Debunking 6 Myths About Hybrid Work

As more and more companies begin to embrace hybrid work models, there are still several myths floating around about what exactly “hybrid” means.

I recently had a conversation with a senior leader of a UK based company. This company went hybrid after the COVID-19 pandemic and implemented a policy where employees were required to come into the office for a minimum of two days a week. After trialling hybrid, they reflected that it had not been a success.

Listening to this was disheartening. I realised that their implementation of hybrid work was based upon myths circulating about the limitations of the model. Common mistakes were made based on these myths and I want to tackle some of these head on.

You can listen to the full conversation here. Of course, we’ve anonymized their voice to protect their privacy. Hear what they have to say and then let me delve deeper into some of the assumptions made and how hybrid really can work for you and your team.

You can hear, how this company “sleepwalked” into becoming a hybrid company. Without a strategy and the right tools to propel their success, they succumbed to believing hybrid was a nuisance, based only by what they thought was happening. Many of these myths can be off-putting to business leaders considering the switch. “I’m hesitant to implement a system that seems so hard to manage…” “There’s no way Hybrid can increase productivity like fully in-person work”.

In this article, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths about hybrid work – and hopefully help you understand what a transition to hybrid means for you and your employees.

Myth 1: Hybrid Work is just another name for remote work

By far the most common myth is that the term “hybrid work” is just another way to refer to remote work.

Since the pandemic, companies have had to reckon with the fact that maintaining fully office-based work is simply not feasible. Clutching around for solutions, many have ended up in somewhat of a working “no man’s land” — neither committing to remote nor office-based work.

This has led to confusion. Many people have been led to believe that “hybrid work” is just another way of referring to fully remote work — or, worse, a company that is still figuring out what to do.

Truth: Hybrid work is a developing model of work in its own right. It even has a manifesto that states its foundations and core principles. Hybrid work helps you leverage the balance of in-person and remote work to the advantage of your company, whether that be through building strong communities, identifying opportunities for optimization, or ushering in a more productive workforce.

Myth 2: Hybrid work is less productive than in-office work

Many employers worry that implementing hybrid work will lead to a decrease in their employees’ productivity.

This myth is founded on the (false!) idea that a flexible workforce, divided between their homes and the office, will ultimately be less focused, accountable, and productive. You’ll hear from the conversation I had with that senior leader that they thought team issues were down to hybrid work.

The truth couldn’t be more different. And the data supports it.

Truth: Studies have shown that employees who have the flexibility to work from home are more productive than those who are forced to work in the office every day. Furthermore, 63% of high-growth companies were found to have opted for a hybrid model.

In the grand scheme of things, hybrid work boosts employee satisfaction, reduces burnout, and stimulates an even more productive workforce.

Myth 3: Hybrid Work Models do two things at once – badly

Hybrid products have got a lot of stick in the past. Sofas which are also beds, and washing machines that are driers — doing two things at once often means not doing either one properly.

In the same way, a common myth surrounding hybrid work is that it’s a system that falls short of delivering on both of its core functions. A makeshift solution that companies must implement “before things go back to normal”.

This idea can deter business owners who are looking to make sense of the post-pandemic working world. Luckily for them — it is naught but a myth!

Truth: Hybrid work is a long-term strategic decision that business owners are taking to bring out the best in both remote and in-person work. Hybrid offers employees the flexibility to choose where they want to work while keeping the benefits of human connection and collaboration central to any company’s identity – and likelihood of success.

This is the future of work and it’s here to stay. The nostalgia for a five day working week means you’re not reaching the full potential of your workforce. It’s holding you back.

Myth 4: Hybrid Work Models are difficult to manage

Managing a hybrid workforce can seem daunting at first glance — and many have been led to believe that it is far more of a challenge than 100% office-based work (or 100% remote).

With so many moving parts, surely keeping on top of office attendance and team coordination is a borderline impossible task? Let alone making sure everyone is happy with the way things are being operated!

You may think you need to enforce rules like a minimum of two days in the office per week. But these only undermine the trust between the company and their employees that hybrid allows for. Increased trust means better well-being. Feeling good means more productivity. It’s that simple.

Truth: Again — good news. With the right tools and processes in place, managing a hybrid workforce is just as seamless as managing an in-person team. Products like Kadence exist to help businesses manage the complex logistics of hybrid work by providing a platform for team collaboration and project management. With smart desk booking and full transparency over team members’ work schedules – you’ll find that your hybrid model starts to operate itself.

Myth 5: Hybrid comes at the expense of community

Another myth that surrounds hybrid work is the supposed negative effect it has on a company’s sense of community.

Many are under the impression that employees splitting their time between the office and remote work means less opportunity for team members to bond and form connections with each other. A scattered team leads to a community that is out of touch with itself.

Wrong again!

Truth: Hybrid work is designed to help companies rebuild their communities after two years of remote work. With the right hybrid tool in place, employees will be more intentional than ever about their use of the office — choosing when to come in to collaborate, connect, and socialize with their other coworkers. The flexibility and work-life balance hybrid work bestows on them also leads to higher job satisfaction, well-being, and a desire to be active participants in their company’s cultural development.

