The Ultimate Guide to Designing your Office for Hybrid Work

Embrace the future of work

As the nature of work evolves, many organisations are adopting a hybrid work model that combines remote and in-person work. While hybrid work offers many benefits, it also poses unique challenges for office layout and furniture design. 

Read on to find out more about the principles of hybrid work, the challenges and advantages of this model, and how to harness the power of effective office design to optimise productivity, and foster a healthy work-life balance through thoughtful workspace planning. 

Embrace the opportunities and overcome the challenges of this new work paradigm, as we help you unlock the keys to success in the hybrid-working era.

From creating versatile office layouts that accommodate both collaborative and individual work to incorporating room divider screens and ergonomic furniture, this guide is designed to help you create a workspace that facilitates seamless hybrid work. 

Designing for Hybrid Work

Designing an office layout and selecting furniture for hybrid work requires careful planning. Before you pick out your desks and chairs, download this free guide for a better understanding of the different types of office layouts that might work for you and your business.

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What is Hybrid Work and why does it matter?

Hybrid work is the combination of remote and in-office work, and, in the post-pandemic era, it has gained popularity due to its ability to provide flexibility, improve work-life balance, and boost employee productivity. And while some employers are still trying to navigate their way through this new normal, it’s clear that hybrid working is here to stay.

In fact, some recent surveys and studies on remote working reveal some interesting stats:

While some employers may still be concerned about the just how effective remote working is, these statistics demonstrate the growing popularity and acceptance of hybrid working, as well as its positive impact on productivity, job satisfaction, and work-life balance. 

Offering hybrid and remote work options may turn out to be an effective talent attraction and retention strategy for companies that want to retain top talent.

Pros and cons of the hybrid work model
Hybrid work cluster article 5

Five Steps to Designing a Successful Hybrid Workspace

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Rethinking the office

The key to creating a workspace that supports collaboration, communication, and employee well-being lies in rethinking your physical office space in the context of hybrid work.

The rise of hybrid work has revolutionised the traditional office environment. Once a space where employees gathered daily for individual tasks, group projects, and social interactions, the physical office now demands a new identity. It’s crucial for organisations to redefine the purpose of their office spaces, considering the evolving needs of hybrid work.

While physical offices remain important, their role has transformed. The reasons for coming to the office and how the space is utilized have shifted significantly.

Work is no longer simply about ticking off tasks, but is instead seen as an opportunity to build relationships and forge connections. According to a report on the return to the office, most staff said they were looking forward to:

  • Face-to-face collaboration (33%)
  • Opportunities to socialize in-person (32%) 
  • Better overall communication (28%).

It’s clear that in this era of hybrid work, any space that isn’t wired for collaboration is wasted. As a result, the physical environment must adapt accordingly.

With hybrid workforces, the tools and spaces for collaboration require far more focus and attention. Surprisingly, only 36% of employers have upgraded their video technology to enhance hybrid collaboration since the start of the pandemic, indicating a considerable opportunity for improvement.

Seamless connectivity and collaboration are paramount for both in-office and remote employees. To get the most out of their people, employers therefore need to proactively reconfigure their offices to support employees in delivering their best work, regardless of their location. By relooking the layout of their offices and aligning them with the needs of hybrid work, organisations can foster productivity and success in this new work landscape.

Adapting to Hybrid Work

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The Principles of Hybrid Work

To ensure the success of hybrid work, organisations should embrace several key principles that underpin this new way of working. By adhering to these principles, you can create an environment that promotes effective communication, collaboration, and productivity for both remote and in-person team members.

1. Effective communication:

In a hybrid work environment, where team members may be located in different physical spaces or time zones, communication becomes vital for smooth operations. It is essential to establish robust channels for both synchronous and asynchronous communication:

  • Synchronous communication tools, such as video conferencing and instant messaging platforms, enable real-time interactions and foster a sense of connection among team members. 
  • Asynchronous communication methods, such as email and project management platforms, allow individuals to collaborate at their own pace and contribute to discussions and projects regardless of their location or working hours.

2. Collaborative technologies:

These tools facilitate seamless collaboration among remote and in-person team members. They provide a virtual workspace where individuals can share ideas, documents, and feedback. 

