Hybrid work - What is it and how to facilitate it?
COVID-19 has forever changed the way we work, where we work and the relationship between employers and employees. Leading organizations act quickly and think beyond just reopening their offices. They also think about a new digital, physical and emotional interpretation of their working environment.
The next normal is here. Is your organization ready for a post-pandemic world?
Hybrid work definition
Working hybrid simply means that employees work partly in the office and partly at home or at another remote location.
Working from home is here to stay, that has now become clear. Nevertheless, various studies show that employees, in part, also do want to return to the office. It is expected that employees will continue to work from home or another location for two to three days and return to the office on the remaining days. This is also known as hybrid work.
When working in full focus, working from home will be preferred. The office will be the place for social contact, consultation or sparring with each other. The office will act like a clubhouse in the near future.
The new office
With this new work reality on the horizon, the demands for the way in which hybrid working is facilitated are also changing. The old office with many workplaces will become an office with many multifunctional options for collaboration.
Geographical distribution of offices is becoming increasingly important to limit travel movements. The office environment of the future will make more possible with fewer meters and will be more flexible than it is today. The distance between and number of workplaces that may be occupied must be flexible.
What does hybrid work mean for organizations?
The new office as a place where employees can collaborate safely and healthy and socially interact; that doesn’t only mean something for its interior, but also for managing office occupancy.
Ideally, your employees are able to organize this hybrid work in an efficient way themselves. Preferably without extra overhead or extra communication. This works fine, as long as there aren’t too many employees, desks, and spaces to book. However, if their number increases, or if you also want to arrange other facilities such as parking spaces, a place at the lunch table and collaborative work areas, managing the office occupancy quickly becomes complicated.
Manage occupancy with desk booking software
How do you keep a grip on the occupation in the office, if employees decide for themselves where they work? With desk booking software, employees reserve a workplace for the days or parts of the day that they want to be at the office.
At the same time, it is possible to flexibly adjust the number of available workplaces and sometimes other facilities. If regulations change, you can respond quickly.
Wat is hoteling en wat is hot desking?
Many workplace reservation systems allow employees to book a desk in advance – a practice known as hoteling.
There is a lot of confusion about workplace hoteling and hot desking. The terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably. The difference lies in the level of control and the organization.
Hoteling is pre-booking and checking in with a (digital) concierge to gain access to a space, just like in a real hotel. Even in a room full of empty desks and unoccupied workstations, you have to pre-register to gain access to your spot.
This can be done with a real person, but in the context of the new hybrid way of working this is more often done via an easy-to-use desk booking app or platform.
Hot desking is more like freewheeling. It’s still based on an “unassigned desk” concept, but on a first come, first served base. If an employee sees a free workspace or meeting room, he can claim it and get to work – no reservation is required.
In some hot desking situations, check-in may still be required, but reservations are not. Checking in is only a form of capacity control in this situation.
While they are similar in concept, hoteling and hot desking differ in the way employees access the office. Organizations that value control over the use of office spaces and other facilities will opt for hoteling; informal environments without capacity issues tend to embrace hot desking more often.
Use data to design your future office
Another reason to opt for hoteling is that most workplace reservation systems offer reporting and analysis capabilities. This gives the facility manager insight into the real use of the office.
- Which days are busiest?
- What are the most popular desks and other spaces?
- How much parking capacity is actually being used?
- And how many lunches should be catered for?
A good reservation system can produce all these insights. And with these, your future office can be set up to maximize your employees’ happiness.
Hybrid office: don’t overcomplicate things
Hybrid work is already a reality and is ‘here to stay’. That is why, as a facility manager or operational manager, you must now start facilitating this.
When looking at at desk booking systems, remember that changing behavior (booking in advance instead of ‘just’ going to the office) takes time. And that the more complicated the process is, the longer change takes.
With that in mind, we developed the Why at Work platform. With a user-friendly app for employees and a simple, but functionally extensive, web portal for administrators. Check out all the features, request a demo or start your 30-day free trial today.