Myth 6: Companies don’t ‘need’ Hybrid Work Models

This final myth revolves around a broader attitude some business leaders have taken towards hybrid work.

There is a feeling that hybrid work, for many of the reasons mentioned in the myths above, is simply a “nice-to-have” — a small adjustment in policies that doesn’t fundamentally alter the way a business operates.

Many are sticking to their guns when it comes to sanctioning in-person or remote work, while hybrid work is pigeonholed as something companies can do if they allow themselves the luxury.

Truth: The world of work has changed beyond recognition, and it is simply neither feasible nor optimal for business leaders to double down on “fully remote” or “fully in-person” systems. Hybrid work alters the way your company operates on a fundamental level. It is the work model that will help companies find their true working identities for many years to come.

With the working world changing and evolving at an alarming pace, it’s no wonder myths continue to proliferate around different approaches to work.

At Kadence, we help businesses understand how they can make hybrid work for them — by implementing a working model that benefits their people – and profits – in the long term.

If you’re unsure how hybrid can work for you, chat to one of our team. We’re here to help you find your rhythm at work.

Listening and The Power of Team-Level Agreements

Gallup recently found that only 12% of hybrid workers benefit from hybrid policies decided by their individual team.

Crucially — they also found that this small group is also the most engaged.

It seems that when employees are given the trust and autonomy to make their own decisions — and be really heard by their team members — they become more satisfied as a result.

As Head of People and Partnerships at Kadence, my job is all about helping the people around me flourish at work.

In this piece I’ll guide you through what we’ve learned at Kadence about the power of listening to your teammates — and how it keeps us organized and focused on outcomes.

And check out this conversation I had with the wonderful Brian Elliott about what it means to listen and support teams.

Communication: The Foundation of Hybrid Work

At Kadence, our mission is helping companies to find the right rhythm of work for their unique teams.

Our employees work between San Francisco and Amsterdam, and every single one of us has the option to choose how and where we get our work done.

The distribution of our team, while being a great illustration of what it means to be fully hybrid, has shown us loud and clear the importance of strong communication in hybrid teams. It can be tricky to coordinate employees who are spread over the world, let alone keep them happy and fulfilled at work. Good communication is the foundation.

Our technology is built precisely for this. By providing our employees with tools to help manage their schedules, coordinate with colleagues, and make sure they’re in the right place at the right time, we ensure everyone has access to a base layer of communication. Schedule management is about more than just logistics — it’s about sharing the when, where and what of work with your teammates, so you can coordinate and communicate with them better.

These tools have helped us become a better company, where our distributed teams feel connected despite the distances.

But we’ve also found that none of this would make sense without first ensuring we have the first part of communication in place – listening.

The Importance of Listening

Experts in the field of work agree that keeping open communication channels and practicing active listening are one of two key factors in employee retention and satisfaction.

Listening is powerful.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? The feeling of being listened to is one of the most validating things you can experience, whether in your personal or professional life.

When it comes to navigating the ins and outs of hybrid work, listening is all about understanding the unique preferences and needs of each individual employee.

Those preferences extend to the frequency of office-based work, team meetings, company-wide gatherings and other specific hybrid work routines.

At Kadence, we hold regular feedback sessions on company and team levels to ensure our employees have the feeling they are actively being heard, and give them a platform to air any concerns or developments in their navigation of flexible work.

One of our most successful team-level agreements is that employees set their own agendas for 1:1s with managers. Those moments of discussion shouldn’t be managers “checking up” on their teammates but rather employees feeling comfortable raising any number of topics that have been on their mind.

Through encouraging active listening to each other, we hope to head towards a rhythm of work where everyone in the company feels fully heard and understood.

Documenting Discussions: TLAs

In the journey towards staying connected and coordinated as a distributed team — we’ve understood that alignment is even more powerful when it’s done on the team level. And when it’s put down in writing!

TLAs – or “team-level agreements” – have been a game changer for making sure we document and keep to the discussions we have about where, when and how we do work. Just because our team is spread out over various countries, it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice on alignment and connection.

Team-level agreements leave the finer details of hybrid work entirely up to our individual teams. Through open discussion and constant iteration, teams can decide for themselves:

  • Their core working hours
  • The team rituals
  • Their balance of remote and in-person work
  • Their main communication channels and work tools

We believe that sweeping hybrid company policies aren’t useful when it comes to ensuring everyone is on the same page about how and where to do work. Everyone just ends up on their ”own” page!

By giving our teams the power and autonomy to choose a work system that makes most sense for them and as part of the whole culture — we hope to see our people flourish and grow more than ever.

And by encouraging them to get their team values and rituals down as tangible agreements, we ensure the work we put towards listening to each other translates to concrete actions.

At Kadence, we’re constantly editing the blueprint out for ourselves. We see hybrid and flexible work as living things — not simple company policies established once and for all.

For that reason, we’ve found communication to be crucial: especially when trying to make sense of a distributed team.

