Offices in the western world are adopting the hybrid workplace model, but differently. The adoption of the hybrid work model varies from country to country. In this blog, we pick up the US and the UK and analyze the different trends adopted in a hybrid setting.
The pandemic pushed companies worldwide to adopt a hybrid workplace set-up. And both employers and employees were finally adapting to it. It is widely accepted that the hybrid setting is indeed the future of work. But now, with pandemic restrictions lessening worldwide, companies are considering calling employees back into the office or at least increasing the in-office working frequency.
Whether you want to overcome these situational challenges or expand your business, looking at the hybrid work trends in the US and the UK can help. And if you are looking for a brief overview of the hybrid work trends in the US and the UK, we have got you covered.
From the above trends, the hybrid work model has its share of perks and drawbacks. While there might be minute differences, the trends are pretty similar in the US and the UK.
Overall, the hybrid model has improved employee productivity and increased the demand for workplace flexibility.
Factoring in these trends can help you implement a hybrid model that works well for you and your employees.
If you want to make the transition even more convenient, you can use an all-in-one hybrid workplace software like WorkInSync to help you out. Turn to a sophisticated suite of hybrid work solutions with WorkInSync.
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How Much Does it Cost to Setup a Hybrid Workplace?
Posted on April 22, 2022 by wis_wp
A hybrid workplace is no longer a buzzword. It has become the future of work. But how much does it cost to set up a hybrid workplace? This blog explores the same and helps you understand the factors that makes it expensive.
Hybrid workplaces are the future; there is no doubt about it. The hostile approach to flexible working changed during the pandemic. Now, we have industry giants like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft adopting the hybrid work model.
This adoption has helped organizations empower their employees with more autonomy over their work schedules. Also, the sharp increase in productivity during the last two years convinced the higher-ups that hybrid does work.
While the employees benefit from hybrid workplaces immensely, organizations too gain from it. To illustrate it further, a report from Global Workforce Analytics highlighted that a typical employer in the US could save up to $10,767 per employee in a hybrid arrangement. This largely hinges on the fact that a hybrid workplace requires 30% less real estate.
However, this real-estate element is not as simple as it looks. Some big companies will save close to the figures mentioned above. But for those organizations that have gone entirely remote, the cost savings from real estate will be absolute.
Therefore, companies who adopt the hybrid work arrangement will save some of their real-estate cost. It is also important to note that cost savings are not limited to real estate. Overhead costs like providing amenities to the employees have also been reduced. As most employees work from home, you do not have to keep up with the pre-pandemic desk count.
And what happens when you free up desks? It leads to additional cost savings.
With increased cost savings and decreased real estate requirements, organizations are faced with a far more difficult question – how much does it cost to set up a hybrid workplace?
Businesses across the globe are repurposing their office space to accommodate the flexible work approach. The mission is simple for all. They want the hybrid work model to succeed. But to witness success, it is essential to understand the financial implications of the same.
This article breaks down the costs associated with a hybrid workplace. We have considered two types of office space an organization needs to establish a hybrid model. We will also consider the factors that make the hybrid model expensive. All of this ensures that you are never left in the dark.
The Pre-Pandemic Workplace Spending
Before the pandemic, real estate was a fixed cost for companies. So, the per employee cost was pretty straightforward.
A note of caution here, though. The per employee cost varies from one company to another. Factors like location, size of the employer, and the type of office had a significant impact.
Nevertheless, we have taken an average for a mid-sized company with an open office concept based out of London and New York. We are also looking at a typical 5-day office system here.
The average cost per employee in London was £500 per month
The average cost per employee in New York was $510 per month
This cost included desks, parking space, free coffee, free meal, and even gym facilities.
But with the 5-day workweek becoming a thing of the past, office costs have reduced significantly. Many organizations, for instance, Cisco, have already highlighted the transition of workplace costs from fixed to variable.
The last two years induced an overall change in businesses. Companies today prioritize employees over everything else. The pandemic made it clear that happy employees will ensure company growth.
And if you want to win the talent war, you will need to uphold employee well-being. An effective way to do so would be to assign a budget where the employees want to work.
For instance, your employees work from the office two days a week and the rest of the days they work from home. You can re-allocate the office budget maximizing productivity and efficiency of whichever workplace they choose.
This could mean creating high-quality office space and offering curated home equipment.
To make it easier, we have broken down the equipment or facilities they may need based on today’s two most prevalent workspaces. This will help you understand where to assign the budget.
Office: The First Setup in a Hybrid Workplace
An employee’s relationship with their office has changed owing to the hybrid work model. Concepts like hoteling and hot desking have become popular.
Studies have also shown that the number of desks required can be curtailed. The maximum occupancy your office reaches on the busiest days is approximately 60%; you can let go of desks that are hardly in use.
Also, cubicles are no longer preferred. Instead, employees would like individual pods that can be used when wanting to move away from the hustle-bustle of the office.
Collaboration has become a significant reason for employees coming to the office. This resonates with the need for meeting rooms and open collaboration spaces. Creative zones that are open, flexible, and activity-based are in demand.
Good WiFi, desktops (if required), an air conditioning system, and even natural lighting will be a part of the office hybrid budget. Although often ignored, employees have already highlighted that these matter a lot.
Well-managed office space has better implications for employee experience.
Sanitization efforts are another overhead cost that you should consider for your hybrid workplace. Employees are ready to come to the office if it is clean and safe. Therefore, you will need to ensure that cleaning facilities are in place.