Collaborative technologies, such as cloud-based project management platforms and virtual whiteboards, enable teams to work together in real-time, regardless of their physical location. These tools empower individuals to collaborate efficiently and contribute to projects even when they are not physically present in the same space.

3. Flexibility in where and when to work:

Hybrid work offers employees the freedom to choose the most productive settings for their tasks. It allows for a flexible approach to work hours, enabling individuals to adapt their schedules to personal preferences and optimise their productivity. 

Additionally, hybrid work acknowledges that employees may work from various locations, such as their home, a co-working space, or a satellite office. This flexibility in workspace usage ensures that individuals can create an environment that suits their needs and supports their work style and thus allows them to deliver their best work.

By embracing these principles of effective communication, collaborative technologies, and flexibility in scheduling and workspace usage, organisations can establish a solid foundation for successful hybrid work. These principles help to bridge the gap between remote and in-person team members, foster collaboration, and empower employees to work productively and efficiently, regardless of their location.

Principles of Hybrid Work

Dive deeper into the core principles of hybrid work and learn how to create a workspace that supports collaboration, productivity, and flexibility with these best practices.

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Challenges and Advantages of Hybrid Work

Hybrid work introduces a distinctive set of challenges and advantages that organisations must navigate. Effectively managing these factors can greatly influence the success and productivity of a hybrid work environment. 

The challenges of hybrid work include:

  • Maintaining seamless communication and collaboration among remote and in-person teams
  • Fostering equal opportunities for participation and engagement
  • Nurturing a sense of belonging and cohesion among employees. 

One of the primary challenges of hybrid work revolves around ensuring that communication and collaboration remain efficient and inclusive across dispersed teams. Employers must leverage collaborative technologies and establish clear communication channels to bridge the physical divide between remote and in-person employees. Additionally, efforts should be made to provide equal opportunities for remote workers to actively participate in meetings, discussions, and decision-making processes.

Another crucial aspect to address is the sense of belonging and connectedness among hybrid teams. With employees working from different locations, it is vital to create a shared company culture and foster relationships through virtual team-building activities, regular check-ins, and opportunities for social interactions.

On the flip side, hybrid work offers numerous advantages that can enhance employee satisfaction and well-being, such as increased flexibility, reduced commute time, and improved work-life balance.

The flexibility to choose work schedules and settings allows individuals to optimise their productivity and strike a better work-life balance. The reduction in commuting time not only contributes to time savings but also reduces stress and enhances overall job satisfaction.

Designing an office layout and selecting appropriate furniture plays a pivotal role in addressing the challenges and maximising the advantages of hybrid work.

Spaces that accommodate both in-person and remote collaboration, such as dedicated meeting rooms equipped with advanced video conferencing technology, are essential.

Additionally, creating comfortable and functional workstations that cater to individual preferences and ergonomic needs supports employee well-being and productivity. The use of soundproof office pods, for instance, are one way to achieve this. These meeting pods, or office booths, can be used for meetings, individual focus work, or brainstorming and co-creating between small teams. Designed to improve concentration, provide privacy, maximise productivity, and boost workplace happiness, they’ve been seen to have many positive benefits across dozens of the world’s leading companies, including Microsoft, Puma and Tesla.

By acknowledging and proactively addressing the challenges while leveraging the advantages, organisations can cultivate a thriving hybrid work environment that promotes collaboration, engagement, and overall success.

The Challenges and advantages of hybrid work

The Challenges and Advantages of Hybrid Work

Explore the various challenges and advantages that come with hybrid work and learn how to overcome the obstacles and leverage the benefits.

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Three Types of Hybrid Work

Hybrid work encompasses various approaches that can be categorised into three main types: fixed, flexible, and on-demand. Understanding these types is crucial in order for you to be able to effectively design an office layout and select suitable furniture that aligns with the specific needs of each hybrid work model.

1. Fixed hybrid work

involves a predetermined schedule where employees have a consistent mix of remote and in-person work. For example, an employee may work remotely on Mondays and Wednesdays, while spending the remaining days at the office. In this model, it is essential to provide dedicated workstations for each employee, equipped with ergonomic furniture and the necessary technology to support their tasks. Additionally, designing collaborative spaces that facilitate teamwork during in-person days, such as conference rooms or project areas, can enhance productivity and engagement.

