Actions & Opportunities For The New Era In The Office
Friday January 21st was a very exciting day indeed, a day we have looked forward to for almost two years. Normality is now resuming. There is a sense of joy everywhere. A collective celebration, electric energy, and a sense of newness.
The last two years have taught us many different things and one key lesson is around balance and finding the balance in how we spend our time, how we merge work and life for a better outcome. Work/Life balance has been a buzz phrase for many years, but it is really in the last two years that we all truly understand it’s meaning and the positive impact it can bring, to ourselves and those around us.
As offices begin to reopen their doors and welcome the return of employees and clients, along with the excitement, there is a sense of trepidation and the unknown, an element of what do we need to do to get the office back up and running?
Striking the balance
Reports carried out by the CSO, IBEC and Indeed amongst others showed that the appetite for the continuation of a hybrid model or the opportunity to work fully remote is impossible to ignore.
According to the IBEC report, 81% of respondents were expecting some form of hybrid working arrangement, post-pandemic. One in five organisations expect employees to work three days on-site as part of hybrid working plans, and an additional 13pc are expecting to work on-site two days a week. 60% of those surveyed declared their wish to return to a hybrid situation post-pandemic.
Employee retention is of prime focus, and it appears to be the case that a blended and hybrid approach will benefit both businesses and employees in the long term.
Where to from here?
For the last two years, office buildings have remained largely empty of people and in some cases furniture, thanks to the need to solve the remote working dilemma!
So much has changed over the course of the last two years and with this change brings a multitude of questions that need to be addressed in order to move forward and strike the balance:
- Where do we start?
- What is hybrid or what will it look like for our company?
- How do we implement hybrid?
- How do we manage a hybrid team?
- The 2m rule has been lifted but our temporary office layout includes the 2m rule, what are our options?
- How do we ensure our team feels safe and enthusiastic about returning to the office?
- Who can help us, what do we need and who can assist?
- How do we create a workplace that promotes this hybrid future?
For many, these questions are creating an underlying sense of fear of the unknown. We all want to do what is right and just need support and direction in terms of where to start.
Consult, consult, consult
Consult, collaborate and advise is what we do best. For over 37 years, we have been supporting our clients in all aspects of their office-based requirements, be that interiors planning, technology hardware or solutions that enables a smart, efficient workplace, furniture procurement, and day-to-day office supplies. The upside of this is that we understand that no two companies are the same when it comes to their specific requirements.
For many, a robust approach to reimagining their workspace, stripping it back, and redesigning the layout to incorporate a more task-oriented and zoned approach, including hot or open desks and collaboration spaces, privacy booths, and meeting pods with collaboration technologies is what is required.
For others, it is about getting the ball rolling again. Replacing or replenishing furniture or hardware and equipment that had been redeployed to employees’ homes and ensuring the office is “fit-for-purpose” as the phased return commences.
And then there is the whole range of everything in between!
What should you consider for the new era of your workplace?
If you have decided that you want to implement a hybrid environment with flexibility for your team, you have the bones of a structure in place.
Working closely with you, we will then identify key considerations based on our extensive experience and market knowledge, offering insight into the approaches of other companies and our clients in the Irish market. A snapshot of considerations include:
- A hybrid design blending hot desk or open workstations with informal collaboration spaces
- Ensuring the workplace is not disruptive for your team – acoustics management, privacy, collaboration, and heads-down workspace.
- Clever software tools to book a via the cloud based GoBright app. We can integrate desk, space and room management software into your existing technology
- Impromptu face-to-face interaction and the ability to understand each other’s work first-hand are valuable, intangible resources offered by the workplace. Vital for mental wellbeing, retention, and a feeling of community
- Style, design, layouts, functional practicalities such as your IT hardware, software, plant life, storage, mobility, flexibility are all items for consideration
- The importance of audio visual and video conferencing solutions as part of a long-term communication strategy
Experts in workplace solutions
With our 50 plus strong team of interiors specialists, solutions and technology experts, a dedicated delivery team, specialised furniture fitters, CAD designers, and more, the process of implementing your hybrid workplace will be seamless and centered around joined-up thinking, clear communications, and a focus on a successful team-based outcome for you.