LiquidSpace and Kadence Team Up to Revolutionize Hybrid Work

LiquidSpace, the largest global on-demand office marketplace and hybrid workplace management platform for flexible work, and Kadence, the leading hybrid workplace software platform, have teamed up to redefine the way we work. This game-changing partnership provides employees with access to a global network of flexible workspaces and their internal offices, seamlessly, in one platform. 

With the LiquidSpace x Kadence integration, companies and their employees will be able to:

  • Instantly book on-demand desks, meeting rooms, and offices at coworking spaces and flexible office providers around the world

  • Deepen engagement by enabling teams to coordinate and meet up in person, at the office, or in coworking spaces

  • Reduce cost per employee by optimizing the mix of traditional and on-demand real estate spend

A Kadence and LiquidSpace partnership banner showing an example of the new flexible work interface.

“The future of work is hybrid, but for individual employees, it takes many forms. Working near home on days when home just doesn’t work. Huddling with colleagues to ideate and get sh*t done. Traveling to HQ to bond, celebrate wins, and the company mission. We are thrilled to partner with Kadence to extend and enhance the hybrid experience for their customers, by giving their employees access to thousands of great spaces around the globe.”

Mark Gilbreath, CEO & Founder, LiquidSpace

LiquidSpace gives companies the power to unlock a global ecosystem of on-demand and flexible work spaces without losing control. Employees enjoy the freedom to work from where ‘it works’, whether that’s a quiet space to concentrate near home, or a convenient space to gather and collaborate with colleagues. With supply partners across the globe, including large brands and smaller independent spaces across central business districts and closer to home. Enterprise workplace and HR leaders can tap real-time data insights to inform workplace strategy, set budgets, and configure permissions. 

Kadence’s smart hybrid solution is designed to help companies slash real-estate costs with flexible desk and conference room booking software. The platform also keeps you in the loop with office traffic and notifies teammates of schedule changes. 

This partnership offers a comprehensive solution for ‘officeless’ companies seeking a high level of agility to coordinate employee schedules while accessing thousands of flexible work spaces, empowering teams with true flexibility to work together anytime, anywhere. In addition, companies that already have their own offices can now offer their employees access to thousands of office locations beyond their own four walls.

“The future of work is one where people have the agency to choose where and how they work so they can be the most productive in what they deliver. This means work can happen anywhere, and with the right people. The challenge then comes down to coordination – the coordination of schedules, spaces, and experiences. 

This partnership will be an absolute game changer to empower our teams with the autonomy and flexibility to choose how, when, and where they work to be their most successful; as well as provide our business with a unified experience across our leased and flex portfolio.“

Jeff Gwinnett, Senior Director, Workplace Experience & Sustainability, Softchoice

Employees can now effortlessly search, find, and book on-demand spaces wherever they are. Additionally, they can view their team’s activities, star their go-to colleagues for regular meetups to follow their weekly schedules, and receive notifications when they’ve booked a space – whether in the office or at a coworking space.

“In the past people were predictable, and spaces were static. Now, spaces are flexible, and people are unpredictable. That’s why we created the hybrid operating system that helps people be intentional with how they get their work done, and navigate all the complexities of hybrid.”

Dan Bladen, CEO & Co-Founder, Kadence 


The full integration will be launching soon in Q3. Get in touch with our team if you’d like to know more about how to use Kadence and LiquidSpace together!

Kadence Recognized by G2 as a Top Software Company of 2023

It’s been a busy start to the year for us here at Kadence. We have launched lots of new features, added thousands of new users, and partnered with some of the world’s leading hybrid teams. Today, we have some exciting news to share…

We are excited to be named by G2 as a top Office Product, along with several other awards as well. Each year G2 ranks its winners “based on authentic, validated, and timely peer reviews from G2’s software marketplace.” The Best Software awards are earned by companies across the globe that provide best-in-class products and experiences for their customers – and we’re thrilled to make the list!

Best desking booking software

 

Our G2 recognition includes:

We are grateful to everyone who believes in our vision, and has been on the journey with us. This award serves as motivation for us to continue innovating and delivering the best possible experience for our users. Without your feedback, we wouldn’t be able to improve, and as a company to deliver a better user experience for your people – here are some more of our favorite quotes:

best desk booking softwarebest desk booking softwarebest desk booking software

At Kadence we are building the operating system for the future of work. And our vision is to create a world in which every person has access to the opportunity, the tools, custom integrations, and the environment to do their best work wherever they are.

