As COVID restrictions start to ease, businesses are faced with the challenge of providing their employees a safe return to the office. From a hybrid workplace model to monitoring building occupancy, flexibility and support may very well be the key to a successful return to the workplace.
A Safe Return To The Workplace
A hybrid workplace, or hybrid office, is a flexible workplace model that is designed to support a distributed workforce of both in-office and remote workers.
Hybridity, in its most basic sense refers to mixture. A hybrid office provides business the benefits of remote working. Increased flexibility, reduced carbon footprint, labor-cost optimization, and increased employee satisfaction along with the strengths of a traditional workspace.
The definition of a hybrid workplace model is intentionally vague. As hybrid workplaces are not a new concept, the percentages differ greatly from pre-pandemic. For example, before the pandemic, it was common to see the remote/in-office split at 20/80. The pandemic seemed to flip those numbers around to 80/20.
Amongst the hybrid schedule discussions are a 3-2-2 schedule which allows workers 3 days at home, 2 office days and 2 days off. Depending their needs this can also be 3 office days, 2 days at home and 2 days off. Clearly, striking the correct balance between collaboration, company culture and the convenience of working from home is important.
While the hybrid workplace model will look different from business to business, the core focus is flexibility and support for all workers.
CREATING YOUR HYBRID WORKPLACE
A hybrid workplace will make us rethink our office space design, especially, the areas where collaboration takes place. For instance, you will have to consider, not only your office worker, but those working remotely. This might include a variety of meeting spaces to accommodate various numbers of participants and tasks required during these meetings.
What does all this mean? Undoubtedly, organizations will have to become collaboration focused. In addition to the traditional, well equipped, conference room there will also be an increased need for smaller meeting spaces or “huddle rooms” with the same ability to connect with remote workers.
INCREASED VIDEO CONFERENCING
Increasing numbers of remote workers will demand more video conferencing spaces. Subsequently, this creates the need for well-equipped spaces to enable seamless connection and the ability to support all video conferencing platforms.
Prior to 2020 only 2% of the 27 million huddle rooms worldwide were equipped to support video conferencing. Likely, this will dramatically rise with the increase of hybrid workplaces. Traditional meetings will now be a complex mix of team members who are split across meeting room, remote and even some joining from their on-site offices.
COMMUNICATION THROUGH DIGITAL SIGNAGE
Digital signage can help businesses share critical company communications throughout their offices. For example, they can display safety guidelines, company safety policies, or announce upcoming events and company news.
Customizable screens can be reminders to employees of maximum occupancy and to practice social distancing.
Welcome screens outside of meeting rooms can include room schedule information. Thus, they can easily communicate upcoming occupancy, cleaning schedules and aid in confirming room availability.
COLLABORATION IS CHANGING
Pre-pandemic, collaboration was primarily done in-office. Organizations and workers alike, recognize the benefits of in-person interaction. Previously, groups of people could gather to brainstorm and have ideas flow naturally as momentum grows and snowballs into innovation.
During the pandemic, teams had to make the shift to working remotely and to create the same momentum at a virtual level. These same teams will be tasked with once again shifting to accommodate hybrid collaboration.
YOUR HYBRID WORKPLACE PARTNER
Switching to a hybrid workplace need not be an overwhelming task. The netRelevance team is prepared to assist in making sure that your network is primed for creating your hybrid workplace. Contact your netRelevance professional to schedule a consultation and site survey, today!