The recent global pandemic that shuttered office doors for months on end and permanently for many companies is slowly loosening its grip on our lives – both personally and professionally. The old ways of requiring employees to commute to a set physical location to complete work that can largely be completed easier and better remotely are no longer viable. The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for cementing a shift in the workplace that has been coming for a long time. That shift is the hybrid workplace model.
The hybrid workplace model is not new, though it has grown exponentially with the rise of coworking spaces. More and more companies every year have switched over from the traditional 9 – 5 office lifestyle to a flexible working environment that accommodates both remote and office-based work.
The COVID-19 pandemic proved that the future of work had to be re-envisioned for a world that has increasing uncertainty from global health crises to devastating environmental events. If companies are to survive in this tech-forward, ever-changing world, they need to be able to operate with a higher degree of flexibility. The companies that adapt will thrive and will recruit the top talent who have also given up on the traditional 9 – 5 office-based lifestyle. Companies that do not adapt will face problems ranging from staffing shortages to operating effectively during future potential office closures.
So what is the hybrid model? And more importantly, what is it not? Let’s take a closer look at the future of work.
Most importantly, the hybrid workplace is not based inside a central office, but it does require one. The difference is that the entire, or even the majority of a company’s workforce is not required to work from this office. Some companies are opting for a varied shift model where different teams take turns staffing and working from the central office, while others work remotely.
Some companies are taking their hybrid model further than varied shifts. They are opting to only use their central office for meetings that require a conference room. Many of the companies that are heading in this direction are downsizing their office operations from a space that they own to renting flexible space within a coworking space. Depending on the size of the city, some companies find that it’s beneficial to rent space in multiple coworking locations that are close to their employees’ homes. The major cost savings that come with a hybrid model easily allow for multiple remote offices.
Secondly, a hybrid workplace is not fully remote, though some companies come very close. Since some version of office space is required for a hybrid model, you can’t run a fully remote workforce and still be considered hybrid. Office space is vital for meetings that can’t be efficiently run via video conferencing. It’s also helpful for team collaboration which can be less productive via remote means.
Even if the office space is minimal and only used when needed, it is still imperative that your team has a place to work when remote work is not viable, or your employees need a break from the isolation that comes from working from home. Likewise, for your employees who have children, an office space can be necessary for a distraction-free working space.
Now that you have an idea of what the hybrid workplace model looks like, you may be wondering what to do with your current office space. Or maybe you closed your office permanently but are reconsidering your fully remote workforce. Luckily, there are coworking spaces that have been designed specifically for the hybrid workplace model.
If you are looking for a remote flexible office in the Concord or Winston-Salem area, Flywheel has you covered. Contact us today to book a tour or to rent your office space.