Designing for Different Types of Hybrid Work

Embrace the future of 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.

As more companies adopt hybrid work models, it’s important to understand the different types of hybrid work and how they impact office design.

From fixed to flexible in-office schedules, each type requires unique considerations when it comes to designing an office space that meets the needs of all employees.

1. Fixed Hybrid Work

Fixed hybrid work refers to a set schedule where employees divide their time between remote work and in-person office attendance. In this model, certain days or specific times of the week are allocated for working remotely, while the remaining time is spent in the office. To support this, office spaces need to enable a seamless transition between remote and in-person collaboration.

Office design considerations for fixed hybrid work include:

a) Collaborative Spaces: Creating areas that facilitate teamwork and social interaction is vital. These spaces should be equipped with technology to enable remote collaboration and video conferencing, ensuring that remote employees can actively participate in meetings and discussions.

b) Assigned Workstations: While employees may work remotely for part of the week, providing dedicated desks or workstations when they are in the office promotes a sense of belonging and allows them to personalise their spaces, fostering productivity and well-being.

c) Enhanced Technology Infrastructure: Robust wifi connectivity, video conferencing equipment, and reliable communication tools are crucial for smooth communication and collaboration, regardless of where your employees are working from.

2. Flexible Hybrid Work

Flexible hybrid work gives employees the autonomy to choose when and where they work, allowing for a more dynamic work schedule. While they may have to be in-office for a certain number of days or hours, they have the freedom to choose how they structure their workweek or day. Office spaces therefore need to be more adaptable to support a diverse range of work preferences.

Office design considerations for flexible hybrid work include:

a) Activity-Based Workspaces: Creating a variety of work environments within the office helps cater to different tasks and work styles. Designing spaces for focused work, collaboration, brainstorming, and relaxation allows employees to choose the setting that best suits their needs at any given time.

b) Hot Desking and Shared Spaces: While employees may not have assigned workstations, implementing hot desking (where they can reserve a desk) or creating a variety of different spaces, such as office pods for focused work, or areas for team meetings, allows them to choose a workspace that suits their preferences and promotes flexibility within the office environment. 

c) Technology-enabled Mobility: Providing employees with portable devices such as laptops, tablets, and wireless connectivity enables them to move between different work areas with ease. Wireless charging stations, easily accessible power outlets and video conferencing tools throughout the office space are therefore essential to supporting the mobile work nature of flexible hybrid models.

3. On-Demand Hybrid Work

On-demand hybrid work is the most fluid of the three models, allowing employees to work remotely or in the office based on their immediate needs. There are no fixed schedules or expectations regarding office attendance, and employees have full autonomy over their work arrangements. Office layouts should enable an agile and supportive environment that can adapt to anything.

Office design considerations for on-demand hybrid work include:

a) Modular and Adaptable Spaces: Office spaces need to be easily reconfigured and adapted to changing needs. Modular furniture, movable partitions or screens, and flexible layouts facilitate quick adjustments, ensuring that the office environment can adapt to the evolving work patterns of on-demand hybrid workers.

b) Focus Zones: Providing quiet areas, soundproof booths or individual workspaces that promote and support concentration is crucial for employees who choose to work in the office. These spaces should be designed to minimise distractions and create a conducive environment for deep work.

c) Support for Well-being: Alongside quiet zones, incorporating areas for relaxation and casual collaboration is essential. These spaces can include lounges or breakout areas with soft seating that encourage social interaction and foster a sense of community among employees. It’s also important to create a culture of trust and communication, where employees feel empowered to work independently and collaborate virtually. As such, creating a seamless virtual experience through technology should be a priority.

Key Considerations for Hybrid Work Design

As hybrid work becomes the new norm, it is essential for organisations to adapt their office spaces to accommodate the diverse needs of employees. By understanding the nuances of each type of hybrid work and its requirements, you can design an office environment that promotes productivity, collaboration, and employee well-being. 

Need help in planning your office layout? Contact us to set up a consultation with one of our experts and let us help you create an office space that supports and empowers your employees to thrive in this evolving work landscape.