We encourage as much discussion and feedback as possible, and our hope with that is to continue learning together about the challenges we will inevitably face as a hybrid organization.

Only that way can we continue to optimize the experience here — while bringing out the best in our people, and ultimately our business.

To find out more, check out some of our other available resources or book a demo with the team to see how Kadence can transform your workplace.

Transforming the Public Sector with Andy Lake

As we step into a future where the lines between our professional and personal lives are increasingly blurred. The need for smarter, more flexible workspaces has never been more apparent.

The public sector, traditionally seen as a bastion of the ‘old ways’ of working, is now at the forefront of this transformation.

I recently sat down with Andy Lake, a leading figure in the world of flexible and smart working, to discuss how the public sector can evolve to not just keep pace with the private sector, but lead by example in creating dynamic, inclusive, and effective work environments.

The evolution of work

The journey towards smart workplaces isn’t just about adopting new technologies or policies — it’s about fundamentally rethinking the relationship between our work and our lives.

For too long, the rigidity of the 9-to-5, office-bound work model constrained the potential of our institutions to innovate and adapt.

Now that the private sector is swiftly moving towards a system that’s less about where you spend your time and more about how you spend your time — our public institutions are in the unique position of being able to follow a blueprint being laid out for them.

By embracing smart flexibility, the public sector can become an environment that adapts to the needs of its most valuable asset: its people.

Smart flexibility goes beyond the option to work from home on a Friday or to start the day an hour early. It’s about creating a culture where flexibility is woven into the very fabric of how an organization operates. A framework of trust between employer and employee based on the understanding that it’s more than possible to be in control of a flexible work schedule.

The challenge for the public sector

The public sector faces unique challenges in this transformation. From local government offices to national healthcare services, the range of functions and responsibilities is vast.

But these challenges also present unique opportunities. By adopting a holistic approach to smart working, public institutions can set new standards for workplace innovation, inclusivity, and agility.

So where should a public sector organization start its journey towards becoming a smart workplace? It begins with leadership.

Transformational change requires buy-in at all levels, from the executive team to frontline staff.

This means engaging in open dialogues about priorities, challenges, and aspirations, and developing a shared vision for the future of work within the organization.

At the heart of smart flexibility is the empowerment of teams and individuals to work in ways that best suit their roles, tasks, and personal circumstances. This requires a shift in management style, from overseeing to facilitating, enabling employees to perform at their best, wherever and whenever that may be.

Technology as an enabler

Technology will play a crucial role in the evolution of the public sector and smart working.

Hybrid work platforms like Kadence offer public sector organizations the tools they need to manage flexible work models, coordinate teams effectively, and ensure that their resources are utilized optimally.

They give employers and employees a platform to flourish in a coordinated hybrid system, where everyone is aligned on the where and when of work.

With features that help managers set up regular team meetings in the office, notify employees when their colleagues have booked a room or desk, and high-level statistics on office occupancy and usage, a hybrid operating platform is a must for any institution looking to become more flexible.

When the right technology comes accompanied by a commitment to training, support, and continuous improvement — the sky is the limit for the public sector.

Looking ahead

As we move beyond the pandemic and into an era of rapid societal and technological change, the public sector has an opportunity to lead by example in creating work environments that are not only more flexible and efficient — but also more human.

By embracing the principles of smart flexibility, public institutions cannot only improve their operational effectiveness but also enhance the well-being of their employees and the communities they serve.

Transforming deep rooted work systems is not just a response to the challenges of the present, but a commitment to a more adaptable, resilient, and inclusive way of working.

The key? Communication, openness, and commitment to a better future for all of us.

What is Hybrid Working and Does it Make a Difference?

Hybrid Working has been making waves across workplaces. During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies found employees could work remotely and still achieve results. But how does this strategy play in a world where we are able to go into the office? Is hybrid working just a trend and how does it impact organizations and individuals alike?

Let’s explore its benefits, challenges, and the actionable strategies for successful implementation.

Demystifying the Hybrid Work Model

Hybrid working represents a paradigm shift in how we approach work. Rather than choosing between remote work or office work, hybrid work seamlessly integrates both. Employees have the flexibility to choose where and how they work. They base these choices on the task at hand. Some are easier to achieve in the office where there’s space for team collaboration. Others can be achieved just as easily at home or in a coffee shop.

Hybrid understands that traditional setups tend to confine individuals to a fixed location. This is not helpful and can be demotivating for the employee. Even the option of working from home only can be isolating. Hybrid strikes a fine balance between autonomy and collaboration. It’s about leveraging the best of both worlds.

Embracing Flexibility and Connectivity

The hybrid work model prioritizes flexibility, without sacrificing on connectivity. Most job roles that are office based come with a variety of responsibilities. Some of those involve independent work, but others will depend on working within a team. Hybrid working becomes sustainable when it allows its employees to choose where to work depending on what they need.

Working from home is a helpful option for everyone to have, but it’s not always the most convenient. If face time with colleagues means the work is completed faster, employees will likely decide to work from the office. If an employee finds they will be stimulated to work by being in the office, they will also choose to head in. There’s enough motivation for office time if companies place the decision in their employees’ hands.

