Remote vs. Hybrid Work: Why Hybrid Emerges Superior

Many companies and employees have seen the benefits of working from home. Since the pandemic, many businesses now offer employees the chance to work remotely or with a hybrid combination of some days in office and some days at home. Both remote and hybrid work present unique benefits and challenges. Choosing the right one can significantly impact productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall organizational success.

In this article, we will explore the differences between remote and hybrid work, weighing the pros and cons of each. Ultimately, we’ll demonstrate why hybrid work stands out as the superior model.

Understanding Remote Work

Remote work allows employees to work from any location, typically their homes. This model has gained immense popularity due to advancements in technology, making it easier to collaborate and communicate virtually.

Benefits of Remote Work

  • Flexibility and Autonomy: Remote work offers unparalleled flexibility. Employees can create schedules that align with their personal lives, enhancing work-life balance and job satisfaction.

  • Cost Savings: Both employees and employers benefit financially. Employees save on commuting costs and time, while employers can reduce expenses related to office space and utilities.

  • Access to a Global Talent Pool: Companies are not limited by geography when hiring. They can tap into a diverse pool of talent from around the world, fostering innovation and diverse perspectives.

  • Environmental Benefits: Reduced commuting leads to lower carbon emissions, contributing to environmental sustainability.

Drawbacks of Remote Work:

  • Isolation and Loneliness: Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation. The lack of face-to-face interactions can make employees feel disconnected from their colleagues and the company culture.

  • Communication Challenges: Without in-person interactions, communication can suffer. Misunderstandings and delays in information sharing are more likely.

  • Work-Life Boundaries: The line between work and personal life can blur, leading to overwork and burnout. It’s challenging to switch off from work when your home is your office.

  • Limited Access to Resources: Not all employees have a conducive work environment at home. Issues such as inadequate internet connection, lack of proper office equipment, and household distractions can hinder productivity.
Understanding Hybrid Work

Hybrid work combines the benefits of remote work with the advantages of in-office work. Employees have the flexibility to work from home on some days and come into the office on others. This model aims to offer the best of both worlds.

Benefits of Hybrid Work:

  • Balanced Flexibility: Hybrid work provides a mix of flexibility and structure. Employees can enjoy the convenience of remote work while benefiting from regular in-person interactions.

  • Enhanced Collaboration: In-office days facilitate better communication and collaboration. Teams can brainstorm, solve problems, and build relationships more effectively face-to-face.

  • Improved Employee Well-being: The combination of remote and office work can mitigate feelings of isolation while still offering the flexibility employees value. This balance can enhance overall well-being and job satisfaction.

  • Efficient Resource Use: Hybrid work allows for more efficient use of office space. Companies can downsize their physical offices, reducing overhead costs while still providing a collaborative environment.

Drawbacks of Hybrid Work:

  • Complex Scheduling: Coordinating in-office days can be challenging. Ensuring that the right team members are present simultaneously requires careful planning and can be logistically complex.

  • Potential Inequities: Hybrid work can create disparities among employees. Those who can come to the office more frequently might have better access to opportunities and resources, leading to potential resentment and inequality.

  • Transition Challenges: Shifting to a hybrid model requires a change in organizational culture and processes. Companies need to invest in technology and training to ensure a smooth transition.
The Solution is Kadence

Many of the possible negatives of working hybrid can easily be solved through Kadence. Kadence’s desk booking software makes hybrid easy.

Scheduling does not need to be complex. Booking desks in the office can be completed in a few simple clicks. Kadence’s Smart Suggestions can tell you when your colleagues are coming into the office, so you can book a desk nearby. Managers can set team days where neighborhoods reserve space for team members coming into the office.

With insight and overview of when your teammates are coming into the office, the risk of potential inequalities is mitigated. Employees don’t have to fear missing out if they choose to work from home.

And with Kadence’s simple onboarding process, teams will know how to use Kadence quickly and efficiently. The transition to a seamless hybrid work model can be easy and painless for your company.

Comparing Hybrid and Remote Work

Productivity and Performance

Remote Work: Productivity can increase due to fewer distractions and personalized work environments. However, this heavily depends on individual discipline and effective self-management.

Hybrid Work: The blend of environments can lead to a well-rounded approach to productivity, with structured office days boosting team performance and remote days supporting individual focus.

Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

Remote Work: While remote work can offer higher satisfaction due to flexibility, it might reduce engagement without regular social interactions.

Hybrid Work: Hybrid work can strike a balance, fostering engagement through periodic in-person interactions while maintaining the flexibility that employees value.

Organizational Culture

Remote Work: Building and maintaining a cohesive company culture remotely can be challenging. Virtual team-building activities and regular communication are essential.

Hybrid Work: In-office days can help reinforce the company culture, allowing for organic interactions and stronger relationships.

Cost Implications

Remote Work: Significant savings on office-related expenses, but may require investment in remote working tools and employee stipends for home office setups.

Hybrid Work: Potential for optimized office space usage, with reduced costs for maintaining a physical office and supporting remote work infrastructure.

Insights allows Office Managers see how space is being used.
See how office is being utilized through data driven insights
Why Hybrid Work is Superior

Hybrid work stands out as the superior model for several reasons:

Optimal Balance: Hybrid work offers the best of both worlds, combining the flexibility of remote work with the benefits of in-person collaboration. This balance can lead to higher productivity, better employee engagement, and a stronger organizational culture.

Enhanced Collaboration: Regular in-office days facilitate face-to-face interactions, which are crucial for effective communication, brainstorming, and problem-solving. These interactions can lead to more innovative solutions and stronger team cohesion.

