The Hybrid Workplace

By all indications the future of work is hybrid, with more people than ever before working
remotely. Yet not everyone prefers the work from home environment, with some struggling to
adjust to the sudden shift in the workspace. The result is a hybrid workplace, one that
combines remote work and in-office work in a single traditional office space. The goal of the
hybrid workplace is to support every work style and every employee, allowing for better
productivity and happier employees all round. Gone are the individual workstations and
confined desks, instead replaced with a more open environment.But before the hybrid
workplace, we were introduced to the idea of remote working, here are some of the pros and
cons of the remote working:

Advantages of remote working:
● Change to commuting patterns, traffic and time spent to and from the office
● Focused individual work improved – less disruption
● Restore or enhance work life balance
● Increased family time
● Employee’s sense of freedom – can control their work/home schedule, improving job
satisfaction
● Reduces staff turnover
● Attract talent

Disadvantages of remote working:
● Communication & Collaboration suffers – teams become siloed and communicate less,
with less face-to-face interaction and meetings.
● Employees spend more time on email, whatsapp and therefore less information is
shared.
● Less collaboration and learning between new and younger employees with more
experienced individuals. Learning and growing is an important part of any office space
and company, newer employees generally learn from those more senior.
● Culture, creativity and innovation may suffer.
● Employees lose the social interaction of offices and may feel lonely, isolated, and out of
touch.
● Digital overload with Zoom/Team meetings and webinars at all hours.
● Ability to work remotely is an issue in South Africa – access to a decent internet
connection, space, and place to work, disruption, cost of IT.
● Difficult to manage remote teams.

The Solution – The Hybrid Office
The opportunity is for companies to create a workplace (Hybrid Office) where everyone can
thrive and importantly encourage employees to come back to the office a few days a week.

The hybrid office seeks to provide a well designed and improved office space offering
employees a choice of where to work within the office – desk, quiet zone, pause area,
collaboration space or meeting room, in the garden or on the patio. The office is no longer the
corner office, open plan space and meeting rooms. Instead we see more contemporary styles of
office layout being developed, where there is less restriction with closed off desks and
individual work spaces. The hybrid office offers a level of flexibility, you can work where you
are most comfortable and productive, no longer confined to one desk in one corner of the
office.
An additional advantage is the doing away of corporate design elements. Now employees can
add style and flair to their workplace, encouraging creativity among employees and boosting
productivity and morale. Why not make your workspace one filled with comfort. Looking to
add an air hockey table in the open space being the conference table? Or maybe a ping pong
table in the pause area? All you need to do is move the coffee tables around a bit, and it can be
a reality. Employees can take control of their space, and make it feel like home.
The Hybrid workspace also introduces social events, where employees can interact and
mingle, meeting new people they would not typically work with. These events are completely
optional of course, and for those who prefer a quiet office we cater for that too. Take
advantage of the in-house canteen and pause area with healthy snacks and beverages, which
are restocked constantly.
The hybrid work space is quickly becoming the way of the future, with technology racing ahead
faster than ever before. We have evolved, and so our work space and office environment
should evolve too. Instead of being a stagnant space, complete with little freedom and constant
restriction, the new office makes employee well-being and happiness a priority, while
maximising productivity and accessibility for everyone.