To sum it all up, you will need to consider the following for your hybrid workplace budget when working from the office.
Open collaboration spaces
So, what should be the budget for an office in a hybrid workplace? Experts believe that the cost would be roughly £200/$204 per employee per month with refurbished offices.
The hybrid workplace is rewriting our present and future. Download this report to find out interesting data about the hybrid workplace.
Home: The Second Setup in a Hybrid Workplace
When working from home, employees are in their natural habitats. From the air conditioner to the lighting, everything is under their control.
Companies that have adopted the remote-first approach believe that this setting has no cost. However, many employees have complained that a proper workstation at home can help them be more productive.
In a survey involving 856 people working in a mid-sized company, 28% of the respondents were working from the master bedroom (often shared with other family members).
In another survey, 42% of the respondents said that they were either sitting on the dining chairs or their beds/ couches when working.
People working from their couch or bed are 20% less productive than those sitting on ergonomic chairs.
So, where does your hybrid workplace budget fit in? Well, employers can fix this situation by providing a proper workstation to remote employees.
We will not consider laptops or desktops here. But you can help the remote workers get proper WiFi connectivity. Employers can provide access to ergonomic furniture like a desk and chair. Curated facilities like headphones can also be given to these remote workers.
By assigning a budget to the home office setup, you can help employees be productive.
So, to put it together, you can provide the following and include them in the hybrid budget for people working from home.
Curate facilities or treats like headphones
So, what should be the budget for an employee working from home in a hybrid workplace? According to studies, the cost would be roughly £100/$102 per employee per month.
On a side note, a hybrid workplace is cheaper than a traditional office setting. For instance, a company with 100 employees in the conventional office setting would spend around $50,400* per month. The cost can come down to $14,790* per month in a hybrid workplace.
*Please note that these numbers are taken on average. The number may vary depending on the company’s size, the amount spent per employee per month, and the location.
What Makes Your Hybrid Workplace So Expensive?
The hybrid work model skyrocketed last year due to the multitude of advantages it offers. However, as a relatively new concept, it might be challenging to tread around unchartered financial territories. When implementing the model, employers make financial mistakes that increase the budget.
Here are a few reasons that make your hybrid workplace expensive.
a. Maintaining Office Space that is not Required
We ran various surveys and found out that the maximum capacity is up to 60% on the busiest days. Not all employees are there in the office at the same time anymore. This means that much of the office space remains empty.
Several desks, particularly, tend to be empty. Maintaining these desks can be an added cost for your company.
The general trend has also shown that employees now prefer open meeting spaces to closed ones. Again, maintenance costs can shoot up trying to keep up with these spaces.
What is the solution? Look out for such spaces and desks. Analyze the occupancy rate of your workplace. Filter out empty desks and meeting rooms, and convert them into places that add value to your employees.
Invest in open, flexible workspaces. If required, you can change them into individual work pods or a meeting room if demand rises.
To ensure that your hybrid workplace budget stays under control, you need to ensure that there is no wastage of office space.
b. Committing a Hybrid Workplace that Employees Don’t Prefer
There are different types of hybrid work models. The office-first hybrid model sees more employees coming to the office frequently. In comparison, the remote-first model rarely has employees coming to the office.
Your employees want to adopt the remote-first model; however, you have implemented the office-first approach. So, you spend money on office space when you don’t need to.
Before committing to a hybrid workplace model, ensure that it is what your employees want. Get their opinion on the type of hybrid workplace they prefer before implementing one.
This will ensure that you are not spending money on a project that adds no value.
c. Not Implementing a Hybrid Workplace
This may be the easiest thing to do right now. However, companies ignoring the implementation of a hybrid workplace may have to spend more money in the long run.
Hybrid workplaces have been deemed as the future of work. So, hybrid workplaces will continue to create a buzz even when the pandemic is over.
If you do not re-allocate your workplace budget to implement a hybrid workplace, you will fall back. It may also cost you, employees.
So, allocate some budget to creating a hybrid workplace.
We at WorkInSync can help you establish a hybrid workplace at a budget of your choice. Recognized as one of the world’s highest-rated hybrid workplace software, we implement and manage your hybrid workplace. You get an array of features such as desk booking and meeting room management, office neighborhoods, and occupancy rate.
All of it at an affordable price. Get in touch with us to know more about the product.
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We all have realized that our workplaces will never be the same again. At the beginning of 2021, we all thought that normalcy would ensue.
Vaccines were rolling out, and executives were enthusiastic about the whole return to the office stint. Yet, a new virus variant just disrupted everything. Lack of flexibility in the workplace further pushed employees to quit in huge numbers. There was a war for hiring the right talent.
And the world became volatile once again.
However, 2022 has been looking good so far. The volatility still exists, but companies finally figuring out the ways of the hybrid work model has stabilized the situation.
Accenture’s “Future of Work” study had 83% of the employees wanting a hybrid workplace over a full-remote or full-onsite work.
Furthermore, Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trends Index, which had 31,000 people participating from across 31 countries, revealed that leaders are more susceptible to risks. They might be at a precipice, but they are open to experimenting with hybrid workplaces.
But what exactly are the managers looking for? What hybrid workplace trends are going to shape the workplace in 2022? Keep reading to find out more.
#1 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Fair & Impartial Workplaces will be the Focus
Fairness in the workplace has been a core debate for a long time. And ever since the pandemic, the topic has been thrust to the forefront. A survey revealed that the frequency of CEOs discussing fairness in the workplace has increased by 658% since 2018.