Improved Well-being: The combination of remote and office work can help mitigate the isolation and loneliness often associated with remote work. Employees can enjoy the flexibility of working from home while still benefiting from social interactions with colleagues.

Resource Efficiency: Hybrid work allows for more efficient use of office space and resources. Companies can reduce their physical office footprint, leading to cost savings, while still providing a collaborative environment for employees.

Adaptability: Hybrid work is inherently adaptable. It allows companies to respond more flexibly to changes in the business environment, whether due to a global pandemic, economic shifts, or other unforeseen events. This adaptability can be a significant competitive advantage.

Practical Solutions for Implementing Hybrid Work

To maximize the benefits of hybrid work and address its challenges, consider the following strategies:

Develop Clear Policies: Define expectations and guidelines for in-office and remote work days. Ensure transparency and fairness in scheduling by using Kadence.

Promote Equity: Ensure equal access to opportunities and resources for all employees, regardless of their work location. Address any disparities that may arise. Offer access to co-working spaces that can be used by employees located outside of the local office area. Kadence Flex gives companies access to hundreds of co-working spaces globally.

A Kadence Flex illustration of a map with various office and co-working hub locations that enables you to see where your teammates are working,
Join your team wherever they’re working with Kadence Flex

Encourage Flexibility: Allow employees to adjust their schedules as needed, recognizing the diverse needs and preferences within the workforce. Trust your employees to manage their time effectively.

Foster a Strong Culture: Use in-office days to reinforce company culture. Organize team-building activities and encourage social interactions. Ensure remote employees feel included and valued through regular communication and virtual events.

Hybrid work stands out as the superior choice. It provides the flexibility and autonomy of remote work while enhancing collaboration, engagement, and well-being through regular in-person interactions. By adopting a hybrid work model, organizations can create a balanced, productive, and supportive work environment that empowers employees to thrive in the evolving landscape of work.

Book a demo to find out how Kadence can help you and your company find your rhythm for hybrid work.

5 Space Management Solutions for Higher Education Organizations

The way we get work done in the professional world is changing dramatically.

If you’re a manager or employee at a higher education organization, you realize your sector is no different. As your workforce and spaces change, you are faced with a unique set of challenges in managing your spaces effectively under a hybrid system.

At the heart of these challenges lies the need to create an environment that is both functional and enjoyable for higher education employees. But how do you balance the demands of a modern workforce with the practicalities of space management?

In this article, we’ll dive into some of the common challenges your higher education organization may encounter in managing your space, and explore how space management software can help you get smarter about how you use physical spaces and desks — and ultimately solve your space utilization woes.

1. Downsizing Staff Offices

As your higher education organization evolves, there is a growing need to reconfigure traditional office layouts to create more collaborative and multipurpose spaces and save on real estate costs.

Downsizing staff offices and desk space to make room for other amenities like study areas, meeting rooms, and recreational facilities is becoming just as important as cutting down on unnecessary space altogether.

But getting a clear understanding of your higher education office space and managing this transition can be challenging without proper systems in place.

The Solution

To address this challenge, your higher education organization can implement a desk booking management tool. These tools help maintain discipline by requiring staff to book a desk before coming in, effectively managing who is in the office and when. Desk booking systems support the concept of desk hoteling, allowing staff to use shared spaces efficiently without the need for permanent individual offices. This approach allows higher education organizations to optimize on your space usage and make crucial decisions on where and how to downsize.

2. Understanding Space Usage

As well as the need to cut down on unused space, your higher education organization is also faced with understanding exactly how your existing space is being used.

University offices might have certain areas or meeting rooms that are rarely used, while other parts of the administrative buildings are constantly overcrowded. This uneven distribution can lead to wasted resources and frustration among your higher education employees, who may find it difficult to access the spaces they need when they need them.

Underutilized spaces often stem from a lack of proper scheduling and planning. For instance, large conference rooms might be booked for small meetings, leaving smaller, more suitable rooms empty. Additionally, areas designated for specific purposes, like archives or IT rooms, may not be repurposed for other activities when not in use. This inefficiency not only impacts the physical space but also affects the overall energy consumption and maintenance costs of your higher education office in question.

The Solution

The right space management tools will come equipped with data and analytics that provide valuable insights into space utilization patterns. By looking at a breakdown of how different spaces are used throughout the day, week, or semester, your higher education office managers or administrators can identify patterns in space utilization and make informed decisions that benefit everyone involved. That could mean “switching off” certain areas when not in use to save on energy bills or grouping desks in different spaces to distribute higher education employees more efficiently.

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
3. Seamless Scheduling and Booking

We’ve all had them. There’s nothing more frustrating than turning up to your workplace only to find someone has already occupied your favorite desk or work area. Even after you highlighted the right cell on your shared Google sheet!

Scheduling conflicts often come about due to the complexity of organizing people and their movements. That Google sheet gets confusing (fast!) and helps precisely no one understand which spaces are available and which are not. Desks in higher education offices might be frequently double-booked, or a conference room might be reserved on multiple days but never actually used.

Booking conflicts can lead to last-minute changes, cancellations, and a general sense of frustration among employees.

The Solution

Space management tools are built with the main goal of organizing people and spaces. That means they come with scheduling software that helps the people within a higher education organization see, at a glance, when and where there are available workspaces. By integrating a centralized scheduling platform, your higher education organization can streamline the booking process, making it easier for everyone to find and reserve the spaces they need without running into conflicts. A top tier space management solution will also come with AI-driven Smart Suggestions — automated prompts that help avoid scheduling conflicts and suggest bookings that make sense for each individual.

