Aug 20, 2021

The Best Hybrid Work Tools for Offices

Smartphone laying on a wooden table next to a computer, displaying flowscape's flowmap in office view.

Hybrid working has been lifted as the most efficient office strategy post covid and companies are starting to see its benefits after months of remote working. It's no understatement that a hybrid workplace will be the biggest change to office strategies in modern times. But what tools do we need to adapt to hybrid working and having a hybrid office when we start to return to the office once again? In this blog post, we will go through some of the key hybrid office tools needed to make your hybrid workplace as successful as possible.

What is Hybrid working?

Hybrid working has been increasingly more common during the last decade but reached

its peak in popularity during the covid-19 pandemic. At its core, having a hybrid workforce simply means having remote teams, hybrid teams, and in-office teams working from different locations or giving employees the ability to change work environment depending on the circumstance. For example, a hybrid workplace could allow employees to work partly from home and partly from the office or allow employees to freely select between remote work and different offices to work from. A hybrid work model can be combined in many ways and is not specific to a certain title or industry

Read our introduction to "What is hybrid work?"

What tools do businesses need for hybrid offices?

Let us tell you some of the hybrid office tools needed in order to succeed in a hybrid workplace environment. Some key factors that determine the success of your hybrid workplace are technology, management, project management tools, and ways to improve employee engagement.

Technology is essential for a successful hybrid workplace. You need to have the right hybrid working tools in place so that employees can be productive no matter where they are. This includes a good remote access solution, as well as devices and applications that can be used remotely.

Management is also key in a hybrid workplace. You need to have clear policies and procedures in place, and you need to be sure that everyone is on the same page. It is also important to have a good communication plan in place so that employees can stay connected no matter where they are.

Hybrid working tools and programs that improve employee engagement are also important in a hybrid workplace. You need to have tools that help employees stay connected and engaged with their work. This includes tools like social media, collaboration tools, and productivity apps.

By using the right hybrid working tools, businesses can create a successful hybrid office that allows employees, whether they work in the office or as a remote team to work productively from anywhere.

Starting your hybrid workplace journey

Hybrid working will drastically change how we view and manage our office layout. Fixed seating arrangements will no longer be a sustainable option with a more mobile workforce. Employees will also need new tools to find colleagues for collaboration. Adapting some form of Desk Management solution will therefore be essential to manage hybrid working schedules post-covid. With a Desk Management solution, employees will be able to book a desk and collaborate with colleagues in an instant, from anywhere in the world.

You may be wondering how you can get started on your own hybrid workplace journey. Here are a few tips:

1. Evaluate your office layout and see if there are any areas that could be adapted for a more mobile workforce.

2. Research Desk Management solutions that will help employees collaborate and book desks instantly.

3. Communicate the changes to your team and get them on board with the new way of working. This might be even more important if you are working with a remote team and remote team members.

Hybrid working is the future of work, so don't be afraid to make the switch. With the right tools and communication, you can make the transition a smooth one for your hybrid teams.

Desk management for Hybrid working

Desk Managementsolutions help companies manage workstations at their office when fixed seating arrangements are replaced with the shared seating arrangement. Desk Management is often the first action step taken by companies when hybrid working is introduced due to its space efficiency. Desk Management solutions help to optimize desk use and make the best use of the space available.

When introducing a hybrid working environment, it is important to review the company's Desk Management strategy. A well-planned Desk Management solution can help companies save money, increase efficiency and create a more collaborative work environment.

There are a variety of Desk Management solutions available, including software that manages desk use, furniture that can be reconfigured, and wall dividers. Desk Management solutions should be tailored to the needs of the company and the employees. For example, if a company has a lot of remote employees, they may need a Desk Management solution that allows employees to work from home.

The best Desk Management solution will be one that is efficient and easy to use. It is important to find a solution that fits the needs of your company and your employees.

Hybrid work and Desk Hoteling

Desk hoteling is a flexible seating model where desks are shared between employees. Instead of having your own dedicated space or “owning” a desk, employees book desks in advance through a software system and use the desks within their booking time. Desk Hoteling is a great way to give your employees the security they need to conduct their work effectively, and simultaneously create an efficient seating arrangement when most employees work partly from home.

There are many different tools that can be used to make desk hoteling work for you. It's possible to use a software-only solution, meaning that employees book desks from an app, and also check the app to see other people’s bookings. This can be a great way to start off desk hoteling quickly.