Often, remote workers have complained about bias in the workplace. Despite collaborative measures, they have felt isolated.
On the contrary, on-site employees have complained that remote workers have better work-life balance. Even though their living cost has reduced, their compensation remains the same.
Also, in specific organizations, where one manager has allowed flexible work, the other has denied his team members the same. This has led to animosity between teams.
Such feelings of inequality in the workplace can be harmful. A hybrid work model is identified by its balance. Therefore, in 2022, managers will need to identify such kinks in the workplace. They have to strive to create a fair and impartial workplace.
In fact, creating a fair and impartial hybrid workplace will be the topmost priority for HR managers.
#2 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Workplace Safety will Still be a Priority
Only 2% of the companies across the US were planning to implement a vaccine mandate. The number kept growing throughout last year until it plateaued at the end of the year at about 50%.
Research shows that employees are willing to return to the office only if it is safe. So, workplace safety is still a priority in 2022.
However, there is a catch here. Instead of mandating vaccines, enterprises and start-ups will make self-testing necessary anytime an employee shows symptoms.
There is a reason why the vaccine mandate may not work. A Gartner survey showed that HRs are expecting a 7% turnover in case they implement the vaccine mandate. In some departments, the number may be as high as 15%.
This is a massive loss for the companies. But, workplace health and safety are still going to be a priority. We might be moving towards an endemic, yet the virus’s threat is far from over.
Therefore, 2022 will see employers balancing it out. Workplace safety will be a priority but in a more phased way. Employees will be able to share their vaccine status with the organizations. In case they do not want to share such information, they will have to undertake periodic tests to show negative results.
#3 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Company Culture will be the New Norm
Although we do not talk about company culture much, it will be a massive trend this year. Company culture is one of the founding stones in a hybrid work model.
While remote work has many benefits, it has also led to people feeling isolated and cut off from social interactions. 54% of employees in a study said that their managers have no idea about their expectations. This has led to an imbalance in the company culture as we speak.
Therefore, the key trend for 2022 will be to see how the hybrid approach can manage company culture. More focus will be put on developing interpersonal relationships. And reports have already shown that employees with thriving workplace relationships are more productive. They tend to stay with their employers for a more extended period of time.
Several tools will be deployed this year to change the company culture from within. Monthly team catchup or a quarterly team outing will become more popular in the hybrid workplace in 2022. All of this to ensure that culture thrives and employees with it.
#4 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Office Spaces will be Redesigned to Accommodate Hybrid Working
Real-estate optimization has been the topic of discussion ever since the pandemic started. Even in a hybrid setting, not all employees are in the office simultaneously. Many work from home. On the busiest days, companies see only 60% of their employees coming to the office.
This means that there is room for improvement when it comes to space management. 82% of US companies are already working towards redesigning their office space.
Desks that sit empty most of the time will be converted to huddle spaces. These will be enabled with video conferencing features that allow better collaboration between full-time and remote employees.
Open cubicles will be changed into closed personal workstations. On the contrary, closed meeting rooms will be more open. Collaboration is a central talking point of a hybrid workplace. To enable it, offices will focus on creating more such areas.
2022 will also see a rise in the concept of office-on-demand. For instance, a particular floor may be closed on certain days. They will host employees only when there is a surge in-office visits.
So, this year, offices will become more susceptible to the hybrid working approach.
#5 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Technology will have a Larger Role to Play
When your team is geographically dispersed, having a clear idea of who is doing what can be challenging. Remote employees may feel that managers are more biased towards the on-site employees, leading to frustration.
Performance bias is a common issue that most face in a hybrid workplace. A 2020 Gartner survey of 3000 managers revealed that 64% of the participants feel that on-site employees are more productive than their remote counterparts.
However, there is a fix to it. Experts believe that technology is what will come to play here. The same tools that are being used to manage all employees will be used to measure performance.
The measure of productivity will not be limited to the number of hours logged in by an employee. The output that they produce is what will define their contribution.
Technology will also be leveraged to ensure collaboration between the employees. For instance, WorkInSync has developed a collaboration index to measure individual and organizational collaboration. The higher the collaboration score, the better their performance.
Furthermore, if a particular employee is missing out on meetings, managers can use the scores to analyze their performance and give them the nudge to collaborate more.
So, 2022 will witness an increase in the use of technology. However, to not just manage the hybrid workplace. It will play a clandestine role in analyzing performance and productivity.
These Paradigm Shifts Will Stay in 2022 & Beyond
From changing office designs to focusing on workplace health, these paradigm shifts are here to stay. Other trends in 2022 include more focus on mental health and overall employee well-being.
Hybrid workplaces offer incredible opportunities to both employees and employers. These trends will drive our workplaces to become better and ready for the future.
WorkInSync is a leading hybrid workplace solution provider. It has an array of features that include desk booking, meeting room management, employee scheduling, etc. You can schedule a demo to learn more about the product.
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The hybrid workplace is a hot topic today. Combining the two models of remote and onsite work, the concept of “new normal” is getting a reboot today with a hybrid workplace.
Hybrid work structures are an effort to build a best-of-both-worlds operational model. Just as there are advantages of working from home, there’s an upside for teams to regularly collaborate in person. Hybrid work models, then, strive to attain the positives of both paradigms.
Hybrid approaches to work are intrinsically more flexible when compared to the more rigid models requiring employees to work predominantly from a singular location. Flip the coin, and the same holds true: dispersed teams that are entirely remote. A hybrid workplace enables teams and organizations to decide how, when, and where to work from.
