The worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us, but it has forced everyone to look at the world from a different perspective. The office as we knew it is now a thing of the past. Many organisations, of all shapes and sizes, are embracing hybrid working - allowing employees to split their time between attending the office and working elsewhere.
A recent Work Trend report from Microsoft, titled ‘The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready?’ shows that some 70% of workers want flexible remote work options, while over 65% also value in-person work. 66% of businesses are planning to redesign offices to become more strategic assets, with workplaces set to evolve into centres for staff collaboration and socialising that can facilitate greater interactions between remote staff.
In another report titled ‘Five Best Practices for Success in the Hybrid working Era,’ Verdantix outlines the top five hybrid working strategies being used today by many organisations. One of those highlighted in the report is the 60-40 approach, which allows employees to spend 3 days in the office and two at home, or vice versa. This arrangement gives employees social and collaboration time with colleagues in the office, whilst still offering the benefits of remote working, such as reduced commuting time and flexibility.
The importance of technology for successful hybrid working models
These new hybrid working models bring interesting new dynamics to the purpose of office space – but they also bring new challenges. One of the biggest being how to equip employees with the right technologies to give them access to and visibility of space availability across distributed sites and colleagues’ schedules, now that everyone will be more in flux. Traditional space booking solutions will struggle to accommodate this level of complexity.
And it’s important to note that meeting management technology only scratches the surface of the workplace challenges that need to be considered by corporate facility and real estate executives.
- Employees are increasingly expecting their wellbeing to be considered
- Possibility of future disruptions that call for better business resilience
- Need to reduce energy consumption in the workplace
- Peaks and troughs of workplace attendance that call for flexibility in facility services.
Organisations equipped with an integrated workplace management system will have a better starting point for implementing and introducing new technologies like this to the workplace and their workforce, to meet the needs of hybrid work strategies. Organisations working with an open platform IWMS vendor with a robust partner network will have an even greater advantage – getting access to the latest generation of workplace apps, like the Planon Workplace Engagement app, which can help facilitate safe and healthy workplaces and enable an enhanced employee experience through smarter meeting management capabilities.
Five actions to take today to enable hybrid working success
As companies accelerate their implementation of hybrid working strategies, there is an endless array of projects that need attention by facilities and workplace managers. However, the top priorities for corporate managers should be making use of employee feedback and ensuring that staff have the best technology tools to get the most out of hybrid working models.
The Verdantix report mentioned above also highlights five actions that companies can take now to get the most out of hybrid working models. Those include:
- Leverage regular employee feedback when iterating programmes
- Bring forward business successes from lockdown
- Prioritise investments in employee-facing workplace solutions
- Look for untapped cost efficiency that hybrid working will open up
- Future-proof strategy by making it flexible
Of course, for any hybrid working strategy to be successful, it needs to be flexible in order to meet the changing needs of both employees and businesses. Real estate managers should not think of hybrid working as the ‘end goal’ of the office, but rather as the next step in a longer evolution of the workplace.
To read more about these best practices as well as the top hybrid working strategies being implemented by organisations today, make sure you check out the full Verdantix Report – ‘5 Best Practices for Success in the Hybrid Working Era.’