How to make your hybrid office successful: strategy, options and tools
Author: Helene Timm
September 6, 2021
What is your company’s strategy for its office space post-COVID?
A recent McKinsey study showed that 40% of employees had not been informed about any vision yet from their organizations and 28% found the information they were given rather vague. But even if circumstances are frequently changing, organizations should communicate clearly with their employees. Not only will this make them feel included, but it will also increase their overall well-being and productivity.
But how do you come up with a strategy like this? You might have heard of the “hybrid office” model which allows your employees to be more flexible about where they work from. When creating an office model that is hybrid, consider place and time. This means that companies will have to start recognizing their employees’ ability to work productively anywhere at any time. While the traditional office was simply there and demanded its workers to come in daily 9 to 5, the hybrid space model caters to its users’ needs. (Here you find an article specifically dedicated to what your team needs right now). Therefore, it is useful to consider these four dimensions when creating a hybrid space model:
Jobs and tasks
Projects and workflows
Inclusion and fairness
Let´s focus here on the 1st dimension “jobs and tasks”, meaning the roles and tasks people have in your organisation. You might find that some employees cannot be constrained in their time by colleagues as they must do a lot of individual focus work. One employee perhaps needs to coach others which they can do in an online meeting, but they might also need a space to innovate and brainstorm with people in the same location.
So what could these spaces look like? Let us look at an example from the head of global HR at Fujitsu, Hiroki Hiramatsu. He distinguished their company’s hybrid working spaces into “hubs”, “satellites” and “shared offices”.
In their model, hubs are located in big cities, like Oslo and are designed in an open landscape where employees can work together creatively with customers and partners. In comparison to hubs, satellites are rather focused on facilitating internal processes, such as the coordination of teams and working on shared projects. Shared offices will be more dedicated to coming closer to a client or working closer from home.
As employees know their needs and availability best, organizations should consider letting their employees choose these space options on-demand themselves, for example with a stipend. Some companies already allow it with platforms like Airbnb, where employees could create a business account to stay at accommodations they prefer when on business trips.
Paguro´s take on the topic
It is evident that hybrid spaces will be the office of the future: we are not going back. For many organizations it will no longer be suitable to enter a long-term rental contract with one large big office space supposed to welcome the entire company employees. We believe that the pandemic has given great opportunities to test these 3 options for workplace:
Headquarters or hub office with mandatory presence, even on rotation.
Satellite office: what we imagine will develop the most.
Now, companies can assess the right dosage for each option, according to your company jobs and tasks / employee preferences / projects and workflows and inclusion and fairness.
Involving your team in this discussion will be key; such trust would exemplify that rethinking spaces is more than choosing a location, it means to reflect on your values, culture and working processes. A very concrete step for organizations to do so, will be to let their remote employees be in charge of choosing their office themselves based on their preferences on conveniences.
As a platform that wants to help companies to find the right space which will echo your new team needs, Paguro is constantly confronted with this hybrid office “new normal”. Not only are we listing plug and play office spaces available for even just one week; these spaces will allow small teams to work in full quiet and confidentiality (contrary to lots of co-working spaces).
Need a bit more time to finish this team project? Simply extend the booking period with one click!
Allowing “stipend” and getting proof on spendings is also easy: Each Paguro booking generates an invoice, which the employee can simply transfer to the accounting department.