Are you a Kadence user who wants to share your review? Tell us about your experience on G2 here

New to Kadence and want to check out our award-winning solution for yourself? Book a demo with our team today!

Kadence announces $10M Seed Round

Kadence funding announcement

Kadence, a hybrid working software company, announced their raise of $10M in a Seed funding round. The investment round is led by Kickstart Fund with major participation from Manta Ray, Hambro Perks, and Vectr7 Investment Partners as well as Shadow Ventures and Forward VC. Kadence also attracted notable future of work angel investors including Cal Henderson, Co-Founder and CTO at Slack, Shaun Ritchie, CEO and Founder of Teem, and Nick Bloom, Stanford professor, research leader, and worldwide authority on remote work.

Kadence coordinates people, places, and projects to help employees be in the right place at the right time with the right people – to get their best work done. Kadence believes that the future of work lies in finding a rhythm that works for both employers and employees, which is why their product gives people the power to choose when they work, where they work, and who they work with.

“The last 12 months of hybrid have all been about creating order out of chaos,” says Dan Bladen, CEO, and Founder of Kadence. “Companies are now trying to figure out how to move from ‘order’ to ‘optimization’ and make the ‘way’ they work a competitive advantage. Companies that will win in the hybrid age will understand that the office is no longer the platform for work; the platform for work is now time (the working week) – companies that don’t get hybrid right won’t survive.”

Kadence has grown from 0 to 300 customers in the last 18 months, from governments to fast-growing tech unicorns like Collibra and Starling Bank. Kadence has helped companies reduce expensive office space by 68% while also increasing the number of employees coming into the office to collaborate by 25% month over month. Recently, a Kadence customer received an ESG award because of the positive environmental impact of the way they are doing hybrid.

“Never before in history have humans changed how they work at such a scale and in such a short space,” says Nick Bloom, a new Kadence investor. “There is no doubt hybrid is now the way the world is going to work going forwards, and Kadence has honed in on the most important aspect of hybrid—that hybrid should enable better outcomes for companies as a whole, not just facilities managers. Their focus on the coordination of people is where the market is heading.”

Pivoting in the pandemic

Kadence charges ahead tirelessly to build the future of work with a resilience that only a mid-pandemic pivot could fuel. Dan moved his family from the UK to California in late 2019 to grow the company previously known as Chargifi. When the pandemic froze the market and customers began canceling orders, Dan needed to reinvent the business.

“Four months after we moved to Silicon Valley, our world changed forever,” Dan says. “We had been building Chargifi for seven years, but when the pandemic hit, demand completely dried up and it wasn’t clear when or if it would ever come back—but we couldn’t afford to just sit on our hands and hope everything would be ok.”Kadence desk booking

Hybrid work was still fresh when the team decided to repurpose the software and products they had already built for managing wireless charging networks in offices. It was the perfect opportunity to repurpose the software for hot-desk management, and by the end of 2020, Chargifi had launched the first version of Kadence.

“And it’s working,” Jeff Gwinnett, Senior Director of Workplace and Sustainability at Softchoice, a Kadence customer says, “Our team loves Kadence. It’s simple and intuitive to use and is powering our hybrid strategy nationwide—we’ve already recommended Kadence to many other companies!” 

“Companies around the world are reimagining the way they work,” says Cal Henderson, Co-Founder, and CTO at Slack and a new Kadence investor. “And as the world goes hybrid, it’s important that teams find a rhythm for meeting in person for collaboration and creativity. Kadence is an important part of helping companies make hybrid work, and I’m excited to be involved.”

Kadence’s lead investor, Kickstart Fund, recently welcomed its newest General Partner. Making Kadence her first venture investment was an obvious decision. “Having the opportunity to back companies like Kadence is why I got into venture capital,” Kat says. “The grit, fortitude, and imagination that Dan and the team have shown to pivot, keep the team together, and achieve this level of sales success in such a short amount of time are extraordinary. They’re building something of true significance.”

Kadence’s passion for powering people and organizations continued from their time as Chargifi. Their vision to empower human flourishing at work and home, coupled with this new round of funding, enables them to serve more customers and develop new tools to power the future of work.  