4. Fast Integration and Intuitive UX

Integrating new technologies with existing systems might seem like a daunting task for your higher education organization. Your current infrastructure may be complex and include a variety of legacy systems and software that are not easily compatible with modern solutions.

For example, you might have have separate systems for room bookings, resource management, and user access, all of which need to be synchronized to function effectively. This lack of integration can lead to inefficiencies, data silos, and — ultimately — a lot of headaches.

To add to your troubles, the rapid pace of technological advancement means that your higher education organization is always under pressure to keep up with new developments. This ongoing need for updates can be resource-intensive and disruptive if not managed properly. The result is often a patchwork of solutions that do not communicate well with each other, and only end up complicating the task of space management.

The Solution

Simplify! Space management tools are there to help you reduce complexity, not add to it. By integrating a platform that offers seamless management of room bookings, resource allocation, and user access from a single interface — you’ll find your higher education organization relies on fewer tools to achieve greater results. Furthermore, the right space management tool should be easy to integrate into your existing tech stack — an out-of-the-box solution that integrates with Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace or Workday — and come with a UX that is easy and intuitive to navigate as a first-time user.

Book room 11 and Invite Willa, Michael, and Jane on Wednesday using Kadence
5. Robust Security and Privacy

In an era where data breaches and privacy concerns are increasingly prevalent, ensuring the security and privacy of your higher education organization and employees is another major challenge.

Your higher education organization is most likely under pressure to protect sensitive personal data related to your employees, as well as information relating to the campus and facilities in general.

Without robust security measures, your systems are vulnerable to unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security threats, which can compromise the integrity of the organization and the safety of your community.

The Solution

Look out for space management software that comes with next-gen security infrastructure and measures. Your chosen platform should be SOC 2 compliant, maintain Cyber Essentials certification and data should be encrypted both in-transit and at rest. Making sure you partner with a space management tool that upholds the highest data and privacy standards will give you peace of mind when it comes to integrating a new tool into your university workflow.

Manage Your Spaces with Kadence

Effective space management is essential for creating a productive and enjoyable environment for higher education organizations.

Whether you’re dealing with unused spaces, scheduling conflicts, technology integration, or ensuring security and privacy, Kadence offers comprehensive solutions tailored to meet your unique challenges.

Our platform leverages data analytics, flexible scheduling, integrated technological infrastructure, and robust security measures to optimize your office spaces.

Trust Kadence to provide the tools you need to create a seamless, efficient, and secure environment for your employees.

How Desk Booking Systems Empower IT Managers

In any modern workplace, IT managers face the challenge of ensuring that technology supports the dynamic needs of their organizations. One such technological advancement that is proving invaluable are desk booking systems. These systems streamline the management of office spaces, providing a host of benefits that specifically address the pain points of IT managers.

Let’s delve into how desk booking systems enhance the efficiency of IT operations, improve resource management, and ultimately contribute to a more productive work environment.

Understanding Desk Booking Systems

A desk booking system is a software solution that allows employees to reserve workspaces as needed, ensuring that desks, meeting rooms, and other resources are utilized effectively. These systems come with features like real-time availability updates, mobile access, and analytics reporting. For IT managers, the introduction of such systems can transform the way office resources are managed.

Streamlining Resource Allocation

One of the primary responsibilities of an IT manager is to ensure that resources are optimally allocated. Desk booking systems provide real-time data on workspace usage, enabling IT managers to monitor which areas are underutilized and which are in high demand. This data-driven approach helps in making informed decisions about resource allocation, ensuring that office space is used efficiently and reducing waste.

Reducing IT Workload

Managing office spaces manually can be a time-consuming task for IT departments. Desk booking systems automate many of these processes, reducing the administrative burden on IT staff. Features such as automated booking confirmations, cancellations, and notifications streamline operations and free up IT personnel to focus on more strategic initiatives. You don’t need a team to manage desk booking if you have a desk booking system in place.

Facilitating Hybrid Work Models

The shift towards hybrid work models—where employees alternate between remote and on-site work—requires a more dynamic approach to office space management. Desk booking systems are ideally suited to support this transition. They allow IT managers to ensure that on-site resources are available when needed, while also accommodating remote work schedules. This flexibility supports a seamless hybrid work experience, benefiting both employees and IT managers.

Improving Space Utilization

Effective space utilization is critical in managing office real estate costs. Desk booking systems provide detailed analytics on how spaces are used, offering insights into occupancy rates, peak usage times, and trends. IT managers can use this information to optimize the office layout, potentially reducing the need for additional office space and leading to significant cost savings.

Enhancing Security and Compliance

Ensuring the security of IT infrastructure and compliance with data protection regulations is critical. Desk booking systems can enhance security by tracking who uses specific workspaces and when. This data can be invaluable in maintaining compliance with health and safety regulations, especially in environments where contact tracing or other security measures are necessary.

Implementing a Desk Booking System: Best Practices

For IT managers considering the implementation of a desk booking system, several best practices can ensure a smooth transition:

  1. Understand User Needs: Conduct surveys or focus groups to understand the specific needs and preferences of employees. This information can guide the selection and configuration of the desk booking system.

  2. Choose the Right Solution: Select a desk booking system that integrates seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure and offers the necessary features to support your organization’s unique requirements.

  3. Pilot Program: Start with a pilot program to test the system with a small group of users. This allows for the identification and resolution of any issues before a full-scale rollout.

