When a team works together in a physical workspace, employees can quickly and easily turn to a colleague to ask a question or bounce an idea off them. These impromptu chats make it easy to brainstorm new ideas, share information, and generally keep everyone in the loop.
With a hybrid workforce, the need to schedule remote meetings and phone calls limit the spontaneous opportunities for unstructured collaboration. It can even lead to feelings of ‘Zoom fatigue’, disconnection from colleagues, and ultimately job dissatisfaction.
In our latest blog, we will explain how hybrid office design can help high performing teams reach their ideal collaboration goals.
Create Opportunities for Team Chatter
Colleagues are more than just co-workers, and the social interaction between colleagues is an important part of team building. Hybrid working makes this more difficult to achieve so it is important for management to consciously establish ways for teams to socialize.
The use of asynchronous technology allows more flexible communication between colleagues as they do not all need to be online at the same time. It can create opportunities for non-work chat as well as formal communication and engaging in social chat will also help management to build relationships with their teams.
Collaborative Spaces are Key
Face to face communication is a vital part of the ‘Human Moment’ – the interaction between colleagues which will lead to problem solving and collaboration.
So, when you are planning the hybrid office it is important to allow for informal breakout areas and meeting spaces. These could be open plan areas, lounges, or a staff coffee shop/cafe. An interior design consultancy like Truspace will be able to advise you on the best way to achieve these collaborative spaces for your hybrid workplace.
You could also incorporate hot walls into your hybrid workspace design. These are large monitors installed in a location with high footfall, allowing remote workers to dial in and see what is going on in the office, thus boosting feelings of team building.
Do not forget to consider Covid safety precautions in your hybrid workspace such as space between desks, effective ventilation, and hand sanitizing stations.
Allow Time for Unstructured Collaboration
As well as providing a hybrid office design that encourages unstructured collaboration, you also need to give people the time to have these informal chats. This can be difficult when you have a hybrid workforce and remote workers can easily feel that they are missing out.
Virtual coworking is a way to allow teammates to work ‘together’ by using a video call to simply work in each other’s presence. This helps to reduce feelings of social isolation for remote workers and gives more opportunities for unstructured collaboration.
Virtual ‘Open Office Hours’ are also a great way for remote workers and office workers to connect. You can ask for questions to be submitted in advance to allow you to guide the discussion but getting your team together in this way really helps to generate spontaneous and unstructured conversations.
Build in ‘On the Clock’ Downtime
While working from home during the pandemic many people discovered that it is very easy to pack the day with back-to-back Zoom calls. This can make it hard to find the time for spontaneous brainstorming, problem solving or career development.
Allowing your hybrid workers to add some ‘free’ time into their day helps them to recharge their batteries and keeps everyone feeling excited about their work. This type of unstructured collaboration is where those spontaneous ideas, solutions and process improvements are created.
Working with a commercial interior design agency like Truspace makes it easy to design a hybrid workspace that fits within your budget and facilitates unstructured collaboration.
Get in touch with Truspace today to take the first step towards your new hybrid workspace.