The pandemic has significantly affected workplaces all around the world. According to a study conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, 76% of employees prefer working in a hybrid office that enables them to achieve a healthy balance between their time spent at home and their actual office.
Various companies and organizations feel compelled nowadays to rethink the conventional office layout. This is to help them adapt to modern workplace requirements as a result of the increased acceptance of remote work. The hybrid office of the future appears to be here to stay.
What exactly is a hybrid office design?
A hybrid office is a type of business model that enables professionals to work both in-person and remotely. It aims to seamlessly combine these two contrasting work setups, providing team members with a flexible work schedule.
This allows them to balance their time between their home and the office however they see fit. This approach implies a flexible workplace layout that promotes teamwork, provides a feeling of comfort, and fosters a shared sense of community. Lastly, it enables dynamic spaces without necessarily linking home working and the traditional workplace, in contrast to the collocated way of working.
Why consider having a hybrid office?
Giving employees the freedom to work from home or in the office has several advantages. These benefit both individuals and enterprises.
Here’s a list of some of the possible advantages:
- Strengthened relationships at work
- Improved overall well-being and work-life balance
- Establishment of open collaborative spaces
- Spaces for team huddles to exchange ideas
- Employee-employer loyalty
- Lower expenses for real estate
- Expanded talent pool
- Big team meetings and collaborative worktables
- Small, modest spaces for private conversations
What are the factors driving hybrid working?
People may choose the best setup for their tasks, thanks to an environment of rooms designed for various activities. This includes digitally collaborating with remote coworkers. To hold virtual meetings with remote workers, hybrid teams will need quiet, secluded areas.
Here are the major factors that drive hybrid working:
- Versatility and flexibility of the spaces
- Encouraging healthy interaction
- Utilizing technological innovations
- Providing a sense of comfort and belonging
Hybrid office layout ideas for the modern workplace
For this article, we have rounded up suggestions for hybrid office layouts that will encourage workers to collaborate and interact with their peers. These include movable workstations, outdoor office areas, shared kitchens, and café-style seating.
In a hot-desking arrangement, not every employee has a desk assigned to them. Instead, desks are there to serve many individuals at various times. Hot-desking is the best alternative when constructing a hybrid office plan because it conserves both space and resources.
Coworking spaces frequently practice hot-desking. However, as the hybrid work model spreads globally, it is no longer practical for employees who visit the office a few times to maintain a permanent desk. The best approach to setting up a modern office is with fewer desks that enable employees to immediately plug in their own devices and start working right away. The design should fix large open rooms with cramped workstations.
Movable furniture and workstations
Nothing is more effective in a workplace than using flexible workstations. This means choosing workplace furniture that quickly rearrange as needed. Consider caster-equipped desks and office chairs.
When working together on a project or perhaps just brainstorming, employees can rearrange their desks to form a unit. They can then push them apart when they wish to work on their own. Movable workstations divide easily, making it simple to adhere to mandatory guidelines. Contrast this to unanticipated events like a pandemic where keeping a social distance is essential.
Multi-use common area
Given the prevalence of remote work, it might not be practical for every company to give each employee a desk of their own. Imagine a very empty office if everyone decided to simply work from home that day. When attempting to create a space that inspires people, vacant desks are the worst thing you can have.
A desk reservation system is a smart way for businesses trying to fairly distribute workstations to those who need them on a daily basis. But businesses should also consider looking into alternative solutions. Flexible multipurpose spaces, like the one LinkedIn has next to a communal kitchen, can promote efficient work and collaboration.
Outdoor-friendly office spaces
Studies have shown that sunlight and fresh give has a variety of positive health benefits. This includes improved short-term memory, stress relief, mood enhancement, and increased concentration.
An outdoor workspace is an excellent way to encourage team members to visit the workplace, especially on a sunny day. Even though it’s unlikely that everyone would be working outside at once, you still need to ensure there are enough desks and chairs to seat several people simultaneously.
Long tables that can accommodate six individuals comfortably should work for an outdoor office setup. For those who need privacy to focus properly, you can also install two-person tables.
A designated dining area is most welcome when creating a hybrid office arrangement. A communal kitchen can help restore the human connection between employees in a company of any size.
During the pandemic, we had access to technology and knowledge when working from home became the norm. These days, the office layout must incorporate a space that is friendly and welcoming. It should be a place where people would want to move to when leaving the comfort of their workstations. This brings employees to where they may reconnect with their coworkers.
Because the environment fosters productivity, creativity, development, as well as innovation, many remote workers occasionally choose to work from coffee shops. A hybrid office can establish a similar atmosphere.
It could also have a self-serve coffee bar or one that has a barista, along with café-style seating (such as booths with outlets, bar stools, etc.). This is an excellent approach to encourage professionals who thrive in a relaxed yet busy setting.
Inclusive conference rooms
When designing a hybrid office plan, boardrooms with oversized tables are generally not appropriate. Since many teams won’t be in the workplace at once, smaller, more cozy tables that seat around six to eight people are preferable.
To maintain privacy and to improve the audio for any remote employees that join a conference from their homes, proper acoustic treatment is also essential. Also, the place must have sufficient outlets installed. Additionally, all other electrical aspects must be in place to aid conference technology such as screens, projectors, speakers, and laptops among others.
The freedom to unwind, switch up postures, and spend time in a way that made them feel healthier and more productive are some of the advantages of working from home. Consider setting up a sanctuary area where staff members may go if they’re feeling stressed out, need to sleep, or just want to unwind, read, or recharge. Creating environments that allow individuals to perform at their best is the objective.
Working Things Out
Whether you’re an independent freelancer or an entire company, you can have a workplace that truly works for you. An effective hybrid office design can make this possible. If you’re looking for a workspace that is both flexible and customizable, you can check out Weremote’s private office spaces. If you want to know more about coworking spaces in Metro Manila, or about hybrid work in general, check out this article.
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