Back in 2019, hybrid work was a term barely anyone knew. Now, it is one of the biggest trends in the workforce. But what exactly is it, and what does it mean for the office as we know it?
Hybrid work is when employees are given the freedom to have a flexible schedule where they can choose their work environment. Typically this means coming to the office some days to collaborate with their team and working from home (or anywhere else) on solo work other days of the week. In fact, in a survey conducted by Owl Labs, the majority of workers globally already follow this model. 62% are hybrid, 22% are full time in office, and 16% are fully remote. With less than 1/4 of workers full-time in the office, how does this affect the traditional office design?
Although 62% of workers globally are following some form of a hybrid model, the number may soon grow even higher. According to a survey by Mckinsey, 90% of employers plan to offer a hybrid model in the coming future. With the emergence of such model only gaining popularity in recent years, what will we do with all of these traditional offices built for full-time work?
In order to create an office optimized primarily for collaboration, employers will have to get creative, rethinking their current spaces. And with hybrid work being different for everyone, there won’t be a one size fits all like before when the main model was full-time, in-office work.
There should though be a consistent feeling that flows through the entire space in all collaborative spaces. Maybe this means an inviting communal space with plants, fresh coffee, and people working in all types of ways. Everyone has different expectations and everyone works differently so creating an environment that is dynamic and keeps energy flowing should be top priority.
This new collaborative office will look different for everyone, so to create an office best for you, you’ll have to take a few things into consideration.
Types of Spaces to Consider:
Home Base – quiet area for concentrated, focused working. This is closer to a traditional office design, but still necessary for when someone has focused work.
Open Plan/ Co-working – a workspace that supports communicating. Typically several work stations near each other. Great for a mix of collaborating and personal work.
Meeting Room – a space for presenting, training, or having structured group meetings.
Break Out – informal environment with comfortable lounge seating to relax and recharge.
Touch-Down – more informal that the Open Plan but not as casual as the Break Out, this design is a dynamic collaborative space that accommodates different types of work and guests.
Refuge Area – intended for private conversations with typically one other person or for a phone call.
Resource Room – a useful hub for storing tools, information, and equipment.
Inter-zone Corridor – use spaces such as hallways or unclaimed areas to further enhance your collaborative space with more tools, boards, etc.
Within all the spaces listed above, there are common elements and pieces that should be found in all areas. The top focus should be creating a dynamic and productive space that is full of energy. One of the best ways to achieve this is including a writing surface in every room, whether it’s a full wallboard or a mobile that can move with you. Ideas can be random and change over time, so your office should too. Having furniture like ottomans and soft chairs are crucial to providing a comfortable collaborative space. Lastly, make it feel like a space you want to work in. We spend years decorating our homes to be cozy so why can’t our offices be the same? Incorporating warm lighting, plants, and natural materials are a great way to achieve this.
With so many workers working hybrid, and many more to follow, collaborative offices are becoming the new norm. And with so many designs and elements available, you can create a collaborative office that works best for you and your team. At Calyx by Claridge, we offer the tools you need to bring these spaces to life whether you’re looking for tack surfaces, writing surfaces, mobiles, or accessories.