Human Flourishing
Five Strategies to Adapt Your Office Space for Hybrid Work with Bex Moorhouse
Helen Attia
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As the world continues to embrace the hybrid work model, companies must rethink and redesign their office space to cater to both in-office and remote employees. I spoke to Bex Moorhouse, Founder and Director of Invigorate Spaces Ltd – a corporate wellbeing consultancy that helps companies curate its built environments, people experiences and culture.

This new work paradigm demands flexible and adaptable environments that support productivity, collaboration, and well-being. You can watch Bex and I discuss what attitudes need to change within companies and what actions can be taken to make hybrid work effective.

Also here are my five practical ways companies can transform their office spaces for hybrid work. Implementing each of these will foster a new energy in your office.

1. Desk Layouts: Flexibility and Functionality

One of the most significant changes companies can make is rethinking their desk layouts. Traditional office space setups, with rows of identical desks, are no longer effective in a hybrid work environment. Instead, focus on creating versatile spaces that can be easily reconfigured.

    Why It Matters 

    Hybrid work means that employees will not be in the office every day. Flexible desk layouts accommodate varying numbers of in-office employees and can be adjusted to suit different tasks and team sizes. This approach ensures that office space is utilized efficiently and remains functional regardless of how many employees are present.

    How to Implement

    • Modular Furniture: Invest in modular desks and chairs that can be easily moved and reassembled. This allows teams to create collaborative spaces or individual workstations as needed.
    • Zoning: Designate specific areas for different types of work, such as collaborative zones, quiet areas, and hot desks for transient workers.
    • Storage Solutions: Provide ample storage options to keep workspaces tidy and organized, allowing employees to quickly set up and pack away their workstations.
    2. Quiet Spaces: Enhancing Focus and Productivity

    In a bustling office environment, finding a quiet space to focus can be challenging. Creating dedicated quiet areas is essential for hybrid work, where some tasks require deep concentration without interruptions.

      Why It Matters
      Employees can often find quiet time at home, so if companies want employees to come into the office then they should be able to find this there too. Quiet spaces are vital for tasks that demand high concentration and minimal distractions. These areas help improve productivity, reduce stress, and accommodate different working styles, making them essential in a hybrid office.

      How to Implement

      • Acoustic Solutions: Use soundproof materials, such as acoustic panels and noise-canceling furniture, to minimize distractions.
      • Private Pods: Install individual work pods or small rooms where employees can retreat for focused work.
      • Clear Signage: Ensure quiet zones are clearly marked and respected, creating a culture of mindfulness around noise levels.
      3. Multiple Screens: Boosting Efficiency and Collaboration

      Providing employees with the necessary technology can significantly enhance their efficiency and collaboration capabilities. When hybrid, many conversations with internal and external stakeholders will happen virtually. Rather than expecting your employees to hold conversations on a single screen, equipping your meeting rooms and desks with two mean they can join virtual meetings and still have full access to a desktop.

        Why It Matters 
        Multiple screens enable employees to manage several tasks simultaneously, improving workflow and reducing the time spent switching between tabs and applications. This setup is particularly beneficial for remote collaboration, where screen sharing and virtual meetings are frequent.

        How to Implement

        • Dual Monitor Stations: Equip workstations with dual monitors or provide docking stations for employees’ laptops.
        • Ergonomic Stands: Ensure monitors are adjustable to promote good posture and reduce eye strain.
        • Technical Support: Offer training and support to help employees make the most of their multi-screen setups, ensuring they are comfortable and efficient.
        4. Policies: Clear Guidelines for Hybrid Work

        Creating clear, comprehensive policies is crucial for managing a hybrid workforce. These policies should cover when employees are expected to work in the office and what flexibilty they have when working from home. Ensure these are made as team-level agreements, rather than as company-wide policies. Each team is different and will have different requirements depending on their roles.

          Why It Matters 
          Well-defined policies provide structure and clarity, helping employees understand expectations and feel more secure in their work arrangements. This clarity can lead to increased productivity, better work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction.

          How to Implement

          • Flexible Scheduling: Allow employees to choose their in-office and remote days based on their tasks and personal preferences, within certain guidelines to ensure team coverage.
          • Communication Protocols: Establish clear rules for communication, including preferred channels (e.g., email, instant messaging, video calls) and expected response times.
          • Focus Groups: Speak to individuals and teams about the ways they like to work. Take this feedback on and ensure policies meet the crossover needs of your workforce.
          5. Desk Booking System: Streamlining Office Management

          A desk booking system can greatly enhance the efficiency of a hybrid office by allowing employees to reserve workspaces in advance. A system, like Kadence, ensures that desks are available when needed and helps manage the flow of people in the office.

          Why It Matters 
          A desk booking system prevents overcrowding and ensures that employees have access to the necessary resources when they come into the office. Kadence can offer Smart Suggestions that notify you when your colleagues are heading into the office so you can book a desk nearby. It also provides valuable data on office usage, which can inform future space planning and resource allocation.

            How to Implement

            • User-Friendly Software: Choose a desk booking platform like Kadence that is intuitive and easy to use, with features like mobile access and real-time updates.
            • Integration: Integrate the desk booking system with other office management tools, such as calendars, Microsoft Teams and Slack for a seamless experience.
            • Data Insights: Utilize the data collected from Kadence to analyze patterns and optimize space usage, ensuring the office environment evolves with your team’s needs.
            Some Final Thoughts

            Adapting office spaces for hybrid work involves a thoughtful combination of physical changes and policy updates. I think by implementing flexible desk layouts, creating quiet spaces, providing multiple screens, establishing clear policies, and utilizing a desk booking system, companies can create a dynamic and supportive work environment. These strategies not only enhance productivity and collaboration but also address the diverse needs of a hybrid workforce, ensuring that everyone can perform their best, whether they are in the office or working remotely.

            Embrace these changes to stay ahead in the evolving landscape of work and to foster a thriving, adaptable workplace. If you would like to see Kadence in action, book a demo with one our team.

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