Updated: May 2
Harvard Business Review released an article about the effects of the pandemic in workspaces. Adaptability is the only way to face the new challenges of the post-covid world. 50% of companies are already planning to pilot new workspaces that fit with the new hybrid model. “For example, repurposing a café into a high-energy social and collaboration space that better supports new hybrid work patterns”.
The article propose 4 strategies that can help building hybrid workspaces that work:
Merge the physical and digital experiences in order to ensure three qualities: engagement, ease and equity.
“To be fully engaged, people need clear sightlines to one another and to the content. Designing for employee engagement in digital-to-physical space means thinking like a movie director – lights, camera, audio, content. Some solutions we’re seeing are angled or mobile tables, additional lighting, extra speakers, in room microphones, and easy-to-move marker boards and displays.”
Design of workspaces and experiences should incorporate open and enclosed spaces
“Open collaboration spaces are inherently more flexible because they don’t require fixed features in their design, so they can morph and change as new work patterns emerge. Meanwhile, individual spaces will need more enclosure to provide different levels of visual and acoustical privacy that people have come to expect while working at home”.
Shift from a fixed to fluid workspace: For example, designing open spaces that can be used for multiple purposes and can easily change from one time to another. In the morning it is a coffee shop, during lunch a space to eat and during the night it can be rented for a private event.
“The hybrid future solves for a more fluid workplace that can flex as needs change. Not only does this accelerate innovation and advance the culture of the organization, it can ensure real estate is always optimized”.
Individual and group activities should be taken into consideration with the same importance.
“Collaboration is not just about group work, it actually requires solitude too. Effective collaboration happens when there’s an ebb and flow of people coming together to work as a team and then moving apart to focus individually, process their ideas and follow up on assigned tasks”.
MKThink is working on the future of work space as well. Should any individual work happen at an office any more? Or should it only be used for “pop-up” group events where collaboration is required? Should teams even have permanent offices any more? Or central vs satellite offices? What’s the balance between employee satisfaction and productivity/creativity? Can it be measured? These and more are all the questions that MKThink’s team is tackling using a combination of interviews, sensor-based observation, modeling and more. The new world is being explored now. Are you experimenting your way to the future? If not, contact us to help you get started!.