See where your teammates are working with Desk Booking Software
Trust is Key

For any company that adopts hybrid working, trusting employees is paramount to success. When managers trust their team to determine where they work and when, employees gain control. This leads to better workplace wellbeing.

Mandates that call for returns to the office break this trust. They restrict freedom and this can only lead to resentment amongst team members. Companies can instead make their offices attractive places to work. They can have resources, breakout spaces, equipped meeting rooms and the like. Employees will feel compelled to come in.

It’s the lesson every organization needs to learn and the quicker it does, the sooner it will see results. When an employee feels that their manager trusts them to work, their morale is boosted. They foster a healthier work-life balance, which only leads to even more benefits.

Unlocking the Benefits of Hybrid Work

Hybrid work models can deliver tangible benefits for both employees and employers.

For individuals, it offers greater autonomy over their schedules. This increase in power leads to better well-being and in turn this leads to greater productivity. A Checkr Inc. study found that 68% of American managers want remote work to continue because of its impact on productivity and employee engagement.

For companies, hybrid working leads to cost savings. Less office space is needed, so real estate costs are slashed. There’s improved talent retention, because employees feel empowered by flexibility. There’s also access to a broader talent pool, because companies can attract workers outside of their local area.

Get insights on 148 bookings and 66% check-ins on floor 2 of the London HQ office. Alongside booked and checked-in floor occupancy levels for August and September
Strategies for Successful Implementation

To unlock the full potential of hybrid work, organizations must prioritize clear communication, robust infrastructure, and supportive policies. Establishing guidelines for remote and in-office work will help employees navigate hybrid work. Designing the office that encourages team collaboration will encourage office attendance. Using online communication channels across the company will help employees feel connected.

The greatest asset to any hybrid workplace is management software. Companies can onboard teams to hybrid working without having to worry about the logistical planning. Employees can share where they are working and when with their teams. They’ll be able to book a desk or a meeting room within seconds. This is especially helpful for companies who adopt a hot desking structure.

Consider Kadence

Kadence is the software that can help you and your team find your rhythm of work.

Our Smart Suggestions feature recommends when to head into the office. Teammates can easily find time to collaborate together, and even choose a desk next to each other.

Bringing in guests? Kadence can send out invites, book parking spaces and record who visited.

With Insights, Kadence gives you a detailed guide of how your team use the offices available to them. Reports will tell you what spaces are being wasted so you can save on real estate costs.

Kadence seamlessly integrates with your existing technology tools. You can use Kadence in Slack, Teams and more without disrupting your workflow.

The Verdict: Does The Hybrid Work Model Make a Difference?

Hybrid Working is the future of work. Our adoption of the hybrid work model represents a significant leap forward in how we approach work. By embracing flexibility, organizations can benefit from the best hybrid can bring. Hybrid results in both increased productivity and better employee well-being.

If implemented with the right systems and infrastructure, hybrid work can be a success. Companies will find themselves to be more agile. There’s more time and space for innovation and adaptability. And the focus is on maximizing the potential of your workforce, all whilst making some key cost savings.

Harness the power of hybrid working with Kadence. Book a demo with us to find out how you and your company can achieve your hybrid potential.

Rethinking Productivity: Embracing Outcomes in Hybrid Work

Is your company moving towards a hybrid model of work? Are you worried how you can ensure employee productivity when they are not in the office?

HR managers find themselves at the forefront of delivering success when companies move to the hybrid model. There are natural concerns about:

  • optimising productivity
  • ensuring policy compliance
  • inspiring office attendance
  • retaining company culture

These can feel daunting as companies embrace flexible working. However, the key to success might not lie in traditional notions of productivity. Flexible working advisor, Brian Elliott, told us how in his years working for and with hybrid companies, success has been found in redefining the outcomes.

Hear Brian Elliott speak to Kadence’s VP of People & Partnerships, Helen Attia, about embracing outcomes over productivity.
Navigating the Hybrid Policy Conundrum

Hybrid work policies are becoming the norm, with employees splitting their time between home and the office. Let’s be clear: leaders are worried about how they ensure employees are productive with the time they have. HR managers grapple with the task of ensuring compliance with these policies.

Instead of enforcing rigid rules, focus on cultivating a culture of trust and flexibility. Trust empowers employees, fostering a sense of loyalty that transcends physical boundaries. Rather than scrutinizing every minute of remote work, shift the emphasis towards measurable outcomes.

By setting clear expectations, employees are encouraged to manage their time efficiently. This results in increased autonomy and accountability. This not only reduces the need for micro-management, but also promotes a healthier work-life balance.

Motivating Office Time Beyond the Winter Blues

The winter months can cast a chill over employees’ enthusiasm for commuting to the office. HR managers face the challenge of motivating the workforce to step out of their cozy home offices.

Rather than relying on traditional incentives, consider the intrinsic motivations that drive employees. Create a workplace environment that encourages group work, innovation, and social connection. Highlight the benefits of face-to-face interactions. Emphasize the value of in-person collaboration for creativity and team dynamics.