George Davies, Partner at Hambro Perks and investor at Kadence says; “Hybrid work needs beautiful software that is focussed on people and how they work. Kadence is that software, and we are proud to back a team with the vision and grit to deliver.” 

At Kadence, we believe the way we work should lift us up, not lock us in, enabling people to flourish in everything they do. By building the operating system for the future of work, we improve the coordination of people, time, and space to help teams feel trusted and empowered to make the best choices about how, when, and where they get their best work done.

 

WATCH THE ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

The Compressed Workweek: Pros, Cons & How To Set It Up For Your Workplace

If you’re trying to attract top talent or figure out how to keep your current team members happy and productive, switching to a compressed workweek is worth considering. In short, a compressed workweek squeezes a 40-hour workload into fewer days than the traditional five.
Employees are drawn to a compressed workweek schedule because it’s more flexible than conventional models. This arrangement can help businesses manage periods where workloads are heavier than average.

In some cases, it can serve as an excellent model year-round. But before you dive into restructuring your schedules, it’s essential to learn how a compressed workweek could fit into your short- and long-term goals. Let’s take a look at the fundamentals, benefits, and drawbacks of offering a compressed workweek. And we’ll even show you how to implement it successfully in your workplace.

What Are the Most Common Compressed Work Schedules?

The 4/10 work schedule is the most common type of compressed workweek. This arrangement means that an employee works four 10 hour days during the week, usually Monday through Thursday. This gives them Friday through Sunday off.

The 4/10 work schedule does not work for some companies. But there are alternative schedules to consider, such as the 9/80 work schedule. Essentially, an employee works nine hours a day Monday through Thursday and eight hours on Friday of the first week. The employee also works nine hours a day Monday through Thursday during the second week and has that Friday off. 

As with a traditional and 4/10 work schedule, the 9/80 schedule adds up to 80 hours over two weeks. The kicker is that workers can enjoy two three-day weekends every month.

Pros and Cons of the Compressed Workweek

Any time you change how your workweeks are structured, it will significantly impact your daily management, the efficiency of your operations, and the work-life balance of your employees. As with any other major decision, switching to the compressed workweek comes with pros and cons.

Pros of the Compressed Workweek

One of the most prevalent advantages of switching to a compressed work schedule is that your kids and your team members have more personal time to rest and recharge. They can spend more time with their families, take self-care trips, and do anything else that fosters their well-being with the extra free time.

The additional free time means that your employees will be less likely to leave work to care for personal matters or errands, translating to fewer absences. And if your business relies on a customer service department, you can use a compressed work schedule to offer customers extended support hours. Moreover, the compressed workweek reduces commuting for your employees. Depending on where they live, some of your team members can’t save money and time by working in the office less frequently.

Cons of the Compressed Workweek

The compressed workweek does not work for every company. Some workers will experience increased fatigue if the schedule is incompatible with the specific industry or job. Also, if you rely on B2B relationships, some of your partners, contractors, or clients who operate on a traditional 9-to-5 schedule might find it challenging to work with your compressed schedule. It’s easy to see how this could cost a variety of issues.

Another drawback of adopting the compressed workweek is that it can infringe on occupational laws if you are not careful. Even if your workers log the same number of hours, they may qualify for a different compensation schedule. Ensure you understand your state’s overtime rules and closely monitor your compressed work schedule to ensure you remain above board.

Furthermore, know that a compressed work schedule may not be ideal for other individuals in your life (and in your employees’ lives). For example, everyone in your company may prefer the new schedule, but it might not be practical for childcare providers who operate on a traditional 9-to-5 schedule. This could make it challenging for your team members to secure childcare. 

How Can You Set Up the Compressed Workweek?

When implementing a compressed work schedule, start by determining what type of schedule will best suit your company and employees. Maybe a 4/10 work schedule will be the ideal fit. Perhaps you should try the 9/80 schedule or craft your own that includes components from each of these arrangements.

There are other alternatives to consider as well. Many healthcare professionals and firefighters work three 12-hour days a week because their profession requires 24-hour staffing. You can even allow your team members to choose a schedule that helps them excel on the job and at home. 

Understand that a compressed workweek may not be compatible with all of your departments. One team may need a different model than another team in a different location. When changing to a compressed work schedule, it’s essential that your management and staff coordinate effectively to ensure a smooth transition. Your managers must confirm that all roles are filled when other employees are off work. 

