, but only within the face-to-face interactions of the physical office.
While the hybrid office is by no means a new concept, the Covid-19 pandemic has given fuel to the concept. It has changed the dynamic to one where employees move seamlessly between home and office work environments. But it also requires a different set of solutions, some of which include:
- Wi-fi enabled spaces for connecting with staff working from home
- Technology to book meeting rooms and private spaces
- Configurable office furniture that is easy to move around
- A combination of team-working collaborative spaces alongside private spaces