In 2020, the way employees went to work shifted dramatically. Whereas most employees traveled to the office from Monday to Friday, now employees found themselves working from home or attending the office part-time.
In this article, we’ll break down key insights we’ve uncovered studying hybrid work and go over the strategies, tools and frameworks companies need to redesign their office for a hybrid workforce.
To learn more about creating effective hybrid meetings, click here. Or to learn more about the best security practices for working remotely, click here.
Enhancing Company Culture
As employees begin returning to the office, the paradigm for how we work has shifted as well. Although the future of work is uncertain, according to one study, 72% of employers plan to have employees work from home at least some of the time.
For many businesses, the transition to hybrid work requires a radical reimagining of the office. Because in an era where employees are working from home, employers need to carefully consider what offices will be used for.
Success in Hybrid Work
At ViewSonic, we’ve uncovered key insights about hybrid work by studying our employees. We’ve learned that working from home is results-driven and requires clear objectives and KPIs to be effectively managed. We’ve also learned that optimizing the productivity of remote workers requires time, energy and the right technology.
One unexpected insight we’ve uncovered is that flexible schedules have the potential to be more productive than a traditional 9 to 5.
We’ve also learned that virtual collaboration isn’t something that happens spontaneously. It requires the right tools and infrastructure. And finally, we’ve discovered that in-person interaction is something that will never really go away. There will always be a need for the office as a space for collaboration.
According to Paul Smith, CMO of Tangram Interiors, a workspace design firm, people need 5 key things to be successful in a hybrid work environment. These are:
Safety: The need to be safe and feel safe.
Belonging: Having a sense of inclusion, trust and shared purpose.
Productivity: The ability to focus and collaborate.
Comfort: Being able to feel comfortable physically, cognitively and emotionally.
Control: Having more control over where and how they work.
Creating an Effective Office for Hybrid Work
One of the core tenets of creating an effective office for hybrid work is an emphasis on collaboration. Collaboration facilitates strong direction, delegates actions, leverages ideas and creates “one voice” for teams, departments and organizations.
Tools for a Hybrid Office
For ViewSonic, focusing on collaboration means having the right technology in place to foster teamwork and productivity. Since every company uses its own unique combination of hardware and software, it’s important that these tools be software-agonistic, easy to use and easy to manage.
Examples of tools include:
– Interactive ViewBoard® or non-touch large format displays for crystal clear video conferencing between virtual and in-office workers.
– myViewBoard™ digital whiteboarding software for enhanced collaboration anywhere.
– USB-C docking monitors to help workers get set up in seconds with just one cable.
– Portable monitors for workers to achieve productivity anywhere.
– ColorPro™ monitors help employees who work in color-critical fields such as graphic design or video editing find the exact color they’re looking for every single time.
The Three Es
According to Smith, hybrid collaboration can be looked at through the lens of equity, engagement and ease.
Equity in hybrid collaboration means that workers at home and workers in the office should have the same professional experience. Engagement in hybrid collaboration means that workers are able to engage with their work in a range of settings while ease refers to the ease of navigation in both virtual and physical environments.
Principles of Office Design
When it comes to designing a better office experience, Tangram Interiors focuses on four key principles.
Me + We: Being able to do work by yourself and with a team. These include things like private spaces for video calls and collaborative areas.
Fixed to Fluid: The ability to rearrange spaces in multiple configurations. This includes movable flexible boundaries to change settings as needed.
Open + Enclosed: Providing options for both open and enclosed spaces. This includes more options for collaboration and closed spaces for privacy throughout the office.
Braiding Digital and Physical: Integrating technology into the office for better collaboration, productivity and work. This includes things like access to mobile power banks and sensors to analyze density and utilization.
“The challenge is now on business owners to rethink their infrastructures and workspaces to not only encourage employees to want to come to the office but also facilitate productivity and growth when employees need to work from any location.” – Jeff Volpe, President of ViewSonic Americas
The Future of Offices and Hybrid Work
While some offices are being renovated in response to how people work in the present, it’s also worth considering how offices will work in the future.
According to Mary Cheval, Principal at Ware Malcomb, an international design firm that specializes in workplace strategy, there are four themes present in the future of offices.
Artificial Intelligence: According to Ware Malcomb, offices in the future will utilize AI to manage hybrid work, collect data and preferences and track KPIs. Stepping into the office of 2035 might mean interacting with a digital concierge that knows your digital and personal preferences.
Wellness: If offices are going to be a destination that pulls and attracts employees, wellness needs to be at the top of mind. In the future, this might look like secure touchless entrances or wearables that remind employees to get up and take a break.
Fit for Purpose: Mobility isn’t just a short-term shift. It is a concept that will extend well into the future. In order to remain competitive, offices of the future will need to be distraction-free and have immersive technology that facilitates authentic interaction.
Automation: While offices in the present day have automation in the form of disparate apps, offices of the future will have a seamless automated environment. This includes things like energy management, communication with RFID chips and the ability to predict and improve occupant comfort.
In this article, we uncovered key insights about working outside the office, broke down some expert findings and research and went over strategies, frameworks and tactics for building an office that enhances hybrid work.
Although the future of work is in flux right now, hybrid work represents a compelling option for many businesses. And while creating an office that accommodates hybrid work is paved with challenges, for many businesses, it represents a smart choice that will ultimately lead to a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.
For more insight into building a more connected, collaborative and creative enterprise workforce, check out the ViewSonic library.
Create a Hybrid Office with These ViewSonic Products
ViewBoard® Interactive Displays
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