2. Flexible hybrid work

offers employees more autonomy in choosing their work settings on a regular basis. Individuals have the flexibility to decide when and where they work, based on their preferences and needs. This approach could involve employees working from the office for a few days and then opting for remote work for the rest of the week. Office design should focus on creating adaptable spaces that accommodate varying work styles and provide a seamless transition between in-person and remote work. Flexible furniture arrangements, such as modular desks and movable partitions, enable employees to customise their workstations while still fostering collaboration and teamwork when in the office.

3. On-demand hybrid work

provides employees with the freedom to switch between remote and in-person work as needed, depending on specific circumstances or project requirements. For instance, employees might primarily work remotely but occasionally come to the office for meetings or collaborative sessions. This model calls for a flexible office layout that supports spontaneous gatherings and encourages impromptu collaboration. Creating comfortable lounge areas, huddle spaces, or “hot desks” equipped with the necessary technology allows employees to seamlessly transition between different work modes.

By understanding the nuances of fixed, flexible, and on-demand hybrid work, you can tailor your office space to accommodate the specific needs of each model. Thoughtfully selecting furniture, incorporating technology solutions, and creating versatile work environments contribute to a successful and productive hybrid work experience.

Types of hybrid work

Designing for Different Types of Hybrid Work

Hybrid work is here to stay, but not all hybrid work is created equal. From fixed to flexible to in-demand, find out more about the three types of hybrid work and how they influence office design.

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Creating an effective office layout for hybrid work is crucial for fostering productivity, collaboration, and employee satisfaction. By understanding the principles of hybrid work, addressing its challenges, and implementing thoughtful design strategies, you can set your company up to be able to adapt to the future of work and thus ensure its sustainable success.

To find out how you can maximise your office space for connection, collaboration, co-creation, book a call with one of our experts or explore our product catalogues now.

Hybrid Working Terms You Should Know


An all-remote organisation, also known as a fully remote organization, lacks a physical headquarters where employees need to be present in person. Instead, employees may fulfill their responsibilities from home or co-working facilities. All-remote organisations are typically spread across different time zones, countries, and even continents, requiring them to carefully consider how, when, and which platforms they use to communicate effectively.

A blended team consists of both on-site and remote workers. Some team members are based in a physical office or location, while others work remotely or from home. Blended teams are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer a mix of in-person and remote collaboration opportunities.

The term “brick-and-mortar” refers to the construction material used to build physical storefronts. A brick-and-mortar business is therefore often a more traditional business that has a physical location where customers and/or employees can visit in person.

A co-located team is a team where the majority of its members work from a central office location rather than being dispersed across multiple remote locations. Co-located teams have the advantage of regular in-person interactions and in-office meetings, and the opportunity to build strong relationships based on physical proximity.

Co-location refers to a work arrangement where colleagues share the same office facilities, attend in-person meetings, and are generally based in the same physical office location. It promotes close collaboration and communication among team members.

Co-working is the practice of working in a shared office setting alongside other freelancers, remote employees, and independent professionals. Co-working spaces provide resources and facilities that can be shared, such as desks, meeting rooms, and reliable internet connections. Co-working is a popular choice for self-employed individuals and teleworkers who seek a productive work environment and opportunities for networking.

A co-working space is a shared office facility where freelancers, remote workers, and individuals who don’t have a traditional office can work based on a subscription model. Co-working spaces offer flexible access, convenient amenities, and opportunities for networking and socializing. Workers can share resources like desks (known as hot desking), printing services, and stable internet connections. Co-working spaces allow individuals who are not based in a dedicated office to enjoy some of the benefits associated with a traditional office environment, such as reliable internet access.

A compressed working week is a form of flexible work arrangement where employees condense their standard 40-hour workweek into fewer but longer workdays. For example, instead of working eight hours a day for five days a week, an employee might propose working four 10-hour days. This allows employees to maintain the same total working hours while having more consecutive days off.

A conference call is a telephonic or online call in which multiple participants join simultaneously. While video conferencing is not mandatory for a conference call, popular video conference call applications like Zoom and Google Meet are commonly used for remote teams. Conference calls are a primary mode of communication for dispersed and remote teams, enabling them to attend meetings, plan projects, and facilitate regular communication.

