In the post-pandemic workplace, you may find that fewer employees are walking through your doors each day thanks to the hybrid work model. According to a survey by TravelPerk, 76 percent of respondents said their companies shifted to a hybrid schedule. More employees than ever are working from home two to four days per week, only coming into the office occasionally.
In this new environment, it’s important for businesses to make sure their facilities are equipped for hybrid meetings and contain amenities that will encourage remote employees to come into the office to work.
Hybrid-friendly meeting rooms
Before COVID-19, the standard meeting room was equipped with a whiteboard, a television, a round conference table in the center, and a camera facing the table. With the majority of businesses adopting the hybrid workplace model, post COVID-19 design solutions will need to evolve substantially in order to meet the needs of both in-office and remote employees.
To accommodate a hybrid work team, consider updating your meeting room technology. For example a 360-degree camera, such as this one from Owl Labs, can sit on an existing meeting table and show all the participants in a room on the meeting screen. A touchscreen TV built for Zoom, such as the DTEN or Neat devices, combines touchscreen technology with whiteboards. The result is a “smartboard” that displays over Zoom so that remote employees can view it too.
In addition to establishing hybrid meeting rooms, with fewer people in the office, you should also consider the following updates in your workspace planning for a post-pandemic office:
Replace round tables with more intimate bar tables in front of a whiteboard. This will help promote collaboration between in-office employees who can sit together and whiteboard their ideas.
Add meeting pods or phone booths to open-plan office spaces. This can help facilitate collaboration with remote employees without disturbing others in an open office.
Attractive amenities for hybrid employees
At the start of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, it took some time for employees around the globe to adjust to working from home. But thanks in large part to digital software technologies such as virtual conferencing and collaborative project management platforms, companies across industries not only successfully transitioned to remote work but also grew to prefer it. Now that many workers are thriving in their home offices, it’s important for employers to offer amenities that make the commute into the office worthwhile.
Here are some office upgrade ideas that will encourage remote workers to come into the office more frequently:
One of the key missing ingredients when working remotely has been “watercooler chat” and the opportunity to develop relationships with colleagues. Allow your associates to congregate in a comfortable shared space such as a lounge with comfortable seating, an espresso machine, board games, and other features that promote interaction.
Offer your associates with distractions at home, such as children and pets, the opportunity to be productive in a quiet workspace. Convert one of your meeting rooms into a library with proper signage to discourage talking and noise, or set up quiet workspace pods or rooms throughout your office.
Games and activities
Consider outfitting your office with activities such as an indoor putting green or a foosball table.
Now that fewer people are in the office at the same time, consider making seating arrangements flexible in your workspace or change seating arrangements on a monthly basis. This allows associates to have the opportunity to circulate around the office quite literally and get to know their teammates better, a recipe for better collaboration and engagement.
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