Pandemic has influenced the individuals to change the way they shop, where they live, how they learn and work. Most of the organisations shifted to hybrid working only due to and during pandemic for the first time, though this work style was followed by a few organisations prior to this period. The adaptability & flexibility it requires can be an accelerator for new methods of working and can redefine how the workplace can help people succeed.

The future of work will be hybrid. According to a global study, 72% of company executives aim to provide a hybrid model, while just 13% anticipate reducing to ‘in-office’ work style.

Organizations that have returned to the office found that the teams need to be motivated in completely new ways for being productive in the workplace. By providing spaces that not only support increased collaboration between in-person and remote workers but also help your employees feel a sense of belonging and connection to their teams and the organisation, regardless of location, the workplace can become an infrastructure for fostering a resilient hybrid culture.

Organizations that focus on people-centred workplaces and organisational resiliency move ahead, develop, and stay competitive will succeed. As per Marico spokesperson’s statement to Money control and other news media, 20 to 25% percent of their corporate office members come to office on an alternate week roster model, on voluntary and need basis.

5 Things Employees and Employers Need for Hybrid Work

1. Safety – Pandemic-proof Workspace

Physical safety continues to be paramount even in 2022. Employees want to know that their organisation is doing everything it can to keep them safe. Workers are especially worried about air quality. 62 % of respondents to a recent McKinsey research mentioned that better air filtering might reduce the stress they feel when returning to work.

Employers should limit the number of people in enclosed places like conference rooms, and ensure fresh or well-filtered air. Products like DesQ have already been installed in India. These workstations have inbuilt Personalized Ventilation (PV) Control in the screens of workstations. The direction of the air circulation creates a pocket of air for every individual. Know more about DesQ Workstations.

2. Belonging – Knit the Digital Experience in the Physical Environment

Shared leadership and a feeling of shared purpose characterise strong communities. It is difficult to bring the in-person and remote participants together. Hybrid work implies that someone will inevitably be remote, regardless of how effectively teams manage their in-office days.

The key is to combine physical environments and technology. A number of mediascapes and video conferencing technology and furniture to nurture such engagements will be required in each office more than ever. Every work-bay or every team now needs such software, hardware devices and furniture to support.

3. Productivity – Open-up the Enclosed Spaces

To assist your team to be more productive while hybrid work, new places and technologies are required. Employees will need acoustically private spaces for one-on-one or small group video chats. New collaborative places are required for groups that work both in-office and remote members equally —where everyone can see and be seen, hear and be heard.

Individual workstations have been becoming more open with growing density for decades, whereas meetings have been held in enclosed conference rooms. Both meeting rooms and individual workstations are undergoing transformation with the employees returning to work. Spike in such requirements is also a testimony of the fact that individual work is taking place in contained spaces such as pods, while meetings are being held in open spaces with moveable partitions.

4. Comfort – The shift from Fixed to Co-working

While buildings are constructed for long-term use, the speed of change continues to increase. This has surfaced the emergence of coworking models. The majority of businesses are questioning themselves, “How much space do we actually require?

The hybrid future requires a more flexible workplace that can adapt to changing demands. This not only accelerates innovation, but also ensures that real estate is always optimised.

Given the uncertainty in the business environment, companies are looking to optimise costs and achieve better employee engagement in current circumstances. So, they are not committing huge capital expenditure to real estate, opting instead for co-working office space that allows them flexibility on investment commitment.

As per an update from the Economic times Starbucks, 3M, Welspun One, DevRev, Man Trucks & Bus and Mogli Labs are some companies that have moved their bases to co-working spaces.

Flexibility, Modularity and multi-utility of resources especially furniture is vital for this optimisation.

5. Control – Balance between “We” and “Me” Work

People who are going through a crisis and changing ways of working want more assurance. They want greater control over the flexibility of:

  • where they work in the workplace;
  • when they work at the office or at home; &
  • how they work, both alone and with co-workers.

The pandemic has prompted us to reconsider the office’s purpose and meaning, with many executives concluding that an office is a space for collaborative work.

But collaboration is not just about group work, it actually requires solitude too. When individuals get together to work as a team and then separate to focus independently. Too much group time combined with insufficient individual focus time may lead to groupthink.

Corporates should henceforward treat hybrid working as a principle, not a model.