Here are 21 hybrid workplace stats that organizations must know in 2022.
What’s Happening in the Hybrid Workplace Setups Right Now?
Taken together, these statistics illustrate employers and employees worldwide are no longer bound to traditional notions of work. Instead, long-held assumptions are shifting as companies are preparing for new normal of work and embracing flexibility. The uncertainty and physical distance induced by the pandemic have made companies rethink and reconfigure the elements of work that were once necessary, such as the office space or face time.
As organizations prepare for what comes next, companies must thoroughly look at how and where work gets done, enabling new hybrid models. Hence, while it remains to be seen exactly how the hybrid workplace experiment will pan out, the shift is happening, and it’s happening now.
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Can the Hybrid Work Model Help Improve Talent Retention?
Posted on February 16, 2022 by wis_wp
A hybrid work model has been instrumental in bringing balance to our post-pandemic workplaces. Employees all across the globe are rooting for it. But can it help retain talents? This blog explores the role of a hybrid workplace in talent retention.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to adopt a remote work environment. Remote employees preferred this setup given the increased flexibility, protection from disease, and travel time reduction.
However, team members have been struggling with social isolation and getting used to the increased number of meetings, among other things. After a year of experimentation amidst a pandemic, the number of hybrid companies increased significantly.
Over 63% of respondents said they prefer a hybrid model over an on-site one in a survey. Now, talking about the hybrid setting, it is a perfect balance. This flexible working has been deemed beneficial by both employees and employers alike.
Over 30% of employees said they would switch jobs if forced to return on-site full-time.
Clearly, as an HR manager, you want your employees to stay with your company. Especially if the company has spent significant time and resources nurturing their skills. So, what can you do to prevent a situation like the Great Resignation at your office?
Let’s look at the common employee problems in a hybrid workplace. And then if a hybrid work model can address them effectively.
What Are the Current Employee Expectations at Work?
1. Seamless Communication
Companies have realized communication is key to keeping organizational activities running smoothly. However, they are still trying to find the sweet spot while communicating with employees in the face of hybrid work. The common communication challenges currently include-
a. Different employee preferences for communication
b. Over-communication to convey work-messages effectively
c. Difficulties keeping up due to technology
d. Breaks in productivity due to sporadic communication, etc.
Along with mitigating these issues, employees expect companies to foster inclusive communication systems. They expect robust community support and allow sharing of information synchronously.
Not only does this build greater trust, but it also ensures everyone is on the same page.
1. Implementing an Effective Hybrid Work Model Helps Balance In-Person and Virtual Communication
Companies have started adapting to the hybrid work model widely since the vaccination program began in full swing. It is often deemed the best for employee engagement for office employees. Hence, companies have started holding both in-person and virtual meetings.
In-person meetings are for high-engagement tasks like decision making, feedback calls, etc. The virtual ones are dedicated to low-engagement functions like training, socialization, and so forth. Such a system ensures effective communication with employees and keeps the room open for discussion.
When you implement a hybrid work model, install a hybrid workplace software too. Why? It helps you manage and schedule both these types of meetings easily.
It allows you to connect to employees over communication channels like Slack, Google Meets, and Microsoft Teams. This helps them stay in the loop.
An added benefit? The availability of multiple modes of communication allows employees to connect to their peers. This fosters a sense of belonging and trust in the workplace. This, in turn, can also keep office workers motivated.
Naturally, the hybrid work model is a step up from the fully-remote one. This is in terms of organization-wide communication during the pandemic.
2. A Hybrid Work Model Helps Reduce Stress Related to Health Security
While there are many causes of stress for remote workers, a hybrid work model effectively eliminates those. For one, only certain employees are required to come into the office only on a few days of the week. The rest stay at home. This reduces the footfall in the office and helps employees follow physical distancing guidelines more effectively.
You can go a step further and install a hybrid workplace software that takes care of employee seating for you. The software allows facility managers to allocate seats according to the current guidelines. It allows employees to book desks according to their preferences too.
This alone increases the chances of interacting with a coworker and assimilating into the company’s work culture.
A Reliable Hybrid Workplace Software Is Crucial to the Success of a Hybrid Work Model
The hybrid work model needs efficient HR to support the employees at every step. However, it also requires a feature-packed hybrid workplace system to make the switch between remote and in-office work seamless.
Are you looking for a software solution to help you transition to a hybrid work model? WorkInSync’s hybrid workplace solution fits the bill just right. It comes with features to send messages across various channels, schedule meetings, book desks, etc. All of this makes the switch to a hybrid work model easier.
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The introduction of a hybrid workplace policy has more significance than you expect it to be. Read on this blog to learn how you can design, implement, and establish an effective hybrid workplace policy for your organization.
The pandemic irreversibly changed the rigid 9 to 5 work culture. Remote employees are more satisfied with their professional lives, and they have better control over work life balance.
74% of employees say they are more likely to keep working for an employer that allows remote work.
However, remote employees do have specific challenges. Most experts believe that it is not a sustainable model. But it is essential to understand that full time on-site work is no longer an option either. Hence, the hybrid work model came up as the best of work options.
Often deemed the future of work, a hybrid work environment hinges on the balance between on-site and remote work. Hybrid work arrangements have companies crafting flexible schedules for their employees. They can work from home on some days and come to the office on others.