It’s more than just inspiring employees to attend the office. They want to have their own motivations for coming into the office. You don’t need to persuade your teams, if they already feel compelled to join.

Allow employees to choose office days when they feel the most productive. This acknowledges personal needs and ensures that the office remains a vibrant hub of activity. As a knock-on effect, each employee will have fonder memories of the office. It’s likely they will want to come back.

Retaining Company Culture in a Hybrid World

Company culture was once nurtured within the confines of a physical office space. HR managers must preserve its essence, while employees navigate a new work model.

Rather than fixating on physical proximity, emphasize shared values and goals that transcend location. Be inclusive. Leverage technology to bridge the virtual divide. Consider virtual team-building activities, regular town hall meetings, and collaborative projects. These can strengthen the bonds among team members.

Solutions like Hybrid Work Management Software help ease your team into being apart and can help them organize their time. Their team will know when everyone is in the office or remote, without the need of fussy spreadsheets that cause frustration.

Encourage open communication channels. Ensure employees feel heard and valued regardless of their physical location. Grow a community in teams. This cultivates a resilient company culture that permeates from each team and thrives in both physical and virtual spaces.

Outcomes Over Metrics

Metrics like revenue per employee or hours worked can lead to a myopic view of productivity. HR managers must recognize that the true measure of success lies in the outcomes produced, not just the inputs.

Shift your mindset from tracking every minute to assessing tangible results. Instead of micro-managing remote hours, concentrate on the quality and impact of the work being produced. Allow employees the freedom to choose when and where they work best. Trust that they will deliver results.

In a results-oriented approach, employees are empowered to take ownership of their work. This autonomy not only enhances job satisfaction, but also promotes creativity and innovation. Break free from outdated metrics and employees will be motivated by the desire to achieve meaningful outcomes.

And when looking at metrics, look at your team’s retention rate. That will give you an idea on whether your team are happy or not. That will give you a sense of whether they have the incentive to be productive.

Breaking Free from Traditional Terms

The companies that succeed at hybrid work are those that fully embrace flexibility. The term ‘hybrid’ suggests that there is mandated office time. Brian prefers to think of companies working flexibly.

The terms “hybrid”, “productivity”, and “remote” are laden with preconceived notions. These may hinder the true potential of flexible work. It’s time for HR managers to embrace a more dynamic and inclusive vocab.

Rather than focusing on hybrid work policies, consider adopting a “flexible work culture.” This shift emphasizes adaptability and responsiveness to personal needs. Avoid fixating on productivity. Prioritize impactful outcomes and highlight the tangible contributions that make a difference.

Embracing Change: A Call to Action for HR Managers

HR managers must lead the charge in redefining how we perceive and approach work in the modern era. The challenges presented by hybrid work are opportunities. Innovate and create a workplace that thrives in the face of change.

The roadmap includes:

  1. Designing for Distributed Teams: Tailoring workplaces to the needs of distributed teams. Avoid enforcing top-down mandates.
  2. Prioritizing Focus Time: Investing in more asynchronous ways of working. Give employees the focus time needed for exceptional performance.
  3. Leadership Focused on Outcomes: Build leaders who prioritize outcomes over managing like hall monitors. Foster a culture of achievement.
  4. Investing in Tools and Training: Provide the necessary digital tools and training to support successful remote work. Reimagine workspaces as hubs for connection and teamwork.

HR managers can pave the way for a future where work is not confined by the traditional constraints of productivity. Prioritize outcomes over metrics. Cultivate a culture of trust and flexibility. Inspire genuine connections in the office. Redefine your terms to reflect our new reality.

Success is not measured in hours spent in the office or the number of Zoom meetings attended. It’s about the impact we make, the connections we foster, and the resilient cultures we build. Take the lead and champion a shift that empowers your teams to thrive in the evolving landscape of work.

Brian Elliott, one of Forbes’ “Future of Work 50,” is a speaker and leadership advisor. He combines 25 years of leadership experience as a startup CEO and executive at Google and Slack, while leading Future Forum, a think tank focused on the future of work.

He’s the bestselling author of How the Future Works: Leading Flexible Teams To Do the Best Work of Their Lives, a LinkedIn Top Voice, has been published in Harvard Business Review. Brian is also the proud dad of two young men and one middle-aged dog.

Embracing Third Spaces: The Evolution of Modern Workplaces

In the move towards more flexible ways of working, modern organizations are having to get smarter about how they use space.

That means integrating a hybrid operating platform and making sure existing office space is used effectively. For others, it means giving their employees access to flexible workspaces near them.

Through my experiences with WorkFLEX, I’ve seen another kind of space become increasingly popular among workers. One that provides a level of flexibility that more conventional workspaces cannot offer.

“Third Spaces” are non-traditional workplaces that are neither offices nor co-working spaces.

And they might just be transforming the way we work.

What are Third Spaces?

Third Spaces are any public space that can feasibly (and reasonably!) be used for work. These could be cafes, bars, and libraries, to name a few.

