05 Oct The Hybrid Workplace: A Short Guide
The New Normal? Navigating the hybrid workplace
In an ever-changing post COVID world, a plethora of new buzzwords and jargon pop up every month, all in a bid to offer solutions to issues that we now face. It can be difficult to keep up, however there are those trends that you simply need to keep informed about. Arguably number one on that list is the ‘hybrid workplace’. In the past six months, we’ve all been exposed to a crash course in remote working; it’s positives, negatives, nuances and intricacies. To go from full time office work to a permanent remote setup has been a shock for many. Everyone is different and this polarization of working options has been a welcome change for some and an isolating period for others. However, as teams return to work, a new option emerges.
What does it mean?
As you may already know, a hybrid workplace exists within a flexible work structure where some employees work remotely, and other team members work from a central location or office. This structuring gives employees the agency to decide whether they prefer an office environment, working from anywhere remotely or doing both on different days/ weeks.
What you might not have taken into consideration is the freedom and fluidity offered by this approach. It’s not as simple as, ‘you work at home, you work in the office.’ There’s truly something for everyone, with the opportunity for flex-desking, alternating days and scheduled sub-team weeks. Whilst, emerging technologies can help you to harness hybrid working whilst maintaining your teams creative flow and without creating division of the remote versus the office.
How to harness hybrid
It’s important to establish what works best for each individual team member, so that they can get the most out of the hybrid structure. For example, some employees may work from home the majority of the time but need that sporadic day or two for project kick-offs or teambuilding. A great solution to this is Flex-desking, where they can book a desk as and when it’s needed, leaving it vacant for others to use when they don’t. This maximizes resource usage, meaning you don’t need one desk for every employee. Therefore, implementing flex desking can not only streamline hybrid working and provide a seamless solution to desk booking; it also helps you save space and money in any eventual renovations or office moves. A percentage of the money saved can be redistributed at your discretion, giving those working remotely an allowance to improve their home set up.
For these employees, it’s important to keep them involved in all decisions and goings on in the office in order to avoid feelings of isolation and alienation. However, this ties into your company culture. If it is already a strong aspect of your business this should not be an issue, as location is arbitrary and should not be tied to culture. Instead it should ideally be rooted in your values, your people and your overall mission as a collective.
Alternatively, for those who prefer to get most of their work done in an office environment, taking a day or two a week to cover child-care or provide a change of scenery; a more permanent setup is optimal. In this instance, they can be provided with a dedicated desk for their laptop, monitor, plants, family photos and anything to personalize the desk and make it feel their own.
You should also be conscious of bridging the gap between your remote and office workers in order to avoid division within the team. The solution to this is ultimately technology and in particular tech that facilitates communication and collaboration, where possible imitating face to face interactions. It’s important to support video conferencing for remote workers, as I’m sure you are already doing. Slack and Microsoft Teams are programs that we use daily here at Laduma. But with ‘zoom fatigue’ inevitably becoming more and more common, traditional video conferencing tools have their limitations. It’s not natural to have to use this software to communicate through primarily every day.
At Laduma, we’re developing something unique, that allows you to work in a much more natural way, every day. We can transform your current physical spaces into digital hybrid workspaces, allowing you to free yourself from your computer screen and work in a more natural way. Work on your walls like a whiteboard, leaving only a digital trace, while your remote team writes and draws on those same walls using stylus-enabled mobile devices.
For more information on our new Hybrid working solution, see the form below. Alternatively, you can find us on twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Also, be sure to check back with us for more useful tips about hybrid and remote working.
The most natural way of working for the post-COVID world is almost here!
Laduma is coming to a room near you in February 2021.