The much anticipated time ‘work from office’ is back but with a makeover. According to research, 52% of the global workforce prefers a flexible, or rather, a hybrid-working model post-pandemic. Employees want to return to offices that are secure, healthy, and agile but also want to enjoy the comfort and freedom offered by remote working in the long run. Such a preferential shift in employee needs suggests that the future of work is dynamic, tech-driven, and collaborative. Hence, it is now essential to rethink offices in relation to work culture and its impact on the workforce because the future of work has arrived – in the form of hybrid work.
Dealing with the Critical Aspects of Hybrid Working
To make workspaces hybrid-ready, it is vital to manage critical areas influencing work environments. These include:
- Organizational and Data Risks: Zoning collaboration and privacy areas to ensure work confidentiality.
- Digitization and Automation: Use space planning and technology for better collaboration and improved employee experience.
- Employee Retaining: Create training spaces for the workforce and encourage interaction-based learning through design.
- Healthy Workspaces: Design offices that prioritize the employees’ and employers’ health and safety following LEED, IGBC, and WELL guidelines.
Making Collaboration the Key
An important consideration to make the hybrid model work is effective collaboration. Since employees would be alternating between working from the office and home, making provision for virtual meeting rooms would be essential. Additionally, setting up in-person meetings through huddle spaces, meeting pods, and co-working desks to re-establish human connection will help facilitate team interaction. Creating processes, communication channels, and roles for effective outreach for remotely working employees would help in the long run.
Thus, the key is realigning the workplace and carving out effective open, semi-open, and closed collaboration zones.
Redefining the Lines of Communication
Working in the hybrid model has brought down the boundaries of official communication tools. Employees are using instant messages and video calls to share data and feedback on work. These unregistered communications will need a system of record to enhance the productivity and innovation abilities of the workforce.
Designing pivot spaces and more open interactive floor plates will encourage direct in-person communications, thus reducing the time spent on emails and messages. Moreover, designing offices with breakout spaces for informal interaction and rejuvenation with nature inclusivity will help in re-establishing a sense of belongingness. Effective leadership and managerial communications will help streamline employees’ use of formal means of interaction.
Using Technology as the Game Changer
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digitization as the future of work. Companies are capitalizing on technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and automation to speed up work. Upskilling employees to adjust to the changing landscape of workspace technology will need significant attention. Making provisions for training hubs, learning centers, and workshops will make the employees feel valued. These initiatives will keep organizations on top of their game and make them thrive in complex and dispersed work environments.
Using Workspace Design for the Win
Creating a workplace that prioritizes employee health and well-being can make the workforce feel valued. Using smart, touchless, and sensor-based technology for regulating indoor temperatures, entry and exit points, and employee engagement can help in reducing physical contact. Mapping the density of people occupying a room at a given time can aid adherence to social distancing norms.
Incorporating landscape in workspace design will act as a stress-buster, thereby helping reduce work-related anxiety. Using bright colors as an accent element in design will help radiate optimistic energy in the office, enabling the employee to be more productive. The culmination of these design ideas will lead to the creation of healthier offices that promote holistic workspaces for both the employees’ and the employers’ growth.
Next-gen leadership skills development for micro-managing teams will be crucial for a company’s success in the hybrid work environment. Focusing on setting objectives and creating work modules and a culture that celebrates the people at work will help make the workspace more inclusive, equal, and diverse.
The Key to formulating a healthy, innovative and interactive workplace lies in the right balance of design and strategy. Find the right balance for your workplaces! Know more about the resilient design, build and strategy initiatives by Zyeta.