There’s no denying that the global pandemic has changed the way we work for the foreseeable future. At present, companies are managing this evolution in various ways. Some have allowed employees to continue working remotely until 2021. Others, on the other hand, have asked staff, where possible, to attend the workplace in staggered groups and on different schedules. Some businesses are leaving it entirely up to the individual employees to decide where they base themselves. It’s becoming increasingly clear that this diversity is the future of the working environment. The hybrid workplace means the best of both worlds: structure and sociability as one option, and independence and flexibility the other.
Here at Your Workspace, we’re also forward-thinking and understand that, above all else, the safety and welfare of employers and staff alike are paramount. We wanted to discuss the hybrid workplace and how our product, Simplicity Lockers could benefit this new, agile way of working.
Why The Future Is Hybrid
In layman’s terms, hybrid means the mixing of two different things, and in the context of the workplace, it means exactly that. Essentially, it allows a mixture of office-based productivity and working from home (or remotely from another location). As we’ve seen, when lockdown eases, staff are going back to offices but many of them are not in the office full time, instead switching between their office environment and their home-office space.
With technology easily accessible and simple to use, the pandemic has shown us that working remotely is more than doable. Companies are now increasing technology budgets and training plans to support and implement the development of hybrid working. If lockdown has proved anything, it’s that adjusting to this new style of working has been surprisingly easy. Agile working was predicted to be happening years from now, and in a six-month period, we’ve managed to accelerate the process and implement its functions in an innovative way.
It could be said that, previously, employers were fearful of enforcing a hybrid workplace, but having had no choice but to convert, we’ve been able to see the benefits of this practice a lot sooner than expected. Productivity has remained generally high nationwide; commutes have been greatly reduced and families have been able to make the most of more time together. The Future of Work Survey shows that 72% of workers admitted that there were challenges when it came to transitioning quite suddenly to remote work. Interestingly, though, 80% of those polled in the UK saw increases in their remote working confidence throughout the initial lockdown.
Adapting, To Work From Home
That being said, some people have had to plan and adjust their lives significantly by having to work remotely. Those who have young families have been working from home, whilst simultaneously also having to teach their children the curriculum and care for them, whilst balancing their daily workload. Others have had smaller workspaces in which remote working is made noticeably more difficult. Additionally, the possible anxiety that comes with self-isolation is a topic in itself!
Although the vast majority have adapted to working from home, the reality is that it just isn’t for everyone. Remote working has enabled us to change our perspective of the office environment. Companies are still encouraging staff back into the office, however. Consequently, the new hybrid way of working is the way forward. In fact, many companies are in the midst of changing their work from home policies to support this protocol. Every workspace will differentiate, but the pros of office accessibility are widely concentrated on these points.
- Allowing staff to socialise and interact with others; many are craving company from individuals they don’t live with, and employee wellbeing is paramount.
- Reigniting creativity and collaboration among teams.
- Reinforcing company culture.
- To show we are ‘heading back to normality’.
- For staff development and mentoring, in-person communication is important for assessing talent.
Hybrid working is beneficial because it allows a more agile lifestyle. It permits the stimulation of an office environment from time to time; the flexibility to touch base with co-workers and management becomes a reality, with the option to also work remotely from wherever employees feel most comfortable. It is predicted that 82% of the workforce of those surveyed will be back in their workplaces, part-time, over the next 18 months.
In order for the hybrid workplace to succeed, there are a few things that every company needs to consider. A culture of mutual trust between an organisation and their employees must exist. Employees will need the guarantee that they are safe and protected, and equally the business will expect to be supported, with workload managed efficiently. Today, every office works differently, so strategy will play a key part in deciding how both sides will work best.
As teams are making these transitions, communication will prove an integral component of the scheme’s effectiveness. As we’ve mentioned, companies are already investing in top of the range technology to ensure that employees are able to collaborate effectively and stay connected wherever they’re working. Increased well-being checkups have already been implemented; knowing exactly how team members are working and feeling, also benefits the improvements that can be made along the way. Remote working doesn’t have to feel remote. The right solutions, devices and policies should bring people closer together, without making them feel further apart.
Maintaining Company Productivity
In many cases, hybrid working is the inevitable result of COVID-19 and our effort to suppress the virus’ transmission. In order to maintain company productivity, it’s critical that people do work remotely as well as having staggered access to the office. As we’ve seen, the key to making the hybrid workplace successful, is to plan and prepare utilising all departments. It’s clear that this way of working is the new normal. The challenges of the pandemic are ongoing; in order for business growth to cultivate, companies must be proactive now and prepare for the future.
As the office workplace is evolving, so is smart storage. With the future of the office environment becoming hybrid, our smart office lockers will make the transition back to the workplace easier. With locker entry accessible through a mobile device, our contactless system implements a safe, sanitised storage facility. Users can access storage ranging from one day, to a month or indefinitely. In compliance with social distancing guidelines, lockers can be allocated two meters apart, from a centrally controlled management hub.
Our innovative cleaning feature also allows lockers to be blocked off after use. This then generates a report, meaning teams can easily determine which lockers need to be sanitised at the day’s end.
If you are interested in our Simplicity Lockers and how they can optimise the safety of your employees, whilst enhancing your hybrid workspace, please speak with a member of our team. We look forward to hearing from you.back to news