The current onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to shift from traditional to remote working modes. Accordingly, businesses have structured their policies and technologies to support that.
Now, with encouraging reports of vaccination, there is again a major shift. Businesses are gaining confidence that return to the office could be safely attainable. It is going to change the idea of space, place, work environment, and employee experience.
As the matter stands, the entire scenario is turning toward a hybrid work environment with a distributed workforce. Of course, it was there for more than a decade. But it could not gain momentum for several reasons.
However, the hybrid work environment is becoming more and more popular than ever before. It means some people have to do their work in the office only. Some others might have to be there on occasion. And, the rest have to work remotely from home. Some businesses are also allowing their employees certain hours in the workspace, and, the rest of the time, they work from home.
The shift from dedicated workspace to distributed workforce raises concerns about losing personal space in the minds of the employees. They still like to have the same personal feeling in hybrid work environments. It entails new thoughts about personalization.
As an interior design and fit out company, we know what makes or breaks a workspace. Here are some of the ways you can personalize a hybrid work environment:
1. Good designs
An office used to be a place solely to do work during the years preceding the pandemic. Now, it has transformed into a space to do specific tasks or for office meetings. Thanks to the advent of technology, people can feel at home without having individual and dedicated workstations.
A majority of them will be moving between a home office and a traditional office. And the latter will turn into a cultural space for a special anchor. It will be used only for establishing connections, enabling learning, and fostering collaboration.
The office has to be designed by striking a balance between openness and privacy. There should be arrangements to have a quick chat at the open stairway or some low-voiced discussions at the coffee nook.
It should have a collaborative space, library, walls with a photo collage, socializing area, even LEGO walls. These will deliver a unique personal feeling.
2. A shift in paradigm
Office designs have experienced a change from closed individual chambers and cubicles to an open and social environment. It has brought in another paradigm shift. Humans are social beings, and they love to meet others. Ergo, this shift in how an office space can be used will be welcomed by most.
The pandemic has created another problem. People are now mostly confined to their homes and are working remotely. As such, they lack a personal feeling of space when they walk into a hybrid work environment. So, the employees must come out of their earlier notion of “my space” and think of a zone and area as “our space”.
3. Implementation of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives
Different zones for different types of jobs, focus rooms, quiet areas are integral parts of modern office designs. Allocating different spaces to neuro-diverse employees and people of determination is the new concept for the personalization of a hybrid work environment.
It takes care of their style of work, their needs and offers the employees a choice of dynamic spaces and calming areas. It is a vital step, as it makes them happy and most productive. More and more businesses will start implementing this concept with the inclusion of the younger generation.
4. Making everything accessible
Making sure whatever an employee needs is easily accessible is a vital step for the personalization of a hybrid work environment. It should cover anything and everything from printers to restrooms to conference rooms in their designated zones.
If they do not feel any discrimination, they will grow a personal feeling in the workspace. Providing an impromptu meeting place also helps.
Hybrid work environments are a combination of in-office and remote hours based on the nature and scope of the work. It will continue to be there even when the pandemic is over. Only digital transformation can help to induce a personal feeling.
When there is smooth replication of all office amenities and characteristics can only help a seamless decoupling work from where it should be done. Moreover, the employees have no chances to bump into others in a hybrid work environment. They are also deprived of in-person meetings.
Creating opportunities for unified, communication, virtual meetings, and motivating for creative solutions ensure a personalized feeling in hybrid work environments.
Having a hybrid work environment will be inevitable for many organizations in the years to come. Personalization of the environment will make it more productive without disturbing the work-life balance. Communication will also play a vital role in the smooth transition and success of the hybrid offices.