#1: Don’t Just Downsize—Reimagine
Companies embracing a hybrid workforce may immediately think “smaller” when considering the future of their office space. A reduced footprint can be a smart way for a Hawaiʻi-based company to trim its (usually expensive) real estate costs.
However, it’s important to recognize that a hybrid workspace plays a different role than a traditional one.
How have your remote work/return-to-office policies impacted the way team members use your office? Will they come in primarily to work face-to-face in collaborative settings? Will multiple teams need to meet at the same time? Will office attendance be staggered, or will everyone be in on the same days?
By understanding how your team will use your office—now and into the future—you’ll be able to design a space to help your hybrid workforce function at its peak.
For example, you may want to consider things like:
More Collaborative Space
Many companies have asked workers to return to the office so that teams can work together in person. For example, CEO Tim Cook based Apple’s return-to-work mandates on the belief that in-office collaboration was key to the company’s success.
prioritizing collaborative space
Apple isn’t alone in encouraging in-person teamwork. 50% of respondents in the CBRE Office Occupier Sentiment Survey will reimagine their office space to prioritize the quality and quantity of collaboration space.
If in-person collaboration is a priority in your hybrid workplace, make sure you’ve got plenty of spaces where your team can work together.
This might mean replacing high-walled cubicles with an open-plan layout that makes it easier for team members to interact. Or, it could mean adding an additional conference room so different teams can meet at the same time without disturbing each other. If these conference rooms become an in-demand feature at your office, you may also consider a reservation system to make scheduling simpler.
Dedicated Video Conferencing Space
Will your business require everyone to be in the office on the same days each week? If not, you may need to provide ways for in-office teams to virtually conference in remote workers.
This might mean investing in enhanced video conferencing abilities within your collaborative spaces. Speakerphones might have done the trick pre-pandemic. However, now that video conferencing via Zoom or Teams is commonplace, you’ll want to consider a dedicated video conferencing setup that connects off-site and on-site employees seamlessly.
Desk Sharing Policies
As you downsize—and reconfigure—your footprint, you also might want to rethink any one-desk, one-person policies you formerly had in place.
58% of the companies in the CBRE real estate survey currently have a 1:1 employee-to-desk ratio (or less). In two years, 52% anticipate allocating up to two employees per desk.
Asking workers to share desks offers an immediate way to reduce your footprint—or make room for other features that your new hybrid office demands.