Think a cosy nook in your local coffee house. Your tablet is perched up against a cappuccino and you’re nibbling on an almond croissant.

Third Spaces can be a very useful environment to get certain work tasks done, like deep individual work, creative thinking, reading, or admin.

Professionals are turning to these kinds of spaces in numbers. 50% of workers recently surveyed by Opentable said they spend at least some of their time working in cafes and other Third Spaces throughout their work week.

We’re also seeing a trend in co-working spaces to adopt an atmosphere more typical of a third space. With integrated coffee shops, biophilic design and areas for relaxation, they are responding to a general move away from traditional office set ups.

Why work in a Third Space?

Third Spaces provide a useful alternative to the back-and-forth between office-based work and remote work.

While office work is a great way to connect to your teammates and collaborate together, it can sometimes feel like a pressured, limiting environment. Remote work, with all of its great benefits for flexibility, can be socially isolating.

Working in a Third Space can provide you with a perfect environment for a little mental break, where organic social interaction and spontaneous conversations still keep you stimulated and creative. A recent survey we ran found that working from Third Spaces significantly contributed to an overall sense of wellbeing in workers.

While these kinds of spaces can be less effective for taking calls, completing confidential work or tasks that involve more equipment, they’re excellent for big picture thinking, admin tasks, and other independent activities.

What about the office?

The office will continue to play a valuable role in our day-to-day work life. It’s a cornerstone of community, a platform for connecting with our colleagues and the values of our organizations.

And yet it’s often not the best environment for all the tasks team members perform each week.

If you’re forced to commute for an hour just to send three emails from your office, you’d be rightly frustrated. Tasks like this could have just as easily been done at the Starbucks around the corner.

Third Spaces are like the “joker” card in your modern work schedule. They’re a great way to shake up your routine and immerse yourself in a fresh work setting — when the right tasks come about.

Is a Third Space right for you?

Follow these four questions to assess whether or not you could work from a Third Space today. 

1. Do you have a lot of calls to make today? 

If yes, it’s probably best to take them from home or a designated area in your office. If not — a cafe would work well! 

2. Do you have any privacy or data sensitive work to do?

If yes — best to avoid a public space and conduct the work from the privacy of your home or office. 

3. Do you have a bunch of admin to sort out today? 

If yes, this could be a great opportunity to go to your local cafe and hunker down with a laptop. Crush those emails! 

4. Do you have some big picture creative or strategic thinking to get done? 

If yes, this is also a good time to find a Third Space that helps you take time to zoom out and get some important thinking done.

Trust is essential

Hybrid work is still in its infancy. Companies are still figuring out how and where employees get their best work done.

Recognizing that different kinds of spaces have their own unique advantages is a big step towards getting smarter about how we work.

Ultimately, it comes down to trust. Employers need to trust their employees to be productive from Third Spaces, while employees should feel confident enough to ask for this kind of flexibility.

When employers focus on outcomes rather than physical location, they are likelier to build happier, more productive teams.

In a world where all you need to be productive is a laptop and decent WiFi, it’s only logical that we should embrace Third Spaces.

In doing so, we’re opening the door to greater flexibility, creativity, and well-being.

Flexible Working: A Personal Journey to Empowerment

As the founder of wmpeople, I’ve witnessed firsthand the evolution of flexible working and its impact on countless lives.

Over the years, my platforms have become a haven for parents and caregivers seeking work that accommodates their unique life circumstances.

In its early days, flexible working was often equated with part-time roles or job-sharing arrangements. There was a common belief that working fixed hours at a set location each week somehow lacked true flexibility.

But my experience has shown me that flexible working is a multifaceted concept, encompassing compressed hours, annualized hours, term-time working, flexible start and finish times, and self-scheduling.

Flexible work is as diverse and adaptable as the individuals it seeks to support.

What about the ‘when’?

We often get so focused on the ‘where’ of work — office vs. remote, for example — that we forget that the ‘when’ is just as important.

One poignant story I encountered recently on workingwise was about a woman with severe arthritis who had to quit her job as a school technician. Her condition requires flexibility, not just in where she works, but when she works. Having the ability to work around her pain, at her own pace, could make a significant difference in her life.

Parents have also felt the brunt of rigid work schedules. During the pandemic, I saw countless families on workingmums and workingdads struggling to balance homeschooling with work. These parents needed the flexibility to shift their hours, often working in tandem to manage their children’s education and their professional responsibilities.

Although schools are back, the need for adaptable working hours remains, especially as we face ongoing disruptions like climate events, health crises, and childcare challenges.

Control and communication

Countless studies point to a simple truth: the more control you have over when and where you get work done, the happier you are.

The best part? This kind of flexibility serves the employer as well as the employee. In many successful teams I’ve observed, flexibility enhances productivity (benefiting the business) as well as work-life balance (benefiting the individual).

In our 24/7 society, having some flexibility over when we work is essential. This can be effectively managed with careful planning, robust communication, and a focus on output rather than strict hours.

Employers can set core hours to maintain coverage during busy times, but allowing some leeway in how any remaining hours are used can be a win-win for everyone.

