In the past few years, hybrid work has become the norm in many industries. The COVID-19 pandemic forced countless businesses to quickly pivot to remote work, invest in new tools and technology, and build flexibility into their organizational policies.
Today, many organizations are realizing the inherent benefits of a hybrid work setup that offers workers a greater degree of flexibility, boosts productivity, and improves the employee experience. Learn more about flexible workspaces and how they can support a hybrid workforce.
What is a flexible workspace?
In a hybrid work setup, employees alternate between working onsite at a central office and working remotely. An office that has flexible workspaces offers a variety of different seating arrangements, including desks, private offices, and meeting rooms. Flexible workspaces often use arrangements such as hot desking or desk hoteling:
Hot desking is a seating model in which desks are not tied to a specific employee. Instead, workers use available desks or offices on a first-come, first-served basis. When an employee is done using a desk, they pack up all their belongings so that the workspace is open for someone else to use.
In a desk or office hoteling system, employees can book a workspace in advance using a reservation system. They may be able to reserve a specific workspace for a full day, a week, or more, depending on their needs and the space available.
Both systems help an organization make the most of its office footprint. A flexible office may also use modular office furniture to create adaptable multipurpose spaces. For example, you may want a meeting room where you can arrange the furniture to accommodate a workshop, board meeting, or client pitch.
What are the advantages of having a flexible workspace?
Transitioning to a flexible office layout can help businesses stay nimble. Team members have a variety of spaces to be productive, but the organization has the flexibility to scale up or down as needed. The benefits of flexible workspaces include:
1. Higher productivity
A flexible office layout helps employees be more productive because they can choose the workspace that best suits their needs for a particular task or project. If they need a quiet space to focus or make phone calls, they can choose a private office. If they need to partner with a colleague on a design or a proposal, they can work together at a conference table. And if they need a dedicated space to host visitors or potential clients, they can book a conference room.
Since each worker’s needs might change from day to day, flexible workspaces can accommodate a variety of different teams and working styles. A flexible layout benefits your leadership team, as well. As your organization grows and develops, a flexible arrangement helps you manage changes in your organizational structure without requiring you to lease or purchase additional office space.
A flexible setup also allows remote employees to work onsite when needed since they can reserve a desk in advance instead of scrambling to find an appropriate workspace upon arriving at the office. And if your company is hosting clients or other guests, you can make them feel more welcome and comfortable in your space.
3. Cost savings
In a traditional office layout, you have to design your space so that each employee has a dedicated office, desk, or cubicle. But if your enterprise offers hybrid work arrangements, you simply don’t need as much square footage. On any given day, some employees will work onsite while others work from home.
This means you can shrink your office footprint, reducing your overhead costs across the board. Your company will pay less in rent, have lower utility bills, and spend less on office equipment and supplies. And since employees will spend less time commuting, you’ll be able to reduce your transportation reimbursement costs, as well.
4. Employee retention and satisfaction
When you design your office with your employees’ needs in mind, you are more likely to see an increase in employee retention and job satisfaction. Instead of your management dictating where everybody sits, each employee can select the space they prefer – and they have the freedom to change desks if they need to.
A flexible layout also makes it easy for employees to get to know one another, build collegial relationships, and join forces on different projects and initiatives. Employees who feel engaged at work are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs – and more willing to work onsite.
A recent study from Microsoft found that 73% of workers surveyed were willing to go into the office more often if their teammates were also onsite. And 85% reported that rebuilding team bonds would motivate them to work from the office. Flexible workspaces provide more autonomy to employees, regardless of where they are in your organizational hierarchy.
Make your office setup work for your team
Whether you’re preparing to welcome employees back to the office or just want to revamp your approach to hybrid work, a flexible office setup is a great way to save money while increasing productivity. But without the right tools in place, managing your flexible workspaces can have the opposite effect and become a major headache for your administrative staff.
That’s where Robin comes in. We’re dedicated to delivering a better workplace experience through our user-friendly platform. With Robin’s office management software, you can:
- Map your office: Drag-and-drop tools let you map out your office in minutes.
- Reserve workspaces: Find and book meeting rooms and desks, filtering by amenity if needed.
- Gain insights: Powerful analytics let you track office occupancy, space utilization, and workforce trends.
- Manage the visitor experience: Safely welcome partners, consultants, and other guests to your office.