5 reasons why businesses will embrace hybrid workplaces
The workplace of the future will span homes, offices and other spaces
With remote work a permanent part of the office lexicon, the idea of what constitutes the workplace is expanding.
A hybrid workplace not only extends to the settings where employees are doing productive work – such as homes or co-working spaces – but also encompasses multiple offices that serve different functions, from a central “Club” headquarters designed for innovation, socialising and learning, to multiple “Hub” offices for focus and collaborative work.
As businesses seek to maximise the use of their real estate when fewer staff are coming in, this hybrid workplace could be the key for offices of the future to thrive. Here are five reasons why:
1. Hybrid workplaces allow companies to optimise real estate
Rather than a single, central office block that must accommodate every member of staff, larger businesses would invest in a smaller, high-design headquarters to nurture their community and showcase their brand identity, complementing this with remote work options and satellite offices that reduce employees’ commutes.
“This enables companies to strip costs while focusing on spaces that give staff what they say they miss the most about the office: the opportunity to collaborate and socialise,” says Lee Daniels, Global Product Manager Workplace ＆ Occupancy Strategy & EMEA Experience Lead at JLL. Smaller companies may offer work-from-home plus hub offices, which could be located within coworking spaces for greater flexibility and lower investment.
2. Office space can be used more effectively
Without the need to provide a desk per employee, office space can be designed to be flexible and collaborative, enhancing company culture and building community. “You still have individual workstations and closed rooms, but the priority is on versatile spaces which lend themselves to changing needs depending on a company’s activities,” says Nuno Fernandes, Design Director, EMEA at Tétris.
3. Employees want flexibility in where and how they work
Following COVID-19, 53 percent of employees globally expect to continue working from home one to two days a week over the next two years. As the employee experience becomes a growing priority for businesses to help people perform at their best, a hybrid workplace will provide flexibility and choice. “Diversity in work environments helps motivate and inspire the many different individuals within a workforce,” says Fernandes.
4. Hybrid workplaces help businesses be agile
A hybrid workplace that encompasses home and flexible workspace makes it easier for companies to expand or downsize, and react to changing business needs. “Flexible space is commonly taken by start-ups, and many large corporations are now reviewing the role it can play in their portfolio,” says Daniels.
5. Tech-enabled remote work is here to stay
Digital tools adopted during lockdown periods have cemented a more flexible way of working that’s integral to the hybrid workplace. As remote working develops, employees working from home will have the equipment they need to collaborate online, while headquarters will have advanced technology such as interactive media walls and ever-more sophisticated video conferencing to recreate a virtual office environment where remote colleagues and clients can seamlessly interact with in-office staff.
“What’s important is integrating technology to enable people to work anywhere,” says Daniels. “Offering this choice and flexibility will be the key differentiator for businesses to attract talent in the coming years.”