Implementing a Hybrid Office environment, Where to begin?

It has been a couple of weeks since many of us returned to our offices. For some, this was not necessarily straightforward whereas for others, there was immense satisfaction in reconnecting with the workplace, colleagues and returning to routines of the past. Regardless of your personal view, what we are experiencing first-hand is that our clients are committed to creating a solution that works for all – a safe working environment coupled with the desire to continue with a hybrid working approach, the combination of days working in the office, with days working remotely.

Absolutely, we have clients who have taken a robust approach to reimagining their workspace, stripping it back and redesigning the layout to incorporate a more task oriented and zoned approach, focusing on open or “hot” desking and collaboration as part of their return to work, incorporating privacy booths and meeting pods, embracing a more relaxed & muted décor style and homely feel. Coupled with this, such clients have also ensured a safe workspace, focusing on sanitation and ventilation that will encourage their employees to return the office safe in the knowledge that the new environment is planned with their safety, wellbeing and comfort at the heart of it.

Equally we have as many clients whose approach is wholly different, but just as impactful, honing in solely on the safety specifics, again to ensure their team feel they are returning to a safe workspace.

At the end of the day, just like most things in life, one size does not fit all, but what is universal as we prepare for the removal of the 2m rule, is the need to strip things back to basics.

What does that look like for you and your business?

Each business will have completely different requirements and with that in mind in this article, we are focussing on starting points and building it from there. Supporting you in delivering a welcoming, safe, and protected work environment.

A plug and play approach – Making it as easy as possible for employees to work seamlessly no matter the location

Ensuring a seamless work environment irrespective of location is key to the successful rollout of a hybrid working model. We have all adapted to working from home and technology has greatly assisted in achieving an effective and efficient working week.

The key is to ensure that employees have the same experience irrespective of their location and don’t encounter inefficiencies or “roadblocks” when they return to the office.

Speed and ease of accessibility to the correct technology solutions is of prime importance for your employees, items such as universal docking stations, power & charging solutions will make for a seamless transition across a hybrid working model.

These simple yet effective technology products and solutions will enable users to seamlessly plug into their workstation when in the office and start to work straight away, hassle free.

The absolute success of a hybrid office lies in the correct blend of furniture and technology for the environment in which you work (at home and in the office) don’t let this statement sound in any way onerous, it is not.

Technology and furniture begin with the basic elements of desk top charging, USB ports, universal docking stations coupled with wireless technology hardware such as the previously mentioned keyboards and monitors.

Uniting your team regardless of their location

Bringing your teams together regardless of their location couldn’t be easier with the integration of video conferencing and Audio-Visual Solutions. Users can take advantage of high-quality Video Conferencing / Audio Visual hardware in collaboration spaces, privacy booths or meeting rooms when they need to collaborate with team members or present to clients. Investing in the correct AV and VC solutions for your business ensures that you can unite your team, regardless of their location.

Video conferencing tools such as soundbars are so sleek and convenient in design they are easily located in your newly created huddle spaces and collaborative zones and just as easily moved, depending on the requirement.

What’s more, being able to mirror in the home office what you provide in the physical office in terms of technology and furniture solutions will facilitate a seamless transition back and forth between the two (or more!) locations.  With suppliers such as Yealink and Logitech we can do just that with our desk top technology.

Cloud printing technologies also enable users to print from any device (BYOD) and with the right solutions, users can print from home and release the print job securely from the MFD when they are next in the office.

We continue to assist our clients to create technology-enabled workspaces where their team are happy to travel to and from work efficiently, as we move toward the new post covid work era.

Space planning and re-configuration to facilitate the paradigm shift in working practices

From the perspective of the pandemic, we are being advised to continue to encourage the continuation of working from home by merging it with presence in the office. Pre pandemic, work flexibility and the hybrid model was being adapted by some multinationals and it is likely to have eventually reached most sectors of the business landscape. Thanks to the pandemic, the speed of adopting this new way of working has accelerated.

Employers have also recognised that by adapting this hybrid way of working, it offers them many different benefits most of which are centred around employment (larger catchment area than before), retention (thanks to an agile approach) and overheads (running costs).

Successful open desk policy implementation isn’t a simple task of reducing the number of the desks, it is also about managing occupancy in an efficient way and using this data in a strategic manner – beyond the ‘who is in on what day’.

Hot Desk Implementation is a forte of ours and in the era of the new office, we are collaborating with clients in the following areas:

  • Re-configuration of existing desk systems to adapt to an open desk policy
  • Complimentary space planning layouts and drawings based on activities that need to take place in the office such as collaborative, informal & formal meeting space and break out areas
  • Incorporation of personal storage solutions to cater to open desk policies

Cloud-based desk & room booking platform to help with the effective transition to a hybrid office environment

Sanitation & Ventilation Measures

We have created an array of bespoke, individual office kits for our clients that include many of the following items which are designed to be portable as people move around the office and ensure a seamless hybrid working week.

  • Individual Sanitation Kits (anti-bacterial wipes, re-usable & branded face masks, hand sanitizers)
  • Individual wireless keyboard and mouse
  • Individual, personalised water bottles

For the wider, shared spaces measures such as air purification systems and desktop-based UV sanitisation units are useful measures being implemented to protect employees from airborne contaminants throughout the office.

Air purification systems are designed so that shared spaces are free of pollutants such as viruses, bacteria, dust, allergens and odours. In particular, the Fellowes AeraMax which we have installed in many client premises is 99.99% effective against Coronavirus.  Not only are you protecting those who attend your office against COVID, but you are also reducing the impact of seasonal illness and allergies from impacting on workplace attendance.

Solutions like desktop based UV Sanitisation Units can be used in a hot desking or fixed desk environment. They are designed for a more thorough cleanse of everyday office items such as keyboard & mouse sets, phones and headphones.

A problem shared is a problem halved and that is why we are here. Let us work with you and help you implement the hybrid office that you want to achieve. Get in touch on 01 2178000 or to discuss your requirements with us now.