With the rise of hybrid working, the definition of the traditional workspace has expanded. Whereas it used to refer exclusively to the office, the conference room or the workstation, it now refers to the place where an employee can concentrate and carry out his work, whether at home, in the office, in a coworking space, at the hotel, etc. A recent study of the ANDRH (National Association of HRDs) confirms this trend, 76% of respondents believe that offering hybrid working methods is important or even essential. As technology challenges progress, trends emerge around how companies should prepare their workspaces for the future, what best practices to adopt, and how to evaluate the results of their improvements.
Revisiting common spaces is the key to ensuring the sustainability of these places
Pre-Covid, a large company often had one or two large conference rooms and a few other smaller rooms for internal meetings. Of course, these rooms will continue but will be equipped with technological tools to allow hybrid meetings to be held without people outside the company feeling treated differently from those in situ. Leaders need to think about inclusiveness wherever they can implement it.
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These physical spaces must be easily accessible, whether it is an office for the day, a meeting room for two hours or a private space if necessary. For employees to feel both in the office and at home, everything must be made easier to organize themselves as best as possible in physical, remote or hybrid mode.
Finally, well-appointed premises cannot do without common areas, such as a kitchen with a fridge filled with cold drinks in addition to the traditional coffee/tea and a few quality snacks, a rest room or a games room. These serve as a place to reflect and share ideas in an informal atmosphere – they are also perfect for meeting colleagues in small groups and for team events!
Optimize the remote workspace to deliver desktop-like quality
The office offers an excellent environment with spaces specially designed for meetings and collaboration and quality equipment. However, remote employees are not always well settled, which can impact their morale and also their productivity. By providing quality equipment similar to that of the company, employees will be in optimal and operational conditions as in the office.
A few figures: 90% of French people want to maintain an alternation between face-to-face and distance learning (Upfeel study – March 2022) and more specifically they aspire to work more remotely, on average 1.8 days per week, compared to 0.9 days currently (study for the Jean Jaurès Foundation – January 2022). 35% of French people surveyed plan to leave their job, including 42% for those under 35 if their company does not allow them to work in hybrid mode (recent OpinionWay study). It is therefore necessary to rethink workspaces in the broad sense, whether in the office, at home or to offer the possibility of access to coworking spaces for those who do not want or cannot be at home. The key word is flexibility while ensuring the comfort of employees in order to retain talent in-house.
Leverage unified communications for more consistency and flexibility
Workspace no longer depends on where the office is – it’s where the workforce is. One of the most effective ways to promote the fulfillment and therefore the performance of employees, both in the office and remotely, is to implement a unified communications solution tailored for the company. This helps create a cohesive technology experience and build in flexibility for everyone.
It is essential to choose a communications platform that has certain functionalities such as hot desking, which gives hybrid employees the possibility of consulting and booking on-site resources such as conference rooms, offices and other equipment. It’s also important to use a solution that provides a consistent user interface. By having access to the same features and functionality whether they are at home, in the office or somewhere in between, whatever device they are using or where they are.
Self-assessment is essential to ensure the company that it satisfies its teams
Once you’ve incorporated new technologies and solutions to boost collaboration within your business, how can you tell if they’re actually having the desired effect? We must set up satisfaction questionnaires and also take into account visible metrics such as complaints about equipment, breakdowns, lack of common areas, etc.
The best data is obtained from live teams: surveys are perfect for filling gaps in improvement. They can provide common or individual requests for hardware or a need in terms of functionality, indicate certain missed opportunities and point out inefficient processes or technologies.
The future of work is going to be hybrid and organizations have every reason to develop a philosophy based on flexibility. This can only positively impact the well-being of employees and therefore the resulting efficiency and productivity.