The renowned economics professor at Stanford University, Nicholas Bloom, one of few economists to ever study remote work before 2020, recenlty conducted a major survey on the hybrid work environment now rapidly evolving. He warns that companies must be prepared to fully adapt to providing a hybrid office environment and to see that employee needs are met to succeed in a hybrid work model.
The importance of hybrid style workspace designs, new protocols for health and safety, including ensuring air quality in the office, office and workplace cleaning, sanitizing and workspace management will all be key factors in keeping employees safe, productive and healthy.
According to several studies recently conducted, clearly 25 percent of office employees prefer to work from home at least 1-3 days per week. The higher the education level of the employee; the more days they prefer to work from home. This leaves companies with unique challenges as to how to provide collaborative work environments in the office while allocating fewer dedicated offices, more flex office and meeting space.
Office and workplace space design post-pandemic will definitely reflect the new hybrid work or dynamic working model of the future, with changes required almost immediately. Office interiors with prefab construction that can be reconfigured will no doubt be common and offer significant sustainability benefits and require less time than traditional construction.
Employees returning to the office will also want to be reassured that they are working in an environment with the best possible air quality. It will become ever more important for office managers, landlords, building and facility managers to be more transparent about HVAC air filtering and maintenance, air quality, cleaning, security, employee and tenant engagement & management systems put in place to ensure the safety and health of building and workplace occupants.
One of Nicholas Bloom and his associates findings post-pandemic were that it will be important to treat all employees engaged in the hybrid work model equally. He suggests not letting employees make the decisions but rather mandate the number of days employees must work in the office however, let them schedule those days according to their needs for the best possible outcome.
To accomodate the hybrid workplace, companies, building managers and owners will be faced with adapting and the need to implement the best possible office and building management solutions including tenant engagement solutions, desk-mapping and booking tech, occupancy tracking, security and building managment + automation solutions.
To review Nicholas Bloom’s original study on remote work and learn how his findings indicate higher productivity among those that worked from home.