The pandemic isn’t over yet, not by a long shot. However, that doesn’t prevent companies from asking workers to start returning to the office. In the absence of a resounding “all-clear” from public health authorities, many firms pivoted to a hybrid office system. Under this setup, employees take turns working remotely and reporting to the office, relying on tools like hot desk office and desk hoteling systems.
Even if the world declares an end to the pandemic today, remote work will continue to stick around. The pandemic didn’t introduce the decentralization of the office as much as expediting an already-growing trend. This permanence means that companies need to adapt their models to a hybrid system now if they didn’t already. This comes at the expense of restructuring the physical office as well; maintaining an entire building with permanent desks for employees is no longer practical in a hybrid setup.
How can companies effectively restructure their existing workspace into a more productive and efficient system? Is a hot desk office system the ideal way to address the influx of rotating employees assigned to office duties? Let’s look at some ways you can keep your hybrid environment organized.
Establish a Hybrid Workplace Policy
The first thing companies should do is establish a hybrid workplace policy—ASAP. A decentralized workplace depends on organization and communication; an absence of clear policy guidelines quickly hampers the cycle of remote workers popping in and out of the office.
This work shift is new and unfamiliar for everyone. Your hybrid workplace policy guide must articulate how, when, and where employees can work in the new system. Setting up this guide provides proactive plans to ensure continuity of work, regardless of how pandemic guidance continues to change in different locations.
Hot Desking vs Hoteled Desk Management: Which One to Pick?
The pre-pandemic office layout of assigned spaces and cubicles is obsolete. The pandemic forced companies to ditch close-quartered working environments in favor of more open, socially-distanced layouts. At the same time, permanent assignments on specific desks or workstations are simply impractical in a hybrid setup. Why maintain multiple floors full of empty desks for no reason?
Instead, many forward-thinking companies are now turning to hot desk office setups and desk hoteling solutions. The first option awards office spaces, desks, or even meeting rooms on a first-come, first-served basis. Once an employee arrives for office duty, they can occupy the nearest available desk as they so choose.
Hotel desk management follows the shared space ideal of the hot desk office—but adds even better organization. Employees are encouraged to reserve their preferred workspace, equipment, or meeting room ahead of their intended use. They usually do so through a smart device app, which can process and document reservations to ensure an orderly resource allocation.
So, Which One?
What makes more sense for your company: free-for-all hot desking or more controlled desk hoteling?
A hot desk office setup offers more leeway for workers asked to report to the office on short notice. It can also mean lower overhead costs for office management, as the arrangement requires less management intervention. Meanwhile, a hoteled desk management system implies that management trusts workers not only to get work done on time but also to plan ahead by picking their ideal workspace and equipment via reservation. In addition, hotel desk management allows employees to map out resources so that collaborating team members can secure seats next to each other. Enforcing reservation rules can ensure an orderly distribution of limited resources.
No matter which you choose, implementing a hot desk office or a hotel desk management brings better results when facilitated through a desk-booking software like Smarten Spaces’ Jumpree Pro. Management software also provides the necessary documentation to resolve any double booking issues or other conflicts, maintaining records of bookings, cancellations, and actual usage. Ultimately, this data can also help companies make decisions on whether to expand or reduce available workspace or revisit hybrid work rules.
Bring “Flexi Desks” Into the Office
When at the office, it pays for employees to maximize their opportunities for collaboration with other team members. However, what should they do when their collaborators are working remotely that day? To facilitate these interactions, you might want to consider providing functional furniture and fixtures that specifically support hybrid collaboration.
Communal workspaces used by in-office workers should feature “Flexi desks” that work well for both hybrid and fully in-person situations. For example, position these desks with adequate lighting and enough power sources to allow for on-the-spot video conferencing, should in-office workers need to reach out to their remote counterparts. This also means having enhanced internet and audio/video setups to maintain clear signals during meetings.
Prioritize Employee Experience in Adapting New Solutions
During the first stages of the pandemic, companies understandably prioritized the quick transition from in-office to remote work. The goal was to prevent any further disruption of work as offices shut down and workers remained shuttered at home. Now, with systems largely in place to accommodate in-person, hybrid, or totally-remote work systems, it’s time to focus on maintaining the connection between various teams.
Even in a hybrid setting, HR managers face the challenge of keeping workers engaged with the company at-large and their fellow coworkers. After all, an engaged team is a more effective and more productive team. When planning your HR strategies—for onboarding, meetings, retreats, and so on—be sure to always center employee engagement, both for remote staff and workers coming into the office.
Say Goodbye to Hybrid Office Worries With Smarten Spaces
Are you still transitioning from the traditional office setup to the new hybrid normal? Using smart software solutions to manage your workspaces means not having to sweat the small details. Let Smarten Spaces provide the experience and expertise you need to transform your office into an efficient and well-managed workspace that’s open to all workers.
Smarten Spaces uses AI to help firms develop and maintain their hybrid workplaces, offering smart desk booking solutions and tenant engagement software to help remove the complications of managing shared office resources. Ultimately, Smarten Spaces keeps your company ready for work—no matter what upheaval the future might bring.
Are you ready to future-proof your company’s workflow? Reach out to Smarten Spaces today, and let’s get started together—we’ll get you set up with a free demo ASAP and your office on the path to a more efficient tomorrow.