New Hybrid Workspace

Times are a-changing and the workplace is sure keeping up. Technology today is shaping and driving trends in the world around us. As business cycles are moving at accelerating speeds, the global community is coming together into a constantly connected, vibrant network.

In addition to the rapid digital transformation, the global COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift towards a hybrid workplace. But what is a hybrid workplace?

Oh and who can remember the open-plan office layout idea from back in the day, 2018? So not good, terrible, hor-ri-ble! Can you say boundaries and safe space? Did I say bad idea?! Right! There is an unspoken rule that workplaces reflect what’s going on in the minds of those who work in them. A cramped, unkempt space doesn’t leave much room for that feeling of freedom that bolsters creativity. And a real-world, open office leaves people feeling as if they’re trapped in a glass fishbowl and aimlessly wasting their days away. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Taking the existing layout of an open office and turning it into functional workspace is about (re)discovering functionality in design, above anything else. It is about converting the depressing grid of offices and hierarchy into organic layouts and furniture systems focused on the individual. The office landscape of the modern workforce is not so much about conformity, enforcement and interchangeability.

But a hybrid workplace extends far beyond real estate. Traditional offices are becoming a thing of the past. With remote working becoming the new norm, asynchronous communication is becoming more critical than ever. Employees now are “hybrid” themselves – they change place, state, mode more constantly. For those who can work independently of their workplace, work is no longer binary – either entirely at the office or entirely remote – but hybrid across the office, the home, third spaces, and more.

Above everything else, a hybrid workplace for physical spaces starts with a mindset, not a room. One of the main goals is about overcoming the barriers of location, different time zones and the individual needs of people. It should be a unique blend of activities, requiring a unique mix of spaces and creating a responsive environment that is the meeting point of layout and atmosphere.

Since the pandemic started, companies have reconsidered how to make the best use of their office spaces. While many companies will likely still retain physical offices, there will be a change in the way we work in them and how physical structures and office layouts will be used for collaboration. Many companies are now planning to reduce office space or work hours, or have already, as they expect a significant number of their staff to continue to work remotely in 2021-2022. Organizations around the world are considering alternative hybrid models to support the future of work, which includes in-person communications, work from home and remote operations.

The combination of office work and remote work lies at the core of hybrid workplaces. This model allows businesses not only to keep up with health regulations for social distancing but increases freedom and autonomy for employees as well. It generally allows employees the opportunity to fit work around their lives, rather than structuring work around fixed hours logged into an office. For many employees (and employers) it’s an ideal scenario as it combines autonomy with sociability and structure. And many are discovering the benefits of that.

Finally, a hybrid workplace is also a more economical workplace. With less reliance on large scale offices, organizations can save thousands of dollars in real estate and office maintenance costs.

A simple overview of the future workplace shows a much more dynamic, fluid and digitalized environment – one that is able to answer multiple requirements with single, one-stop solutions. Becoming more employee-centered is the first step that businesses need to take to get on track with the changes that are reshaping the global workplace.

Mind Katalyst works with clients to help define, build and grow meaningful and transformative software and hardware across emerging technology platforms including Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and IoT. For more on how Mind Katalyst can help you scale your technology products, contact us for more details.

Carnellia Ajasin CEO of Mind Katalyst, is passionate about inventing new technology products in the emerging technology space that are meaningful and relevant. She works with ambitious organizations and businesses on the strategic application of innovation, creativity and emerging technologies to create competitive advantage, transformative impact and growth in business and society.

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