A conference room is a designated space within an office where employees can make phone calls, host meetings, and conduct project planning sessions without distractions. Conference rooms provide a quiet and secluded environment for in-person and virtual communications, allowing employees to manage their meetings efficiently.

In a work context, dematerialization refers to the increasing digitization of work processes. Rather than relying on physical materials and in-person presence at a specific location, more people are now producing digital-based work through virtual means.

A digital nomad is a person who makes a living while traveling and working away from one fixed location. They often work as freelancers, contractors, or full-time employees in various industries, leveraging technology to work remotely while on the go.

A digital workplace is a professional ecosystem where everyday processes, communications, and tasks are managed using cloud-based or digital tools. It enables dispersed teams to stay connected and work from anywhere by facilitating remote collaboration and access to work-related resources.

A digital workspace refers to a platform or integrated set of solutions that allows teams to manage, complete, and access their work from any location. It provides convenient access to tools, documents, and information, ensuring productivity and minimizing the risk of losing important data.

A dispersed team is a group whose members are geographically spread out rather than being based in a single central office location. It can include team members working from home, co-working spaces, or different office branches, requiring efficient communication and collaboration methods.

Distance work refers to work completed by employees who are located in different physical locations. It encompasses various scenarios, such as some employees working in an office while others work from home or other remote locations.

A distributed company is an organisation where employees work beyond a single centralized office location. It often embraces remote work or a work-from-anywhere approach, allowing employees to telecommute or work remotely, even while traveling.

A distributed team is a team composed of workers spread across various locations, often relying on digital tools to communicate and collaborate effectively. Members of a distributed team may not interact with each other in person due to geographic constraints.

A distributed workforce is a workforce where employees are not all based in a single office location. It often requires collaboration across regions and time zones, necessitating effective virtual communication and coordination.

A face-to-face meeting refers to a meeting where two or more individuals gather in person to discuss matters without relying on tools like video conferencing or phone calls.

Flexi time is a work arrangement that allows employees to choose their preferred work hours instead of following a strict 8 am to 5 pm schedule. It provides increased flexibility for employees to manage personal or familial responsibilities while fulfilling their work obligations.

The future of work refers to the trends and patterns that are likely to shape how, when, and where people work in the coming years. It considers technological advancements, changes in work arrangements, and shifts in organisational structures.

The gig economy refers to a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term, freelance, or contract-based work arrangements. It allows individuals to work independently on various gigs or projects, often leveraging digital platforms to connect with clients or customers.

A global employer is an organisation that operates or hires across country borders. Being a global employer involves navigating regulatory, financial, and logistical considerations for each location where the company operates.

A hybrid company is an organisation whose employees work flexibly by attending some days in the office and some days from home. It can also refer to an organisation where some employees are full-time, office-based workers, while others work from home or remotely.

Hybrid teams are teams whose members have diverse office attendance patterns. Some members may be fully remote, others may come into the office on select days, and some may be fully based in the office. Hybrid teams face challenges in communication and collaboration due to differing physical locations.

A hybrid-remote organisation is one that has one or more office locations where some employees work regularly, but also has a significant number of fully remote workers.

An in-person meeting is a meeting that takes place in the same physical location, rather than over the phone or through a video conference call.

An off-site meeting is a professional gathering or meet-up that takes place away from the usual office location. It can be for various purposes such as training, strategy planning, motivation, or team bonding.

An office environment refers to a professional space outside of the home where workers go to complete their designated responsibilities. It typically includes equipment, facilities, and devices needed for work and may have certain standards for dress, speech, and behaviour.

Offshoring is the practice of relocating certain duties and responsibilities to overseas workers. Companies may offshore tasks like customer care centers or production warehouses to other countries for reasons such as cost savings, process improvement, or business restructuring.

An on-site meeting refers to a meeting that takes place at the same premises where regular work is carried out. It can involve hosting clients at the office location, job candidates visiting their prospective employer’s office for an interview, or internal presentations and events.

Outsourcing is the practice of hiring a third-party vendor outside of the organisation to handle specific tasks or provide goods/services. It is often done when the organisation lacks internal expertise or resources for a particular initiative.

