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The Hybrid workplace ~ What is it??

The Hybrid workplace is where your employees can shift seamlessly from remote working to in-office working and back again, somewhat as they please.

“By design or default, most companies are heading toward a hybrid workplace where a large number of office employees rotate in and out of offices configured for shared spaces. (PWC) This model embraces the flexibility that most employees and some employers crave after working from home for months.’

This new model will likely impact a number of key areas of business:

How we work 

PWC 2020 report: “The office is here to stay, but its role is set to change. Less than one in five executives say they want to return to the office as it was pre-pandemic. Meanwhile, 87% of employees say the office is important for collaborating with team members and building relationships — their top-rated needs for the office. “

Optimizing the hybrid workplace requires increased and faster investments to support virtual collaboration and creativity, as well as for scheduling and security. “Over 60% of businesses expect to raise spending on virtual collaboration tools and manager training. Half plan to invest more in areas that support hybrid working models, including hoteling apps (50%) and communal space in the office (48%).”

What we know from 2020 is that companies that were slow to adopt WFH technologies and put clear guidance in place as to HOW to WFH, have seen a slower rate of adaption to remote work. This, in turn, has impacted innovation and productivity rates.

2020 shone a flashlight into online security, remote work technologies and how teams connect. Communication precedents changed and we developed a whole new burnout syndrome called Zoom Fatigue.

Workplace culture, employee engagement, personal development and innovation are all areas that require constant attention and work. Although many companies said that “surviving 2020 was important”  we are now looking down the barrel of a long 2021. The “new normal” is here to sta. We must start asking ourselves how we will protect our workplaces, our cultures and our innovation capability.

How the Hybrid Workplace office is used.

The COVID-19 Pandemic (ongoing) forces employers and employees to revisit what is and isn’t possible in the workplace. 

“Office vacancy in Vancouver hit 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. The highest it’s been since early 2018, according to CBRE… Comparatively, Calgary has an office vacancy rate of 27 percent — the highest in Canada — while Edmonton’s figures show 21 percent of that space is empty.” (For more info click here)

Office space is used and occupied differently in the hybrid work model. In theory, with fewer people in on a permanent basis, companies will need a smaller footprint. Meeting space will take a priority.  With space designated for creative thinking, connection and collaboration.

Additionally, companies are going to need to spend time and resources developing their return to work plan so that their employees can return with confidence.