Teem

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 people to completely give up the best parts of being remote.

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

Many elements of the traditional HQ — mandatory attendance, forced rigidity, and outdated solutions, to name a few — were already well-known pain points for office workers. Working remotely used to be considered a rare perk — available only as an option for a company's executive team and maybe employees of big tech companies based out of Silicon Valley.

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

The traditional work model was a byproduct of industrialization. Though it once served as the bedrock of company culture, a hub of collaboration and innovation, it's now time to rethink certain aspects of the corporate office. The truth is that although we have seen sweeping changes to how and where work gets done, and on a massive scale, interest in working remotely and adopting a hybrid work model was growing prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Is working from home the new normal?

Considering how many employees went from working on site to working from home after the pandemic hit, you might assume that 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 hybrid workforce had to return to the corporate office as it existed pre-pandemic, there'd be some major pushback. In the past decade, a lot of research has been conducted to explain why people feel over-extended and burnt out. Over the course of the pandemic, there's been a reckoning in the always-on culture that led many employees to rebalance their priorities.

But 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 the lack of social connection with colleagues that some believe 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.

There are many different ways you can approach the hybrid work model. In some cases, all employees are able to choose between the two arrangements. That may or may not include restrictions, such as outlining which days can be worked remotely or setting a limit on how often employees can choose to work from home — for instance, allowing employees to work remotely for 2 days every week.

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

But it also brings us to one of the pitfalls about adopting a hybrid work model: It means attendance is in constant flux and circumstances can — and often do — change. Frequent adjustments to work schedules and a last-minute decision to come into the office can make managing the workplace a headache.

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

When you're implementing a hybrid work model, you'll need to think about how to accommodate employees when there is a wide range of needs and a huge degree of variation in their schedules.

Thankfully, employee-centric workplace software can help you keep up with these new ways of working. As you develop a hybrid work model that aligns more fully with the needs of your organization, keep convenience and accessibility at the top of your priority list. Here are a few of the tools Teem offers to help you support the modern workplace:

  • Desk booking software — Employees can use this to reserve a desk in advance and plan their work week in advance. Alternatively, they can quickly see which seats are free at a moment's notice and book their spot of choice within seconds. Using a visual map of the floorplan or scrolling through a list of available options, this tool makes finding the right desk easier than ever.
  • 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 what rooms are available within the context of both the needs of your meeting and the location within the office is helpful. Plus, you don't have to worry about sending out meeting invites on one system and looking for a meeting room to reserve in another — just use our integrations to make the process smooth and 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. And because of that, the workplace can look different day-to-day — especially for those employees who only 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. You can expect meetings with vendors, contractors, and interviewees to ramp up once you complete your plans for returning to the office. A visitor management system makes it possible to streamline the visitor experience from start to finish while keeping every guest safe while they are in your office.

What a hybrid work model could look like for you

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

Instead of winging it or piecing together disconnected systems and legacy solutions to try to work around the existing gaps, see what our software can do for you. Check it out for yourself by watching our new demo video — it costs nothing and might just inspire you to develop the best hybrid work model possible for your team. Watch the video.

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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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