Hybrid Ways of Working

By Angela Newton | Creative Director 07.09.2021

Everyone is talking about the Hybrid way of working – but what does it mean for your business and your employees?

Are your people happy to work in new ways, are they well ahead of the game or are they resistant to change?  Or, most likely of all, they are all of these things?

The hybrid way of working is a flexible work structure where some employees work remotely, other team members work from a central location or office and many might choose to do a combination. Hybrid team structures allow employees to decide whether they prefer an office environment or working from anywhere remotely. Defining this for each organisation however is more complex.

Some are referring to the Hybrid model as a workplace revolution – an opportunity to redefine the purpose of the office and provide a fresh perspective about the workplace. Others are considering this an evolution of the existing development of the workplace and there are of course those who believe that life will return to the old normal!

It is clear people’s relationships with the office have changed and businesses need to work hard to encourage their teams back into the office.  There is a business case for hybrid working and it should consider raising productivity, reducing costs, attracting the best talent and improving the employee experience. 

It is important that businesses are not reactive and simply follow the crowd.  You need to listen and evolve your workplace by a collaborative and holistic approach that is sustainable and productive for all parties involved. With agility, you can fine tune your approach over time.

There has been a huge amount of data gathered regarding the workplace and working from home.  There are significant parallels between businesses and organisations that show what is better at the office and what is better at home, so we should listen to the science.

There is no one size fits all, blueprint or off the shelf solution. The best model is the one that is tailored to your business.

In any assessment or plan for the future you need to take into account the people, the place and the business. Within this blog we highlight the key considerations for preparing your workplace for the future.

The People

So thinking of your people in your organisation, what are they like?  Are they keen and raring to go, are they well ahead of you or are they stuck in the mud? Organisations should understand their people, the tasks that they do, how they connect between home and the office, how they connect with their organisation.  Design should be people focused, not for some people some of the time but for all the people all of the time.

Most people are motivated and inspired by the people around them and their physical surroundings. People have shown over the past seventeen months they are very resilient to change and many people crave social cohesion, a sense of community and to feel they belong.

Put your people first and you will have happy, healthier, more productive employees.

The Workplace

Where and what is the ‘workplace’? You are your place of work wherever you choose to be.  So, we now need to ask ourselves what is the ‘role’ of the physical workplace? The answer to this question will be different from one organisation to another and one person to another. It will be the place where teamwork, collaboration and driving innovation is best achieved. There are many considerations.

These might include:

  • How much workplace will your organisation actually need?
  • How will we make the workplace a dynamic model of utilisation – what, how, when & where?
  • What will the office space support that the home cannot?  This will be collaboration, innovation, team learning and creativity.
  • The workplace will almost certainly be where you perform complex tasks together.
  • To what extent will your office/workplace become a blended work environment to support diversity of work activity and provide a valuable workplace experience.
  • Will your workplace be an environment where your employees want to be, get decent coffee, a comfortable space and the chance to get the job done and feel satisfied?
The Business 

From a business perspective there are several considerations.

  • What do we want the financial commitment to be?
  • How will we create the right type of interaction to focus on growth and productivity?
  • How will we use technology and workplace settings to break down silos and connect with the company’s ethos and values?
  • Will the workplace we are designing add value to the business by bridging the gap between home and office working, help you to retain staff and raise productivity?

There are many things to consider and a lot of information to gather to ensure the  ability to change and then deliver maximum efficiency, allow for growth and set up your  business or organisation for the future. We are passionate about bringing positive change to office life by creating people focussed work places to enhance efficiency, productivity, well being and so much more.