As hybrid working shifts become the “new normal,” many companies are forgoing the traditional office structure.
While some have no plans to move to new office space after the pandemic, 68% of large-company CEOs say they now plan to downsize their space, according to a survey by KPMG. Saving money and opening up the talent pool are two benefits they cite.
So, from the businesses that have already downsized to those rethinking their plans, how are companies using their offices to facilitate collaboration and innovation post-lockdown?
Technology advances support businesses that want to streamline their processes to facilitate remote and hybrid working. Now businesses are asking themselves about the office space they decide to maintain and how they can use this space as a strategic tool for productivity, growth and teamwork.
Here are five ways companies can get the most out of their new hybrid office space:
1. Hot-desking tools
The pandemic has proven that employees can work from anywhere and don’t necessarily need to be in the office on a regular basis.
As some organizations adopt a hybrid work model, there are solutions to help organizations bring employees back into the office safely.
Some solutions allow for social distancing and hot-desking across an organization and can be leveraged to locate available meeting rooms. They can also be customized for other applications such as finding available parking.
Workers can see which employees are in the office and where they’re sitting – and reserve their work location as needed.
2. Collaboration across environments
A digital workplace brings together communication and collaboration and drives employee engagement as well as experience. The digital workplace is available anywhere via any device and helps shape and drive the employee experience in a positive and impactful way, leading to increased productivity. It too can help drive corporate culture and branding of the organization. Lastly, it also creates a sense of inclusivity for all employees regardless of geographic location.
As part of a digital workplace, a company intranet helps keep employees informed and aligned while boosting employee engagement. It’s the place to build social links and create a sense of belonging while assisting employees in finding the information they need when they need it.
3. Digital workspaces
For most organizations, time to value and return on investment (ROI) are key factors in selecting and building a digital workspace.
A seamless out-of-the-box experience can help an organization drive adoption much faster, in addition to taking advantage of all the elements that an intranet provides, such as effortless communication and collaboration. In addition, the out-of-the-box experience significantly reduces the amount of time to deploy a digital workplace.
4. Virtual recruitment and onboarding
As more companies move to remote work and employees are splitting their time between the office and home, HR now has to immerse new employees in the company culture and build connections between new hires, managers and teams.
The hybrid workplace looks set to be the future, and as companies continue to expand and grow, onboarding employees remotely will need to rival in-person onboarding. Using onboarding templates makes the process simple. First impressions matter, and making sure new employees have a good experience at the onset of employment is essential to keeping them connected long term.
In fact, statistics show that 20% of new hires leave a job within the first 45 days due to a bad onboarding experience.
A company that can show new hires it’s taken the time to think through the onboarding process has an advantage in a competitive talent market.
Digital workplace governance is managed by the IT Department who defines business rules and secures the work environment. IT also helps create a uniform end-user experience.
End-users need to access, find, create, and share information daily. The role of IT is to make sure these actions are controlled and that they obey specific rules which guarantee compliance and security.
Digital workplace governance is especially crucial when teams are geographically distributed. A restricted and poor user experience will cause employees to struggle to understand the usefulness of their tools. It could also negatively impact adoption and reduce productivity levels.
It’s clear that digital workplace governance is a topic that should be led by both IT and the business to find and establish a balance allowing freedom of use and respect of the rules.
Finding the right balance between flexibility and IT control to make the digital workplace an efficient work environment favoring communication and collaboration is the biggest challenge.