In helping all sorts of people find the work that’s right for them, I’ve seen the profound impact that flexible work arrangements can have.

They empower individuals, especially those with caregiving responsibilities or health concerns, to continue contributing their skills and talents to the workforce — on their own terms.

As we look to the future, I remain committed to advocating for greater flexibility in the workplace. It’s not just a policy; it’s a pathway to a more inclusive, understanding, and productive work environment.

Mandy is the founder of wmpeople, the umbrella company of workingmums, workingdads and workingwise. These networks improve the world of work for everyone by inspiring and promoting best practice in diversity and inclusion amongst employers, and connecting jobseekers to work that matches their situation.

Tired of being the ‘Check-in Cop?’ 3 new check in easy features you need to know

It makes sense to make your beloved spaces bookable, and accessible for your teams, with tools that encourage them to use them right? We think so too. You see, spaces are meaningless unless they’re being used for a purpose, and now that people are chomping at the bit to return to the spaces they love whether, for social connection or team collaboration, it would be wise to have something in place to enable your people to check in easy.

You may even be wondering that the problem isn’t in managing spaces or making bookings, but rather in making it easier for your people to book, and access those spaces, in the moment or ahead of time. If that’s you, and you’re tired of being the ‘space booking, and check-in cops’, look no further because we’ve got you covered with this latest set of features. 

Arrive early, check in early

Getting to the office early for scheduled meetings, or to use the space you’ve pre-booked is better than arriving late, fact! Sometimes it cannot be helped, but for the most part, getting in the office early doors is never a bad thing. 

An evolution on checking into spaces and a much-requested feature by many now means all Kadence users can check into their bookings early on the same day if their spaces are available. With this new feature, your people no longer need to wait for their booking to start before they can start on their day. 

More Auto-release options 

When it comes to managing your spaces, and maintaining some level of organization, and order, one fundamental problem businesses are experiencing with other platforms is knowing what to do when people don’t show up to their bookings. If there is anything in a hybrid workplace that causes as much strain on the sheer amount of wasted time having to rectify this issue it’s this one! However, in most cases, there is always a genuine reason why someone might be late for their booking, and for those that have childcare responsibilities, or had their train canceled, losing your spot to work in the office that day just doesn’t seem fair. 

Having more Auto-release options (1 hour, 1.5 hours, 2 hours & 3 hours) gives Admins far more flexibility when it comes to managing bookings, and ensures that you and your people get the spaces you need when you need them.

Easy check-in

Book the perfect space in your favorite office every time 

When you’re planning to come to the office, and you’re wanting to see who’s there, and what spaces are available that day, this newest feature makes your preferred place to work your default location. So whenever you go to see what spaces are available on the web app, you’re right where you need to be.


Making it easy for your people to make space bookings, and check into those spaces is the only way to go when it comes to organizational hybrid working. It not only encourages your people to come to the office, and not waste bookings, but it means your spaces are being used in the ways that they are intended. Remember, spaces are meaningless unless they’re being used for a purpose, and now with these new features, you can make it easier than ever for your teams to enjoy them.

Interested in getting started? Kick off your free trial today or get in touch with our team for a demo.

Do you have trouble getting your teams into the office?

Safely manage your team’s return in the New Year

If you’re planning a safe return to the office for your team in the New Year, it’s important to put the right steps in place to ensure your team can be productive and safe while they work and collaborate. 

With new variants and added uncertainty, there will continue to be ebbs and flows, ups and downs, as companies open up their offices again for Hybrid…which is exactly why companies are turning to Kadence.

The solution needs to be simple to use and fast to rollout, and now with Kadence it is. With all the essential tools you need in one place, you can quickly and effectively make sure your entire office is secure, and safe for your employees to return – here’s how.

Simple health sign-in – Ensure a safe and secure re-entry to the office

Admins can set health screening guidelines to align with their company’s health and safety policies. Determine employee health instructions and include anything you want from vaccine mandates to wearing a mask. Release desk bookings for no-shows and allow employees to book spaces up to 3 months in advance. Allow employees and visitors to self-certify before checking in to their reserved spaces from 1hr, 2hrs, or 24hrs of their arrival and prevent employees from checking in if they have not self-certified. With Kadence simple health sign-in, you set the parameters to keep your people safe. Find out more about our visitor management solution.


Self certify Workspace Scheduling Software

Team contact tracing – Manage people’s safety in the office

Access your team’s schedule in the Teams Activity overview to see when and where employees are working and see who they’re working with on the interactive floorplan. Know which spaces they’ve booked now and in the future and block out particular spaces or neighborhoods to implement social distance space booking for added safety.

Find out more about our people coordination solution.


People coordination - Workspace Scheduling Software

Touchless experience – An all-in-one booking tool, all-in-one place

Employees can also book any space that’s available either near colleagues or anywhere on the floorplan with the right amenities they need for the day eg. Sit-stand desk, monitors, keyboard, etc. Reserve a private room for a group meeting, book a parking space for their ride, and admins can book on behalf of others all within the mobile app booking flow.

