ThinkingDesigning hybrid workspaces fit for the future

Blacktip Consultancy’s Kelsey Barker looks at the ways hybrid working has changed the purpose of office buildings – and asks what next?
Content Team1 month ago9 min

Now that people can spend half their work week in coffee shops or on their sofa in their pyjamas, the workplace has to offer exceptional value to be worth the commute.

To attract and retain the best talent you need a workspace that is inviting. This means somewhere that empowers people to do their best work, enhances their productivity, offers connection and belonging, and encourages new ways of working.

It’s important here to consider the meaning and purpose the office holds for different people. When the office isn’t the only place to work, people seek different things in their office environment.

For extroverts, the office offers a place for social contact. The connection and community they get at the office energises them and helps them do their best work.

Others may need to escape a hectic household. For them, the office needs to be a sanctuary. Somewhere to find the peace needed to focus and find flow.

The hybrid workplace must meet both of these needs not only so employees can be creative, productive and focused, but also because they are essential to mental health and wellbeing.

Some people within companies won’t be able to work from home. Creating a workspace that gives people in such roles a similar feeling of freedom and flexibility is critical. It stops them feeling like they are missing out or being treated unfairly.

So what does a hybrid workplace look like?

The specifics will vary from client to client but generally they blend traditional office spaces with agile design features to facilitate new ways of working.

Let’s explore some of the key spaces that will feature strongly in the hybrid workplace.

Collaboration

Collaboration zones and hot-desking are taking over from assigned desks and personal workspaces. A layout like this promotes an inclusive culture and encourages cross-pollination between departments, which can lead to fresh perspectives, new ideas and innovation.

Breakout zones, scrum rooms, and huddle spaces all play major roles in the hybrid workplace, as well as more traditional meeting rooms. Each of these spaces feature equipment that makes collaborating effortless, such as tackable walls, digital whiteboards and plug and play technology.

While it’s perfectly possible to collaborate remotely, something special happens when you’re in the same room with someone. Hybrid workspaces are designed to help collaboration thrive so ideas can flourish.

Conferencing

Businesses are already placing a greater emphasis on the quality of their conferencing system since the pandemic. And conferencing systems are integral to the hybrid working model.

The majority of meetings now take place online and a seamless virtual experience is key to impressing clients and keeping your team engaged.

When it comes to conferencing equipment quality matters. A poor microphone, jittery screen and tinny speaker won’t cut it anymore. Good equipment isn’t going out of fashion any time soon so it’s worth investing that bit extra to create the quality experience.

Solo work

Sometimes all you need is peace and quiet. Whether you’re on deadline, taking a one-to-one video call or simply prefer working alone, solo spaces are essential for hybrid workspaces.

Niches, nooks, pods and booths can be designed around collaborative spaces, providing people the space for undisturbed work without isolating them from the rest of the team.

Solo spaces can be designed so they are fully adjustable. Desks can be altered for height preferences, flexible, modular furniture can be adjusted for maximum comfort and lighting states can be changed with the press of a button.

Social spaces

Social spaces are a key part of any workplace, but they are especially important to the hybrid working model. They are where people connect and company culture is most visible.

Outdoor areas, cafes, bars and game stations are typical spaces that make the workplace more fun. Plus, they provide informal opportunities to share skills, knowledge and experience.

Technology

It’s hard to overstate the importance of technology in the modern workplace. And it’s even harder to overplay its significant role in creating hybrid workplaces that employees love.

There’s no part of a building technology doesn’t touch, from the cabling that runs throughout your building to the network connectivity that delivers ultra fast internet for everyone.

In today’s world your digital architecture is nearly as important as your physical architecture.

Technology works best when it works the way you work. So if the way you work has changed, your technology needs to change too.


About the author:

Kelsey Barker is Marketing manager at Blacktip Consultancy building brand awareness within the construction industry. Blacktip Consultancy helps the world’s leading real estate occupiers, owners and developers realise their digital vision.

Kelsey Barker is Marketing manager at Blacktip Consultancy building brand awareness within the construction industry. Blacktip Consultancy helps the world’s leading real estate occupiers, owners and developers realise their digital vision.

Content Team

Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.

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