COVID-19 has affected work processes globally. The pandemic changed the way organizations communicate and collaborate to get work done. There was a shift from physical in-office collaborations to the adoption of new digital tools that aid collaboration, project management, and engagement as people begin to work from home.
Ever since the pandemic necessitated the adoption of remote working on a global scale, there have been many kinds of research exploring which work arrangement employees prefer between a return to the office and work-from-home. In a survey of over 1500 professionals, while some employees would rather love to continue working from home fully, most of the participants (81%) reveal that they would prefer a type of "hybrid" schedule going forward, where they would have a mixture of home and office shifts.
But why do people want to return to the office?
As COVID-19 vaccines continue to be more accessible to people, employees have become keener in returning to the office. In a survey of 2033 professionals, 3 in every 4 workers indicated they would love to return to the office as they believe that ’office socialization' enhances their productivity whilst also spicing up their work life. The result of this survey is a strong indication that a more flexible future of work is desired with a shift to the “hybrid office.”
Office socialization is one of the top reasons employees want to return to the workplace
The Hybrid Office and how best can organizations adopt it?
The hybrid workplace model combines both work-from-home and in-office physical working systems. This model gives more flexibility to how, where, and when employees should work, the working hours, and the overall work processes. The hybrid workplace model has been adopted by global organizations like Twitter, Microsoft, and notable Nigerian organizations like Phillips Consulting are working with Spacefinish to switch to a hybrid work mode.
As flexible as the hybrid work mode sounds, it can be quite complicated. This is because not many templates exist as models for companies to follow. This is why it has become pertinent to share guides and tips about how to successfully implement hybrid work.
How should organizations return to the workplace?
It's important for organizations to plan for this phase. This will include inviting and encouraging employees to have a discussion around how and when they want to return to the workspace. For PCL’s hybrid work mode, Spacefinish conducted a company-wide survey that revealed peculiar insights on PCL’s staff consideration for a return to the workspace. This ensures that whatever plan the organization implements is user-centric enough to drive engagement and productivity.
Alternative work pods where employees can work safely whilst collaborating are now important more than ever.
Ensuring the workspace is ready for Employees’ return
As the reality of work has changed drastically from pre-covid times, it is expected that the post-covid workplace is designed to accommodate the new work dynamics. Factors like health and safety have become top concerns as employees consider going back to the office. Now more than ever, flexibility is needed in the workspace. Elements like alternative work pods that can help teammates stay safe while they work together or have that quick sync should be given high consideration.
In the new work dispensation where employees want to hold onto the perks of a new work-from-home structure whilst still longing for the socialization of the office, the hybrid work mode offers the ability to bring people together to create a more productive and satisfying workplace.