The Hybrid Office
What is a Hybrid Office?
Hybrid office working is a method of implementing the hybrid workplace model that can be seen as the best of both worlds: combining work on-site with remote work. In many cases, it allows employees a good amount of flexibility.
Let’s start with an essential step: defining the hybrid office meaning. We can define the hybrid office as a work arrangement that combines working on site, ergo in the office, and working remotely.
Elements of Work from Home and Office Hybrid
Regardless of how the work from home and office hybrid is designed and implemented, we have singled out the key elements that should not miss from a hybrid office:
1. Work Spaces
Private spaces for when employees need to perform focused work. And public spaces for collaborating, such as meeting rooms, conference halls etc.
Virtual collaboration technology such as conference room technology with high resolution video equipment and high fidelity microphones.
3. Meeting Spaces
Meeting spaces that can accommodate both workers on site and remote workers.
Employees could find multiple benefits from having access to training options for adjusting to the new (virtual) reality in the workplace.
5. Mechanism for Reserving Workspaces
If your company decides to completely redesign the office, focusing on its role as a collaboration medium, rather than a host of single desk areas.
Work from Home and Office Hybrid: Key Questions to Define It
There are multiple ways to implement a hybrid office. We have identified key questions to consider when designing a work from home and office hybrid.
- Is there some type of work that can be better performed virtually than in person?
- What did the experience of stay at home orders reveal about meetings?
- How can it be ensured that all workers have similar experiences, regardless of their choice of work-set up?
- What are all the tools that need to be into place to avoid a two-tier system? It could be that on-site employees benefit from better training and mentorship opportunities.
- Should there be some special events where all team members gather?
- Another key question surrounds the status of the office: will it continue to service full time on-site workers, or will everyone spend at least some partial time remotely?
This question last question is particularly relevant in cases of companies that adopt “remote-first” policies. In this case, the office design is completely different from a traditional office space.
In this latter case, as the Harvard Business Review is rightfully theorising, the office becomes “a culture space, providing workers with a social anchor, facilitating connections, enabling learning, and fostering unscripted, innovative collaboration,” rather than a place exclusively linked to productivity.
Is the Hybrid Office the Future of Work?
Simply put, yes, as illustrated by the result obtained from a study from McKinsey & Company. If pre-pandemic 62% of workers preferred working on site, post-pandemic only 37% of workers show the same tendency. With regards to preferring a hybrid office arrangement, pre-pandemic only 30% of employees were favouring a hybrid office setting, while post-pandemic, the number of workers nearly doubled, reaching 52% of all workers.
Especially when it comes to younger generations, studies are finding out that Gen-Z workers are the most likely to prefer a hybrid office work arrangement, instead of a fully remote work arrangement. In fact, a McKinsey & Company study revealed that 48% of 18-to-29-years-old employees acknowledged their preference for a hybrid-office model. This stands in comparison to 44% of 30-to-49-years old, and 38% of workers aged 50 and older.
This can be linked to the benefits of on-site work, especially for relationship-building and networking.
Gen-Z most wants a foot in each world, because they are also the ones that have the least experience with the “old working model.” Eugene Ohu, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, highlights: “One reason Gen-Z prefers hybrid work is because they are at a stage of discovery: many of them are still trying to get to know themselves, form an identity, so they’re more open to explore more options, which is easier when you’re moving around rather than being tied down to one thing. Hybrid work is therefore a typical representation of that discovery.”
To conclude, there is no magic formula for successfully designing a hybrid office. But, regardless of how the hybrid office is to be implemented, it is clear that companies have to allow for trial and error and to be willing to listen to the employee experiences.
At introdus we strive to offer you a great employee experience at the beginning of your new career in a company. You can step right into a hybrid office model after being Pre & Onboarded with the introdus platform.