While companies have experimented with different versions of the best hybrid workplace model over the last few years, the conversation has shifted. Though business continuity has remained a top priority, rapidly changing workplace trends—such as the demand for better work-life balance—must also be met. To rise to these challenges and thrive in our new normal, your hybrid workplace model must exercise great agility.
1. Consider Experiential Spaces
Experiential design puts people at the center of it all. It focuses on how we experience the space around us and how our senses interact with it meaningfully. A hybrid work model that offers an intellectually and emotionally stimulating setting is key.
Several elements contribute to successful experiential design. Things like lighting, sound, scent, temperature, textures and colors, material, and finishing touches all help to foster the desired ambiance. Design has moved beyond the purely visual to a fully immersive experience—one that evokes a specific response. When that reaction is positive, and users feel connected to a space—such as their workspace—they naturally want to spend more time there.
The work environment is an important consideration for businesses aiming to improve employee satisfaction. Those who have become used to remote work have adapted to the home setting and are actively resisting returning to the office. At the very least, they want an office space that’s more suited to their needs.
This is where technology comes in, with sensors and apps that are responsive to individual needs. In addition to adjusting the temperature and lighting levels, these tools can even tell you when to take a break and indicate the level of activity in certain conference rooms or communal spaces.
2. Be Flexible–and Personalized
What exactly does the hybrid workplace model get right? Its unique flexibility in giving employees a say in where and how they work. Although what this will look like will vary from company to company, greater flexibility is a non-negotiable for employees moving forward.
For one business, flexible work could mean letting employees choose when—or if—they return to the office. For another, it could be a combination of remote and in-office work and letting employees choose their on-site days. Whichever approach you choose, it’s vital to integrate technology capable of supporting asynchronous work from both home and office settings. This includes intuitive scheduling tools, software, and apps.
The flexible work model acknowledges that employees who have experienced both remote and in-office work now have a good idea about the environment they’re most productive. And while not many companies are likely to grant 100% flexibility in work location, they must find a way to accommodate some form of the hybrid model. For instance, you can offer flexibility while maintaining structure with scheduled core hours and a designated central meeting place to collaborate on-site.
The benefits for employees are obvious, but what are the advantages of hybrid workplace models for businesses? A happier and more engaged workforce sits at the top of that list. Employees who feel valued and respected are more likely to be invested in and loyal to the organization they work for—and more productive as well.
3. Build a Thriving Culture in a Hybrid Setup
Company culture is a leading predictor of workplace satisfaction. The right mission statement, vision, and values might sound great. Yet, they don’t always translate into thriving office culture, especially when employees’ work habits and behavior evolve. This is especially true for remote workers. How, then, can we develop a robust company culture in the context of the hybrid workplace model?
First, it’s worth noting that more remote (66%) and hybrid (64%) workers report their company’s culture as positive than in-office staff (52%). Furthermore, around three-quarters of new remote and hybrid employees have a largely favorable impression of workplace culture.
At its best, a company’s workplace culture should make employees feel included and connected, no matter where they are. It’s more often about the quality of interactions with colleagues and management than the physical location.
Prime examples include businesses that prioritize transparency, value employees and trust them to work autonomously. They provide the necessary tools and equipment for workers to produce their best work and focus on granting learning opportunities. Practically speaking, this might include regular in-person workshops and town halls, surveys and feedback, reconfiguring spaces to create communal zones for social engagement, onboarding meet-and-greets between new and long-serving employees, and scheduled one-on-ones over Zoom, and making sure all meetings can be accessed remotely.
4. Be Open to Remote Work Requests—and Return to Office, Too
One size doesn’t fit all, and a successful hybrid work model should pay attention to what employees want. Whether that’s flexible hours, a greater percentage of remote work, or returning to on-site work, businesses must learn to listen to the people who make them great.
Hybrid employees are scheduling in-office work based on collaborating and connecting with colleagues. This has resulted in an upward trend for reserving collaboration spaces, including seat booking and meeting room booking. People want to be at work when their teammates are there, both from a work and a social perspective. Scheduling tools that help them find out who’s in the office, book a desk near colleagues, or meet with a team leader can positively influence productivity and employee satisfaction.
Modern, flexible workplaces need to have smart solutions that can create space for this level of collaboration. Desks are one thing, but the availability of meeting rooms frequently falls short. Options that allow businesses to reconfigure their workspaces are essential, even if it means reducing overall desk space or having smaller collaboration spaces.
5. Leverage Smart Tools in Consolidating Space Cost
The hybrid workplace model offers employers and employees the best of both worlds, with opportunities for improved productivity and greater employee satisfaction. However, with cost containment more crucial than ever, companies also need to ensure it is a financially sound exercise. With the right tools and data at hand, it’s possible to consolidate space costs while boosting your bottom line, too.
Fewer employees in the office at one time means that organizations need less space than they did pre-pandemic. This is where space management software can help maximize every inch of office space with interactive, real-time data and floor plans. Employees get to reserve desk space and meeting and quiet work areas according to their particular needs. They can find out who’s at work and when making it easier to collaborate.
Smarten Spaces’ smart workplace solution helps optimize workspaces by reconfiguring areas, converting some larger meeting rooms into smaller ones, and reducing expenses (utilities, cleaning services, office supplies, etc) associated with unused or misused space. The data also helps formulate predictions about future needs for real estate based on current booking patterns.
Make Your Hybrid Workplace Agile With Smarten Spaces
The best hybrid environments optimize experiential spaces. They are configurable, flexible, and personalized. They can even contribute to a more positive company culture. And when executed properly, the hybrid model can also increase your business’s profit margin.
Smarten Spaces is the smart solution for adapting to a more agile hybrid workplace, boasting features such as:
- Hybrid work planning and scheduling with calendar integration
- Visitor management system with contactless check-in
- Seat and meeting room booking
- People locator and shift management
- Smart cafeteria with pre-ordering and digital payment
- Footfall analysis and management
- Configurable seating plans
- Engagement tools (surveys, events, team alerts)
- Service requests
With offices in the US, Singapore, and India, Smarten Spaces has a wealth of experience in transforming Fortune 500 companies into hybrid workplaces. Find out more about our solutions and how they can elevate your workforce today.