As the pandemic is slowly turning into endemic, human resources executives are asking their employees to return to the office. And their bet is on the hybrid system.
However, introducing flexibility into an established, rigid work system is challenging. There are chances of uncertainty, miscommunication, and confusion. Fortunately, you can avoid this problem by rolling out a solid work policy for your hybrid workplace.
So, your hybrid workplace policy should outline the expectations and responsibilities for your employees. Furthermore, it must provide guidelines that all employees must follow for optimum coordination, collaboration, and communication.
But to make your hybrid workplace policy stay in sync with your employees’ needs, you will need employees’ input.
For instance, some teams might prefer in-office work on certain days of the week. Others may wish to address individual employees’ work preferences for a hybrid workplace. So, it is crucial to gather feedback before chalking out your policy.
Who Should Create the Hybrid Workplace Policy?
For your policy to be transparent, enforceable, and inclusive, it should reflect the desires of your employees. However, as an HR manager, you need to assign a set of people to decide the rules of your hybrid workplace.
You can reach out to workplace managers. Being the frontrunners of their departments, they have insight into the operations and preferences of their teams. Thus, they can shape a policy that best fits the needs of their teams.
Once all the ABCs are duly collected, you can begin drafting the policies. Here are some tips on what to include:
Define why your company is going hybrid
For your staff to accept a new hybrid workplace policy, they need to understand why you enforce it. So, you must provide them with a clear answer. If you have involved your employees in the policy’s creation, this step will be a breeze.
List who is eligible in the hybrid workplace policy
Mention who can work on a hybrid workplace schedule and who cannot. Define all the criteria required.
For example, does an employee have to be employed at your company for a certain number of years? Do they need managerial approval? Personal situations such as health reasons? The better you define these, the easier it will be for your staff.
Outline a clear schedule of working on-site
If your hybrid workplace has one mandatory meeting every month that all employees must attend in person, make sure the meeting days are well-outlined.
State your expectations from employees
It is critical to notify your staff about what you expect from them while doing their jobs remotely. It is because the working hours you expect from your employees could change in a hybrid workplace.
You may expect your employees to work a few hours beyond the designated shift timing. To your employees, that is like “work overtime.” And this can lead to friction.
To avoid mismanagement, you can set the working hours for all employees to be available for meetings. Beyond these hours, you can maintain flexible expectations for working hours.
Encourage your employees to learn more
Display the policy on your internal workplace website, intranet, and other messaging groups. Provide links to resources such as FAQ pages, employee survey results, and feedback reports that are the basis of your hybrid workplace policy. Also, encourage your employees to reach out to the HR department and ask questions.
Once you have the policy in place, circulation will come easy.
How to Circulate Your Hybrid Workplace Policy?
Before enforcing your policy, you must inform all your employees about the changes. Be careful at this stage because you cannot afford to leave room for any confusion.
The single most effective thing to do here is to communicate religiously. Think of this process as launching a new product or service and creating awareness.
Here are some ideas on what you can do:
a. Send regular emails leading up to the day of enforcement. You can create a chain of reminder emails and get creative.
b. Present your policy at company meetings. By doing so, you ensure that all employees are on the same page.
c. Post updates on your workplace communication channels like Slack, and let the message stay pinned on the top of the chat. You can also give your employees opportunities to ask any questions.
A hybrid workplace policy is more than just a set of guidelines. It allows you to clear up confusion, manage expectations, and empower your employees with a schedule that enables them to stay productive.
Want to create a thriving hybrid workspace? Try WorkInSync.
WorkInSync is a one-stop solution for all your hybrid workplace needs. From employee scheduling to desk booking to meeting room management, WorkInSync is where your search ends.
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If managing the transition to work-from-home was difficult, return-to-office will be an IT challenge like no other. It is now clear that a hybrid workplace is the future of work. A hybrid workplace software can make life easy for the IT Manager. However, you need to pick the right one with all the necessary features.
We have put together a comprehensive checklist so you do not miss any of the must-haves in the software. Hope it helps.
Before we get to the list, let us quickly walk you through the fundamentals critical for the success of your hybrid office.
What Makes a Hybrid Workplace Successful?
If you are moving from a remote work model to a hybrid workplace, three things can make or break your transition:
1. Knowing what jobs you can move to hybrid
2. Open and free-flowing lines of communication with both on-site and remote employees
3. Picking the right combination of hybrid workplace software and collaboration tools
As you may understand, a hybrid workplace is not just about technology, it is about people. So, you need to pay equal attention to the softer aspects of the transition. However, here we focus only on the technological aspects of it. More specifically, the hybrid workplace software.
As the IT manager, you must shortlist, purchase and implement the best hybrid workplace software. Where do you start?
Here are ten things that will help you get started.
1. It Should Integrate with Existing Tools
All businesses use some tool that finds company-wide applications. It could be a calendar to book meetings, online collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, or a visitor management system. You could be using a few or many tools depending on your business needs.
The hybrid workplace software you choose must seamlessly integrate with your current tools. If not all, you should be able to integrate it with the most critical ones.
2. The Hybrid Workplace Software should have Minimum Implementation Time
With most organizations resuming work from the office, the implementation time could be a deciding factor. Ideally, you would want a hybrid workplace software that can get up and running in the shortest possible time. However, it also depends on the depth of integration you need with your existing tools.
3. It should be Secured
A hybrid workplace software will, in some ways, evolve to be the nerve center of your day-to-day operations. It will carry a significant amount of data, including but not limited to employee details, productivity, and more. Therefore, you would want it to have top-notch security features.
