The hybrid office presents an opportunity for a fresh start and a revamp of the existing space. When an organization transitions to a hybrid model, the purpose of the office shifts. Now, the focus is on attending the office for a specific reason, which is often for the purpose of collaborating with colleagues.
When contemplating a hybrid office remodel, collaboration space is particularly important to consider. The way we use the office has changed — let your space reflect that. Look beyond the formal boardrooms of the past!
We’ll discuss ways that you can improve your collaboration spaces for the hybrid work model. This will allow you to better support your employees when they attend the office. Transform your collaboration spaces with these three tips to effectively embrace the future of work.
1. Add informal collaboration spaces for spontaneous sessions
Under the hybrid work model, depending on your arrangement, employees may or may not be required to attend the office. You can encourage your employees to collaborate in-person by making the office an inviting and welcoming space. Also, employees can see value in attending the office because they can foster their in-person relationships and professional network. This means that your office space will be well-utilized and employees will have a better connection to your company.
We’ve traditionally thought of collaboration space as a conference center or board room. Embrace the hybrid work model by adding or adjusting spaces that are relaxed and informal. These spaces can help with spontaneous collaboration sessions, brainstorming, and networking.
Not all in-person interactions need to be pre-booked with an agenda. These types of meetings support important networking opportunities, such as informal coffee chats. The types of spaces that support these uses have comfortable seating and easily movable furniture items that help create a comfortable atmosphere.
Ensure that your relaxed, informal collaboration spaces support various group sizes. These could be small sessions with just two team members, to larger sessions that might involve multiple teams. You can repurpose your existing space or adjust your workstations to accommodate more “we” space instead of “me” space.
2. Enable technology to include remote employees
Collaboration of any kind must be inclusive. Particularly when working hybrid, in-person collaboration needs to be able to accommodate remote employees. Ensure that your collaboration spaces embrace this by enabling the spaces with the technology to support remote team members in both formal and informal sessions.
Connect remote employees to the session to make the space truly hybrid. Involve the remote attendees by including webcams, microphones, and television screens in all spaces. For informal collaboration spaces, even a laptop stand or a monitor that supports a video call should suffice.
For larger sessions, consider more robust technology to carry sound and display relevant documents. Ensure that everyone who should be present can participate freely and contribute to the common goal.
3. Use a meeting room booking system
Using the right technology to enable collaboration will immensely enhance the spaces at your office. Your employees can plan what space they will be using in advance, should they choose to do so. A meeting room booking system can help with spontaneous reservations or grabbing space as soon as it’s needed.
The system ensures that the room or space has been cleaned since its last use. As well, make sure that you are not “stealing” the room – see which spaces are available quickly and easily. In addition to not taking other people’s bookings, the reservation system gives visibility into when the next person is using the space.
Collaboration Spaces at Work
The future of work is now — and the hybrid office changes how we collaborate. Ensure that collaboration spaces are refined to reflect the new use of the office space, and the latest ways that we connect with each other. Guarantee that your spaces are inclusive for all employees, including remote staff, and that you have a variety of collaboration spaces available for many uses. Give your space the refresh it needs to truly embrace the hybrid model and deliver quality employee experiences.
Lindsay is a Marketing Coordinator at Arcadis IBI Group who is passionate about the future of work. Lindsay brings her experience in marketing and communications, creativity, and innovation to help the Nspace team power the hybrid workplace.