10 Ways to Create the Best Hybrid Working Environment
Long gone are the days of working in an office fulltime. 2020 changed the way in which businesses operate around the world and individuals had to switch to working from home almost overnight. As time has progressed, employees have adapted to remote work, with a 2021 Microsoft survey revealing that 73% of workers revelled in the flexibility working from home provides.
Once the initial disruption from the swift upheaval from office to home subsided, companies recognised the improved work life balance many were enjoying. However, as a sense of normality returns, employers are moving to a hybrid working model to facilitate the contrasting desires of staff – some wanting to remain at home whilst others are desperate to return to the office.
What is hybrid work?
In an attempt to provide employees with the best of both worlds, hybrid working was created. This blended model where some employees return to the workplace whilst others continue to work from home – or a mix of both – has become the way in which many businesses worldwide are now operating.
Flexibility has become paramount for workers and business owners have had to establish hybrid office spaces to accommodate this. However, there are benefits for companies too, which include:
- Access to a wider talent pool
- Fewer businesses costs
- Efficient and streamlined processes
- Staff taking fewer sick days
- Happier and highly productive employees
- Increased staff retainment
Equally, along with flexibility and an improved work life balance, the choice to work from home or the office has meant employees:
- Have more family time
- Don’t have to spend time or money commuting
- Communicate internally effectively
- Have stronger colleague relationships
- Can work from any location
- Feel satisfied, which equals increased productivity
How can companies facilitate hybrid working for employees?
Whilst the benefits of hybrid working are clear, how can companies put them into practice? Below, we highlight our top 10 considerations when developing a hybrid working strategy.
1) Plan for different working environments
Make the best use of different working environments by scheduling collaborative and creative projects for the office and save conceptual and project work whilst at home with less distractions.
2) Schedule meetings effectively
Be mindful when booking meetings. Remember that staff will be both in the office and at home, so be sure to run all meetings via a video chat software regardless of who is in or out of the office. This means nobody will miss any communication.
3) Introduce protocols for shared spaces
Communicate clear instructions for shared spaces using visual aids such as signage or posters. You may have quiet working spaces where headphones are imperative or group meeting spaces where shared items will need to be sanitised. Make rules clear to staff.
4) Avoid sharing items in communal areas
Similarly, consider contactless or low contact devices for communal areas and shared desks. This will help avoid any employees becoming unwell or causing an outbreak in the office.
5) Address employee health
Introduce air purifiers to help kill airborne viruses and ensure better air quality. Poor office air quality can particularly affect members of staff with asthma or other respiratory issues. Staff who are otherwise well may exhibit the following symptoms due to polluted office air:
- Itchy and/or runny eyes
- Runny nose
- Swollen sinuses
- Difficulties breathing
- Itchy or sore throat
Leitz’s range of TruSens Air Purifiers come in three sizes to suit your workplace. TruSense Air Purifiers not only focus on dust, dirt, and gasses. You can utilise one of our filters (pet, odour, or allergy and flu) depending on what suits the office space best.
6) Create collaboration spaces
Repurpose permanent desk spaces and create break out areas to encourage collaboration. Many companies no longer have a set desk structure for members of staff, instead adopting hot desks and shared workspaces to aid the hybrid working ethos.
7) Elevate hot desks
Turn hot desks into shared workspaces with all the equipment and comfort of a permanent desk. Employees should be able to sit at any desk and have everything they need to work effectively and productively. The Leitz Cosy range combines stylish interior design ideas with smart organisation solutions perfect for any workplace or home office. From carry boxes and letter trays to inductive chargers and water bottles, the range benefits from products to create the perfect hot desk.
8) Invest in portable equipment
Employees who embrace the hybrid working model will need to be able to move seamlessly between their home and the office. Investing in portable office equipment is key to making this as easy as possible for these individuals. Laptops are key, so a protective rucksack or briefcase will also be needed.
9) Host events and activities
Encourage social interaction by communicating activities and events around the office as well as digitally for those at home. Weekly virtual quizzes are a great way to have fun with colleagues and are easily accessible for those both working from home and in the office.
10) Develop a home-style working environment
Create a home from home by adding contemporary furniture and accessories with a splash of colour to ensure a relaxed and productive environment. The Leitz WOW range is a collection of office accessories and storage solutions to help keep offices organised. Available in a variety of bold colours to compliment your workplace, the collection boasts products such as files, folders, stapler, punch, and scissors.
Building a hybrid office
Creating a hybrid work model is not a quick process. It involves planning, input from employees, and implementation. It is important to get everybody on board when moving towards a hybrid working model to understand the different requirements of all teams and departments. Whilst this may sound like a daunting task, by using the 10 tips outlined above combined with research and preparation, you can create a hybrid working method that helps individuals create a working structure that best suits their needs.