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Hybrid and Smart: Building a Workplace of the Future

workplace of the future

The workplace is constantly evolving. From scheduling to technology, the introduction of new business models is the driving force behind the workplace of the future. The hybrid model is creating a need for flex space, specialized software for scheduling, and resources that streamline communication processes. With the development of technology and time-proven business models, smart workplaces are becoming more and more common. It is no secret that remote and hybrid business models come with their fair share of unique hurdles. Office design, platforms that log performance, and task management software are just a few of the resources used to ensure quality work from anywhere as we imagine the workplace of the future.

The Smart Workplace

hybrid model smart workplce

Today, we have seen the word “smart” put in front of nearly any type of technology imaginable. We have smartphones, homes, and cars but what is a smart office?

The integration of technology into the workplace of the future can lead to increased productivity and a more connected environment. Introducing new technologies that assist with scheduling, communication, and task management helps streamline processes. This results in less time spent on mundane tasks. Climate-controlled break rooms and flex spaces can create a more comfortable space and this helps productivity, efficiency, and morale. Creating an environment that helps employees feel at home is more attainable now than ever. Hybrid and smart workplaces are the future of work.

Creating Flexible Workspaces

flexible workspace

A smart workplace is flexible. Creating flex space is a necessity to operate in hybrid and remote working environments. Workspaces with multiple configurations allow different employees to utilize one space. The mobile and modular furniture often used in a flex space allow a personal workspace to easily transform into a collaborative space. Common areas in an office can also be used as collaborative spaces, training areas or meeting rooms. Including mobile partitions throughout the office can help reshape an area to create a more private space. The ability to use common areas and individual workspaces as a group area to help foster creativity and encourage collaboration is crucial to creating an effective flex space.

Minimal changes need to be made to an office space in order to create a flex spaces. At the least, modular and mobile furniture lets a space accommodate several employees easily. And when a private workstation is needed choose either modern cubicles or partitions to create focus. The creative use of partitions help limit distractions that can interrupt productivity. These easy changes provide employees with an improved environment to increase production and efficiency.

When creating flex spaces that are used by all employees it can be hard to gauge exactly how much space is needed. Due to the fact hybrid offices don’t require 100% attendance at all times, an office can operate with less of a footprint. Some companies might stagger employee attendance so they would only need a fraction of the office space. This data can be collected over time or through the use of tools. Occupancy sensors help monitor how much space is used and by how many people. And in most hybrid workforces, space usage changes daily. Create flexible spaces to easily meet the changing needs of your team.

Remote But Not Forgotten

hybrid model

Many employees prefer working remotely, but many cite the loss of connection as a top issue. Working offsite can be challenging but the proper resources make it a lot easier to complete work tasks and stay connected to your team. Businesses can help engage remote employees through virtual lunches, team meetings, and company challenges. Utilizing technology is key to keeping employees engaged.

In any area where collaboration will be taking place, include monitors to bring offsite workers into the interactions.

If you worked remotely at all during the pandemic, you are aware that video calls were the main source of connection. Even before the pandemic, many businesses used video calling or conferencing for collaborative projects, one one-on-one meetings, or to watch presentations and training. The ability to see and interact with coworkers or employees during these interactions helps maintain a connection. In any area where collaboration will be taking place, include monitors to bring offsite workers into the interactions.

No matter where your team is working from, it is important to directly engage with them. To see their faces to really surmise how they are feeling. These interactions help maintain connections. Connection and community are essential to retaining employees, which all businesses have top of mind.   Technology makes it easier to work offsite while creating a more enjoyable work experience. For those who miss in person interactions, technology can help bridge the gap.

Smart Break Rooms

break rooms in a workplace of the future

Employees spend a large portion of their lives at the office. It should be an environment they enjoy being in. Making common areas and workspaces more comfortable by providing ergonomic seating and modern furnishings improves the working experience. The office break room should not be any different. Amenities found in office break rooms improve the quality of an employee’s downtime. From a coffee bar to personal quiet pods, the break room should be specific to the workers’ needs.

In our hybrid reality, engagement, efficiency, and productivity would not be possible without technology.

Quiet areas allow employees to separate themselves from their desks, coworkers, and their work. Whether quiet areas are used to take care of personal business on breaks or if employees need to take time to regroup before returning to work, having a private area that employees can use completely for themselves is important.

A smart break room can include everything from personal climate-controlled areas, to remotely monitored inventory levels to make sure you never run out of team favorite snacks. And of course, monitors! These screens are important to include in meeting and collaboration areas, but be sure to include them in the break room too.

Change for Good in the Workplace of the Future

flexible meeting space

As business models constantly evolve we will see new technologies develop. These technologies will allow employees to be more engaged while spending less time in the office. And while businesses may first consider using many of these tools to help the bottom line, it is even more important, however, to consider how these technologies might improve hybrid work for your employees.

In our hybrid reality, engagement, efficiency, and productivity would not be possible without technology. One of the biggest draws of remote work is spending the day in the comfort of your own home. Companies are now striving to make employees feel just as at home while in the office. We do not know what technologies will be available in the workplace of the future but we do know one thing, the future looks smart.

Design your hybrid and smart workplace with StrongProject.

Want to learn more about designing a hybrid office? Check out our comprehensive guide!

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