Related Article: The Future at Work, Condeco Flexible Work Strategy
It’s time to reimagine your office for the future of work. As companies embrace hybrid as the permanent way of working, leaders have a rare chance to maximize the potential of their workspace to better support their teams.
Rethinking your office isn’t just about aesthetic considerations or benefits, either. It also introduces an opportunity to optimize productivity, offer true work-life balance, and combine the advantages offered by home and office working.
One of the keys to success is creating a workspace that makes days in the office feel like a treat. With remote work allowing employees a chance to save time and money on commuting, it can be an uphill battle to convince people to make the trip into the office. your workplace needs to be somewhere that promotes creativity, collaboration and well-being. It needs to be a pleasant space to visit. Somewhere work can get done, certain conversations can take place and where your culture is built and strengthened through personal interactions.
Whatever form of hybrid work you choose to adopt, there are small, cost-effective things every organization can do to reinvent their workplace and create a hub for productivity. We’ve shared eight simple tips to get you started.
1. Create Collaborative Spaces
With fewer desks required for a flexible workforce you can use the extra capacity to make a hub for project working, problem solving and idea generation. It gives your teams extra motivation to come into the office knowing that there will be a bespoke space available where fresh thinking can take place and issues resolved face to face. Kit your collaboration spaces out with the equipment people will need such as computers and presentation tools such as projectors or whiteboards.
2. Create Spaces for Downtime
Some of your organization’s best ideas could well have originated in a watercooler chat. It’s not all about last night’s TV: organic collaboration is one of the more undervalued aspects of office life. If you can create an attractive area for people to get away from the desk, have a cold drink, chat and share ideas then you could be developing a genuine profit center.
3. Open up Communication
A successful workplace is unlikely to be a place where silos exist. Thanks to modern technology we can create communication channels that everyone can share such as Slack or Teams. You need to plan carefully as everyone talking at once can be too much, but specific channels open to all can be a hotbed of new thinking across your hierarchies. Make sure you encourage a culture where everyone feels able to make their contribution and ask leaders to acknowledge good ideas. These channels can also form an everyday bridge between your home and office workers.
4. Host Cross-departmental Social Events
Your reinvented office may well have the space for more social occasions such as after work drinks or lunchtime learning sessions. These are great opportunities to bring people together who may not normally work in the same team. Once again your aim is cross-pollination of ideas and approaches. It’s amazing what can happen when people are in the same room together.
5. Support Employee Well-Being
Well-being has increasingly become a subject that many workers expect their employers to address. Putting policies in place that offer safeguards or release valves for stressed employees will be appreciated and could be a factor in your hunt for the best talent. Your policies could include mindfulness activities, and support and coaching for managing stress. Everyone should know where to go for help and not just bottle things up.
6. Bring Color and Nature into the Office
People are going to be more likely to use your office as part of their flexible working life if it’s an attractive place to visit. Getting rid of drab walls with something brighter shouldn’t be too expensive and bringing greenery into the office in the form of flowers and plants makes everything feel a little more relaxed and natural. It’s ostensibly a small reinvention but can have a much larger impact.
7. Invest in High-Quality Furniture
Your office is now in competition with the most comfortable chair in someone’s house. Don’t make unsuitable furniture and bad backs a reason not to pay a visit. Comfortable and ergonomic furniture can add to the attraction of a day in the workplace considerably, as can the option of standing desks to help improve physical well-being.
8. Provide a Quiet Space
One of the advantages of working from home for many is the ability to do deep work without being disturbed by chatty colleagues (although there are a million other things that can be distracting). In your workplace there should also be a space where everyone has the ability to get their heads down and get on with things. A quiet room can offer sanctuary to those with overloaded to-do lists.
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