How to Prepare a Hybrid Workplace for the Post-COVID World
The COVID-19 pandemic is predicted to have lasting effects on workers across the UK. In the future, we’re likely to see workforces adapting to a blend of remote working and on-site working. This trend may be a permanent arrangement – and so employers will need to be able to support both.
It’s therefore important to adapt your workplace to this new culture. To help you, let’s explore how to build a hybrid workplace to prepare for post-COVID working world.
What is a hybrid office or workplace?
A hybrid workplace is an office or other working space that combines remote and on-site working. This is achieved through workplace interior design, incorporation of new technologies and communication with workers. A hybrid layout will support current staff, giving them the flexibility and freedom to balance home and on-site working – and will also be an attractive trait when hiring new personnel.
How to create a hybrid workplace
This step shouldn’t be overlooked. After all, you’re making these changes for your staff, so it’s important to hear what they think and gather any ideas. Ask about how they feel about the future of the office or workspace, and also inquire if they have any concerns and or what it is they value or expect in a post-COVID workspace.
Set up for video conferences
We’ve all become familiar with video conferencing throughout the pandemic, and it will likely remain a key point of communication between your in-office employees, remote employees and clients long into the future. Therefore it’s wise to set up meeting rooms and other spaces that are adapted for easy video conferencing, ideally with barriers or walls for the purpose of soundproofing, and plenty of charging points. Acoustics should also be a consideration. Getting wired up in this way will ease communication between staff members and create dedicated spaces where everyone can connect with co-workers and clients.
Create varied spaces for different purposes
Whether you’re hosting a team meeting, seeking a bit of chill-out time, or you need to have a 1:1 chat with a remote co-worker without disturbing the whole office, your new workplace needs to offer a variety of spaces with varying purposes.
As mentioned previously, video calls will still be a key player in how staff communicates, so ensure that there are soundproofed areas where those calls can be made. You will also require breakout spaces and meeting rooms for ideating and team gatherings, all set up with social distancing and video conferencing in mind, too, along with adequate lighting and charging points for ease of use. Remember to create spaces for socialisation, relaxation and more creative tasks, too.
As a final note, ensure there is a solid room booking system in place – with workers reliant on these spaces more than ever, it’s imperative for efficiency that they can secure a room when they need one.
We’ve all heard of hot-desking – and the recent term ‘flex desking’ covers hot-desking or any type of space in an office which serves multiple purposes, and could be used by multiple people. You may wish to implement an online booking system, whereby employees could reserve their desk on a certain day. This enables them to be used by other people when an employee is working remotely, for example, and allows for better space efficiency and simply greater flexibility that allows everyone in the office to balance their schedules and working styles with ease.
Make sure employees can find their way
One-way systems, social distancing and flexible working space may be a bit baffling for your employees at the start. Help settle them in by communicating the changes clearly with either internal communications, booking software or physical signage in the office.
Support the new layout
Whether you’ve made a few alterations or completely resigned from your workplace, the chances are your layout will have changed somewhat. A key part of this is to ensure that the new layout is supported by suitable lighting, furniture, power sockets, flooring, partitioning and technology. A professional fit-out company will be able to help you transform your hybrid workspace, and provide all these important elements.
Here at Arc Business Interiors, we design and fit out flawlessly functional offices and commercial spaces to help you get the best from your workforce. If you’d like to create a hybrid workplace for the post-pandemic world, we take on projects of any size or scale across the UK. Simply get in touch to discuss your ideas with our friendly team.