The hybrid workplace is a flexible working environment that allows employees to work from the location of their choice. This may be at the office, at home, or even in a co-working space. The benefits are numerous, both for the employee and for the employer. On the employee side, the flexible office offers time savings linked to reduced travel, a better balance between professional and private life. It also allows each employee to choose, according to their requirements, the place where they will be the most productive. At home can guarantee calm conducive to reflection.
The office gives access to all the company’s resources and promotes socialization and collective emulation. On the employer side, this overhaul of the office environment improves team productivity and the company’s carbon footprint. That is because it helps limit transport and rationalize land. It will boost productivity and offer motivation. But of course, all businesses must be aware of the dangers, including cybersecurity and digital management, before progressing.
Organizations project an overall productivity increase of 17% over the next two to three years. Additionally, 88% have achieved real estate cost savings from telecommuting over the past three to four months and 92% expect savings in the next two to three years. – According to CIO Mexico.
What is a Hybrid Workplace?
Hybrid work is a model that combines features of face-to-face work in an office or company and remote work, done from home. Companies and workers who opt for this model work in the office during part of the week or their working day, and work from home the rest of the days or hours. It is a remote working model that has gained a lot of popularity today.
It is ideal for those companies that do not dare to implement teleworking completely. In addition, it is a safe model, since it reduces the capacity of the office, and also allows workers to have more flexibility. It offers better motivation for staff and a higher level of productivity, so that people can work on their terms and without the hassle of someone directly looking over their shoulder.
Benefits of Hybrid Workplace
Hybrid working environments offer a combination of comfort and productivity. The employee does not waste time on travel and traffic jams or trying to concentrate on work in the middle of a noisy office. Instead, they can utilize their work hours to perform tasks efficiently, focused, and well.
A hybrid office is more inclusive for employees who take care of family members. They can create balance and autonomy in their work week, spend time with the children, and complete household chores. Or employees who live far away and have to spend a lot of time traveling, employees with less access to transportation. Or employees with disabilities (physically or mentally).
Introducing a hybrid workplace can maximize productivity massively. An online article says that, in sum, 70% of companies believe that the increase in teleworking productivity can be maintained once the pandemic has passed. However, these companies point out that this will be achieved depending on the speed with which organizations learn. And the way they reinvent themselves in response to the management of the change.
It takes a change in mentality of the workforce and their individual and organizational adaptation. A hybrid workforce will go well if work relationships are strengthened and the commitment is to encourage teams to be part of the company.
It is important to leave the passive attitude and adopt a more proactive attitude. The lead person has to be able to empathize and attend to the needs of their staff. Each worker is unique and their motivations as well, taking an interest in them should be the first step to forge a greater commitment. This will then assist the team to be more productive in other areas.
A hybrid workspace offers many benefits but one thing to note is that people should not become digitally fatigued. In the Microsoft study, 40% of the respondents feel exhausted. Added to this are Microsoft 365 productivity alerts that notify workers of digital exhaustion. Now that everything is going digital, it is important to convey to workers the need for breaks and that they must know that they can stop.
7 Hybrid Workplace Ideas
1. Ensure health security
The arrival at the workplace of employees is inseparable from compliance with a reinforced health protocol. This involves cleaning of the offices organized and traced. The assurance of being safe has become a priority. Nicolas Ibrahim, Smart Building Partner at Orange Business Services, digital speaks about this, saying, “The sensors present in the premises report in real-time the availability of the offices and the overall occupancy rate. The employee can thus know where to position themselves to work.”
Other sensors are very useful for measuring air quality and noise level as well as providing a healthy environment. Upstream, to comply with the building fill level, each manager can plan the presence of his employees according to projects or meetings. And according to the rules set by the site manager. The employee will receive notifications informing them of the possibility of going to their hybrid workplace. They know this can be done in complete safety.
2. Make the office a social hub
The office remains the place of interaction par excellence. Many people during confinement regretted not being able to have face-to-face conversations with their colleagues. If office traffic changes, it will be necessary to take advantage of the moments of presence to favor the collective. The creation of living spaces aimed at reinforcing conviviality and “face-to-face” collaboration. It is therefore still relevant.
The herbal tea room, for example, promotes spontaneous interactions between employees. For meetings in small groups, quick and impromptu, we can set up “huddle rooms”, small rooms equipped with audio and video tools. Other places dedicated to ideation and creativity that can be fully reconfigured (furniture on casters, mobile digital boards) depending on the workforce and the configuration of the project teams may be planned.
You can reallocate space for meetings or reduce square meters. Several trends and scenarios are emerging depending on the strategy and the economic situation of companies. The human resources and general services departments will, in all cases, have a leading role to play in identifying the needs of employees.
