Flexible working | Redefining the office in a hybrid workplace

Redefining the office in a hybrid workplace

Hybrid working is quickly becoming the norm for many. This has been, in no small part, driven by employees who want to embrace a new way of working. Organisations, too, are realising that offering flexible working is better for employee retention and engagement, as well as attracting new talent.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 office workers by The Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM), nearly half of respondents reported they were planning to work from the office for 3 days or fewer a week. What’s more, 63% of employees surveyed now believe the office to be unnecessary.
Which begs the question: is there a place for the office in the future of work?

Is The Office Obsolete?

Pre-pandemic many organisations believed that offices were critical for productivity and culture. Remote work was a rarity, with many managers believing that WFH was counter-productive for a whole list of reasons.

Of course, in 2020 that all changed. Businesses had no choice but to embrace remote work. And, as it turns out, the fears of many managers were proved to be unfounded, with over half of workers believing that their colleagues were just as (if not more) productive during lockdown than before it.

The Missing Link

There’s no doubt that many employees realised the potential for a better work-life balance post-Covid. But that’s not to say they didn’t miss anything about the office, either.

Many people who transitioned to working remotely full-time due to Covid-19 reported missing:

  • Their commute

  • In-person meetings with co-workers

  • Socialising in person

  • Having a daily routine tied to going to the office

Evidently there is a place for the office in the future of work. But organisations can learn a lot from what employees miss to build a hybrid working model that simultaneously meets the needs of the business and their employees regardless of where they choose to work from.

Supporting Hybrid Working With Technology

It’s obvious that employees miss the experience of being at work. Rather than just a place to do work, physical offices are very good at meeting our human need for routine and social contact.

The challenge for leaders now comes in bringing on-site employees and their remote counterparts together in a way that feels intuitive and inclusive. Fortunately, technology, such as the use of remote and digital working platforms (like HulerHub!) have the capacity to do just that. These hybrid working solutions are designed to make sure employees are included and kept in the loop of company news, while having all the tools they need to be productive at their fingertips.

Hybrid isn’t going away. So, it’s up to organisations to seek out technology that makes working from anywhere accessible and enjoyable while accommodating the vital need for human connection, routine, and collaborative experiences. Which is actually a really exciting prospect, as it opens the door for more personalisation, better communication, and an improved work-life balance. What’s not to like about that?

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