A Hybrid Workforce

New research shows more than two-thirds of the workforce feels disconnected or alienated from their fellow colleagues.

Companies need to adapt the office to meet the growing demands and unique needs of a hybrid, always-connected workforce. New office designs would be aimed at teamwork, creativity and fostering connections.

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Hybrid work: What the office could look like now

bbc.com

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The Purpose Of The Office Has Changed

The pandemic has been an extended experiment for most companies who are trying to manage people working from home.

Instead of making it mandatory to attend the office physically like before, many companies have adopted a hybrid model where one could go to the office once a week and work from home the rest of the days.

This new approach changes the purpose of coming to the office.

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  • Google Docs, videoconferencing, and Slack have made the physical presence of workers less crucial in most activities.
  • The new physical office aims to be more social and facilitate specific kinds of work, like a meeting or a brainstorming session.
  • The more virtual work becomes, the more crucial it is to communicate face-to-face so that the virtual existence is supported.
  • Health is now a bigger concern, with access to nature and workout sessions a priority.

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Office time can be utilized to do collaborative teamwork and promote interaction. Technology can be used more effectively to allow high-quality video conferencing with team members sitting in remote locations.

The office itself need not be the size it was before the pandemic struck. As more co-working spaces are added, the need for an expansive office is lessened.

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Building the workplace of the future

During the pandemic, companies had to rethink how to engage employees when they couldn't physically be together.

Now that they bring teams back, not all employees want to return to the way things were. Companies need unique office environments that encourage collaboration for a hybrid workforce. Managers should consider the work personas to create new arrangements.

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The 4 work personas that have come out of the pandemic

fastcompany.com

If and when you return to your office after the pandemic, you'll probably notice some changes.

  • The doors of the building may open automatically, so you don't have to touch the handles.
  • You may tell the elevator where to stop, rather than pressing buttons.
  • You may walk into a room full of dividers and well-spaced desks.
  • Meeting rooms and kitchens may have fewer chairs.
  • There may be more frequent cleaning policies and better ventilation systems.

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This is the end of the office as we know it

vox.com

The challenges of hybrid teams

Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.

For example, in hybrid teams, remote employees are often left in the dark. Office workers are often heard, recognized, and promoted, while remote workers are forgotten.

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How to be Remote-First When You Still Have an Office

blog.doist.com