By now, we’ve all heard of work-from-home, and of course we know what a centralised office is - but what about hybrid working? If you caught our article last week, you might be vaguely aware of the hybrid (or ‘hub and spoke’) model - but today we wanted to prove exactly why hybrid working is the ideal solution for a post-covid future, and how it can give you (or your staff) the best of both.
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working, or hub and spoke, refers to a model that allows employees to distribute their time between a traditional office, or ‘hub’, as well as a range of de-centralised ‘spokes’, which could mean the home or independent office buildings/flexible desk spaces near them.
At NearU, we’ve created an app that connects employees to workspaces across the UK (and even internationally) to give companies the option to easily implement hybrid working policies. You can read all about our app here or download from the App Store or Google Play.
How the hybrid model will benefit employees
A recent study by Savills found that 18-24 year old entry-level employees were bearing the biggest brunt of the work-from-home model. Only 7.5% of those surveyed were able to work from a home office space, with a much greater proportion admitting to working from kitchen/dining areas, living rooms, and bedrooms. When where you work has such a significant impact on productivity, these findings are pretty concerning.
The survey also found that entry-level employees were more likely to prefer office working than WFH, in order to feel seen, allow for colleague collaboration, and to learn on the job more efficiently. Despite this preference though, it’s clear that remote working hasn’t been too much of a detriment to productivity, with 87% of respondents stating that their work levels remained the same or improved over the past year.
Fortunately, hybrid working will give employees the best of both - providing the option to use serviced office spaces designed to maximise performance, while also allowing them to WFH or go into HQ if they please. Some key design elements like the inclusion of lots of natural lighting, indoor plants, and open space have all been shown to boost employee morale - in fact, a 2019 project by D/Dock showed that making the right changes in an office environment could lead to a 10% improvement in workplace productivity. At NearU, we’ve been careful to select host partners whose spaces reflect this.
How will hybrid working fit into the future of work?
Plenty of companies are already beginning to adopt a hybrid working model, whether that’s through NearU or elsewhere. One of the biggest names to implement it so far is Spotify, who announced that they would be allowing their employees to ‘work from anywhere’ starting this summer; “work isn’t something you come to the office for, it’s something you do,” the company said. “Effectiveness can’t be measured by the number of hours people spend in an office – instead, giving people the freedom to choose where they work will boost effectiveness.” This is music to our ears (if you’ll pardon the pun).
Design and layout are likely to be major factors in the future of work, especially for younger staff who, as we saw earlier, struggle to work-from-home due to limited space. According to that same survey, 71% believed office design would change while 74% believed that space and size would be impacted, with the majority in favour of high-density, open-plan offices.
Luckily, companies don’t have to worry about forking out for a complete architectural re-structure, as there are plenty of desirable office spaces across the country which you (or your staff) can easily access with NearU. We have hundreds of nationwide partners whose flexible desks and meeting rooms can be booked with our simple pay-as-you-go system for up to a month at a time (no subscription necessary). We already know what employees want - we’re just here to deliver it.