Successful post-pandemic businesses know that people-centered hybrid workplaces will help them move forward and stay competitive.
According to all indications, the future of work will be hybrid. A full 52 percent of U.S. workers prefer a combination of working from home and the office. Most claim that it improves their ability to be creative, solve problems, and form relationships.
In practically every area, the global pandemic has produced new problems and opportunities. In the future, the competition promises to be fierce once the economy reopens. Those who have the best understanding of their customers’ demands collaborate to identify numerous solutions, prototype, iterate, and bring new ideas to market will be the winners.
According to a global study, 72 percent of corporate leaders aim to offer a hybrid model in the near future. In addition, just 13 percent expect to reduce their real estate footprint. This indicates that businesses are continuing to use existing offices in the hybrid work future.
In addition, more than half of American businesses plan to test new places as part of their return to work. For example, a company considers converting a café into a high-energy social and collaborative environment. The new environment solution better accommodates new hybrid work patterns.
Combine the digital and physical worlds.
As global team leaders, we understand how difficult it is to bridge the gap between in-person and remote participants. In addition, hybrid work means that someone must work remotely. However, there are always challenges, regardless of how effectively teams manage their in-office days.
Remote coworkers who are dissatisfied or unable to participate equitably bring additional difficulty. This may result in lower work output.
Nowhere is this more pronounced than in industries that rely on creativity and brainstorming sessions. Group sessions that require creative interaction typically require in-person contact with whiteboards, pads of paper, and other physical objects. These tools are difficult to fully experience from the other side of the camera!
The answer is to combine physical environments and technology.
In addition, keep three crucial concepts in mind: equity, engagement, and ease of use. Many conference rooms, for example, now include a long table with a monitor at the end. Remote participants are displayed in a grid of tiny boxes. They are often on the same screen as any shared content. At the same time, in-person attendees sit around the table.
Similarly, give each participant their own screen. In addition, place monitors on rolling carts that can be easily moved about.
These are some techniques used to increase equity. By using a monitor, bring a distant colleague up to the table or into a breakout session. Many software systems now allow you to segregate persons and content on different screens.
Make meetings more user-friendly for hybrid work.
People require an unobstructed view of one another. In addition, they need to see the content in order to feel like a part of the team.
Think like a movie director. When working on engagement, consider lighting, camera, audio, and content. Angled or moveable tables, more lighting, extra speakers, in-room microphones all help engage the worker. In addition, easy-to-move markerboards and displays are more solutions that work well.
Furthermore, research shows that participants connect to meetings using both their personal devices and the technology in the room. People benefit from more power supplies, whiteboards, and a choice of software options. This makes hybrid collaboration easier and more fluid.
Enclosed and open spaces are reversed in a hybrid workspace.
Reconsider the open floor layout. Individual workstations are becoming more open. However, gatherings are held in enclosed conference rooms. Individual focus work takes place in contained locations such as pods or tiny enclaves. However, meetings take place more frequently in open settings with moveable boundaries.
Open meeting spaces don’t require set features. Therefore, open collaboration spaces are naturally more flexible. This allows them to evolve as new work patterns arise.
Think about fast stand-up meetings. These require visible, persistent content that is hosted in open spaces defined by flexible furniture. In these settings, accessible technology is a must.
Individual areas, on the other hand, require an added enclosure. This gives the various levels of visual and acoustic seclusion that people have learned to anticipate when working from home. Enclosures — screens, panels, and pods — give users areas to focus. In addition, it lets them limit disturbances during video chats.
Change your mindset from fixed to fluid in a hybrid work setting.
Architects fashion buildings for long-term use. In addition, the speed of business and change continues to accelerate. With the demand for shorter lease terms, we’re beginning to see conflicting interests between pop-up business models and the adoption of a hybrid work style. The majority of businesses with real estate ask themselves, “How much space do we really need?”
The hybrid future allows for a more flexible workplace. It’s a workplace that adapts to changing needs. This invites innovation and advances the organization’s culture. However, it also ensures that businesses make the best use of their real estate.
Work on a “we” and “me” balance in any remote work situation.
The office we return to must provide a better experience than what people have at home.
This involves providing employees with the appropriate mix of locations for the various sorts of work needed. Organizations that take a “wait and see” attitude are taking a great risk. They may frustrate their best and most reliable employees. It’s a disappointment to discover that the old office does not support the new methods they have learned to work with.
People who lead their companies forward and create workplaces that adapt, flex, and thrive are able to recruit and retain top personnel. In addition, they benefit from innovation and development. For businesses who seize this opportunity, the future workplace is a competitive advantage.
Maybe everything won’t be the same when we’re all back in the office. That, however, is a good thing.