Switching to a compressed work schedule is easier than ever with our people coordination solution for hybrid working. This set of intuitive tools helps you get to know your team better, link schedules, and find the best times and places for everyone to get their work done.

In addition, your team members also need to ensure that the team meets all deadlines and maintains a seamless workflow. This might require your managers to implement, test, and approve compressed work schedules before setting them in stone in each department.

Once you have confirmed that the compressed workweek is worth implementing, draft a policy detailing which team members are eligible for the new arrangement and when they can use it.  Also, outline which managers will be responsible for establishing schedules and formally requesting them. Remain flexible when creating a policy, remembering that each department might need to execute the compressed workweek differently. For instance, your customer service team may need to work longer hours for fewer days while your marketing team thrives on working the 4/10 schedule. 

Quick Tips for Creating a Workweek Policy

  • Research relevant laws. Keep in mind there might be laws in your city or state that dictate how many hours each worker can log in a given period. If you’re unsure of your compliance, consult your state labor office before adopting the compressed workweek. 
  • Check with your employees. Switching to a new work schedule may significantly impact your employees’ performance and work-life balance. One team member might have different needs than another. Consult your team to determine what kind of arrangement could benefit them the most. 
  • Establish essential office hours. Many companies find it challenging to keep staffing consistent when executing the compressed workweek. Be mindful of how you schedule team members so that the office is adequately covered at all times. 
  • Make changes. Your new work schedule will likely need modifying as you go, especially in the early days. Your managers and employees will need time to adjust, and you may experience issues that need to be resolved along the way. Constantly seek feedback from your team to know what changes need to be made. 

Conclusion     

The business landscape has drastically changed since the pandemic emerged. A compressed workweek is now a viable option for many companies, proving to benefit both employers and employees.

If you think adopting this new work arrangement is the next step toward growth for your company, start getting a plan together today. Consider the information and advice above to lay a firm foundation for your new work schedule. Make sure you have reliable scheduling software like Kadence to help you along the way.

 

Sources:

I Only Work 4 Days a Week — Here’s How I Manage My Time and Schedule | Business Insider 

How To Encourage Employees To Take Time Off And Recharge | Forbes

Overtime Pay | US Department of Labor | DOL 

Kadence 2.0: The next phase of hybrid working

‘You can’t put people in a box’ – it’s one of the resounding phrases we often think about at Kadence. A gentle yet constant reminder to ourselves to build products that empower people to really thrive in their work. 

For too long many people have operated within restrictive parameters in their work which sadly for many has hindered their true potential to be really great in it. Of course as humans we like processes and familiarity in our work yet we’ve been awakened to a whole new way of getting work done. Companies have realized that the trust and autonomy they gave to their employees during the pandemic breathed a freshness into company culture and their people produced the goods as a result.  

 

 

Now that teams are chomping at the bit to return to the office to collaborate with their teammates face-to-face, wouldn’t it be a wise move to try and make that happen?

Whether you’re looking for a quick fix to solve a current problem, or you’re looking to future-proof your office for hybrid working, Kadence has the platform you need to guide you through the obvious complexities of hybrid work. 

Discover our new solutions below, or chat with one of our teams today to find out how we can help bring your teams back together! 

Welcome Back To Work! 10 Encouraging Ideas to Bring Employees Back

Welcome back to work. A simple statement with the potential to make things better for your organization and employees. Think effective organizational communication among in-person or remote employees, improved meeting ideas, and enhanced employee well-being, among other things. So, how can you lead your employees back in 2022 successfully?

Tips To Warmly And Safely Embrace Your Employees Back To The Office

Whether you are the employer, a manager, or an employee, getting back to the office is touchy. Since every member of your organization needs time to adjust to this new change, you can make the transition smoother using these tips:

1. Clean And Prepare Your Office Building

There’s no better way to say welcome back to work than with a clean and appealing atmosphere. Cleanliness contributes to a triumphant welcome back at the office practice. Clean the working cubicles, ensure everything is organized correctly, and try and update any old working tools like worn-out chairs and desks to make your employees feel welcome.

2. Enhance Your Organizational Communication Channels

Proper communication ensures you experience a smooth transition from the onset because it keeps everyone informed. Make clear communication an essential part of your planning process by creating communication processes across all your business channels to ensure every employee receives their intended message. 

