Teem
July 13th, 2022

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Reinvigorating the Employee Experience

Today, we're honoring the memory of a bygone era.

As you bid farewell to the traditional work model, there is some good news: One return-to-office solution — the hybrid work model — can help drum up excitement for working in the office again without asking anyone to give up the best parts of working remotely.

Still, we know goodbyes are never easy.

If you're struggling with the loss of conventionality in the workplace, understanding how to develop the right hybrid work model for your organization can help restore some of your optimism. But first, some background.

Saying goodbye to traditional work models

A byproduct of industrialization, the traditional work model once served an important role as the bedrock of company culture — a hub of collaboration and innovation.

Companies offered remote work options sparingly as a sort of rare perk, an option available to executives and maybe for employees of those big tech companies based out of Silicon Valley.

Then the pandemic hit and the rest is history, sort of.

The truth is that although we have seen sweeping changes in recent years, and on a massive scale, interest in a hybrid work model was already growing before COVID-19.

Many elements of the traditional HQ — mandatory attendance, forced rigidity, and outdated solutions, to name a few — were already well-known pain points for office-based workers.

Now people recognize what's missing from traditional office environments: They aren't adding value to how we work today.

Is working from home the new normal?

Considering how many employees started working from home in recent years, you might assume the continuation of remote work is the simplest solution.

But according to authors Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen, what happened after the pandemic wasn't actually remote work, it was "a panicked compromise, made under the stress of a national crisis."

However, if today's workforce had to return to the office as it existed pre-pandemic, there'd be some major pushback.

There's been a lot of research conducted to explain why people feel over-extended and burnt out throughout the past decade. Over the course of the pandemic, there's been a reckoning in the always-on culture. That led many employees to rebalance their priorities.

That doesn't mean people want to stay remote all the time.

For starters, some types of work are easier in person. There's also the monotony of remote work that can be difficult for some employees. And some believe the lack of social connection with colleagues is detrimental to company culture.

Here’s what else we know: In a global study by tech major Oracle, 78% of the participants felt that the pandemic had negatively impacted their mental health.

So what do employers think?

When we surveyed technology leaders and other workplace decision-makers to gauge their current needs and experiences, we saw a few common priorities emerge. Most are looking for new technology to make having meetings easier and scoping solutions for keeping employees engaged.

Going with a hybrid work model

What is a hybrid work model in business?

In a hybrid work model, you have some combination of remote and in-person employees.

It's distributed by default and there's no one-size-fits all approach. That gives companies the flexibility to create a system that is right for their unique needs.

There are many different ways you can approach the hybrid work model.

In some cases, employees can choose between the two arrangements. That could involve restrictions, such as outlining specific days or setting limits on how often they can work remotely. For instance, you might allow employees to work remotely for 2 days every week.

Which brings us to one of the biggest pitfalls of adopting a hybrid work model. It means attendance is in constant flux and circumstances can — and often do — change.

There are frequent adjustments to work schedules and last-minute decisions to come into the office, so workplace management can become a major headache.

What's the best approach to developing a hybrid work model?

When implementing a hybrid work model, you'll have to contend with a wide range of needs and more variation in people's schedules.

Thankfully, there are digital tools designed to help everyone keep up with these new ways of working. As you develop a hybrid work model, keep convenience and accessibility at the top of your priority list. User-friendly software is an essential component of employee enablement in today's workplaces.

Here are a few of the tools we offer to help support your modern workplace:

  • Desk booking software — Employees can use this to reserve a desk in advance and plan their work week in advance. Or they can see which seats are free at a moment's notice and book it in seconds. Users can view available options from a map of the floorplan or scroll through a list.
  • Conference room scheduling software — The easier it is to schedule meetings and book conference rooms, the sooner people can get back to collaborating in person again. Understanding which rooms are available within the context of your needs (amenities and location in the office) is helpful. Plus, you don't have to send invites on one system and find rooms in another. Just use our integrations to make things simple.
  • Wayfinding and digital signage — Between your remote, mostly remote, partially remote, flex workers, fully office-based, and every other type of employee in your organization, there's a lot of movement in the office. The workplace can look different each day, especially for employees who come in a few times a week or less. Using wayfinding software and digital signage is a great way to help everyone find their way around the workplace confidently.
  • Visitor management software — After you have brought employees back, you can't forget about how a hybrid work model impacts your visitors. Expect meetings with vendors, contractors, and interviewees to ramp up once you complete your plans for returning to the office. Visitor management systems streamline the visitor experience from start to finish and keep guests safe while they're in your office.

What a hybrid work model could look like for you

Do you still have some questions about how to put a hybrid work model in place? Are you wondering what technology is available to help ease the transition?

You don't have to wing it or piece together disconnected systems and legacy solutions to try to work around the existing gaps. Check out our video to explore our tools and get some ideas. It might just inspire you to develop the best hybrid work model possible for your team. Watch it here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Teem

Teem by iOFFICE provides enterprises with space scheduling and management, workplace analytics, building, and campus wayfinding, and visitor management to help cultivate workplaces that fuel productivity, efficiency, and creativity.

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