Two years after the world basically shut down due to a pandemic, there is still much buzz about employers’ return to work plans and what the future of office space might look like. Many tout that the “hybrid” workforce model – a combination of working in the office and working from home – is here to stay as if it were a new phenomenon and one that would eliminate the need for office space. Hybrid and remote work models have been around for years…the pandemic only placed them in the spotlight.
Global companies have long embraced these workplace models which stemmed primarily from the lack of affordable office space, especially in many European countries. This is also how the “open floor plan,” “hoteling” and “touchdown” concepts originated all of which drove the per-square-foot per-employee ratio of office space down to record lows. The rest of the world followed suit.
The hybrid and remote approaches may or may not be for every organization. Organizations are as unique as individuals and as such their needs for the success of their businesses are unique too. Leaders in every organization must consider their organization’s business objectives at both the macro and micro levels, their cultures, their current workforce, and their goals to attract future employees. All of which influence their needs for office spaces.
Some organizations may be able to work 100% remotely; however, most cannot afford to do so. From brand awareness to culture creation to employee recruitment, many organizations will maintain an office presence of some sort.
Below are some tips leaders have shared that are critical to success in their organizations when a hybrid or remote workplace model was embraced:
- Communication is Critical – Clear, consistent, and constant communication helps keep everyone moving in the right direction to reach goals.
- Policies Prevail – Without clear expectations, things can quickly go awry. Ensure workplace policies encompass in-office, hybrid, and remote scenarios and are applied equitably.
- Leaders Lead – Once a decision is made, all levels of leadership must embrace and support the model whether they opted for it or not.
- An Equality Ethos – To make a hybrid and/or remote model really work takes a concerted effort by all parties. It also takes treating everyone equally whether they are working in the office or not.
- Sustain the Culture – Culture is the heart of any organization so it’s important to ensure all employees, especially new hires, are emersed since everyone contributes to the creation and ever-evolving culture.
Here’s to your organization’s success!