The most successful companies are those who can adapt to the needs of the moment—and the moment now demands looser, more flexible work structures. In this post, we look at five different models you can look to implement in your new hybrid workplace. Regardless of which model works best for your company, the reality is that some hybridity is necessary for the new normal.
After a long two years, the face of business seems fundamentally changed. While many hold their breath waiting to “return to normal,” the truth is we are already in the new normal. Workplace hybridity, already on the rise well before the events of the past few years, is here to stay as a dominant office model. And while some might fret the loss of the traditional office, the truth of the matter is that a switch to a hybrid workplace can actually prove a positive change.
A hybrid workplace is one in which employees tag between working remotely and in the office. These employees might group into different dedicated teams, or they might mean the whole team drifting between both setups throughout the week. Staff may have fixed schedules, or employees can have the option of choosing remote days and tasks. The exact configuration is flexible and customizable for individual business needs!
So how many days a week should your employees spend in the office? This of course depends on each job and workplace’s specific details. Safety, company culture, and the hands-on nature of a role all come into consideration. That said, a 2021 PwC survey found that 68% of surveyed executives believe employees should be in the office at least three days a week to preserve company culture.
The hybrid workplace model can take many shapes. The degree of remoteness (and the fixity of those remote locations and hours) are all negotiable. Scheduling software like Smarten Spaces can make this hybrid administration a breeze, but first, you need to decide on your structure. If you’re considering converting your office to a hybrid setup, then, you need to consider all the various models on offer before you take the plunge!
The “remote-first” setup, as the name implies, turns remote work into the default option. Every employee works from home primarily; if you would like to come into the office on any given day, you are more than welcome to.
Many companies view this setup as the bridge to a fully-remote option, scaling back on in-person interaction without fully removing the possibility. This model seeks to digitize whenever possible. For example, if the only reason to congregate in an office is to congregate for meetings, a “remote-first” setup might convert those meetings to Zoom calls. Smarten Spaces empowers workers to collaborate on their schedule creation in this remote-driven model, ensuring that your efficiency never takes a hit.
The “remote-first” approach reduces overhead costs and allows employees greater schedule flexibility. Meanwhile, workers are still welcome in the office if they choose to. After all, while many workers do appreciate the freedom of working from home, not all do. Some employees might miss the social aspect—so-called “soft work”—or find certain tasks difficult to complete remotely. This gives your staff maximum freedom to choose which model they like best!
A split-week hybrid workplace sees employees chop up their week between in-office and remote setups. Staff might conduct two or three days remotely and spend the others in the office. This model works well for offices that want to build in some hybridity, but still retain a formal office structure and in-person culture.
Even allowing just a few days of hybrid work can help increase the productivity in your workplace, while also reducing the amount of money spent on overheads. Perhaps the sales team only comes into the office on Mondays and Tuesdays, while HR shows up on Wednesdays and Thursdays. By structuring your team so fewer people are in-office at once, you can shrink your office footprint. AI desk booking can help you strategically plan your split-week schedule, so your team maximizes the use of a smaller space.
When a workplace adopts a split hybrid schedule, it splits its team into two modes of worker: office-bound and full-time remote employees. One would usually establish this distinction based on a person’s position.
For example, managers will likely always be present at the office, while the web design team doesn’t need to see each other in person every day. This allows for the flexibility of a split-week setup, but with more organized, dedicated roles. Everyone knows who to expect in the office and when without the need to manage space.
A week-based plan cycles all employees through the office. An employee might work one-week in-office, only to switch to remote-only the next. This hybrid workplace model proved popular with offices that did not want to commit to a full-remote structure during the pandemic but also needed to meet health and safety guidelines. In a company with a large number of employees, weekly scheduling reduces employee contact. It can also shrink your office footprint, with fewer employees on-site at any given time.
Contactless entry and exit solutions can further minimize unnecessary contact in these scenarios, further bolstering health and safety considerations. Around-the-clock space monitoring also allows you to keep track of capacity guidelines, and adjust ambient controls accordingly.
Fully-remote models unlock the full potential of the hybrid workplace model, setting workers free to operate when they like. Employees are free to sign in from wherever they like—no office needed! Not only does this free up workers’ lives; it also widens the potential talent pool to the entire world. You can hire the best candidates from anywhere in the world, as geographical limits are no longer a concern. And forget about real estate costs—the office itself becomes irrelevant.
Of course, this model can make building a cohesive work culture something of a challenge. A globally-scattered company faces the challenge of matching asynchronous staff to the same goals and hours. This isn’t necessarily an impediment; it just requires companies to conceptualize company culture somewhat differently. You won’t be meeting around the water cooler on the regular—how else can you bond the team?
The most successful companies are those who can adapt to the needs of the moment—and the moment now demands looser, more flexible work structures. Regardless of which model works best for your company, the reality is that some hybridity is necessarily in the new normal.
And regardless of which model you choose, you are likely to need some help managing the new work structure. Even the savviest managers sometimes have difficulty making the switch; juggling new schedules—and ever-shifting schedules—can get complicated quickly. That’s why Smarten Spaces focuses its innovative energies on simplifying and streamlining the hybrid work experience. Whether it’s with automated scheduling, AI hot-desking, contactless entry and ambient controls, or other digital solutions, Smarten Spaces is here to transform your workplace.
What are you waiting for? Reach out to Smarten Spaces today and see how we can move your office into the new era.