  4. Training and Support: Provide comprehensive training for employees and IT staff to ensure everyone understands how to use the system effectively. Ongoing support is also essential to address any questions or concerns. Once users feel confident, they will feel empowered and will be less reliant on IT support.

  5. Monitor and Optimize: Continuously monitor the usage and performance of the desk booking system. Use the data collected to make informed decisions about office space management and to optimize the system over time.
Real-World Success Stories

Many organizations have already experienced the benefits of desk booking systems. For instance, Softchoice implemented a desk booking system to support its hybrid work model. The system provided real-time data on desk occupancy, which the IT department used to optimize office layouts and reduce the overall footprint. As a result, the company saw a significant reduction in real estate costs and an improvement in employee satisfaction.

Another example is MOPAC who adopted a desk booking system to manage its employees returning to the office. The system allowed the IT team to easily scale operations, ensuring that new employees had access to the resources they needed from day one. This flexibility supported the company’s real estate costs while maintaining a high level of operational efficiency. MOPAC saw a 35% month-on-month growth in desk bookings as employees found it easier to book spaces and return to the office.

Kadence for Desk Booking

Desk booking systems are more than just a tool for reserving workspaces. They are a strategic asset for IT managers. By streamlining resource allocation, enhancing user experience, reducing workload, and supporting hybrid work models, these systems address the multifaceted challenges faced by IT departments. They contribute to better space utilization, improved security, and foster a collaborative work environment.

As organizations continue to navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, the implementation of a desk booking system like Kadence can be a game-changer. IT managers, equipped with this powerful tool, can drive efficiency, support employee needs, and ultimately create a more agile and responsive IT infrastructure.

Find your rhythm for work with Kadence – a desk booking system that will transform the way your offices operate. We empower IT managers to lead their organizations into the future of work.

The Need for Wellbeing Resources Like Forte

What comes to mind when you think of the “workplace”? For myself, it used to bring up images of bustling offices, morning commutes, and deskside chats. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of the workplace has changed, giving rise to the era of the modern hybrid and dynamic workforce. As we navigate the new normal of hybrid work, employers and employees alike seek to find the optimal balance of flexibility, collaboration, productivity, and sustainability.

The pandemic threw us into a world where kitchen tables doubled as desks and Zoom calls became the norm. We’ve all had our fair share of comical mishaps, from pets photobombing important meetings to accidentally wearing pajama bottoms on video calls. But amidst the chaos, there was a silver lining—a newfound appreciation for human connection. I saw communities rally together, offering support, encouragement, and a sense of belonging in the face of uncertainty. It’s in these moments of camaraderie that I’m reminded of the profound importance of human connection for our well-being and flourishing.

At Forte, we believe that human connection is at the heart of personal well-being and our collective success. That’s why our platform offers unlimited, confidential access to certified professionals who act as trusted confidants providing personalized guidance and support to employees. We also provide a wealth of wellness content and insights tailored to the specific needs of each organization. 

The Evolution of the Post-COVID Workplace

Beyond the flexibility it affords, remote work can lead to increased productivity, reduced commuting stress, and, when properly executed, a healthier work-life balance.  Effective hybrid structures balance the benefits of remote work with the value of in-person collaboration, nurturing employees’ holistic well-being while driving business success. However, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenges that come with this shift, such as feelings of isolation and the need for effective communication and collaboration tools. 

This is where organizations like Kadence shine, offering solutions that facilitate seamless collaboration and connection in the hybrid workplace. By providing teams with the technology and resources they need to thrive in this new environment, Kadence empowers organizations to embrace the best of both worlds—flexibility and collaboration—while fostering employee well-being and driving business success.

Forte: Serving the Hybrid Workplace

Hybrid employers face the challenge of providing the flexibility and support necessary for their teams to thrive. From navigating the intricacies of remote collaboration to fostering a sense of community among dispersed employees, the needs of hybrid organizations are as diverse as they are pressing. At Forte, we understand these challenges intimately, offering an affordable and accessible service designed to boost employee well-being and drive business outcomes. 

Forte centers around three key elements:

  1. Employees have unlimited, confidential access to 1:1 conversations with certified professionals — known as Guides. Through audio calls of varying durations, employees can discuss what’s on their heart and mind – both professional and personal – and receive personalized guidance and support. 

  2. We offer a wealth of wellness content, including newsletters, e-courses, challenges, and webinars led by industry experts, all designed to empower employees and drive actionable change.

  3. Forte provides employers with valuable anonymized data reports, giving them insights into the specific well-being topics that matter most to their workforce. With these insights, employers can better support and prioritize the mental wellness of their employees, leading to a healthier and more productive workforce.

The Forte Impact

Employees who utilize Forte consistently report improved well-being, heightened levels of focus and presence at work, and a greater sense of work satisfaction. Our platform isn’t just about giving out resources—it’s about making real connections and giving personalized support to help people do their best. We’re passionate about helping people flourish by building meaningful connections. And it’s not just something we say—companies that use Forte see more of their employees sticking around and a friendlier, happier workplace. When people feel cared for, they do better work, and everyone wins.

In partnership with organizations like Kadence, Forte is committed to shaping a future workforce that is not only adaptable but also truly nurturing. Together, we can foster connection, productivity, and well-being at every level, empowering both organizations and individuals to unlock their full contribution.

Elevate Your Workplace Experience: Refurbishing for Hybrid Work

The workplace experience has become more and more dynamic each year since the pandemic. The rise of remote work, coupled with the resurgence of in-person collaboration, has paved the way for the hybrid work model. There’s a want for the best of both worlds. Employees want to work from home when it’s convienent and they want the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues in the office.