A remote employee is an employee who works for a company but does not regularly attend an in-person office location. Remote employees can work from home or other locations, and they often use digital tools for collaboration.

Remote hiring is the process of recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding employees for remote or temporarily home-based positions. It has become more prevalent with the rise of remote work, and tools like video conferencing are often used for remote candidate interviews.

Remote OK refers to an organisation being open to hiring or facilitating remote work. It means the company is supportive of remote work arrangements.

Remote work is an arrangement where an employee can work outside of a traditional centralized office location. It offers flexibility in terms of working from home, co-working spaces, or other locations, enabled by digital and cloud-based tools.

A remote worker is an employee who works away from a centralized office location for the majority of their work hours. They can work from home, while traveling, or from co-working spaces. Remote workers collaborate with their team members using digital tools and may occasionally visit the main office for events or gatherings.

A remote-first company primarily has employees working away from a physical office location. It means remote work is the default arrangement, and the company provides the necessary infrastructure and tools to support remote work.

A remote-friendly company is primarily office-based but allows employees significant flexibility to work from home.

A satellite office is a separate office location or branch of an organisation that is situated outside of its main office or headquarters. For example, a company may establish its primary location and then decide to expand its operations and presence into different regions or locations.

Telecommuting refers to a flexible work arrangement in which employees are able to carry out work from a location other than a traditional office, typically from home or a remote location. It involves using technology and digital tools to connect with colleagues and complete job responsibilities without the need for physical presence in an office.

A video chat is a conversation held via video conferencing software. . It allows individuals or groups to connect and interact in real-time using video and audio features from anywhere in the world. Popular video chat tools can include Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Skype.

A virtual meeting is a meeting that is conducted using video conferencing software or other digital communication tools. It allows participants to collaborate, discuss, and exchange information in a remote setting, eliminating the need for physical presence.

A virtual office is a service that provides businesses with a professional address and communication services without the need for physical office space. It allows remote workers or small businesses to establish a professional presence and access administrative support, mail handling, phone services, and meeting room facilities on an as-needed basis.

A virtual team is a group of individuals who collaborate and work together on projects or tasks using digital tools and technology, without being physically located in the same office or geographical area. Virtual teams often span different time zones, locations, and even organisations, relying on virtual communication and collaboration tools to achieve their objectives.

Work from home describes an environment where individuals are able to do their jobs from inside their own homes rather than from within an office. Working from home is facilitated through the use of software and virtual tools that enable communication, collaboration, and coordination.

Work-life balance refers to the equilibrium between a person’s professional and personal life, where they can effectively manage and prioritize their work responsibilities and personal well-being. It involves finding harmony between work commitments and personal or family time, allowing individuals to maintain physical and mental health, relationships, and other aspects of their lives outside of work.

Workplace flexibility refers to the ability of employees to have control and autonomy over when, where, and how they work. It encompasses various arrangements such as flexible working hours, remote work options, compressed workweeks, job sharing, and other practices that enable individuals to better balance their work and personal lives while still fulfilling their job requirements.

Work-from-anywhere is a work arrangement that allows employees to perform their job duties from any location with an internet connection, providing them with the freedom and flexibility to work remotely while still staying connected and productive. It emphasizes the importance of results and output rather than physical presence in a specific office.

Work-from-home, often abbreviated as WFH, refers to the practice of employees carrying out their work duties from their residential living space rather than commuting to a physical office. It enables individuals to have a more flexible work environment, avoid commuting time, and have a better work-life balance. This arrangement relies on digital tools and communication platforms to facilitate collaboration with colleagues.

Workforce mobility refers to the ability of employees to move freely between different locations or work environments while still fulfilling their job responsibilities. It includes the flexibility to work from different offices, remote locations, or even while traveling. Workforce mobility often relies on technology and digital infrastructure to enable seamless connectivity and productivity regardless of the physical location.

Workplace well-being encompasses the physical, mental, and emotional health of employees within their work environment. It involves creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture, providing resources and programs to promote physical and mental well-being, and addressing factors that may negatively impact employee health and happiness. Workplace well-being initiatives aim to enhance employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.