Some excellent avenues to pass information to your employees include:

  • Company announcement channels
  • Email notifications
  • Workplace app

Don’t use one channel. Instead, use every medium you have and consider integration solutions like Slack to affect your communication processes further. In a nutshell, your workers need to go through a lot of preparation before getting back to work.

For instance, notify your employees of your plans to reopen your offices beforehand to help them prepare. Parents especially need time to plan for daycare, and employees in distant remote locations might need to plan for travel back to their homes.

In your message, include the requirements your employees need to have before they are back in the office. For example, include:

  • The official reopening date
  • The introduction of flexibility within the workplace
  • The employees expected to be in the office
  • The employees allowed to work remotely
  • Remote working guidelines like the available desk booking software solution
  • The health guidelines for safety against the spread of COVID-19 variants, like the need to wear masks at all times
  • The safety health precautions like proof of vaccination for all employees coming back to work
  • New practices you plan to implement, whether to improve office efficiency or to safeguard against the spread of the virus, like testing for COVID periodically

Ensure your message is comprehensive yet easy to understand and follow. Also, include a contact your employees can use if they have any additional questions or concerns they need addressing.

3. Be Flexible

Many employees have settled into the remote working environment. The flexibility of setting individual work schedules from home has made remote workers more productive than office workers.

Therefore, going from remote working routines to a fixed working schedule is not ideal for many employees. Adopting a flexible approach to work is sure to make your employees more comfortable as they come back to the office.

Be Patient

Instead of making it mandatory for all employees to return to work, give them time and phase out their return. Besides, you still need to observe safety protocols like reducing the number of people gathering in one office room

Be Open-minded

Use this as an opportunity to navigate through transitioning your employees into the office while maintaining and preserving their safety. You can ask employees that feel more comfortable working from home to identify themselves so that you can schedule the rest for office days and desks.

Collect Feedback

Take suggestions from your employees with a survey on how you can better accommodate their preferences. 

4. Get To Know What Your Employees Want

Don’t assume your employees are mentally and emotionally prepared to be in the office. They might have concerns that never cross your mind, which you can mitigate to enhance your reopening experience further. As such, find out whether:

  • Hybrid workers prefer to be in the office on a specific day of the week
  • Your employees feel comfortable returning to the office, or if specific issues make them anxious
  • They think they can carry out their duties efficiently once they are back to work
  • They need any specific tools, technology, or equipment to make their work more productive
  • Your implemented safety guidelines and protocols make them feel safe, or if there are areas to improve on

5. Welcome Gifts For Your Employees

Personalized surprise gifts on every employee’s desk are quite the existential way of saying “welcome back to work.” For instance, a working mum might prefer a daycare money voucher while a health and fitness fanatic might prefer a well-being hamper. The more practical and personal the gift, the more your employees will feel your appreciation. Gift ideas to use are:

  • Desk or office plants
  • Nutritious snack boxes
  • Chocolate, brownies, or donut boxes
  • Health essentials like water bottles, masks, or sanitizers
  • After-work activity service vouchers
  • Self-care hampers with things like journals and nutrition tips

6. Plan For Team Building On The First Day Back

This is an excellent yet fun idea to get your employees back into the spirit of teamwork. For instance, an office scavenger hunt is the perfect team-building activity to work on problem-solving skills while working in a team. In addition, you can implement a regular “Kadence” of team-building activities into your employees’ schedule to keep encouraging them to work as a team long after their first day back to work.

7. Prepare For The First Meeting

When done correctly, meetings enhance productivity. Make your first meeting post-COVID a little better by creating a space where your team can share their voice and ideas. Include coffee, donuts, and other treats in your weekly meetings.

How To Prepare

Start simple with icebreakers, interact with your team, and then set the tone for the meeting. Ensure the meeting room is big enough to accommodate everyone while maintaining a social distance. Install technology like a microphone and a TV screen to help virtually bring remote workers into the meeting.

Encourage Engagement

Introduce your new working strategy and plan for the year’s first quarter. Make your objectives fun and tie them to a reward program to increase employee motivation. Allow creative ideas and discussions from your team members.

Give A Time Schedule

Create a timeline for your plan to ensure you meet deadlines. Use a whiteboard if you must to explain your ideas and strategies. Introduce a goal-tracking system where you track your team’s success once they achieve the goals on your board. Then introduce a reward for each win or milestone achieved for your entire team.

