Navigating the post-pandemic workplace: Strategies for adapting facilities for hybrid work models

While most parts of life have returned to what they were before the pandemic, working environments have undergone a significant transformation.

With around 37% of Australians now working from home regularly, hybrid work models — combining both in-office and remote work — have become the new norm. And with this shift come unique challenges and opportunities for organisations aiming to adapt their facilities to support this new way of working.

So, what role do physical workspaces play in the future of work? How can we help create a safe working environment by following new procedures? How can workers thrive both in-person and remotely?

Ditch the desks – opt for flexible workspaces instead

One of the key elements of the hybrid work model is flexibility. Traditional office layouts, with their fixed desks and rigid structures, may not serve the dynamic needs of a hybrid workforce.

Here are some strategies to create a more flexible in-person workspace:

  • Hot desking and shared spaces: Implement hot desking policies where employees can reserve desks as needed. Shared spaces like collaborative zones, quiet areas, and meeting rooms should be designed to cater to various work styles and activities.
  • Modular furniture: Use modular furniture that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate different group sizes and functions. This adaptability helps maximise the use of office space and supports spontaneous collaboration.
  • Activity-based working: Encourage activity-based working, where employees choose their workspace based on the task at hand. This approach fosters productivity and creativity by providing the right environment for specific activities.

Keep your workspace squeaky clean

Health and safety remain paramount in the post-pandemic workplace. Enhanced sanitation protocols are essential to ensure a clean and safe environment for employees. Consider these measures:

  • Regular cleaning: Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection, especially in high-touch areas like door handles, elevator buttons, and shared equipment.
  • Sanitisation stations: Install hand sanitising stations at key locations throughout the office, including entrances, communal areas, and near shared equipment. Encourage staff to use them frequently.
  • Touchless technology: Implement touchless solutions such as automatic doors, voice-activated elevators, and sensor-operated tap-ware. Reducing physical contact points minimises the risk of virus transmission.
  • Reinforced education: Ensure all staff are equipped with the knowledge to prevent spreading germs, including social distancing and staying home when ill.

Embrace technology to keep people connected

Collaboration is crucial for the success of hybrid work models, but it also becomes more difficult as people try to connect from different locations. Integrating the right technology can bridge the gap between in-office and remote employees, ensuring seamless communication and collaboration. Here’s how:

  • Communication platforms: Invest in communication platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Slack. These tools enable real-time messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing, keeping remote and in-office teams connected.
  • Cloud-based solutions: Use cloud-based software for document management, project tracking, and collaboration. Cloud solutions provide remote access to essential files and applications from anywhere, ensuring an uninterrupted workflow.

 

We see well-managed work environments as an investment in your staff and your business.

Adapting to the post-pandemic workplace requires a thoughtful approach to facility management, and placing the wellbeing of staff at the forefront.

By embracing flexible workspace configurations, enhancing sanitation protocols, and integrating technology for remote collaboration, organisations can create a hybrid work environment that supports productivity, health, and wellbeing, allowing staff and organisations to thrive in the new world of work.

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