Supply employees with tools, not toys

Not everyone will be able to come in person for collaboration as employees may remain permanently remote-only. Yet, there are ways to make work-from-home team members feel like they're connected.

Companies can equip conference rooms with advanced video conferencing systems, larger screens, better sound systems, improved lighting, etc. In addition, remote workers will need better desktop setups, such as top-quality webcams, microphones, speakers, lighting, and headphones.

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3 ways to design a more successful hybrid workplace

fastcompany.com

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The office identity crisis

Most people have a love-hate relationship with the office. In a world where remote work has proven to be effective and is preferred by the majority of employees, the office is having an identity crisis. Work is no longer a place you go to every day. 

As organisations look to rebuild office life, they have an opportunity to rethink the office and the nature of work itself.

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Many companies have already made physical changes to the office space, such as spacing desks further apart or offering hot-desking. However, companies should also make organisational and philosophical changes to how they use office space.

The purpose of the office must shift from individual work to group work. The office should not just be an in-person collaboration hub but connected to the outside world that can include fully remote workers. The key is to create an experience that is the same for those in the office as for those who aren't.

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Collaboration tools may not fit everyone. Different employee "personas" may require various tools to work effectively. 

Take the time to survey your employees to find out their personas and ask them what tools will be more suitable to do their work.

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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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Hybrid work: What the office could look like now

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When the world moved to remote work at the start of the pandemic, workers proved that they could adapt and do their jobs as well, if not better, than they could in the office. One survey of about a million US workers at Fortune 500 companies showed that productivity stayed stable or increased when employees started working from home.

However, many companies still require a physical office space that can complement rather than offer an alternative to remote work.

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What’s the purpose of the office – and do we still need it?

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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