In a post-Covid world, the value of a flexible workspace is no mystery to anyone. More specifically, a hybrid office suits the needs of today’s professionals.
With a hybrid office experience, employees benefit from the convenience of working from home combined with the advantages of in-person interactions as needed.
As for employers, cultivating a remote work environment can save some companies up to $11,000 per employee on overhead costs.
The past two-plus years allowed organizations to heighten efficiency and maintain cohesion in virtual work environments, mitigating many perceived pitfalls and maximizing the positives.
To the above point, 94% of surveyed employees said their productivity was equal to greater than before remote work became the norm. Such a statistic flies in the face of outdated notions that employees work better at the office even when the technology allows them to remain at home.
All the same, not all employees can’t execute all their work remotely.
For instance, freshly onboarded employees in need of training likely require an in-person work environment. Plus, some employees need in-person interactions for culture and forging relationships.
Employees also can’t get specific team-based projects done to the best of their ability on a work-from-home basis.
As noted in the Harvard Business Review, collaboration is more seamless when there’s an option for in-person interactions. It’s easier to have informal conversations when everyone is in the same physical space. This communication-oriented advantage keeps a team project's forward momentum rolling in a way that constant Zoom calls between remote staff can’t.
Therein lies the need for a hybrid office environment. Employers still benefit from less overhead, and employees enjoy the freedom to stay home or work in-office, depending on their needs.
The hybrid office experience means less space required for physical workplaces because fewer employees are in-office on a given day.
Therefore, companies won’t have as much equipment as they once did, from stationery and tech to (most relevantly) work desks.
Regarding work desks, offices will have a significantly reduced desk-to-employee ratio. It won’t make sense to load up on tons of desks if employees aren’t physically present every day. Thus, it’s become standard practice for hybrid offices to have employees book desks when they need to work at a physical location.
The need to book a desk means employees don’t have a personal desk day in and day out anymore. Instead, they could end up at a different desk based on logistics and space whenever they come into a hybrid office.
So, how are your employees supposed to know where to sit in their hybrid office if they can’t rely on their designated desk?
Should you allow it to be a free-for-all where everyone runs around trying to race for workspace? Of course not. The best practice is devising a system for labeling shared desks.
Doing so avoids confusion and ensures your hybrid environment runs like a well-oiled machine, even on the days when seemingly everybody’s in-office and available space seems scarce.
Thus, office managers and HR people must learn how to label office desks and spaces in your hybrid office. Otherwise, even if employees book a desk, they won’t know where to sit.
Not sure how to effectively label? Then read our process below:
The first number you should use for labeling shared desks is the floor (like in a hotel). So, if someone’s desk is on the 2nd floor, it should start with 2. If the desk is on the 3rd floor, the number should start with 3.
Use the next two digits after the floor number to designate the workspace number. Each desk per floor should have three digits, unless there are more than 100, in which case, you’ll need four digits.
Your next course of action is defining neighborhoods, which you can name by department, desk type, or the layout of the desks.
Larger offices benefit from these designated neighborhoods because they point employees toward where you need them. Naturally, that means labeling these areas or zones with physical signage across the workspace.
Label all your desks with consistency and logic, preventing team members from wandering around aimlessly looking for their work area.
Consider employing a clockwise numbering layout, beginning at the main entrance (e.g., entrance or elevator doors). Doing so allows you to place desks 1 to 25 on the left and desks 26 - 50 on the right. This layout offers social distancing while employees find their designated spots.
Signage placed in functional areas–such as a floor’s alternate entryways–can act as a desk range signpost.
One last piece of the puzzle is to physically label spaces. This suggestion might seem like an afterthought and common sense, but it’s a frequently forgotten component in many hybrid offices, leading to confused employees not knowing where to sit.
So, what’s the best method for physically labeling shared desks?
There are a couple of ways to physically procure and place your office desk labels.
You can print out the numbers on a sticker and press it to a screen or the desk. It’s straightforward and does the trick, but it could prove a clunkier approach than needed.
There’s a far more convenient and streamlined option when you book desks with Deskfound. One of our handy, savvy features incorporates auto-generated labels with QR codes.
This automatic feature removes any extra legwork for HR teams and office managers needing to set up a hybrid office on a given day. You don’t need to bother with manual input, and our technology only generates the exact number of labels required.
The QR codes also further decrease the chances of confusion as it reduces the potential for human error. It’s merely a matter of pressing a few buttons, and all the labels get created in seconds.
Even on a hybrid basis, returning to the office comes with challenges.
Your employees are used to working in an office of one after doing so for such an extended period. They’ve established their own remote work environment patterns at home and have grown comfortable interacting with colleagues solely on a Zoom basis.
That isn’t to say your team will walk around like chickens with their heads cut off. Social nuances aren’t a mystery to them. These highly talented people can adapt and adjust the same way they did when you needed to shift to a 100% remote environment.
Still, returning to an in-person work environment is an emotional and psychological adjustment and transition. HR teams serve themselves best by ensuring this process is smooth as possible.
In these scenarios, the little things count–like ensuring your team members can locate their work desks without any complications.
Finding a desk will be the first task on someone’s list when they’ve booked a workspace. Failing to make that process seamless could throw a wrench into a harmonious workday. That’s not how anybody wants to get started.
Undoubtedly, the advantages of remote work are far-reaching.
Employees avoid COVID-related risks, dodge commute-related expenses and stressors, and work just as–if not more–productively as they do in the office.
On top of that, employers get to save tremendously on overhead.
Yet–there’s something critical missing from remote work. Namely, employees only speak to one another through Slack and Zoom. They’ve lost the magic of tactile, in-person interactions.
Bringing employees back to the workplace and meeting them in the middle with a hybrid office that utilizes shared desk booking services provides them an opportunity. Sure, your team members still enjoy all the benefits of working from home. But they also have the freedom to work from the office when they’re craving more social, face-to-face interactions.
These human connections prove pivotal for sound mental health. After such a tough time over the past 24-plus months, your hybrid workspace can be the morale boost your team needs. Even better, good mental health is associated with heightened levels of productivity.
One hand feeds the other when you create an excellent hybrid office experience. When you do the right things, like effectively and helpfully labeling shared desks, it tells workers you care and are focused on supporting their peak performance. As a result, they produce high-level results.
Bringing people together in this flexible environment fosters teamwork and bolsters culture, livening the workplace atmosphere and driving performance.
Deskfound allows your company to book employees’ desks in a hybrid office environment. We empower HR teams and office managers to ensure their team members won’t have any trouble securing a space to do their best work.
Using our service is simple. Deskbound’s Google Apps integration manages sign-ins, while Slack books desks in mere moments.
Beyond that, we’re free for up to 10 users and offer highly affordable paid plans, catering to businesses with stringent budgets.
Are you interested in a fruitful, thriving return to the office? Then book a demo with Deskfound today and bolster your hybrid work environment.