Sixty percent of workers say they’d rather have a hybrid arrangement than go back to their office full-time, according to a study from JLL. More employees are seeking flexible and remote opportunities, and businesses are racing to adapt to the change by providing workspaces that meet those expectations to enhance the employee experience.
If you’re a real estate developer, leasing manager, property developer – or even a business owner – seeking to strike a balance between new expectations and the limitations of the spaces you offer, you’re not alone.
The solution? Hybrid workspaces – a concept that combines the best of collaboration, remote work, and flexibility. These spaces are designed to attract business owners and employees alike to a property. If you’re looking to build new office space or retrofit an existing commercial property, it pays to include characteristics of a hybrid workspace concept.
So, how do these new spaces work, and why are they important on the grand scale? Here’s what you should know about the hybrid workspace redesign revolution taking the business world by storm and why it matters for your real estate or property management business.
What is a Hybrid Workspace?
A hybrid workspace is an office design that lets employers offer onsite and remote working options. It allows teams to collaborate regardless of location. Much of how this system works relies on technology. When employees collaborate from different spaces without sacrificing output quality, employers can continue offering flexible options that fit most schedules.
Research indicates that up to 53% of employees now expect a hybrid work arrangement, and 24% of people seeking jobs are exclusively seeking remote options. Moreover, 74% of American companies are implementing or are planning to implement a hybrid work model, with a blend of in-office and remote employees.
If your property allows businesses to incorporate these changes seamlessly, you’re more likely to experience demand. You can also adjust existing properties to promote faster lease-ups and higher profitability.
Hybrid workspaces aren’t a fad. In fact, according to a CEO survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value, “Remote work will be a permanent fixture as part of a hybrid workforce that blends in-person employees with virtual colleagues.” It’s safe to assume that the hybrid model is here to stay and, if managed right, is a win-win scenario for all stakeholders involved.
What Are Some Characteristics of Effective Hybrid Workspaces?
According to Harvard Business Review, the hybrid workspace has different roles. It acts as a social center, a place for learning, and a venue for unstructured collaboration and creativity. Whether employers seek properties that allow people to engage face-to-face or seek privacy, the best approach is to create office designs that let them do both without heavy adjustment.
Hybrid workspaces combine multiple elements and offer enticing and effective solutions for business owners. They should allow employers to encourage hot-desking, offer high-tech video conference rooms, and include Zoom-optimized spaces.
Your property must also include a fusion of collaborative spaces with private areas, including an open or multi-purpose expanse that people share for different activities throughout the day. Don’t underestimate the importance of reconfigurable furniture and high-quality property design to attract higher-tier clients when you’re planning the interior design and workspace solutions in your office.
These properties should have areas where businesses can outfit desks or other office furniture to create instant project zones. In collaborative spaces, you can designate segments for mini-cafes and recreation. Break areas on each floor of your property encourage people to move between rooms effortlessly, without walls and paneling that blocks light and creates limitations.
Don’t forget the importance of outdoor amenities and their potential to make your property more enticing. If your property has unused outdoor space, you can add patios or gardens that flow seamlessly with the internal structure design.
Rooftop decks help make the most of your real estate. After all, who wouldn’t want to work with an unobstructed view of their city’s skyline just a glance away. When the proverbial water cooler conversations can take place in the great outdoors, team members can rest and recharge faster and more efficiently.
How to Generate Interest in Your Hybrid Workspace Property
Although employees want more time out of stuffy offices, business owners can entice them back with features and comforts they may not find in their home office. The CRE manager or real estate developer can give the business owners the tools they need within their space to attract top talent.
Some aspects of the hybrid workspace you should keep top of mind include:
· Tech-friendly areas
· Collaborative spaces
· Making the most of small spaces
If your property allows businesses to use innovative technology to digitize aspects of the workspace, you’ll generate more interest because your facilities, by default, make it easier to scale operations when needed.
The significance of making spaces for easier collaboration cannot be stressed enough. If your property allows for open-plan offices, you attract business owners looking to shift from the single-desk model to one that is more efficient for staff.
Not all real estate properties are big enough for open-space models, but small spaces have unique benefits. In fact, because some companies are shifting to smaller areas to save on real estate costs, your property can be just the type they need for their new business model. Don’t make your property something it cannot be – work with what you have to maximize efficiency instead. With half their workforce working remotely at least some of the time, business owners can function efficiently with less space, reducing overhead costs. Smaller office spaces are a growing trend and can mean big profits for landlords.
Because there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, gauge what type of hybrid workspace model works best for your space and advertise it for the niche that complements it best. It can help to work with office and interior design consultants to create the most desirable space that makes the most of what you have. Whatever you decide, don’t try to force something that won’t work in the long-run or yields half-baked solutions.
Is the Hybrid Model the Future of Work Environments?
The hybrid workplace model isn’t going anywhere, and more businesses will adopt it as the norm as time progresses. Your best bet is to reconfigure your property so that companies and their employees are comfortable sharing a space that lets them work, play, and decompress. Gone are the days when cubicles, low-lighting rooms, and austere meeting areas made up the ideal office. Today, it’s about integrating work-life balance in a space where people want to stay.
Although incorporating these changes and elements into your real estate property may seem like a hassle, you’ll find that more businesses want these types of spaces to satisfy the new shift in employee demands.
It is not difficult to adapt to the real estate market changes when you determine what type of hybrid workspace works well with your property. If you can offer an expanse where work gets done, changes are simple to execute, and more collaboration is possible, you have a winning formula to generate interest – and faster lease-ups!