The environment we work in has a substantial effect on productivity and happiness. We’re quickly learning that the workplace experience is not just a physical entity. It’s also a feeling, an atmosphere, and a culture.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to gauge the workplace experience in this era of hybrid working, and it can be even more complicated when you need to improve your hybrid workplace experience. That’s why this article will focus on ways to improve your employees’ workplace experience, when working remotely and with a hybrid scheduling system.
5 ways to improve your workplace experience for hybrid working
With hybrid working, your workplace experience problems can’t be solved with a pizza party or moving the furniture around a little bit. You need to focus on the people, not just the place. Improving workers’ experiences — no matter where they are — can create a greater sense of community and improve employee satisfaction.
Activity-based working allows employees to choose from a range of areas in the office created to facilitate their work. Activity-based working tries to give employees the right working environments to help them improve output quality and quantity.
It’s not just purely about sitting in a different type of workspace. It’s an all-inclusive philosophy that combines design, sensory experience, behavioral reinforcement, and iterative learning.
While it’s more difficult for those working remotely to use activity-based working, reduced office capacity allows workplace experience managers to create new spaces. This helps optimize office space while making it even more productive when workers are in the office.
Some detractors will say that where you sit makes no difference to productivity levels. To those naysayers, we would point out that activity-based working and strategic seating can increase productivity by 15%.
Reconfiguring meeting spaces
Not long ago, all you needed for a meeting room was a long table, decent lighting, chairs, and maybe a projection screen. Yet, the increased adoption of video conferencing and hybrid working has made the traditional meeting room obsolete.
The increased number of digital meetings means that in-office meeting rooms can sit empty for days at a time. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you what a giant waste of money that is.
With all that in mind, it’s time to reconfigure your meeting rooms to better serve the needs of a hybrid workforce. The newly-designed GSK Bentonville office gives us a great example of how to repurpose our meeting spaces. The entire office is on the cutting edge of flexible workplace experience design with hot-desking, flexible spaces, and a light, airy feel.
One of the coolest features of their new office is how they’ve replaced the traditional meeting room with the “Spark” room. This large space includes a 7-by-15 foot interactive touchscreen, flexible furniture that can suit regular meetings, ideation, and collaboration sessions, classroom-style seating, and even town hall sessions. This kind of out-of-the-box thinking helps make meeting spaces multi-functional and more likely to be used.
Designing for collaboration for a better workplace experience
With hybrid working, you will often find that workers will stay home when they can do their work alone. While collaboration through digital means is possible, there’s nothing quite like getting together with your co-workers and tackling work as a team. With that in mind, your in-office facilities must be focused on facilitating collaboration.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for designing office spaces with collaboration in mind, but as long as you provide your employees with everything they need to collaborate, you’ll do just fine. It also doesn’t hurt if you make sure your furniture is comfortable.
To find out what works best for a better workplace experience and what your employees need, simply ask them! This will help you to find out precisely what they need to succeed and invites a little creativity and personalization in the design process to make everyone feel like part of a collective.
Host employee engagement events
It can be difficult to catch up with work friends on hybrid work schedules. There’s no guarantee that you will be in the office at the same time as your work pals, unless you’re working on a collaborative project.
And when employees aren’t in the office all the time, there are fewer structures promoting and guiding company culture. So to combat this, why not host monthly events that bring everyone together again?
Many companies are adopting a no-meetings rule one day each week, usually a Friday. This helps workers wind down after a long work week and often improves employee satisfaction levels. However, we can do better.
Rather than just canceling meetings for the day, why not turn one Friday afternoon each month into a fun event? Friday afternoons can be dedicated to games, snack tasting sessions, team-building exercises, or any other fun activity that brings the entire team together. This gives your employees a significant morale boost and puts to bed the idea of typical, boring office spaces.
Introduce protocols for shared spaces
One of the issues with large, open-plan, collaborative workspaces is that they can sometimes invite chaos. To keep chaos at bay, each workspace should have rules that go along with usage. For example, people working in a quiet workspace will need to wear headphones when listening to music and will have to move to a different part of the office to make or take calls.
Those using a digital workspace scheduling system can see which spaces are for which activities. They will also need to agree to these rules whenever they book a workspace, so all employees will know the rules before entering the workspace.
Improve your workplace experience with Smartway2
A digital workspace scheduling system makes many hybrid work models easier to implement and follow. Smartway2 empowers employees and employers by offering an easy-to-use platform that can optimize your office space and improve employee satisfaction.