Hybrid work schedules: How is it changing or impacting office space planning?
The aftermath of the last two years has shifted the way we work. Many organizations have gone fully remote or adopted the popular trend of a hybrid model, which offers employees the option for a remote and in-office work schedule. However, for some companies it’s not so black and white. Due to the introduction of the hybrid model, some businesses have had to create policies that allow this new approach to work for all and it’s also prompting new trends in office space.
What are the different types of hybrid work models?
- Hybrid at-will or as one pleases: 56 percent of companies have adopted this approach, according to a survey from At Work. The at-will schedule means that employees choose the days they want to come into the office. There’s no specified schedule and the employee can change their in-office days on a week-by-week basis if they choose to do so. While this model has become the most common, it’s also one of the hardest for HR and management to plan for as there are no set obligations. Putting the decision-making power in the hands of the employees, many industries are experiencing success with this model, but this level of flexibility does not fit every work environment.
- A split-week schedule: This is where the organization allocates days of the week for certain teams to come into the office. The type of team and its function will determine those decisions. For example, on Mondays the project management and engineering group may come in to collaborate and then on Wednesdays the design and architecture department are scheduled in-office to work together.
- Manager approved: This is the least common model as the work schedule is dictated by management. However, research has shown that this promotes greater levels of productivity and teamwork. The key difference between this model and the split-week schedule is that the organization decides the in-office days but with this model, the decision rests with the manager.
- Hybrid mix: This is a mix of all of the above. Adopting the hybrid mix gives employees and managers choice, flexibility and a level of planning that is necessary in some of the other models.
Why to consider space planning in your company’s new work model?
With this newfound flexibility for many organizations and their employees it has dramatically impacted office space planning for many industries. Some have come to the realization that they no longer need a 5,000 square-foot space, and with the reduction in office space they are able to reduce costs and pass on more benefits to their workforce. While research from the same At Work survey concluded that 88 percent of businesses are using some form of incentive to get boots on the ground or in the office. Some of the most popular motivations include:
- Revamped office environments with trendy furniture and amenities
- Company social events
- Food and beverage programs
Many organizations recognize this shift and understand that the way employees now choose work has changed; returning to the old mandatory 9-5 in-office presence is no longer the norm and not likely to return. This workplace change is also prompting companies to invest even more in tools for the new needs of in-office teams.
As companies rethink their office space needs, they should consider specific tools, features, and physical space changes to support their employees and the hybrid model of choice. These may include:
- Upgrades or the purchase of new technology for video conferencing and/or remote collaboration
- More meeting rooms/spaces to allow for smaller breakout sessions (such as pods/phone booth style spaces) or to accommodate lunch-and-learn type meetings for larger groups
- A communal kitchen space to align with the company’s food and beverage perks
- Less cubicles and more open space to encourage greater interaction between teams
As your business decides on how it would like to move forward, be it with a new space entirely or reconfiguring its existing space, it is wise to enlist the help of a project management firm to implement plans effectively and efficiently.
The LaunchPM Process
At LaunchPM we have decades of experience laying the foundation and doing our due diligence. Our services include planning, execution, and closeout, which you can learn more about here. If your business has adopted a hybrid work model, added or reduced staffing or expanded services or product lines and you’re finding it difficult to plan your office space to make it work, get in touch. LaunchPM can help determine the best space plan, assist with furniture procurement, installation of A/V equipment and/or provide full relocation services too. We look forward to employing our strategic, creative solutions to help companies rethink their workspace in this new era.