8. Create A Plan For Your Remote Workers

Accommodating your remote or hybrid workers in your welcome-back activities is critical to ensuring you remain inclusive. As mentioned, technology is a great way to bring your remote workers to the office regardless of their location. Therefore:

  • Include helpful technology in the office and ensure your remote workers have the right technology to communicate with your office. 
  • Use your communication channels to keep remote workers updated with daily work processes.
  • Send them their gifts to their designated locations and provide the flexibility to join your co-working spaces. 
  • Introduce social activities between remote cross-teams to keep them friendly to the working environment and increase teamwork.

As an employer, check on your remote workers more often than you do with your in-person employees. It is much harder to notice signs like burnout in remote workers. Still, you can combat these issues by regularly getting feedback through your hybrid model, personal observation, and regular talks.

9. Allow Your Workers To Engage With Each Other

Allowing your team to be more interactive means they might feel more motivated and less stressed to be back at work, thus increasing their engagement and productivity levels. This also encourages a healthy flow of teamwork and ideas. Therefore, allow on and off interactions throughout the day but clarify that they must meet deadlines.

10.  Onboarding New Hires

Certain dos and don’ts make new hires feel less anxious when they first meet their employers. So, when your new hires arrive at your office, please introduce yourself, your company, and what you do, then take them on a tour around your office building.

If you have new hires for different departments or teams, ensure you introduce them to the people in their group and then set a meeting time for a one-on-one meeting with their immediate supervisor. Once you’ve given them all your expectations and company rules, allow them to interact with other employees in the office.

The Pros and Cons of Hot Desking

The 1990s has a lot to answer for. The beginning of the decade saw the internet open to the public; by the end we had Google, eBay, and Amazon. Apple launched the iMac, Friends aired for the first time. It’s also the decade that saw a revolution in the workplace, including the introduction of hot desking. The unpopular cubicle office had been phased out, open plan was de rigueur, and companies were experimenting with a more flexible approach to workspace. In the intervening years, hot desking has developed a bad reputation. One 2012 survey reported that 9 in 10 workers found it morale-sapping. But is it really that bad?

The pros of hot desking

From saving space to boosting productivity, hot desking can bring many benefits to your organization. Because you don’t need one desk per employee, hot desking frees up office space. Use it as an opportunity to reduce your real estate footprint, or repurpose that extra space with amenities and features to enhance your employee experience. A variety of break out areas and meeting rooms, socialization space, or simply a more spacious, less cluttered office will contribute to employee wellbeing.

Departments can mix

Without a permanent desk, people end up sitting with colleagues from different departments. No more silos allow cross-departmental relationships to develop and workplace culture to flourish.

An uncluttered office

A clear desk policy is one of the fundamental rules of hot desking. You don’t want to take residence at a desk for the day and have to work around someone else’s “World’s Number One Dad” coffee cup, scrawled Post-It notes, and family photos.

Research shows that a cluttered office environment impacts productivity. It overloads your brain with information, taking precious cognitive resources away from what you should be doing. It affects the performance of your working memory. It takes more effort to organize your thoughts.

Flatter office hierarchies

If your company is the type where managers get first dibs on the best desks or offices, hot desking will level the playing field. Any desk is up for grabs, and the most organized will get their pick.

A flatter hierarchy can improve communication and the speed of decision making in an organization. It’s also empowering. Employees at any level get the opportunity to create an impact. Your company will benefit from enhanced creativity and employee engagement.

The cons of hot desking

On the other side of the fence, hot desking detractors bemoan the uncertainty it can cause and the time it can waste.

Looking for a desk wastes time

In a hot desking workplace, you need to search for a desk you’re happy to work at for the day. Like booking a plane ticket, leave it late and you’ll have to spend longer looking. Chances are you’ll be left with the seats nobody else wants. This all adds extra time – and potentially frustration – to the working day.

Humans do not like uncertainty. Something as simple as not knowing where you’ll be sitting, who you’ll be sitting next to, or even if you’ll get a desk at all, can create a stress-inducing start to the day

Difficulty finding colleagues

Not knowing where colleagues are sitting is another potential time waster. If your office is spread over multiple floors, a quick 2-minute chat with a colleague could turn into a 20-minute hunt around the entire building.

Overcoming the cons of hot desking

With proper execution, the downsides of hot desking can be overcome. You can have your cake and eat it. Enjoy the pros and minimize the cons. Here’s how.

