The pandemic has forced businesses to relook at how they offer services at minimal costs and perhaps online. From online video consultations in healthcare to businesses like cloud kitchen, technology has changed where and when people work. You surely have heard about the evolving hybrid remote working that is doing the rounds. But what is a hybrid office?
Changing office designs
From the traditional offices offering individual spaces to large open spaces, workplaces have changed in the way they are designed. Giving you more employees to seat per square foot, open spaces were meant to promote teamwork, openness, transparency, and communication, amongst other things.
While many companies promoted work-from-home to boost employee morale, others have been forced by the pandemic to adopt this. Things changed diagonally as employees are now stressed working from home. Reasons include little privacy at home, wi-fi connectivity for video calling, self-isolation in a work environment, and more.
Enter the new office regime, hybrid spaces.
Hybrid offices – the New Normal
Breaking paradigms of the typical central office, with an 8 am to 4 pm routine, a hybrid office space that is a mix of a formal and casual design. Most spaces are open and clustered with numerous themes. Need the freedom to work in a quiet spot? You have the solo pods or workspaces with silent zones. Need to hold a meeting? –use the open cluster of seats promoting casual office space designed with sofas, coffee machines nearby, and more.
Offering you high versatility, as you don't need to step into a central office, is a hybrid office layout. Either find a nearby remote or satellite workspace or continue to work from home. Employees are happy with reduced or no commute times as they get more time to spend with family. Here is our blog on the hybrid work model.
Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Workplace
Pros of a Hybrid Workplace
The top five benefits of a hybrid office are
1. Increase in productivity
Employees feel comfortable where they want to work from; they are not bound by location to connect. With a hybrid office schedule, they can manage personal and family matters, enabling employees to devote productive work hours.
From a business perspective, productivity has changed from hours spent in the office to productive hours. Many workforce scheduling softwares and tools are available to manage this.
2. Savings on Costs
With hybrid offices, office space has been limited to perhaps 40% of the workforce or lower. Capital and operational costs of keeping offices open are reduced. Here is how AT&T saved USD 30 million in annual costs of real estate.
3. Commute times minimalized
With a hybrid office, employees spend less time and money commuting to an office. Employees are happier not having to spend time on the road or in trains.
With no boundaries to office space in a virtual world, a hybrid office layout enables collaboration. Technology has helped improve collaboration tools like Mentimeter, Slack, and more.
5. Employee care
Many companies support employees with infrastructures like standing desks, filing cabinets, and computer systems to work from home. Placing their trust, many offices have moved away from the number of hours clocked to productive work done. Managers have been checking in with their employees on their overall well-being.
Cons of a Hybrid Workplace
Here is our blog on a flexible working model. Well, the hybrid office comes with its own set of cons.
Employees feeling left out and isolated as they work remotely has been the most challenging part, as companies struggle to find ways to keep employees engaged socially. With few choices for casual catch-ups, employees need to connect events to keep engaged.
2. Client experience
With remote working, client meetings and catch-up have also been virtual. The virtual world has limitations in understanding and providing what your clients need. This is specific for many businesses where a client presence in the workplace is most important. For example – health care, physical consultation services, and more.
3. Being Productive
A remote/work-from-home poses its own set of challenges with casual interruptions by family members, pets, and other things. The boundaries between work timings and personal space have diminished.
4. Heightened cyber risks
Companies are making a beeline to secure their networks as many employees use their systems to work from home. The risk of IT breach, data leaks, and more are being strengthened.
Hybrid office Software and Solutions
With a heightened focus on a hybrid office, companies have been quick to respond with solutions. Here are some of the latest.
1. Autonomous Hybrid work
As companies transition from a regular central office to a hybrid workplace, a workforce solution that has been in focus is the Autonomous hybrid work. It offers easy-to-use solutions that help you connect with team members working remotely or in offices instantly.
A Gartner study indicates that the early movers like Slack, Google, Microsoft, Atlassian, Yammer, Adobe, Salesforce, Zoho, Huddle, and more, have benefited many companies looking to move to a hybrid office.
Drop by to say a quick hello or catch-up over a video call at an informal level; ping a colleague on their system (not a tap on the shoulder, now!) when you need a quick chat to accomplish tasks. Jam is productive office software that allows you to connect without setting up meetings and passcodes. Want to call another colleague? No worries, as you click his name, check if they're online and just place a call from your computer system! And pronto – you are connected.
3. The SmartDesk Hybrid
Companies have been discussing employee well-being for a long time. Taking action on it, many companies have provided employees with SmartDesk Hybrid. This is an electric standing desk that offers you to sit or stand as you work. You can lower or raise the desk's height, as per your choice, whenever you want. All merely at the flick of a button! The SmartDesk Hybrid is an integral component of Hybrid Office solutions, offering you workforce to work from anywhere as they turn productive.
To wrap up, transitioning to a hybrid workplace is a necessity. An early transition is sure to spell success for companies.
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