Find out more about our desk scheduling & room scheduling solutions.



Oversee capacity limits – Rich space usage insights for easy decision making

Easily understand space usage insights so you can set building and floor capacity limits and re-assign employees to under-used space. Control booking permission levels to anyone you choose and book on behalf of others helping you bring your team together on particular days.


Desk Management Software



Check out this post to learn how to set up self-certification to help meet the U.S. vaccination mandate requirements.

Interested to see how Kadence can help bring your team back to the office safely? Book a demo with one of our team today to find out more.

Hybrid Workplace Persona #3: The Culturalist

In our hybrid workplace persona blog series, we’re taking a look at the personas you’re most likely to encounter in your hybrid working office. The four hybrid working employee personas – Soloists, Adapters, Culturalists and Traditionalists – will each approach hybrid differently. Understanding these differences will help you navigate a smooth transition from a traditional, nine-to-five office culture to a hybrid one.

Change can be unsettling for anybody. Insight into the people you’re catering for will inform the tools, systems and culture you need to put in place to keep staff happy and engaged.

In this edition, we’re looking at the Culturalist.

The Culturalist: The networking persona

The Culturalist is the social butterfly, the networking persona. This hybrid working persona loves to spend time with other people and they thrive as part of an office community. The polar opposite to the Soloist; working remotely all week in isolation is definitely not for them. Their preferred habitat is the informal meeting area or collaboration space, or you might also spot them chatting at the water cooler or office social areas throughout the day.

But don’t mistake their social nature for slacking off. Often seen as extroverts, Culturalists are energized by socializing and having people around them. They can be great problem solvers and networkers. They’re heavily invested in the workplace community and are often a driving force behind it.

They’ll be the ones organizing office nights out, baking competitions, and Secret Santa. They’ll also be the ones who are great at collaboration and working across departments, joining the dots and making things happen. Coming into the office should be an enjoyable experience for them. While the flexibility to work remotely will still be important, your Culturalists are likely to come in more frequently. 

Creating a destination workplace

Culturalists will have missed connecting with others and getting out and about more than most during the pandemic. To help them transition to hybrid you’ll need to make them feel engaged and feed their social side for the best workplace experience.

The opportunity to collaborate is important to them so make sure there’s space designed for teamwork

  • Collaboration hubs with interactive whiteboards, video conferencing or hybrid meeting setup to make meetings more inclusive 
  • Open areas with comfy chairs and refreshments for chance encounters, impromptu brainstorming sessions and small social gatherings 
  • Silent zones for undisturbed, focused work for those coming to the office to run away from bad internet connection, or to take care of their mental wellbeing by enjoying a peaceful cup of coffee. 
  • Adding a splash of color and plant life can help people feel relaxed and make a break from the desk, encouraging communication and creativity. 

Get our guide on ‘How to make collaboration work in the hybrid workplace’ to discover more ways to enhance workplace experience for your Culturalists.

Create a ‘social’ room and desk booking experience

When they come into the office, your Culturalists will want to be sure they can sit near colleagues and have access to spaces that enable them to collaborate.

In many organizations, the days of one-desk-per-employee are gone. Desk scheduling software such as Kadence’s Wx offers short- or long-term bookings with interactive floor plans that show which workspaces are booked, by whom, and at what time, this can help guarantee they’ll get to sit with colleagues. The same goes for room bookingpeople can decide exactly when to come to the office to maximize opportunities for chance encounters and collaboration.

Know where colleagues are for networking and socializing

With a dispersed workforce, it’s easy to lose track of where colleagues are working on any given day. The last thing a Culturalist wants is to make the trip into the office, only to find the rest of their team are all working remotely that day.

Putting in place a system that allows everybody to share they will be workingtheir whereabouts during the week will enable employees to sync their own schedules with colleagues’ schedules. Culturalists will value being able to plan their week around the activity of their team.

Biophilic office design

Biophilic office design brings nature into the workplace. It’s based on the idea that humans are intrinsically bound to nature and the natural environment. Workspaces more in tune with nature can make us more content and relaxed.

When your Culturalists come into the office, they’re looking for an uplifting and positive workplace experience. Office design has a key role to play in creating this for them.

Design your office space with biophilic principles in mind:

  • Use natural materials, such as wood or stone
  • Ensure access to natural light and views of green spaces, if possible.
  • Create outside areas for people to socialize and relax
  • Add indoor plants to your décor
  • Embrace a color scheme that has echoes in nature

Optimize your workplace experience

Your Culturalists need employee engagement. They will look forward to the different aspects of office life. Being stuck at home working at the kitchen table will have been particularly difficult for them. They’ll have missed getting out of the house, working face to face with others, and socializing.

They are also keen on hybrid working. It gives them flexibility and work-life balance, but they can still enjoy coming into the office. Just make sure that you take steps to ensure their office experience is a collaborative and productive one.

Give them a simple and intuitive way to book desk and meeting space, the opportunity to sync their schedules with colleagues, thoughtfully designed collaboration and socialization spaces, and a biophilic-inspired workspace design.