4. The Hybrid Workplace Software should be Scalable
Hybrid workplace software is a long-term investment. You would not want to go out shopping every time a new feature is required, more employees join, or a facility gets added. Hence, choose a system that is flexible and scalable.
Going in for a modular solution will help you address your changing needs over the foreseeable future. With a modular solution, you can add more features as and when you need them. Coming from the same vendor, these modular solutions are easy to integrate. More importantly, it serves both time and effort.
5. It should Provide Vendor Support
Even if you find the right product with all features you require, it might not suffice. Without adequate vendor support, both implementation and maintenance are a challenge.
Unlike other applications, a hybrid workplace software forms the foundation of your office operations. If it breaks or fails, you will need a vendor that fixes it quickly. So, make sure your vendor has adequate resources to help you at any time of the day.
6. The Hybrid Workplace Software should have a Mobile App Version
A hybrid workplace software also must have an app version for multiple reasons. It would make planning office visits, booking desks, meeting rooms, and even commutes much easier for employees. Secondly, the facility managers can manage space even when away from their desks.
If you find one that is also easy to use, it would be icing on the cake.
7. It should Allow Seamless Desk and Meeting Room Booking
If you are moving to a flexible work model, hoteling or hot-desking would be the way forward. The hybrid workplace software you choose must support both hot-desking and hoteling. It must also recommend and allow users to book meeting rooms based on their needs – number of participants, type of meeting, equipment required, and others.
8. The Hybrid Workplace Software should allow Visitor Management
Considering you have a visitor management system, it might not serve the requirements of the post-COVID world. For example, along with the name and purpose of the visit, you would also want to know the body temperature, vaccination status, and if the visitor is masked-up.
Older systems may not be able to capture so many details. Hence, you must choose a hybrid workplace software that comes or works with the latest visitor management systems.
Social distancing is one of the primary reasons why offices are opting for a hybrid workplace and not running at full strength. If your hybrid workplace management tool does not facilitate social distancing, it serves little purpose.
Therefore, pick a hybrid workforce software with sensors that help maintain distance between seats, detect air quality and the number of people on the floor. You could also control the number of people by capping the visits or desk bookings for any given time.
10. The Hybrid Workplace Software should have Centralized Dashboards and Robust Reporting
Lastly, the ideal hybrid workplace software helps you collect and analyze data about your office real estate and productivity, among other things. While all applications claim to have these capabilities, their strengths and depth of analysis vary. Make sure you evaluate these based on your current and future needs.
Hybrid workplace software is now a ubiquitous tool across all businesses and organizations. The increased demand has spawned many solutions. Admittedly, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the choice available in the market today. We hope this checklist helps you pick the best one.
Stay tuned to the WorkinSync blog to know more about hybrid workplace and tools that make it successful.
The hybrid work arrangement combines the best bits of both an in-person and remote work setup. The result is happy employees. They are more productive, and they communicate well with their peers. Experts believe that company culture flourishes in a hybrid office.
However, a hybrid work model needs to be deployed appropriately to be effective. And most organizations falter at this step.
The most common problems encountered while building a hybrid work setup are as follows:
Optimizing available real estate
Organizing desks and conference rooms
Having all the employees on the same page
Fostering collaboration between on-site and remote workers
So, as a facility manager, you might be keen on tackling all these problems at once. While doing this might seem hard at first glance, there are plenty of tools to make setting up a hybrid workplace system more accessible. This article will cover a few software to deploy a successful hybrid workplace setup.
A Desk Booking Solution to Manage the Available Office Space Better
To implement a hybrid workplace, you need to reimagine the physical space. And you need to keep in mind the reduced footfall in-office. So, you need to assess the the number of available desks and optimize their utilization in real time. This is why your hybrid workplace should integrate a desk booking feature.
Sure, a desk booking solution allows employees working on-site to book desks. But, as a facility manager, it helps you keep track of their utilization too. Most systems come with a centralized dashboard allowing you to note where your employees are seated.
It also gives you a fair idea about their desk booking preferences. You can also track real-time desk occupancy. This helps you to remodel office seating accordingly to optimize usage.
Ensuring employees follow physical distancing norms is crucial in upholding employee safety in-office. But implementing them is not always easy. Thankfully, desk booking software makes it simpler by allowing you to make desks available according to the current guidelines.
Given its advantages, a desk booking solution is a non-negotiable when considering a hybrid workplace system for your organization.
Managing employees’ workflows, both in the office and off it, is crucial to ensuring a hybrid workplace runs smoothly. An ideal hybrid workplace system helps you do this conveniently with the help of a team planner.
A team planner helps you keep track of employee logins. This allows you to know their work locations and availability at every step. This allows you to do two things.
One, prevent overcrowding in-office. And two, ensure that teams make the necessary provisions (like calling in the right people) for smooth operation.
Both team leaders and employees can decide what is best and create a schedule that works for all. In such a case, you’re saved the trouble of allotting specific slots altogether, thanks to a hybrid workplace system.
Seamless Communication Channels to Facilitate Collaboration
Without proper communication, a hybrid workplace system is going to fall flat. Why? Because of the disconnect between employees in the office and those working from home.
During COVID, many organizations that trialed a hybrid setup temporarily faced this exact problem. And to combat it, they deployed a barrage of communication apps. For reference, in a survey, 41% of respondents revealed they were communicating on too many apps, stressing them out.
