Building the workplace of the future

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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Before the epidemic, this persona was already interested in working away from the office some of the time. They value their work community but find that time away from the office also increases engagement and empowerment.

This worker will likely be interested in spending two to three days in the office. Leaders need to understand how to manage someone who is sometimes at home that won't disrupt other team members.

This person wants to get back to the office most of the time.**

The traditional office worker is not attracted to flexibility or rotating schedules. If this worker manages other teams, they need to take extra effort to recognise that their team members may have different personas.

This employee is comfortable working remotely full time. They may come in for a special meeting or engagement but prefer to work at home.

The challenge for managers is to make sure those workers feel connected and included.

From an HR perspective, employees must be kept engaged and connected.

  • The experience lover, wellness addict, and free spirit will rely on technology to collaborate with coworkers. Key tools include video conferencing and project management platforms.
  • Leaders need training and intake tools to understand the personas on their teams. Employees want to align with companies that share their values. If you don't consider employees needs, you risk losing them to companies that do.

The wellness addicts value their work-life balance and health. Before the pandemic, this employee embraced remote work. While the experience-lover prefers more days in the office, the wellness addict prefers more days at home.

These employees need a company that will allow them to create a good balance.

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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.

Hybrid work: What the office could look like now

bbc.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.

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

blog.doist.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.

This is the end of the office as we know it

vox.com

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