Implement a desk booking system

A desk book system overcomes the number one hot desking complaint: uncertainty.

Desk booking software such as Kadence’s lets users plan their time in the office in advance, pre-booking the desk they want. Long term bookings also mean people who like consistency can book the same regular desk.  It gives your people the autonomy to manage the day on their terms.

Set up office neighborhoods

Office neighborhoods are areas of your office customized for specific groups of people. Team-based, activity-based, and project-based neighbourhoods are all common approaches.

Office neighborhooding means people can sit with the colleagues or amenities they need to be nearby. A neighbourhood for your creatives could, for example, include more brainstorming and meeting space than other areas. It means they won’t have to worry about whether they’ll get a desk with the amenities they need when they come in.

Make the most of the extra space

Hot desking just to cut down on your real estate costs could seem to your employees like a downgrade. Far better – if you can – to turn over extra space to areas focused on wellbeing. You could use it to embed biophilic design into your office, for example.

Is hot desking a winner?

Like the internet, when hot desking was first introduced it was a beta version of what’s possible today. Modern workplace digital infrastructure – such as desk booking software – gives you the ability to implement it without the complaints that have been commonplace since its inception. Repurpose the freed-up space with wellbeing in mind, and hot desking can become an important part of a workplace culture focused on employee experience.

The Human-Centric Workplace

Before we discuss what a human-centric workplace is, we must define what it is to be human. From poets, philosophers, anthropologists, religious bodies, scientists, politicians, and artists. Despite the efforts, the answers are diverse and inconclusive, because believing in a single answer would create silos between the brain, emotion, the body and so forth; we must consider the many angles that make up the whole human.

What does it mean to be a human at work?

Aristotle claimed that to be human meant having a goal, a purpose, to belong, to live a happy life. Karl Marx believed that humans are social creatures and can therefore only develop with a society. Anthropologist, Clifford Geertz, refers to human nature as unfinished because we require culture to complete us, and therefore it is through the interactions between individuals and their settings, between the natural and social worlds, the symbols and structures determine what it means to be human.

In the early days of our 300,000-year human evolution, work was simple: we worked to eat and avoid being eaten. Meaning and purpose came from elsewhere, whether it be spirituality, art, religion or science. As humankind has evolved, our identities, such as parent, friend, nationality, religious beliefs, hobbies, and our careers have become intertwined.

Work is no longer about survival; work has become an extension of our identity. Social connectedness, culture, belonging, purpose, the ability to think – these are not things that simply stop when somebody is working. Neither does our lifestyle, our responsibilities, worries, fears or anxieties. Yet somehow, we have been hooked into believing that when at work, we must dimmish such humanity and appear robotic.

People are not just cogs in your organization’s machine, merely existing to drive your organization’s financial success. People do not want to be managed, controlled, and worn down. The employee experience has evolved and continues to do so.

Despite the initial panic following the mass exodus out of the workplace, thanks to the hard work of the workplace ninjas, technology, conscious leadership and a ton of resilience, the world is functioning; the impossible became workable. Hybrid working is the talk of the town, not many would argue against work not being somewhere we go but what we do and why we do it.

There is still space in your employee experience for the physical workplace, and its important space that needs to be used to drive connectedness, collaboration and belonging. We have been presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine work and the workplace.

Understanding the ‘why’ of your workplace

Let’s drop all the labels, the core at all of this is flexible working practices, agile mindsets, ABW environments utilising smart technology. This isn’t about a free for all or looking at what your competitors do….or what’s being said on LinkedIn. We must understand the why of your workplace – what role does the physical workplace play in enabling the organizational purpose and for people to thrive?

We must capture granular-level detail to really understand the why of the workplace and the why and how of our people, before prescribing the where. A place where people thrive is a place where people know and connect with the purpose, are enabled to treated like human. The Human-Centric Workplace is about highlighting that we can do better, and we must do better.

Keen to find out how to build a better working experience for your people? Join the discussion with Simone in the upcoming webinar! 

 

The One Step You Shouldn’t Skip To Encourage Hybrid Collaboration

Here’s the simple truth. The success of your return to the office plan and the way you approach the next phase of work will determine the level of employee job satisfaction in your company. It will play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining talent in the future.

