During the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have shut the office and sent employees to the home office in order to maintain productivity. While some businesses are simply not capable of doing this, those who can have managed to avoid the crushing financial pitfalls while keeping operations running. With the pandemic predicted to recede in the spring after a brief jump in case numbers and a vaccine currently prepping for shipment, all eyes will be on how employees get back to normal.
One of the methods being discussed is the hybrid workspace – a model of flexibility that blends traditional office work with an at-home option. The idea behind the hybrid workspace is to give employees peace of mind and an opportunity to find a better work/life balance. In reality, this is not a bad suggestion given the severe psychological trauma the world has faced in the wake of the pandemic. The question however, is feasibility.
Companies will have to consider the ramifications of a hybrid option, and whether it’s possible to maintain the same level of productivity. Studies have shown that working from home is having a detrimental effect on the majority of North American employees. Depression, complacency and health issues brought on by an increasingly sedentary lifestyle are major contributors not just to reduced productivity, but personal well-being. Companies will have to be accommodating if they wish to retain key talent and forge a path out of the mess we’re in.
That means understanding the need for a properly set up workspace not just at the office, but at home as well. Employees will need the correct tools to migrate to and from the workplace while working out a system that gives them required flexibility. The updated office space will need to adhere to social distancing guidelines until we overcome the virus, which many experts are now predicting will occur in large part during the month of April 2021. Even as vaccines are distributed and herd immunity runs parallel with its deployment, there will still be a need for caution. Will fears of Covid-19 wane after April?
Time will tell.
In the meantime, companies will have to start thinking about switching up their office space to be more accommodating and friendly if they want to entice employees back. The hybrid option is another step in the process. Naturally, the fine details will need to be worked out, including scheduling for meetings and assigned tasks that may or may not require an employee to be physically in the office that day. Expect a software solution to arise that will assist in this regard.
Understanding how to implement the hybrid workspace means looking at the emerging data and determining how best to move forward. For instance, employees who work full time in the office desire a different outcome than those who want to work full-time from home, as well as everything in between. These “demographics” will fluctuate based on a person’s desire for work/life balance, a place where they can be most productive, or differing concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic. Not every employee is the same. Some wish for less distraction and a place they can better focus, others hate the daily commute, while others enjoy the trip.
Being flexible means giving your employees a clear run to victory. They want to return to work while feeling safe in doing so. By adapting the hybrid model, your company could yield enormous productivity benefits while simultaneously boosting the morale and positivity of your entire team.
For more information with setting up multiple workspaces both at home and in the office, give us a call today.