The increase in remote working has been one of the biggest challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As office workers were forced out of collaborative office spaces, they formed makeshift offices in sections of their homes; juggling emails, childcare, and navigating a public health crisis in isolation from peers.
For much of 2020/21, the idea of a work-life balance was out of the question. But as the pandemic eases, hybrid working has become the favored route to transitioning back to physical workspaces. But what does that mean for your current office space?
What is hybrid working?
The hybrid working concept is where organizations encourage employees to work both on premises, and from home or elsewhere. Office space is still crucial to business, it’s just utilized slightly differently with permanent desks often being replaced with flexible workspaces and collaboration zones.
Is hybrid working here to stay?
The overnight shift to remote working was implemented with zero planning. As companies begin to see the impacts of working from home, many feel that the benefits of a physical office space outweigh the perks of working remotely. For example, a 2021 survey from staffing agency Robert Half shows certain U.S. cities are more likely to favor work flexibility for their employees than others. 45% of managers in Boston were willing to embrace flexible working and the hybrid model, whilst only 13% were willing to do the same in Austin.
What does hybrid working mean for my current office?
If you’re adopting a hybrid working model, your current workspace is still going to be an integral part of your business. According to Steelcase research, the top reasons people want to return to the office are to connect with colleagues and reconnect to the culture of their organization. Employees might have different expectations from their workspace now: more personal space, improved tech and video conferencing tools are just some of the requirements that have become more important to people returning to their physical workspaces.
Another key requirement of hybrid workspaces is collaboration. The physical office space is a hub of idea-sharing and valuable face-to-face interaction. A well-designed office should have spaces that facilitate all kinds of collaboration, bringing people together and making sure those important “water cooler” moments aren’t lost.
Is a hybrid office space right for my business?
If you’re adapting your current office space to suit hybrid working, you’ll need to consider the flow and function of your space. By evaluating your past and present space usage, you can tailor your office to fit the future needs of your staff.
RI Group delivers exciting, yet functional spaces that foster productivity and build a healthy, successful hub for your business. We’re here to help you make the right choices.
Get in touch and discover the solution for you.