As organizations adapt to this new way of operating, refurbishing the office space is a strategic imperative. By aligning physical environments with the needs of hybrid work, businesses can unlock a myriad of benefits that enhance the workplace experience for employees and stakeholders alike.

In this article, we delve into the transformative potential of refurbishing your office for hybrid work. From fostering collaboration to promoting well-being, we explore how thoughtful design interventions can shape a workspace that empowers productivity, creativity, and engagement.

Adapting to the Hybrid Work Era

The shift towards hybrid work represents a seismic change in how businesses operate. It offers employees the flexibility to alternate between remote and in-office work, providing a balance between autonomy and collaboration.

Many companies feel anxious about how much time employees will spend in the office. Mandates to return to work are often seen as the solution, but they undermine the very agency hybrid work should offer employees. Rarely do companies think about how to encourage workers to come into the office.

The most simple way to do this to make the office an exciting place to work. If the ways we work have changed since the pandemic, we need spaces that feel suited to working hybrid. If the office presents an environment that working from home cannot, then employees will naturally feel inclined to work in the office.

Creating Collaboration Hubs

If offices then offer the unique opportunity to work with and alongside colleagues, then they should be designed with this mind. Traditional offices are a mix of cubicles, open plan layouts and meeting rooms. Each employee has a desk. Perhaps the new hybrid workplace experience actually looks different.

Companies could create hubs with beanbags, meeting rooms designed for brainstorming and creative work, places with coffee and snacks that resemble cafes. There are a plethora of opportunities and ideas that will help boost morale. With a diversity of spaces, the workplace experience can be many different things rather than just one. By swapping the mundane for a dynamic approach, organizations encourage office working.

Prioritizing Flexibility and Mobility

Flexibility lies at the heart of the hybrid work model. Recognizing that employees may choose to work from various locations, refurbishing the office to accommodate flexible seating arrangements and modular workstations is essential.

Mobile furniture solutions and adaptable spaces empower employees to customize their work environment based on their preferences and tasks at hand. This promotes autonomy and productivity. Most companies will begin a hot desking system, managed through software like Kadence. Because employees will no longer have fixed desks that they can personalize, the space itself should feel personalized to their needs.

Embracing Technology Integration

In the digital age, technology serves as the backbone of hybrid work. Integrating smart devices, video conferencing systems, and collaborative software into the office infrastructure enhances connectivity and streamlines communication across remote and in-office teams.

Analytics tools within software like Kadence enables organizations to gather valuable insights into space utilization and employee preferences, informing future design decisions.

Collaborative hubs should also be quipped with modern technology. This way organizations can facilitate seamless interaction between remote and in-office team members. These hubs serve as focal points for brainstorming sessions, project discussions, and creative ideation, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among employees.

Promoting Well-being and Comfort

A conducive work environment goes beyond aesthetics; it prioritizes the well-being and comfort of employees. Incorporating design elements such as natural light, greenery, and ergonomic furniture enhances cognitive function, reduces stress, and boosts morale.

We have seen a rise in employees using third spaces like coffee shops as places to work. 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. The community atmosphere these provide as well as comfortable seating, natural light, food and beverage helps create a workplace experience that feels holistic. Employees have often been encouraged to work in spaces that avoid distractions. And yet this often feels restrictive and does not meet all the individual’s needs.

Companies can go one step further. By dedicating spaces for relaxation, mindfulness, and physical activity, they provide for the variety of needs of the employee. This approach recognizes that by creating a positive workplace experience, employees are more productive and engaged. The company encourages a work-life balance and supports overall employee wellness.

Cultivating a Sense of Purpose

The workspace experience should serve as a tangible manifestation of organizational culture and values. By infusing elements of brand identity and purpose-driven design into the office environment, organizations can inspire and motivate employees towards a shared vision.

From curated art installations to branded signage, every aspect of the refurbishment should reflect the company’s ethos, fostering a sense of pride and belonging among employees. This will also make the space unique to the company and not molded from a template of what we would traditionally consider the office to look like.

Driving Sustainability Initiatives

As companies are encouraged to be environmentally conscious, sustainability should take center stage in office refurbishment projects. Using eco-friendly materials, implementing energy-efficient systems, and prioritizing waste reduction minimize an organization’s ecological footprint. This can align with their corporate social responsibility goals. By championing sustainability initiatives, organizations demonstrate their commitment to creating a better future for both employees and the planet.

Consider Kadence

Refurbishing your office for hybrid work represents a strategic investment in the future of work. By reimagining the workspace experience as collaborative and well-being focused, organizations can create a conducive environment that empowers the hybrid workforce to thrive.

Kadence can help offer insights into how space is being used in real-time. Design decisions can be based on this data. Real estate costs can be lowered by understanding how the space is being used by employees.

Book a demo today to see how Kadence can help you unlock the full potential of hybrid work.

How to Stay Connected to Your Hybrid Team with Steve Cockram

As Head of People and Partnerships at Kadence, one of the things I ask myself most regularly is “how do we better communicate as a team?”.

Operating as a distributed team, we are spread all over the world. For that reason, it’s really important for us to feel like we don’t sacrifice on connection and cohesion as an organization and group of people.

In a recent chat with Steve Cockram of GiANT Worldwide, I got into the topic of how to stay connected as a hybrid team — and why it’s so important for companies navigating a new era of work.

