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With the shift to remote working, offices are transforming to hybrid designs to accommodate staff reporting to the workplace and telecommuters. It’s a thrill to both the employees and the employer. For one, it promotes flexibility among team members such that they share their workspaces and only come to the office when needed.
On the other hand, it has lowered the overhead costs of paying for extra office space every time the business expands. Such perks have seen most firms convert and adopt hybrid office designs. If you’re looking to take the same route, here are the crucial elements you mustn’t miss when designing a hybrid office:
1. The Layout
A well-thought-out hybrid office layout facilitates seamless coworking. The office should be able to promote collaboration among the in-office workers. For instance, it should be easy for your team members to consult efficiently. Imagine if the departments are on different floors. Team members would have to spend time getting the communication across specific heads. Therefore, a layout that gives your employees easy access to each other is essential.
It doesn’t necessarily mean remote workers should work at home. You can make better arrangements for them, perhaps by hiring flexible office spaces in Brisbane or your location where they can work remotely at their preferred times. The good thing about flexible workspaces is that you can hire them for as little as one hour. You don’t have to bind yourself with lengthy lease agreements.
2. Flexible Spaces
Another key element of hybrid offices is flexible spaces. As indicated earlier, the goal of such offices is to make it easy for your workers to work collaboratively. Unlike the traditional office layouts where team members are enclosed in private cubicles, the open spaces foster collaboration. Moreover, it’d be costly to have a booth for every staff member, yet they don’t occupy them daily. Open office designs maximize the use of resources even when some team members are working remotely.
For instance, the hot desks, wherein no one owns a permanent desk and staff work where they find space. It leads to huge savings on office space and avoids the scenarios where some desks stay unoccupied for extended periods.
On the same note, flexible workspaces encourage the use of configurable furniture. An adjustable standing desk will be a significant addition if your employees work an eight-hour shift. They can alternate between working while standing and sitting. Workers can also adjust their workstations in numerous ways to fit their preferences.
3. Digital tools
You must ensure seamless collaboration between the in-office and remote workers. And that’s possible by investing in digital tools like video-conferencing software and other cloud-based tools. They facilitate the real-time sharing of documents and the simultaneous handling of tasks in a particular project.
On the same note, invest in high-speed internet to facilitate the exchange of information and communication. As most of your files and applications will be cloud-based, a stable internet connection is an irreducible minimum for hybrid offices. Slow internet can ruin workers’ morale and impede workflow.
Another critical consideration is time-tracking tools for remote workers. As everyone works at their preferred times, you’ll need to know whether they’re putting in the minimum required work hours and if they concentrate on work during their shifts. Time-tracking tools record keyboard and mouse activities and screenshots, enabling you to get an accurate picture of what your remote staff is up to.
4. Social Spaces
Hybrid offices incorporate social spaces in their layout to promote healthy working relationships. Even though the shift to remote working is hyped, a significant downside is the lack of in-person socialization, which is critical to humans. Thus, having a social space in your hybrid office can give your remote workforce a place to turn to whenever they want to connect with colleagues.
Take, for instance, having a communal kitchen. Co-workers can catch up during their breaks as they have coffee. You can also include bar seats in the cafeteria for them to sit and chat as they sip their coffee.
5. A Conducive Environment
If you’re not careful, the hybrid office setup can breed untold distractions, given the flexibility of workers to get to work and leave at different times. Plus, the never-ending change in the composition of the in-office and remote-working crew. An excellent approach is to seclude sound-proofed spaces for staff working on tasks requiring maximum concentration. Other team members whose jobs involve one-on-one chatting can occupy more open spaces, as the typical office noise won’t affect them.
6. Sense Of Belonging
Fostering a sense of belonging is crucial for hybrid offices. The trouble with shared working spaces is that no one can claim ownership of any particular desk. Your staff may even struggle with something as minor as where to place their handbags or other stuff. It can create a negative impression on your workers, making them feel disconnected and disengaged.
You can avoid such negativities by creating self-storage facilities such as lockable shelves or cabinets. If you foster some sense of belonging, it’s easy for the employees to connect with the organization.
A hybrid office design promotes flexibility, productivity, and maximum utilization of resources for both in-office and remote workers. A crucial consideration is a collaboration between the different teams. And it starts with a robust design that considers the dynamics of such a hybrid setup. Consider the elements highlighted herein and develop a future-proof design that guarantees productivity and profitability, not forgetting comfort and serenity.
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