While your hybrid employees may have various requirements, one solution stands out in boosting employee productivity and creativity: desk management. Desk management simplifies the implementation of flexible office spaces, allowing individuals to choose their preferred seat for the day. If you are ready to explore the possibilities of hybrid work, this guide is for you.
Benefits of the hybrid office model
The hybrid work model offers several advantages. Firstly, many employees have found that working remotely contributes to a flexible schedule and the ability to work effectively. They can go to the gym during lunch, finish work earlier to cook dinner, or engage in enjoyable hobbies. When work-life balance improves, people have more energy at work, and the risk of burnout decreases.
Instead of spending hours on their daily commutes, employees manage to complete more tasks on time and avoid getting bogged down in lengthy meetings. Most communication takes place through instant messaging apps and video calls. Some managers initially feared that productivity would decline, but they soon realized that employees experienced a greater sense of autonomy and motivation.
Understanding space optimization
Space optimization is a goldmine for office and space managers looking to maximize their office space efficiently. With fluctuating occupancy rates, companies often worry about high overhead costs. When fewer employees come to the office, there tends to be an excess of unused desks. Renting commercial real estate represents one of the major expenses alongside employee salaries. Additionally, there are supplementary costs, including heating, electricity, maintenance, alarms, and sensors, among others.
Investing in office space can sometimes feel like walking on a tightrope, as the market and working habits can change rapidly. The COVID-19 pandemic caught many companies off guard, as they were unable to predict this swift paradigm shift.
A welcoming and stylish office is, in many ways, essential. It serves as the flagship of any business and helps it stand out in the crowd. There is a way to have your cake and eat it too. By analyzing and optimizing office spaces, you can gain a competitive edge. An improved business model has the potential to save millions every year, not to mention the reduction in emissions due to reduced energy consumption.
Effective management of a hybrid office
The first step in the management of a hybrid office is to establish clear guidelines and processes that are truly effective. The best approach for managing hybrid and remote workers involves the following:
- Design the office layout with employees' habits and needs in mind
- Utilize digital tools that streamline communication and planning
- Implement rules and guidelines for remote and hybrid workers
Measuring occupancy rates: determining space needs?
As mentioned, the office may have more desks than necessary. The first thing to consider when managing a hybrid office is establishing the occupancy rate. You can find our guide which provides more information on measuring space utilization. Additionally, take the opportunity to gather employee surveys to determine their needs. Are they interested in more meeting rooms or lounge areas where they can enjoy coffee?
Not all departments have the same requirements. For instance, the legal department may require a quiet environment, while graphic designers may need a meeting room for creative tasks. Every team consists of different individuals, and it's essential to leverage their strengths.
In addition to desk management, you can also explore what type of office layout employees prefer. If many of them prefer soft seating, it might not be worth investing in a large number of chairs and bar stools.
Office space management is ideally based on data derived from the movement within the building. This data not only reveals how many people are present in the building but also how they utilize the available space. We will delve deeper into this later.
When you begin considering the hybrid work model, desk management and office layout should be integral parts of your strategy. When employees can find their preferred desk and share a comfortable space with others, they will genuinely appreciate coming to the office. Rather than compelling people to remain tethered to the same desk every day from 9 to 5, it's better to create functional spaces where they actually want to be.
Creating inspiring office environments
Employee comfort is a crucial aspect, even if they do not have a permanent seat at a desk; they still want a secure place to store their belongings. This becomes especially important when implementing a clean desk policy that requires personal items to be removed after a booked session.
There are numerous creative approaches to designing the office layout. You can combine various types of seating, such as armchairs and lounge sofas, with bar tables and standard desks. Nowadays, furniture often serves multiple purposes. For instance, a side table can double as a standing desk or a breakfast buffet station. Lightweight chairs can be easily moved into a conference room when not in use.
Projectors can sometimes be preferable to regular screens, as they can be pulled up or hidden behind a curtain. Another option is mobile walls that can divide a larger room into smaller sections when needed.
Open spaces foster teamwork, and meeting rooms can also be used for huddles where people can freely discuss ideas. A smaller room is perfect for employees who prefer to work in solitude without distractions.
Fostering an inclusive company culture
In addition to using different instant messaging programs and desk booking systems, it is recommended to establish a remote policy. This policy could include guidelines such as:
- When to check in with the rest of the team
- How to report absences and request time off
- How to manage deadlines and projects
- Core values and preferred attitudes
- How to celebrate achievements
- How to address issues
There may be occasions when employees are expected to gather at the office, even if they primarily work remotely, such as during the annual Christmas party or significant work events. It's important to establish clear expectations in such cases.
Optimizing your hybrid workplace with space management software
A desk booking system is ideal because it allows people to plan in advance when they want to come to the office. They can select their preferred space for the day, whether it's a desk or a smaller meeting room. Since the rooms are designed differently, they will cater to various needs. A desk booking tool ensures that no one has to roam around searching for a vacant seat, which can be a significant productivity hindrance.
Incorporating desk management into your business strategy
It's safe to say that desk management holds significant potential, encompassing everything from office space planning to desk usage. The strategy can be built upon your previous knowledge of business operations and the current staff. Additionally, you have the opportunity to make new decisions based on data acquired from space management software. With numerous options available, the hybrid office is here to stay.
Seeking guidance on how to set up your hybrid office for success?
Don't hesitate to schedule a meeting with one of our product experts. They can provide valuable insights into our solutions and how technology can help streamline your office processes without disrupting employees' daily work.
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