This is a summary of the ideas and insights that came up in our conversation. Please also check out my full conversation with Steve where he goes into even more detail of how to stay connected as a hybrid team.

Hybrid work: no longer just a nice to have

Hybrid work is still seen as a “nice to have”.

That means that leaders and managers acknowledge its importance for the health of their business, but they continue to forget to take it on board with regularity and intention. Basically: it falls to the bottom of the pile.

It’s high time we started to view hybrid work as an urgent, must-have solution that runs at the core of a company’s business and people objectives.

Hybrid is about much more than setting up a desk booking system and telling people to come into the office two days a week.

It’s about having an actionable strategy in place to ensure that your people are getting adequate relational connection (as put by Steve) — the lifeblood of emotional health.

But what does “adequate relational connection” actually entail, and why is it so important?

Building trust and relationships beyond the screen

The pandemic steered the course of professional work firmly towards screens.

From a situation where real life communication was the norm — working in an office five days a week — suddenly employees found themselves relying predominantly on Zoom calls (from home!) for social interaction.

The change happened overnight — and it somehow tricked us all into believing video calls are a like-for-like replacement of real meetings.

The truth couldn’t be more different.

As human beings, we rely deeply on in-person communication and interaction for our well-being. It’s this relational connection that builds trust and makes us feel happy and fulfilled — like we belong in a community.

Without this enormous part of us being addressed, no number of Zoom calls can fill the gap. Put very simply — if we’re not getting enough quality time together, our wellbeing, sense of community and productivity will all suffer.

HR teams are generally well aware of wellbeing and the need for their people to stay happy and healthy. And yet few have managed to connect the dots between hybrid, home working and emotional health and wellbeing.

Perhaps it’s time to flip the script on what it means to meet up in work contexts.

Rethinking time together

So how, as a leader, do you go about putting into practice what you know about the importance of in-person meeting for your team’s overall health?

According to Steve, staying connected as a hybrid team is all about reimagining what it means to meet up as a team.

A lot of the time, business owners are thinking about how to make in-person meetings more efficient and productive. As though the time spent together needs to showcase everyone “working harder” or “achieving outcomes”.

But Steve argues that it’s actually more important to view these social gatherings as exactly that — social gatherings.

Whether it’s quarterly, monthly, or weekly all-hands meet ups at the office — companies should start thinking about providing platforms for social connection with no strings attached.

The time you spend with your teammates together is a precious resource, and it shouldn’t be wasted on work tasks that could easily be done remotely.

The objectives therefore have to be different — less focused on direct business objectives and more geared towards deepening relational connection and trust.

The best part? The more you develop a concrete strategy for ensuring your team are connecting and communicating on a regular basis, the more you’ll see your business and bottom line flourish as a result.

This isn’t the first time the world of work has undergone monumental changes.

When the industrial revolution brought millions of people from rural work settings to cities, it took governments and organizations a long while to understand how to build legislation that kept people healthy and happy.

The same is happening with hybrid work now.

Managers and business leaders are trying their best to navigate a new era of working, but most are still yet to realise that the puzzle is incomplete without one large piece – people.

Time and time again, we see how the health of teams — as measured by the teams themselves — proves to be the most helpful metric on the dashboard of a CEO. It correlates directly with their likelihood of success.

So don’t cut short those lunches, coffees, team dinners. Enjoy them. They’re all part of deepening connections and trust between your employees that feeds back into the wellbeing of your business.

When people flourish, companies flourish. And at Kadence, our mission is to ensure you stay connected with your hybrid team.

GiANT Worldwide is a global leadership consultancy that helps thousands of leaders from companies of all sizes — from startups to Fortune 500s. Their innovative “5 Voices” self assessment tool gives leaders a better indication of their own natural leadership voice, from “Pioneer” to “Connector” and “Nurturer”. Once a leader has discovered their own voice, they become more self-aware; a better communicator; a quicker decision maker, and ultimately a better manager.

5 Advantages of Using a Hot Desk

Using a hot desk means employees don’t have assigned desks and instead choose from available workspaces each day. It’s become popular as companies shift to a hybrid working model.

Its flexibility offers numerous benefits for both employers and employees. In this article, we’ll explore five advantages of using a hot desk and how it can enhance productivity and collaboration in the workplace.

1. Flexibility to Suit Dynamic Workstyles

A hot desk provides you with the flexibility to choose a workspace that best suits your needs on any given day. Whether you prefer a quiet corner for focused work or a collaborative area for group discussions, hot desking allows you to adapt your environment to your work style.

And that work style can change each day. One day in the office may look like working a desk so you can do some heads-down work. Another day might be booking a beanbag with your colleagues to brainstorm some new ideas. Your desk is no longer rigid, but something that can adapt to your needs.

This flexibility fosters a dynamic and agile work culture where employees can thrive and perform at their best.

2. Optimal Space Utilization and Cost Efficiency

For employers, a primary advantage of hot desking is the optimal utilization of office space.

With hot desking, companies can maximize their workspace by ensuring that desks are occupied efficiently throughout the day. This results in cost savings on real estate expenses, as companies can allocate resources more effectively based on actual usage patterns.

    By reducing the need for assigned desks, employers can create a more collaborative and agile work environment while minimizing overhead costs. The way offices have been designed for fixed desks can change. The space can be used in more exciting ways, with workspaces that are customized for different purposes. This new look will also encourage employees to come into the office.

    3. Promotes Collaboration and Networking

    Hot desking encourages spontaneous interactions and collaboration among employees from different departments and teams.