Employees need a hybrid workplace system with messaging and project management integrations. This provides a single interface for all office-related activities, including project planning, managing schedules, and collaborating in a hybrid environment.
The good thing is many hybrid workplace systems come with these integrations built into them. So, all you have to do is find a suitable communication app.
Safe to say, facilitating and managing meetings with a hybrid workplace system has never been this important. Additionally, meetings have changed fundamentally during this period.
In a hybrid setup, video conferencing might be the preferred method of meetings. So, a meeting room booking system must help employees book conference rooms and send virtual invites to the rest of the team. Most meeting room booking software integrated with hybrid workplace systems, for instance, use Google or Outlook Calendar for this.
The software must also facilitate seamless meetings over in-office and virtual modes so that all the team members are on the same page. This often requires having a stable internet connection on both ends and an excellent audio-visual setup. Most organizations have dedicated staff to take care of this.
Hence, a hybrid workplace system must notify the team immediately when a meeting is booked. This will further ensure that there is no lag in arranging these services before a meeting.
A Hybrid Workplace System for Touchless Access Management
Given employees come into the office infrequently in the hybrid work setup, automating access is manually tricky, and doing it takes up time. This is where a hybrid workplace system can help.
These days, hybrid workplace systems come with in-built touchless access management software that coordinates with employee schedules and grants access automatically through digipass verification. This reduces the need for sanitization of multi-use touchpoints in shared spaces, a common way to reduce the spread of the virus through contaminated surfaces.
Transition to the future of work with an effective hybrid workplace system
Implementing a hybrid setup can come with various challenges, but you can successfully tackle a large chunk of them, thanks to a hybrid workplace system. From desk booking to facilitating communication, a hybrid workplace system effectively makes every sphere of workplace management easier. All while ensuring a seamless in-office to remote work experience and employee health safety.
Are you looking for a partner to guide you through the transition? WorkInSync offers a hybrid workplace system that integrate well with your current systems.
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Companies worldwide are updating their way of work. During the pandemic, everyone shited to working from home. It was convenient for the employees, and productivity skyrocketed.
But as companies implement a return to the office, the future of work has found a new face in the hybrid workplace.
It is essentially a mix of on-site and remote work. Some employees work from the office a few days a week and remote the remaining days. In a few organizations, some teams might work on-site all day, and others will work remotely. But to achieve a hybrid workplace, the split has to be 80-20.
The idea of the hybrid work model is to provide the best of both worlds. In the process, it eliminates the challenges that come with both on-site and remote work.
The hybrid workplace seems like the best way out. Executives from across the world have recognized the need to make workplaces flexible. And hybrid is synonymous with it.
Let us look at a few numbers to understand this better.
The Numbers Say it All
Although we have highlighted a few reasons for the long-term traction of a hybrid workplace later in the blog, there is one primary reason. There seems to be a gap between employer expectations and employee preferences. And a hybrid workplace fills in the gap.
Here are a few stats that analyze the rise of a hybrid workplace in 2021 and beyond.
According to Pew Research, one in five employees in the US have been remote workers before the pandemic
During the pandemic, the number jumped to seven out of ten
54% of the respondents in the same survey would like to continue remote after the pandemic ends
In an Accenture survey, 83% of 9000 respondents want a hybrid work arrangement
62% of executives in a PwC survey said that 2 to 4 days in the office is necessary to maintain company culture
In the same survey, 21% of executives wanted a 5-day full-time work week
Deloitte’s Return to Office survey had 32% opt for a hybrid workplace to maintain company culture
A Harris Poll/Sungard AS research shows 43% of people wanting permanent remote work compared to 51% who want a hybrid model
In an Accenture’s report, 74% of GenZ workers want to work from the office
In the same report, 68% of baby boomers and 66% of millennials want to work from the office
In October 2020, Reddit announced the adoption of a hybrid workplace. The employees could either work remotely or from on-site.
Not only Reddit but many other high-level organizations have adopted a hybrid working model.
Twitter was the first organization to announce a hybrid model for its employees. Coinbase, a cryptocurrency trading firm, introduced a “remote-first” workplace model to remain fully operational even during the pandemic.
The hybrid model was initially adopted as an experiment. However, the arrangement is now shifting towards a more permanent system.
Microsoft has allowed its workforce to be remote for half of the week. Other popular companies that have gone flexible include Salesforce, Dropbox, Shopify, Facebook, Zillow, and Viacom. The trend is catching up. More names keep adding to the list.
As businesses return to the office, hybrid workplaces have become a testimony to the flexible setting. And the new generation is wildly attracted to such a setting.
The hybrid workplace model cuts down the operational cost for businesses. It provides flexibility to the employees. Hybrid workplaces do not refer to changing the location of work or the way you work. It is about providing flexibility to work from anywhere.
Here are several reasons for the hybrid workplace to stay.
From an Employee’s POV
1. Hybrid Workplace Promotes High Productivity
Before the pandemic, there existed several myths about the hybrid workplace. Managers usually think that productivity will be affected if the employees are given the freedom to choose their working hours.
But, the pandemic showed an alternate reality.
A study by Microsoft shows the employee performance during the pandemic increased. About 82% of leaders say that their employees have become more productive.
With no commute required, employees can focus on their work. By choosing their work hours, they can work when they are most productive. So if someone is highly productive during the night, they can adjust the routine accordingly.
Freedom to work from a preferred location impacts employee happiness.