However, if you wish to manage ghost bookings, or have a sure way of knowing who uses the desks even if bookings have not been made, you can add USB Desk Check-in sensors to each desk. The USB Desk Check-in Sensor is a USB stick that is plugged into the docking station at the desk and acts as a check-in function. When someone plugs in their computer to the desk, the employee is automatically checked in and visible on the map. If someone uses the desk without booking, the USB Desk Check-in sensor can alert the user if the desk is already booked, asking them to move seats. Otherwise, it will be automatically booked in the employee’s name, showing the desk as red on the map.

Desk hoteling has become a popular way for companies to manage their seating arrangements. By using a software solution, you can quickly and easily create a desk hoteling system that works for your company. There are many different ways to use this type of hybrid office tool, so feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

Hybrid work and Hot Desking

Hot deskingis an even more flexible approach. In this case, desks are never booked in advance and always taken ad-hoc upon arrival at the office. This can be greatly beneficial if you want a completely flexible office. Instead of employees booking via the app, you can use a Kiosk Screen at the entrance of your office, showing employees where free seats are when they arrive. An app can also be used so employees can wayfind to the seats. Desk Presence sensors are often used to sense when someone is seated at the desk, showing it as red on the map. Busy lights can also be used to show availability from long distances, making it easier for employees to find available seats more efficiently.

Hot desking can also be great for team meetings, as it allows employees to work together more closely. If you’re looking to save space, hot desking is a great option, as desks are not usually assigned to specific employees. However, it can be difficult to get into a routine when you don’t have your own desk. Additionally, if employees need to use specific tools or equipment, it can be difficult to keep track of them when they’re not in the same place every day.

Hybrid work with a hot deskig solution as well as a desk hoteling solution combines the best of both worlds by giving employees the option to either book a desk in advance or take one ad-hoc. This gives employees more flexibility but also allows them to have a sense of routine by having their own designated desk. Additionally, companies can use hot desking if they have a high turnover or frequently have guests in the office.

If you’re interested in implementing a hybrid work or hot desking policy in your office,consult with an expert to see what would be the best fit for your company.

There are various types of flexible working arrangements that companies can adopt to improve their workplace productivity.

Colleague Finding in a hybrid workplace

Alt-text: Hybrid work software from Flowscape lets you more easily find your colleagues or entire team on a map in your phone when using a flexible workplace 

Colleague finding is a necessary tool when using hot desking or desk hoteling. When we are no longer assigned a seat, it becomes more difficult for employees to find each other in a big office. When using desk hoteling, the colleague'sdesk booking is visible for others to see, making it easy for others to know where they are located. The app also shows if someone is in the office or if they are away for the day, which lets people know if they should look for them or send an email. This feature is very helpful in a hybrid workplace.

The app also includes a messaging feature, which makes it easy for employees to communicate with each other. This is especially useful when people are working remotely. The messaging feature lets employees easily ask for help or collaborate on projects. In a traditional office, this would be done through email or chat, but this can be difficult when people are not in the office. With the messaging feature, employees can easily communicate with each other no matter where they are.

The colleague finding app is a great tool for hybrid workplaces. It makes it easy for employees to find each other and communicate with each other. This app is a must-have for anyone who is using hot desking or desk hoteling. Read more about different tools for colleague finding here.

Finding the right hybrid office solution for you

There is no one-size-fits-all hybrid office solution; the best option for your business will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. However, there are a few key factors to consider when choosing a hybrid office setup.

Flowscape in 30 seconds

How much space do you need?

If you have a lot of employees or need a lot of office space, you may need to go with a full-fledged office solution. However, if you only have a handful of employees or don’t need a lot of space, you may be able to get by with a hybrid setup.

What is your budget?

Hybrid office solutions can be more affordable than traditional office setups, but they can also be more expensive than home offices. It’s important to consider your budget when choosing a hybrid office solution.

What type of work do you do?

If you need to have face-to-face meetings with clients or customers, you may need to go with a full-fledged office solution. However, if you can do most of your work over the phone or online, a hybrid setup may be a better option.

What type of environment do you prefer?

Some people prefer the structure and accountability of a traditional office, while others find that working from home is more conducive to their productivity. If you’re not sure which type of environment you prefer, a hybrid office solution may be the best option.

What are your long-term plans?

If you plan to grow your business in the near future, you may need to go with a full-fledged office solution. However, if you don’t anticipate any major growth in the near future, a hybrid office solution may be more appropriate.

Choosing the right hybrid office solution can be a daunting task, but if you take the time to consider your specific needs and circumstances, you’re sure to find the perfect option for your business.

Our experts can help you navigate the smart office landscape and go through what solutions will fit your hybrid working model the best, you can contact them here for a free consultation. 

If you want to read more about hybrid work or desk management, we recommend our more extensive blog posts listed below.

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Flowscape provides a comprehensive solution specifically designed to manage hybrid work schedules.