Before setting up a workplace for hybrid working and using a hybrid workforce, employers should understand how a hybrid workplace functions. The basic understanding for all employees to know the company standard when it comes to the hybrid work environment is crucial to a successful workplace.
The first thing that employers need to think about is the different types of remote workers and how each individual has different needs and will face different challenges. There are some employees who will thrive without a single need, but others who will struggle working remotely.
Issues will arise when setting up a workplace for hybrid working, but the most important thing an employer can do is solve each issue with an understanding mindset. For example, the creation of an open office plan, which can be successful, has many downfalls. The open office plan is a structured way to set up an office setting.
It consists of many rows of desks, set up in a uniform fashion, often with no assigned seating arrangements. While this works well for many hybrid workers, the lack of structure for more office inclined individuals can take a hit on their productivity.
Creating a hybrid office with enough meeting rooms and huddle spaces is key. These rooms are the ideal components in communicating with remote workers. Without them, communication suffers from background noise and distractions. Making sure offices are equipped with soundproof rooms with the capability for one-on-one conversations will increase communication between employees.
Alongside designated call rooms, investing in video conferencing software, such as Zoom, will benefit the communication between employees as well. This is the most efficient way for remote workers to communicate with others and should be something that all employees have access to.
Another major issue centers around the logistics of creating enough desk space for employees. With hybrid workers, a desk is not needed for each individual employee, but rather the amount of employees in the office at a given time. Allowing hybrid workers to come into the office and easily find desk space, rather than waste time searching, is key to increasing productivity and boosting morale for office days. Employers don’t want hybrid workers dreading each day they have to come into the office.
The easiest solution to finding desks for hybrid workers is to create a system called flex desking. This allows hybrid workers to reserve a desk each morning they come into the office. Flex desking maximizes the space in an office, allowing the office to only have as many desks as needed. This system allows hybrid workers to feel more comfortable when working in the office, rather than having to scramble to find space to work.
Another helpful tool in the office for hybrid workers is an interactive map of the office. This works especially well for larger, multi-floor offices, where it can be hard to navigate. When hybrid workers only come to the office, say, once per week, they will have a hard time understanding how to get around. Creating an interactive map will lessen the time employees are simply walking around, lost, and instead allow them to spend the maximum time possible on their work.
Again, the most important thing when creating a hybrid workplace is making sure each employee understands the structure and rules of the office. How many days per week are hybrid workers required to be in the office? Are employees required to be online during certain times when working remotely? These are questions that should be answered before gearing the workplace towards hybrid working.
Employers should understand that the workplace is centered around productivity. Anything that can be done to increase productivity, without diminishing employees wellbeing, should be done. This includes the interactive map of the office, flex desking, and video conferencing software.