3 Tips for Hybrid Office Creativity and Productivity
As our world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and employees have been forced to consider alternatives to onsite work. The days of making an effort to conform to a shared office space is on the fast track to becoming outdated.
Pre-pandemic, we haven’t heard as much about employees considering the options of working from home, and about businesses having to make the appropriate accommodations. But now that many employees have gotten used to working remotely—and discovered how much they enjoy it—you can be sure it will continue to be part of the post-pandemic landscape for the foreseeable future.
That said, not everyone is suitable for one particular work style. That’s where the development of a hybrid work model comes in.
By now you might be asking, what does hybrid working mean? Hybrid offices are workplaces that are functional for employees who wish to work within an office space or work remotely. In order to maximize productivity and creativity, workplaces need to be open to various changes and styles.
Here are 3 tips that managers and business owners should keep in mind when developing a hybrid work model.
Tip #1: Allow for Remote Work and Flexible Hours
Flexibility is the key to meeting your employee’s various needs. Not everyone works most effectively at an office from 9 to 5, five days per week. In fact, management that is willing to cater to schedule and remote work preferences can have a huge positive impact on employee engagement, productivity, and well-being.
While some employees thrive in an environment with other co-workers present, others may strongly prefer to work alone in a calmer, quieter space. If you have a small, open-space office, consider looking into capabilities that allow employees to work from home. Employees may wish to come into the office on some days, and work from the comfort of their home from others.
In addition to location flexibility, it’s important to also offer flexible hours. The traditional work schedule may negatively affect a person’s work-life balance. For example, some of your employees may have to pick their children up from school, or may share a vehicle with someone who goes into work earlier or later than them. Alternatively, some employees seek to work away from the many distractions at home.
It is strongly recommended that employees voice these concerns, and to be willing to work with your employees on an arrangement that’s a win-win for both them and you.
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Tip #2: Improve Communications Between In-Office and Remote Employees
In order to make a hybrid working model practical, you’ll need to have the technology to support it so that remote workers and office workers can seamlessly communicate and collaborate. Thankfully, there are many software programs available that are streamlined, user-friendly, reliable, and affordable if not completely free.
Hybrid offices will require organizational software, a reliable chat or virtual meeting system with video call capability, and software that will enable remote login to a computer if necessary.
PCMag.com ranked the top 6 brands of remote access software: RemotePC, TeamViewer, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, VNC Connect, and Splashtop Business Pro. Each has its own unique features, either free to use or via a paid subscription.
Managing a hybrid office will not only complicate employee access, but also employee communication. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are applications that make virtual meetings and interviews easier than ever before. Many companies use Zoom or Microsoft Teams for face-to-face meetings even when employees are far apart. Other programs implement programs such as Trello which feature a combination of chat, file sharing, and project management features.
Choosing the right software for your business will keep both you and your employees notified of what each person has on their plate on any given day. Be sure that you recognize which features your employees will require, and be sure to do thorough research on which software applications will fulfill these needs while staying within budget.
Tip #3: Provide Comfort While Working
We’ve all had to use a desk or a chair that didn’t bode so well for our posture, and there was nothing we could do to adjust it. Those days are now over, thanks to the countless features that can be added to desks to make them more ergonomic. This list of features may include: height adjustability that enables for a sitting and standing desk; electrical outlets on top of the desk which prevents bending over to unplug your device; hollow legs that allow for hiding cords without compromising its structure. The list goes on.
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In addition to ergonomic desks, employees may want to work in different spaces within the office. An article from Work Design Magazine discusses the effect that unassigned seating can have on productivity, citing business consultant EisnerAmper’s space reservation policy that enabled employees to reserve other areas in the office for working. This method proved to be beneficial, increasing employee comfort and making for an easy transition to social distancing during the pandemic.
It’s also worth having a discussion to see how you can implement a “change of scenery” for your employees. While some enjoy the consistency of a single everyday space, others may want to consistently switch it up. But all of your employees will be grateful that you’re giving them a choice.
Hybrid Workplaces are the Future of Work
In 2019, no one expected a pandemic to change the world within the next year. Also, we have no idea what kinds of changes will be around the corner. Change is inevitable, so adaptability is a necessity.
While accommodating so many different work arrangements and styles might seem like a lot of effort, the reality is that companies who transition successfully to a hybrid or even remote-first work arrangement will be a competitive advantage in the post-COVID world.
Providing more flexible working and scheduling options for employees can help you greatly reduce employee burnout, improve retention, and draw from a greater talent pool of highly qualified candidates. It can also free up time in your employee’s schedules and help your company reduce its ecological footprint by greatly reducing the amount of commuting your employees must perform.
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Thankfully, there are more options than ever that can help make that transition from a traditional office work environment to a hybrid workspace as smooth as possible.
At ZGO, we have flexibility and creativity at the heart of everything we do. We aim to maximize productivity in the workplace by blending principles from both the West and the East to improve the modern office. Combining Scandinavian design and traditional Chinese Zen teachings, our goal is to promote health and wellness in every office—including home offices—by providing globally sustainable and ergonomic desking solutions. Our team of experts are always ready to offer advice to maximize productivity in your workspace.
Please visit our website or talk to a team member today, and we will be happy to help you transform your business for the better.
Mendelson, Edward (2018, May 4). The Best Remote Access Software. PCMAG.com. Retrieved from https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-remote-access-software
Campbell, John (2021, July 14). The Benefits of Unassigned Versus Assigned Seating in the Workplace. Work Design Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.workdesign.com/category/expert-insights/