How does MY business set up for Hybrid Working?
Other Questions we will answer with this article…
What is Hybrid Working? Will my employees want to come to the office?
Since the start of the Covid19 pandemic, industry professionals have all had their opinion on what the future of the office workplace will look like. The sceptic in you and me see them pushing a solution that suits their ability to sell you whatever their business service might me; and often it seems like a big investment, at a time when you probably want to channel investment elsewhere in your business. But it need not be difficult or costly. This article will simplify some of the leading thoughts so you can find a clear path that is right for you and your business.
THE KEY – TRUST
Everything you need to do boils down to one thing – TRUST. That has not changed. Complete trust has always had to exist between employer and employee in order for the relationship to be a success. Throughout the pandemic a lot of trust has been seen with a ‘we’re in this together’ attitude. In the early stages, many were muddling through whilst on the kitchen table with Joe Wicks sweating on the TV behind you. Later, the Work From Home ‘WFH’ set up has improved with better IT and some furniture. Now, the world sees light at the end of the tunnel and your employees need to see your plan for the future and trust it.
SO, WHAT IS YOUR PLAN?
Keep it simple. Firstly you need to work out how your business is likely to NEED to work in future. Some can function perfectly in a remote working model, others really need a lot of office time. Most will find something combining the two works well.
You will probably find that different functions within your business fit into different categories. For example, Training and Compliance teams are likely to need office time more than Sales and Customer Service. Having a plan here is key to ensure ALL of your employees trust the model and resentment between departments does not manifest itself.
WHAT CAN GO WRONG?
When surveyed, most employees want to be in the office for 2-3 days a week, and most want their Work From Home days to be Monday and Friday. This is perfectly understandable and has huge benefits for personal wellbeing, better sleep, reducing sick days, reduced commuting, reduced carbon footprint, increased productivity and work-life balance..
However, it causes a problem. Using the traditional desk ownership model, where every employee has a desk you will have overcrowded offices midweek and near empty, uninspiring space at other times. Also important, the potential savings to be made from reducing the required office space will be lost.
CREATE A DESTINATION!
Make the office a destination! Some have great WFH set ups, others don’t. By making the office a great place to meet, create, congratulate, collaborate, share, train, support, laugh, socialise (the list is endless) you will have your people using the workspace, across the whole week. Set up events, clubs, masterclasses for the quieter days to even out the demand on space. Do a deal with a local restaurant to offer all staff a discount on Mondays! Over the next few years, the ideas around this will grow and grow. Throw the question to your teams to come up with ideas and solutions, after all, they make your company culture.
HYBRID WORKING LEADS TO ACTIVITY BASED WORKING.
Design and Technology has allowed many businesses in the last 10 years to embrace more Activity Based Work styles, post Coronavirus will accelerate this progression. Like a lot of ideas, some will wrap it up in jargon, make it sound difficult and charge a fortune for it! But it doesn’t have to be like that. The model can be very simple. Your office is now a Destination! Employees are coming into the office for specific reasons, no longer are they coming simply to sit at a desk for 8 hours with little interaction, that working is reserved for WFH days. They are coming to engage with people and use the space to create and be great! Go back to Trust. Create a workplace where each and every one of your employees trusts that you are providing them with the best tools to be productive throughout their working week. Some simple steps:
- Make sure you have enough space. A busy office creates great productivity but don’t allow overcrowding. Coordinate the days different individuals and teams will be using the office whilst still maintaining freedom to choose.
- Remove the desk ownership model and create different task supporting work settings
- Make some areas non bookable, free to use any time. Open plan workstations, Lounge Area, Hotdesk, Tea Point, Collaboration Area, Meeting Booth, TownHall.
- Have a Booking system for areas that have special use (Training Rooms, Team or Individual Video Conference, Digital Whiteboard, Scrum Area, War Room, Thinking/Quiet Space
- Furnish well. The line between home, work and leisure becomes more blurred with hybrid work models. We need to feel comfort and a sense of belonging. Furnishings, lighting, decoration and planting are equally important at home and work.
Do you have more questions related to this article or your office? Every business is different and a quick, FREE call with one of our team can help set you on the best path for YOUR business. Ask for a callback or drop a question in the contact section and one of the Sagal Group team will be delighted to help you.