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The future of the Workplace is more diverse and has shifted since the pandemic. Executives of organisations need to consider creating a work environment that rewards employees with an outstanding experience if they are to provide them with a compelling reason to consider returning to the office.

The big picture:

The Pandemic has shown us that majority of me-focused tasks are no longer limited to in-office and can be completed more productively at home. What emerged early in the pandemic, is that the average home supports the average employee better than the average office.

What We’re Seeing:

Individuals on a limited budget have been able to provide a better environment in a matter of months in a space designed for living not working is a damning indictment of designers and developers and the 150 years of evolution that represents the modern office. This fact should not be lost on organisations that need to provide and manage better workplaces to support employees’ current and future needs.

Why it matters:

Despite being back in the office for 9 months or more, many organisations are still struggling to plan for their future workplaces. In a recent survey, almost a quarter of executives admitted to not having a clear plan for the future. This is troubling because half of them had to at least know what type of work their organisation has done in the past, and one-third were only just getting started.

CEOs and their Executive teams need to start planning their next steps because, in less than a year, it is estimated that fifty-seven per cent of organisations will have gone over to a fully hybrid model of both home and office locations.

It is important that corporations invest in the work environment. Their employees are more likely to be happy and productive and a workplace that focuses on employee needs will eventually drive loyalty and satisfaction.

Drivers of Home Working:

The drivers of home working have little to do with the office or home. The ability to have a manageable commute is a key factor in an employee deciding to venture into the office. By understanding the correlation between commuting and satisfaction, employers are in a better position to provide their staff with the most comfortable work environment.

Furthermore improving parking spaces will lead to more commuting options, a better commuting experience, and increased benefits. Those employees with long commutes spent fewer days in the office.

Key Challenges:

So what are the key challenges in implementing and managing a hybrid working environment?

1. Designing a policy for hybrid working.

A cross-pollination of departments is essential for a productive workplace team. You will need input from CRE, FM, HR, IT, Asset Management, Finance and supply chain to share ideas to ensure effective policies are in place to address the multifaceted aspects of the Workplace.

2. The ergonomics of the home workplace.

I've noticed that little if any consultation is given around what constitutes an effective workspace in the home. As the employer has the right to dictate the place where work is performed they also retain the responsibility to ensure regulations are met. Furthermore, it's essential for executives to understand whether the home facilitates or hinders employee productivity and for what tasks.

3. Implementing a hybrid work policy.

These challenges can be eliminated with proper planning. The advantages of hybrid working need to be communicated so that employees are aware of the goals and benefits. All members on the workplace team should be represented, and management must communicate clearly in order to allow for a smooth transition.

4. Inducting new employees

Remote work has many advantages but a result of the pandemic is that new employees often have limited exposure to the company culture. Working remotely, new employees can get an understanding of the company's culture but need connection with their colleagues and line manager for on-the-job training.

5. Silo busting.

The isolation experienced by teams working from home has done little to break down the barriers and silos that existed prior to the pandemic. As I mentioned in last month's article"Remote Working Is Corroding Our Trust in Each Other" HBR has published research that supports the notion that working from home is corroding our trust in our colleagues as a result of the physical separation we have experienced over the past two years.

This trust deficit results in a tricky conundrum facing leaders. Bringing people together and interacting with colleagues outside your immediate group is essential for the development of relationships and trust, which you cannot get anywhere else.

6. Office design.

Agile or activity-based workplaces have a high success rate in promoting hybrid working. The key to this style of office is managing shared spaces and having the right mix of desks and task spaces.

7. Inclusion.

When managing a meeting, it can be difficult to design for every group of people and make the meeting experience inclusive for those physically present v those attending virtually where different people receive different experiences.

Final Thoughts:

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the workplace so it is important to know how the workplace compares to their home experience and how it hinders or helps them execute their day-to-day tasks.

People  I  Place  I  Performance

Dig Deeper:

Hey Workplace enthusiasts! 🌐  Dive into our free Workplace Assessment now to unveil untapped potential and get the workplace experience that you deserve ! 💼

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