Not long ago, employees, office managers, and CEOs thought remote work was a temporary solution. But this perception is changing in favor of remote and hybrid work models. HR professionals believe that the future of office space will consist of diverse groups of people using advanced technologies to cut out traditional barriers. More tech advancements will work in favor of employees and companies.
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2023 is almost here, and it looks like remote/hybrid work models are here to stay. In the future, companies will design office spaces where employees would feel at home. The comfort of home means more convenience and freedom for employees to work without stress and become more productive.
Progressive Companies, Progressive Measures
Many organizations are progressive and believe hybrid workspaces will become a new standard for (almost) every company that wants to survive and thrive in a competitive landscape.
A hybrid work model is not just an accommodation for employees – it supports employees in fulfilling their job responsibilities and living up to the company’s expectations on their own terms.
The next time you think about the future of work, understand that office downsizing will become normal. It will also become standard for employees to operate in a dedicated hybrid world.
Since the pandemic crisis, many employers have continued hybrid/remote work models. Data shows around 16% of organizations have become fully remote.
So, this begs the question: what does this mean for the future of office space?
Well, the future of office space is more interconnected, tech-driven, and diverse, and remote/hybrid work models are in the spotlight.
Future of Workspace and the Wonder of Remote Work
Now, when it comes to remote work, there are good and bad elements. Not everything about remote and hybrid work is seamless. There are still challenges related to remote/hybrid work that companies need to sort out.
Mostly, the benefits of a remote/hybrid model outweigh its limitations and risks. Post-pandemic normalcy in the workspace is different than most companies had hoped for. It favors and empowers bold employees to the point they don’t need constant supervision. It helps employees become more competent and skillful through training and development initiatives.
A decade ago, the idea of having a remote/hybrid model and using technologies to optimize operations wouldn’t have been practical and outright unfathomable. In the digital age, there are many jobs that employees can do remotely, which create new exciting opportunities. A lot of companies are still experimenting with remote and hybrid work models and trying to align how they can work for their organizations.
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The remote/hybrid work model is just a vessel for organizations to understand future demands. The truth is that offices now have to be configured to support a flexible, diverse, and tech-driven workforce. In time, the perks of implementing and using a remote/hybrid work model will increase for companies.
But even now, remote/hybrid work boosts productivity, gives employees more time to spend with their friends and family, and gives employees the freedom to work on their preferred schedules. You might think future communication might get more awkward – but Gen Z knows how to adapt and embrace new changes. In fact, the digital native generation is always curious to try new tech innovations that can change the way they work and live.
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More Financial Opportunities
From a financial point of view, companies have to cut more costs in the future without compromising employees' health and safety. You can expect the future office space to create more financial opportunities for the companies.
Potential savings for companies come down to several factors:
- Companies that allow remote/hybrid work will have to figure out the regularity with which the staff needs to be in the workplace. It shapes new leadership and requires making decisions based on organizational and employees’ needs.
- Many companies want to attract new talent that doesn’t even have a physical office space. It makes leadership more curious about its overall reach and how it can further remote workspaces.
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Reimagining the Future of Office Space
When you have a progressive mindset and anticipate future needs, reimagining the future of office space becomes easier. Many companies are working to create highly flexible and innovative office spaces that are unlike anything from traditional office spaces.
A shift in office space means a shift to support employees in the physical workplace. There are optimized measures for safety and health, and distance is stretched out to make employees feel secure and comfortable in the office space.
Office managers can now provide protective measures to employees where they can improve their in-person office hygiene and have a say in air purification solutions. Since the pandemic, employees now want more office amenities. In fact, there is a dramatic change to cater to the needs of modern employees. And contrary to misguided perception, physical office space is far from dead.
The future of office space is about managing remote and in-person office space. In the coming years, enterprises and employees will work together and be on the same page to maximize business potential.
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Flexible Office Environments
There is nothing more attractive than a flexible workspace for employees, and the next generation of employees understands that co-working and optimized workspaces is the way to go. Many employees now want to learn more about how hybrid workspaces are evolving and how organizations can provide added support to make these hybrid workspaces work.
Expect the office workspace to become more flexible and comfortable in the next ten years. After all, it is where employees and managers spend most of their time. So, organizations probably won’t enforce traditional formalities and pressures on the Gen Z workforce.
As remote/hybrid work models become mainstream, many employees are ready to be part of this journey. In the end, employees want to work in an office space where they can belong and feel appreciated. As tech advancements become more futuristic, expect a more collaborative office environment to support employees’ and work needs.
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Offices are Evolving
The fact of the matter is that current office standards are evolving. So, whether you realize it or not, office spaces are evolving. Companies and employees are now re-envisioning how they see office spaces. Many organizations want to run smart facilities where comfort, flexibility, compatibility, and productivity thrive.
A survey shows that 70% of employees prefer to work in a physical office space as long as that operated facility is flexible and designed to cater to their needs. One of the highlights of the hybrid work model is that it leaves a smaller footprint and creates a flexible space that empowers on-site employees at the same time.
The Future of Office Space: Tech Giants Leading the Charge
Google now provides adaptable and reconfigurable “Team Pods” rooms to its employees. The workforce can use these small office spaces that work like rooms and use partitions to support focused and collaborative work by teams. Google also has “Campfire” dedicated conference rooms that allow people to sit around in a circle and share ideas through multiple large displays.
Google notes that it is reconfiguring and changing its office layouts. The company is experimenting with how the future workplace environments can look to scale up operations and render more flexibility for employees. Microsoft is not far behind Google – it is also adapting its office spaces to support big conference rooms. In fact, these conference rooms can support large virtual meetings where screens and eye-level cameras are on the wall.
Ultimately, each company needs to find its own way around the remote/hybrid model and what kind of innovative office space design initiatives it wants to roll out to make work more flexible, productive, and convenient.
Many companies are pushing a complete back-to-office policy. But there is a real struggle for such companies that fail to put in place any remote or hybrid models. Even a statement in favor of remote and hybrid work models can make a huge difference for these companies.
For a lot of companies, it takes proactive actions to make a difference. Anyhow, office spaces will become more sustainable, attractive, and innovative in the coming years. One of the top priorities of broadminded companies is to use the latest tech tools and solutions to optimize operations, communicate better, and support remote and hybrid work models.
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By: Brandi Marcene