    Without assigned desks, employees are more likely to move around and interact with colleagues they may not typically engage with. This promotes cross-functional collaboration, idea sharing, and knowledge exchange, leading to increased innovation and creativity within the organization.

    Additionally, hot desking fosters a sense of community and camaraderie among employees, as they have the opportunity to connect and network with colleagues. Rather than being sat next to the same person each day, employees can mingle and make new connections.

    Enhanced Employee Mobility

    In today’s digital age, many employees value the flexibility to work remotely or from alternative locations. Hot desking seamlessly integrates with remote work practices, allowing employees to transition between working in the office and working from home or other remote locations.

    This flexibility enables employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance while still staying connected to their team and the company. Using a hot desk eliminates the need for employees to be tied to a specific desk or location, empowering them to work from wherever they feel most productive.

      Supports Workplace Inclusion

      Hot desking promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace by breaking down physical barriers and hierarchies. Without assigned desks, employees from all levels of the organization have equal access to shared workspaces, promoting a more inclusive and collaborative work environment.

      This egalitarian approach fosters a sense of belonging and equality among employees, regardless of their role or seniority. By embracing this, companies can leverage the unique perspectives and talents of their workforce to drive innovation and success.

        It also can allow senior leaders to connect with their teams. Imagine working alongside different team members on different days, rather than being isolated in a separate office. Employees will feel they have access to you and that the company operates on a flatter structure.

        Consider Kadence

        A hot desk offers numerous advantages for both employers and employees, including flexibility, cost efficiency, collaboration, mobility, and diversity. By embracing this innovative approach to workspace management, companies can create a dynamic and agile work environment that fosters productivity, creativity, and employee engagement.

        To make using a hot desk as easy and effective as possible, Kadence can help you book desks and meetings room when needed. There’s no need for spreadsheets or timetables for when desks can be used. Our software allows employees the ease and flexibility that should come with hot desking.

        Book a demo today to find out more.

        Exploring the Future of Work: Understanding Hybrid Remote Work

        Welcome to a new era of work. Traditional notions of where and how work gets done have been redefined. But what is hybrid remote work? This new terminology has become commonplace. It’s now an integral part of both how companies choose to operate and the attraction of jobs to employees.

        In this article, we delve into what hybrid remote work entails, its benefits, challenges, and how individuals and businesses can navigate this new paradigm.

        What is Hybrid Remote Work?

        Organized Hybrid work represents a flexible approach to work. It combines elements of remote work with in-person office attendance. It allows employees to enjoy the best of both worlds.

        There is the freedom and autonomy of remote work and the collaboration and connection that come with being in the office. It’s about striking a balance between the convenience of working from home and the advantages of face-to-face interaction.

        The Rise of Hybrid Remote Work

        The COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for the widespread adoption of remote work. As organizations scrambled to adapt to lockdowns and social distancing measures, remote work became the norm virtually overnight.

        However, as restrictions eased and businesses began to reopen, many companies found themselves grappling with the question of how to move forward. Enter hybrid remote work.

        For some, the transition to remote work was seamless, highlighting the potential for increased productivity, cost savings, and improved work-life balance. However, others found themselves missing the social aspect of the office and struggling to maintain a sense of connection with their colleagues. Hybrid work emerged as a compromise, allowing employees to enjoy the flexibility of remote work, while still facilitating in-person collaboration when needed.

        Use Kadence to book nearby Adam who is sitting at Desk 2 on Wednesday
        Benefits of Hybrid Remote Work

        One of the key benefits of hybrid working is its flexibility. By allowing employees to choose where they work, businesses can attract top talent from around the globe and accommodate diverse lifestyles and preferences. This flexibility also extends to work hours, enabling individuals to structure their day in a way that maximizes productivity and well-being.

        Hybrid remote work can lead to cost savings for both employees and employers. With reduced commuting expenses and overhead costs associated with maintaining office space, individuals can enjoy greater financial freedom. Businesses can reallocate resources towards more strategic initiatives, such as employee development and innovation. And even more, all of this has a positive contribution to reducing a company’s carbon footprint.

        This approach also has the potential to foster a more inclusive and diverse workforce. By removing geographical barriers to employment, organizations can tap into talent pools that were previously inaccessible. Remote work arrangements can accommodate individuals with disabilities or caregiving responsibilities, opening up opportunities for greater participation in the workforce.

        Challenges of Hybrid Remote Work

        Despite its numerous benefits, hybrid work also presents its fair share of challenges. One of the most significant concerns is maintaining a sense of company culture and cohesion. With employees working from various locations, fostering a strong sense of belonging and connection can be more challenging. Organizations must invest in strategies to facilitate communication, collaboration, and team bonding in a virtual environment.

        Much of this can be solved by having in place an operations system that can organize calendars and desk booking. Employees can book time in the office when they need and share when they’re working remotely.

        Managing performance and productivity in a hybrid remote work setting requires a shift in mindset and approach. Traditional metrics of success, such as time spent in the office, may no longer be relevant. Instead, organizations need to focus on outcomes and results, measuring performance based on deliverables rather than hours worked.

        See which day Willa, Michael, and Jane are in the office and book nearby on the Kadence mobile app
        Navigating the Future of Work

        As we navigate the complexities, it’s essential to approach this new opportunity with intentionality and adaptability. For individuals, this may involve honing skills such as time management, communication, and self-discipline to thrive in a remote environment. It’s also crucial to prioritize work-life balance and establish boundaries between work and personal life.