You could rally your troops back to the office in the hope of reviving collaboration and productivity but you know that’s not likely to work. Too much has changed.

Most US and UK employees anticipate easier collaboration (60%) and better productivity (52%) after returning to the office – provided it caters to their needs and creates opportunities for those watercooler chats that leave them happier and energized for an hour and more afterward. A lack of chance encounters and in-person meetings will leave your people struggling to build trust and strengthen the emotional bonds that are essential to effective collaboration and wellbeing, particularly in a hybrid workplace.

However, orchestrating these isn’t that easy when more than a third of office workers expect to choose their working hours and location. Nearly half (44%) of them struggle with poor work-life balance and feel they need to be “always on”.

Employees may quit if you can’t offer flexible working

If you don’t allow your people the flexibility of personal work routines, you might lose them – or face a rise in anxiety and depression among employees alongside the resulting fall in company productivity. Yet, with flexibility comes the challenge of creating and maintaining an inclusive culture that doesn’t risk remote employees feeling like second class citizens.

The solution? You already know it.

Establish a people-first hybrid workplace that promotes natural collaboration

What many don’t realize is – it starts with the return to the office plan. Using it merely to take care of the logistics and safety precautions of opening the office doors would be a missed opportunity. Instead, allow it to build the foundation for a hybrid workplace that:

  • Gives people ownership of their workday – think flexibility of choosing when they come in, how often, and where they sit; and a workplace app that ensures a seamless desk and room booking experience).
  • Enables personal and team cadences with a balance of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration. They will be the difference between presenteeism – being in the office as a performative measure but working less efficiently due to exhaustion, illness, etc. – and joyful productivity at work.
  • Establishes inclusive hybrid meetings as the new norm, including desk booking software that focuses on facilitating collaboration by showing your colleagues’ cadences or allowing short- and long-term group bookings.
  • Creates a test-and-optimize process for continuously improving the workplace experience without relying on countless employee surveys.

The key is in the right mix of all the essential ingredients.

To discover the exact steps to creating a hybrid workplace that attracts and keeps the best talent – download our Complete Guide to Building a Return to the Office Plan.

Kadence Research: Workers Feel Trusted with Hybrid Working

New research shows office workers’ professional lives have improved since gaining greater autonomy over their working week.

San Francisco and London: New research from Kadence has revealed that after a year of flexible working, almost two-thirds of US and UK office workers (62%) now feel more trusted to do their job effectively. Of those workers, half also feel more motivated to do a better quality job (51%) and go the extra mile (48%) thanks to their new working arrangements.

Data from future of work specialist Kadence suggests employees are working more productively and efficiently thanks to the greater flexibility of time and place they’ve experienced outside of the traditional office. More than six in 10 workers said they feel an increased sense of trust because they’re not micromanaged as much as before the pandemic (64%) and are more free to do their work in a time that suits them best (63%). 

As workers embrace hybrid and flexible approaches to work, businesses need to support their staff to foster an appropriate work-life balance. Of the 2,000 workers surveyed, close to three-quarters (74%) reported an increase in their use of online communication tools, not only during their contracted working hours but outside of them too (71%).

31% have found that the prolonged use of these tools leaves them with less desire to socialise with friends and family after work, and makes it harder to communicate in real life.

True hybrid working, which strikes the right balance between remote and face-to-face time, could help to retain the productivity benefits of being at home, while tackling the habits that lead to burnout, like the overuse of technology. In fact, over half of workers said they would prefer face-to-face meetings at least once a week (51%), and would rather have them in the office (52%). Having the tools to find and book meeting spaces easily was also a priority (40%). 

Dan Bladen, CEO and founder of Kadence comments:

“It’s clear that a culture of trust is needed for businesses and individuals to thrive as we shift to hybrid ways of working. Employers must move beyond physical location and shape the future of work with employee experience in mind, ensuring it’s easy to coordinate remote and in-person time and that staff have resources tailored to their needs. 

“As offices open up, business owners should pay attention to the evolving needs and behaviours of their employees to understand how individuals prefer to work and where they flourish, so they can create a supportive hybrid environment. This also means encouraging a balance, where employees work productively but also know when to stop, to prevent burnout. 

“The pandemic proved that it’s possible for workers to be productive anywhere. Now it’s up to businesses to design work around their people, maintaining the flexibility they’ve become accustomed to, and enabling them to get the best work done, wherever they choose.”