Configuring Your Hybrid Office to Work Best for Your Team

June 6, 2024

Hybrid Office layout

The ways we work are always evolving and we’re always looking for a better way to work. Could a new hybrid office model be a powerful solution?

Creating the right balance between in-office and remote work offers numerous benefits while also presenting a few unique challenges.

So how do you configure your hybrid office to get the most out of how your team works and create a seamless work environment as well?

 

KEY POINTS:

 

Understanding the Hybrid Office Model

A hybrid office model allows employees to split their time between working remotely and in-person in the office. It offers flexibility, more productivity, better work-life balance, and reduced commute time. 

Additionally, it allows companies to tap into a larger talent pool since employees are not restricted by geography.

However, the hybrid model comes with its challenges. Communication barriers, maintaining company culture, and effectively managing remote work are common concerns. 

Addressing these challenges effectively so that your workplace can take advantage of the benefits requires a well-thought-out plan for how your hybrid office needs to look and function.

Assessing your Needs

The first step in configuring a hybrid office is understanding your needs. Start by gathering insights from your employees through surveys to understand their preferences, challenges, and requirements. This will help lay the foundation to a workspace that will fit your team’s processes.

Next, identify the tools and resources essential for business continuity. Negatively disrupting how your company works with customers is the last thing you want. In fact, providing better customer service should be the goal. Plan for having the necessary software, hardware, and other technology available that supports both in-office processes and remote work connectivity.

Now, how much office space will you need to handle in-person work when only a portion of the team may be there? Doing this assessment will help you allocate space efficiently to ensure that enough collaborative and individual work areas are available. You may find that your office footprint has shrunk and that you may not need to lease nearly as much space anymore.

Designing the Physical Office Space

Creating an effective physical office space for how your company works involves several key components.

Ergonomic workstations are a crucial consideration for comfort and productivity. Height-adjustable desks and ergonomically-supportive chairs ensure your team can maintain good posture throughout the day. This reduces the risk of physical strain and the constant distraction of “trying to get comfortable.”

Collaborative spaces are essential for team meetings and brainstorming sessions. Equip these areas with whiteboards, video screens, connectivity and other tools that facilitate collaboration. These spaces can also do double-duty for having group meals and for short periods of concentrated work for those coming into the office for only a couple of hours. 

height adjustable desk
Knoll k. stand height-adjustable desks

Consider designating quiet zones where employees can work without interruptions, providing the privacy needed for focused work and video calls. Furniture for these spaces can include high-back chairs and sofas that deaden sound and privacy pods (phone booths) that keep small meeting discussions and calls confidential.

Seamless technology integration is another vital consideration for creating a successful hybrid office. This includes smartboards and video conferencing systems in specific areas to reliable internet and device connectivity in all spaces. These tools are required to keep the team working regardless of location.

Priva privacy pod phone booth
Global Priva Acoustic Pod

 

Equipping Hybrid Workstations

Hybrid workstations are typically used on a first-come, first-served basis for a few hours or for the day. Here, ergonomic chairs, moveable desks, privacy screens and lockable, personal storage are what the team will need. It’s important to discuss with everyone in the office that these desks are always being shared and they do not have an “owner.”

Implementing Hybrid Work Policies

Clear guidelines are essential for a smooth hybrid work setup. Establish when employees should be in the office versus working remotely, and define expectations around availability, communication, and work hours to ensure smooth teamwork.

Effective communication is critical in a hybrid work environment.

Utilize tools like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams to facilitate real-time communication and collaboration. Establish protocols for meetings, ensuring they are inclusive for both in-office and remote employees.

Implementing robust security measures will ensure data security. Provide employees with secure VPN access, enforce strong password policies, and educate them on cybersecurity best practices to protect sensitive information.

Fostering a Collaborative Culture

Building a collaborative culture is key to the success of a hybrid office. Organize team-building activities, both virtual and in-person, to foster a sense of community and strengthen team bonds.

Schedule regular check-ins to keep everyone aligned and address any issues. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss progress, set goals, and offer support.

Create channels for employees to share their experiences and suggestions.

Consistent feedback helps identify areas for improvement and ensures that the hybrid office setup continues to meet the needs of your team.

satellite work tableHerman Miller Passport satellite work tables

 

Monitoring and Adapting

Track productivity and engagement using performance metrics. Monitor key indicators such as task completion rates, project timelines, and employee satisfaction to assess the effectiveness of your hybrid office configuration.

Be open to adjusting policies and setups based on feedback and changing needs. Flexibility is essential in a hybrid work model, allowing you to respond to evolving circumstances.

Regularly review and update your hybrid office configuration, staying informed about new tools and technologies that can enhance your work environment.

Connect with an Expert

Configuring a hybrid office for the best productivity involves a comprehensive approach that addresses both physical and remote work environments.

By understanding your employees' needs, designing an ergonomic and collaborative office space, equipping remote workstations, implementing clear policies, fostering a collaborative culture, and continuously monitoring and adapting, you can create a hybrid office that supports the company’s productivity and your team’s well-being.

Do you have questions about how to transform your workspace into a productive hybrid office? About how your space can support the experiences your team may miss working from home? Or even about small changes you can implement today to make your office more adaptable? 

Contact PURE today and we'll reach out to discuss actionable insights that will work for your company’s unique needs.