        For businesses, embracing hybrid work requires a strategic approach to leadership, culture, and technology. Leaders must cultivate a culture of trust, accountability, and flexibility, empowering employees to take ownership of their work and outcomes. Investing in technology and infrastructure that supports remote collaboration and communication is also critical for success.

        Consider Kadence

        Kadence is the software that can help you and your team find your rhythm of work. The key to successful hybrid work is a software that helps you manage and adopt an organized hybrid model.

        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.

        With Kadence Flex, you can book desks at a number of available co-working spaces across the globe. This is helpful if you have a distributed workforce who may not be located near offices.

        Using our Insights feature, 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. Communication is made easy.

        Together, we can build a future of work that is both fulfilling and sustainable for all. By embracing flexibility, autonomy, and inclusivity, organizations can harness the full potential of hybrid remote work. Drive innovation, productivity, and employee satisfaction by remaining agile, empathetic, and open to experimentation. This is the future of work.

        Book a demo today.

        3 Ways Workplace Announcements Can Transform Internal Communication

        Introducing Workplace Announcements…

        Communication is the foundation of any successful hybrid workplace. If your workforce is distributed across different spaces, be it the office, a co-working space, or at home, it’s integral that everyone feels connected.

        Kadence is the management software that has allowed you and your team to find the time and place to connect. Now, Kadence can also transform your internal communications through its Workplace Announcements feature. Keeping your team up to date has never been easier.

        What are Workplace Announcements?

        Imagine you want to promote a social event at work or tell your team about a building closure. Rather than sending a mass email or a message easily missed in a busy Slack channel, you can now communicate directly with employees in Kadence.

        We’ve enabled admin users to create, schedule, and send workplace announcements that employees can see in their Kadence dashboard. In just a few simple clicks, you can notify them with key updates and important information.

        You can set priorities, so high-priority updates sit at the top of their inbox. And admins can segment who gets what information. You might want to tell the whole company about a town hall meeting happening later that day, but just the finance team about the plans for their Secret Santa nominations.

        Announcements are personalized to what you need them to be. And they bring huge benefits that transform your workplace culture.

        A Workplace Announcement on the Kadence dashboard informing employees of an upcoming town hall meeting
        What can you use Workplace Announcements for?

        Workplace Announcements can boost efficiency across your teams. We’ve come up with a few to help you get started.

        1. Company-wide Announcements

          Maybe you need to share a major company milestone or policy change with all employees. With Announcements, every employee, in-office or remote, gets the information at the same time, making sure communication is consistent.

        2. Office-Specific Updates

          Perhaps the facilities team has to inform employees in a specific office about maintenance work or office closures. Admins can target certain office locations with this feature. Only employees at the relevant location get the announcement. This is important for sharing information that only affects certain offices and avoids unneeded notifications for others.

        3. Team-Specific Communication

          Managers can use Announcements to share project updates, deadlines, or meeting schedules with a team. They can select which team needs to get the information and streamline communication.

        4. Emergency Notifications

          During an emergency like a fire or a sudden office closure, admins can inform all employees. Sending an Announcement is quick. Promptly notify everyone in a building with just a few clicks and enhance safety.
        The Kadence interface of a new Announcement of  a Fire Drill in the user's inbox

        Announcements like these can result in three key benefits that will transform your workplace.

        1. Keep Teams Informed and Engaged

        Distributed workforces are at risk of losing touch with their company culture. HR Managers need to ensure individuals feel like they belong to a company even when they may no longer spend as much time in the office. It’s easy for employees to miss out on key events that give them opportunities to connect with colleagues across the company.

        With Announcements, social events can be promoted in advance. It’s an easy way to let team members know about a colleague’s birthday or a bake sale that helps a local charity. Employees are more likely to decide to go into the office if given the chance to plan accordingly. And it’s handy that it exists in the same place where they can book a desk.

        Maybe you’re looking to encourage employees to come into the office, so you set up a cycle-to-work scheme. There’s no better way to tell them than in Kadence, where they organize their diaries and decide where and when they will work.

        An informed and engaged team will cultivate a stronger sense of culture and boost individual well-being.

        2. Talk to the Right People

        Our Announcements feature means it’s easier to share the right updates with the right group. This could be sharing information with one team, rather than the whole company. But we’ve learned that often updates also need to be filtered by location and booking.

        Perhaps there is a fire drill scheduled to take place in one of your office locations on the upcoming Friday. Everyone using that building will need to be informed. Kadence allows you to send an Announcement to every employee booked to use the office on that upcoming Friday. You can set the message as urgent so they see it at the top of their inbox.

        You can also schedule Announcements in advance. In this example, you could set a reminder for the fire drill an hour before it is due to take place on Friday. Everyone using the office on Friday will get that notification. This is true even if they spontaneously decided that morning to head into the office and missed your last Announcement that you only sent to those already booked.

        The Kadence interface of a new Announcement being created informing teams of a Cycle to Work Scheme
        3. Streamline Internal Communication

        Announcements enable managers to efficiently inform teams of company news and changes. And as a result, employees feel confident that they have not missed key information, because they know exactly where it’s stored and how to access it. The result is a workplace built on trust.

        With Kadence, you can also send the same Announcements to Slack, Microsoft Teams and the Kadence App. This is helpful if Announcements relate to an emergency, or if you’re in the process of onboarding teams to Kadence.

        Kadence promotes ease of use for admins. Announcements only take a few clicks to set up and the ability to schedule in advance means you can streamline your workload. You can feel assured that information will be received across the workforce.

        Find out more by booking a demo with us today. See how Kadence can help you and your team find your rhythm of work.

        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.