Although, a Survey Monkey Report proved that remote employees are happier than people who work from the office. Hence, the keen dependence on the hybrid workplace.
Remote work has its advantages. Nevertheless, it can cause isolation.
The hybrid system can mitigate this difference. With the balance, employees can retain flexibility; while being happy.
From an Organization’s POV
3. Hybrid Workplace Reduces Operational Cost
In the hybrid office setup, companies can manage their real estate. In a study by PWC, 31% of executives anticipate the need for less office space due to increasing remote workers.
Managers are getting creative with the office space. There is an increase in collaborative hubs like small conference rooms. Private offices have been introduced. Social distancing protocols have given way to concepts like hot desking and hoteling.
Reduced real estate is directly proportional to reduced operational costs. Companies can enjoy a massive cut down in their rental costs. The need to provide more amenities also decreases significantly.
All of this has inspired organizations to retain the hybrid work model.
4. It Creates a Safe Working Environment
Although the pandemic is slowing down, health experts are yet to lift COVID protocols. Employees can be vaccinated, but organizations are keen on retaining safety compliance.
Social distancing is a significant factor in curbing the virus. This means that employees need to be seated at a safe distance from each other. Occupancy limits need to be set. Overcrowding has to be avoided.
If the number of employees visiting the office is constricted, you can subside the fear of the virus. To be precise, managers can call different employees on different days. Our schedules can be spread across the day to avoid overcrowding.
A hybrid workplace accommodates this. Hence, it’s a long-lasting run.
One of the most sought-after advantages of a hybrid workplace is the balance it offers. With increased productivity and happiness, satisfaction also increases. Your aim should be to create seamless employee experiences.
Microsoft’s 2021 Work Index shows that 73% of employees want a hybrid workplace. By implementing one, a company reduces attrition. It also opens up the chance to hire talents from different geographies.
A hybrid workplace ensures to retain employees by providing flexibility. Hence, it is here to stay.
Remote Work vs. Hybrid Workplace vs. Return to Office
Posted on October 18, 2021 by wis_wp
The pandemic changed our workplaces forever. A new model like a hybrid workplace is gaining popularity. Existing models like on-site and remote work have gotten new meaning altogether. All of this owing to the implementation of return to office strategies.
This blog highlights each of these models and the obvious differences that exist.
Ever since the pandemic upended how workplaces operate, employees settled into working remotely. Now, as organizations reimagine workspaces, employees are unwilling to stuff the genie back into the bottle right away.
Despite high-flying projections about permanently moving workers to remote working arrangements, employers are trying to find the middle ground. Deloitte’s return to workplace survey indicates that only 2% of company executives acknowledged taking their operations remote.
Today, the phrase “return to offices” doesn’t encapsulate how onsite operations will look in the coming future. Enter a hybrid workplace, a flexible work setup that combines the work-from-home and office work arrangement. In the post-pandemic work scenario, nine out of ten organizations envision a hybrid work model going forward. They plan to club on-premises work and remote working, reports a McKinsey survey of executives across industries worldwide.
Let us understand the new normal of work by comparing the different models of work.
What is Onsite Work?
Working from a physical office, full-time, is what most employees worldwide were used to before the pandemic struck. Here, workers must adhere to regular working hours defined by employers and pursue a daily commute to the office. Here are some benefits of working onsite:
Ease of communication and interaction with coworkers
Fewer distractions from pets, family members, etc.
A unified company culture leads to heightened employee productivity, and a sense of purpose
Quick access to the company’s equipment and facilities
Unlike a remote or a hybrid workplace, most employees are familiar with this work environment
What is a Remote Work Model?
In remote working setups, employees, including team leads, managers, and founders, work away from a physical office space. They function from home offices, co-working spaces, coffee shops, etc. When companies go fully remote, they can do away with having a physical office. Remote setups ensure the following and more:
The freedom to work anywhere, anytime
Fewer distractions from coworkers
What is a Hybrid Workplace?
In this model, employees function remotely, on the go, or from the office premises. The combination of employees in a hybrid workplace can vary for different organizations. The structure typically comprises a skeletal staff that switches between remote and office work.
The hybrid workplace may include employees mandated to be on the premises. They can have a different assortment of teams on varying days and shifts as well. Or some organizations may reserve specific days to be onsite for meetings, get-togethers, etc.
Before adopting a hybrid workplace model, organizations must define the approach that best complements their workforce’s needs. Let’s look at the different variations of a hybrid workplace.
In a remote-first approach, the hybrid work model will closely mirror the operations of its fully remote counterparts. Here, the primary option for employees will be to work from home. The exact arrangement can depend on business requirements and personnel availability.
#2 Occasional Office Hybrid Workplace
The occasional office hybrid workplace refers to a model which blends remote work with in-person collaboration. Here, employees will be required to go onsite a few days a week on designated office days.
#3 Office-First Hybrid Workplace
In the office-first hybrid workplace model, the office serves as the primary workspace. However, employees get the choice of working remotely. Companies can designate specific teams to work from the office to avoid confusion, while the rest can stay remote.
The return from remote work is ripe with innovation potential as employers reimagine how and where work gets done. However, adopting hybrid workplaces will not fix the umpteen workplace challenges. A hybrid workspace supersedes multiple shortcomings of remote and onsite work arrangements. This is why organizations can make the most by empowering their employees with the right tools.
WorkInSync understands the needs of the future of work and offers an exclusive suite of hybrid workplace management tools. Leverage easy solutions and streamline hybrid work processes with ease!
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