3. Keep the link between on-site and remote teams
Unified communication tools adapted to hybrid interactions are booming. On-site, this means opting, for more modest but communicating meeting rooms, with video tools that are simple and practical to use. This may be voice command or by smartphone. Team leaders must also be reinvented and adapted to the context to guarantee the commitment of participants locally and remotely.
New collective rituals will replace traditional meetings such as shorter, more dynamic exchanges. And of course, internet security. When staff use their mobile devices more, because they are away from the office, there is a need to protect them. That is why mobile device management software is something that businesses must consider.
You must look at having a professional team to manage your remote or company-owned devices to stop cyber attacks. For example, AirDroid Business MDM is an Android device management tool that helps IT admins manage company-owned devices and offers network security to enhance enterprise mobility.
Teleworking places, wherever they are, become a real extension of company spaces. The network must be strengthened to guarantee high speeds. Stable internet connection will also help with stabilizing quality during video conference calls. It is also necessary to ensure interoperability between collaborative tools, business applications, and employee devices.
4. Focus on the sustainability of hybrid workspaces
With a hybrid remote workplace, it is important to look at sustainability in the long term. Energy efficiency solutions are an essential aspect of the renewal of premises. In addition to the regulations which impose a reduction in consumption by 2050, there is also the desire to adapt to the use of spaces that are no longer fully exploited. Optimization of technical building management (BMS) should save 134 MWh of energy per year. Or the equivalent of the annual consumption of around thirty households. The growing use of remote collaborative tools also has a positive impact on the company’s carbon footprint.
5. Prepare and co-construct the change
For each of the strategic choices for the layout of the premises, it is precious to be supported by the right stakeholders. It is important to co-construct with our customers’ environments that correspond to the new modes of collaboration of occupants.
For example by using learning expeditions and design thinking methodologies. It’s not about changing everything but about capitalizing on what works. These changes can be carried out at the level of a team before spreading throughout the company. It is often when change is requested that it is best accepted.
6. Use instant messaging and video tools to stay in touch while WFH
Some people are autonomous and can carry out their work, but you must keep the link within an organization. Whether in business, community, or elsewhere, it is very important to continue to write, talk and/or see each other. Whether for the management of common missions, but also quite simple to maintain a social bond between employees.
All this makes it possible not to slow down the taking of initiatives. As well as the generation of new ideas, or even the making of decisions through exchanges. You can also monitor the remote workforce. To facilitate exchanges, many tools exist. We have listed a few below:
Skype: The best known and most widely used messaging software, allowing users to make phone or video calls, over the Internet.
Teams: This is the version of Skype for Business. Teams are both an instant messenger and a video conferencing tool. This also allows you to make calls and collaborate on common documents.
Zoom: a reliable application for organizing phone calls, between 2 people or in groups, in virtual meeting rooms.
Google Duo: a mobile video instant messaging application, developed by Google. This allows you to make excellent quality calls.
Google Meet: a video conferencing service, also developed by Google, which was developed to replace Google Hangouts.
Slack: a collaborative platform for exchanging between several people (employees, customers, suppliers, etc.), by message or by video, while making file sharing possible.
7. Schedule regular physical meetings
With the same objective of maintaining a social link, do not hesitate to invite your employees to join meetings. This is easy to set up when the teleworking is in the “hybrid” model: 2 to 3 days per week. The main thing for a manager is to make sure that there are at least 1 or 2 days each week when all the employees are together on the premises. This can be Monday, for example, to plan the missions for the week. On these days, you can organize meetings, plan brainstorming sessions, and even carry out fun activities. This way everyone can meet, discuss and work, as a team, in an atmosphere conducive to creativity.
Even spending several days away from each other, you will succeed in creating and/or maintaining a feeling of belonging to your company, your team, etc. It is also something essential to integrate recruits. To maintain a certain conviviality and continue to share the values of the company, it is also possible to meet outside the usual premises.
Indeed, whether it is for a day or a few hours, you can meet in a co-working space, in a café, or even in a place where you can carry out a group activity. Changing the habits of your employees can only stimulate their creativity, as well as exchanges, in a context more conducive to relaxation.
Overall, the theory and practice of hybrid workplaces are good and beneficial. They offer productivity boosts, better time management for staff, and put a little power back into the hands of their workers. Along with the mobile-first workforce, there will be new opportunities, and also new threats when it comes to managing a hybrid workplace. Companies may need a robust MDM software to protect corporate data while streamlining business operations. Learn more about AirDroid Business MDM or talk to our sales today!
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