Read the opinion piece by Robert Acouri, President of the Cider Group, published in the JDN. There is talk of hybrid offices, hybrid work methods, hybrid spaces… But what exactly is it? An alternation of telework and face-to-face work accelerated by the pandemic? Beyond a simple spatial distinction, it is also a whole new way of thinking about work spaces.
A MULTIPLICITY OF THIRD-PARTY VENUES AVAILABLE
Working in hybrid mode means looking beyond the office/home. Because not all employees are in the same boat, companies must continue their mission of “well-being” at work beyond their own walls. In this sense, more and more companies are offering their employees the opportunity to work from coworking spaces, some even advocating the introduction of the “office ticket”. For several years now, these spaces have been able to count on these new types of occupants, who come to work in a friendly atmosphere alongside start-ups and freelancers. The key to their success? A varied and extremely flexible offer, à la carte, where you can subscribe by the year, by the hour, by the day… The latest equipment for optimal working conditions. These locations are particularly strategic, covering the entire territory and especially business centres and transit areas. The third places, invigorating, are excellent complements to the office.
The role of the manager is being redefined in the face of mobile employees. The manager is the binder, the one who brings people together, motivates and maintains the course of a shared company vision. They spread the culture of results among their teams, but must be careful not to make everything revolve around work. It is impossible to expect employees to spend 100% of their time in front of a screen or in meetings. On the contrary, the manager must himself be the instigator of moments of meeting and relaxation, where one does not only work. Setting up yoga or meditation classes with human resources, making naps commonplace at work, moments of silence… Breaks that also invite people to escape from work. As trivial as they may seem, they are necessary for creativity and innovation, particularly in the office, a space that is far from being abandoned and is being redefined.
MORE AND MORE TECHNOLOGY
Without resources, connectivity or technical support, it is impossible to be effective. In addition to the quality of the connection of employees or their equipment, it is also the adoption of innovative digital tools, to hold a video conference, to consult, share and distribute documents. Of course, the use of messaging applications or social platforms is valuable. But office meeting rooms must evolve even more to offer a simple, pleasant and fluid experience (integrated screens, applications to pre-book rooms remotely and at any time, etc.)
A growing number of companies are planning to design their spaces differently as they move to the hybrid model. The challenge is to offer furniture adapted to these new uses of employees, between work, collaboration and relaxation, wherever they are. Gone are the days of “all flex” or “all fixed”, we now speak of “fluid” spaces, where only the employee chooses, on demand, and according to his or her needs and activities for the day. Hybridization is the flexibility and agility of a space and its furniture to meet the expectations of its user. The appropriate furniture can be selected to accompany moments of concentration, which require silence and isolation, and human moments when collaboration is required. Agile furniture is hybrid in nature, i.e. multi-functional, versatile.
THE HUMAN AGAIN AND AGAIN
Without it, the recipe for the hybrid work environment does not work. It is the human factor, and more particularly the management and corporate culture to be put in place. The company and the manager must establish an internal culture of trust, which is no longer based on the number of hours worked in person or at home, but on a logic of objectives and results.
With this hybrid model, the management body recognises that each job is done differently, that we do not conform to a single working environment, and that quite simply each individual has different needs and can therefore be managed differently. The company must help us to choose the way of working that suits us best.