Leading the Way: Navigating Office Design for the Hybrid Workforce
Companies around the world continue to shift their work structure to a hybrid model, and the way we think about office space is changing. With employees splitting their time between working from home, working in the office, and working from third spaces, the need for flexibility and collaboration has never been more important. Organizations are rethinking their office design and are looking for ways to optimize their spaces for hybrid working.
A recent World Economic Forum article titled “How hybrid work is revolutionizing our office spaces” highlights the many ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to rethink their office design. For example, office spaces are being redesigned for flexibility with moving partitions, raised floors, and more digital screens. Collaborative meeting rooms will be more effective in allowing people to hear and see each other clearly, but conference tables will still play a vital role in negotiations. The giant conference table is being replaced with big screens, and companies are realizing that designing for hybrid work requires a completely different approach from what was the norm.
Pre-pandemic office spaces often had a poor reputation. A pre-pandemic survey revealed that 85% of people were dissatisfied with their office environment. In an attempt to improve collaboration or cut costs, many offices became increasingly open-plan and higher-density, sometimes having less than 5m2 per person. As a result, these offices were often noisy, distracting and unhealthy. Additionally, 40% of office staff were found to suffer from poor lighting and the temperature was often uncomfortable, which also impeded the performance of the staff.
The WEF article also suggests that there needs to be a shift away from rows of identical desks squished together to more varied, flexible and individually controllable environments that suit all workers and work styles. There needs to be sufficient spaces for individuals to concentrate and focus between meetings, as well as for those who are unable or unwilling to work from home. This could include quiet rooms, bookable desks, or touchdown spaces, ideally with individual control over lighting, temperature, and acoustics.
In order to enable the mechanics of hybrid work, technology is also playing a crucial role, including booking desks or collaboration spaces and making visible who is where both in the office and people’s availability remotely. Looking at the design of some office spaces of companies like LEGO, Checkr or Dropbox, we can all witness how they have been optimized for collaboration and hybrid working. The key elements of a hybrid office generally seem to include:
A mix of collaborative and private spaces
High-quality conference room technology
Technology that makes it easy for employees to find and reserve workspaces anywhere
Multipurpose areas employees can use depending on the work they’re doing
Furniture that’s easy to reconfigure
The concept of a hybrid office space is a complex one and can be difficult to navigate. That’s where FLEXIDESK comes in. Our flexible desk booking tool helps employees easily find and reserve workspaces and desks, making the process of hybrid working simple and efficient. With FLEXIDESK, employees can also find out who is in the office at any given time and plan their schedules accordingly.
Our tool is designed to make it easy for employees to find their desired workspaces and helps to keep the office organized and running smoothly. It is a one-stop-shop for all your office management needs. FLEXIDESK is user-friendly, easy to use, and customizable to meet the specific needs of your organization. Try it out for free today!