The concepts of remote working, working from home, and telecommuting seem to have been brought to the mainstream in 2020. But many companies, especially the most innovative trendsetting brands, had already been making a switch to a new, more cost-effective and efficient work model. This has created a hybrid of remote and office work that allows employees and management to get the best of both worlds.
Technology’s such as workplace booking solutions , has made this option all the more feasible. Bringing together the most optimal quality of the traditional office and modern remote environments, a hybrid schedule has emerged as the most efficient option for many companies. The trend towards a hybrid workplace model that balances in-office and remote work is one that continues to pick up steam and more corporate converts.
When Did a New Hybrid Work Routine Begin?
Although it may appear that recent events had been a catalyst for remote work, many companies had already begun years prior to make the shift to a hybrid work schedule. In 2018, 5 million employees reported working from home at least half of their work week in the Global Workplace Analytics’ survey, which also showed work-at-home growth of nearly 200% from 2005 rates.
A 2016 Gallup State of the American Workplace survey reported 43% of US employees had frequently worked remotely. Citing these and similar studies, Global Workplace Analytics reports office desks are vacant a staggering 50-60% of the time.
According to a State of Remote Work survey conducted by Owl Labs in 2019, 80% of employees want to work from home. These stats show the momentum was already increasing for a new office environment and the pandemic just accelerated an already growing trend.
What does the work office ecosystem change look like?
Ironically the global pandemic in 2020, not only proved to many companies that they could make a swift switch to remote work, but it also showed both staff and management how much office interactions matter to productivity and employee satisfaction. Zoom meetings were ingenious ways for groups to virtually gather, but Zoom overload also became a thing.
Being forced to remain remote made some tasks that were simple to do in-person, convoluted and frustrating when done remotely. And without in-person contact, employees felt disconnected and indeed, lonely. It became clear a hybrid model was much more ideal than an entirely remote one.
What is Hot Desking?
Hot Desking first became popular in the 1990s as part of activity-based working. Rather than employees being assigned specific desks and offices to make their home away from home, hot desking keeps things flexible. Particularly convenient for team members that are often in and out of the office like field staff and salespeople, hot desking keeps desks from going unused while those employees are away from the office.
Hot desking promises a smaller, more cost-effective office environment not saddled by the bloat of unused offices and desk spaces. This arrangement can work for some employees who are not always at their desk, while keeping other employees, like administrative staff and IT, consistently in permanent seating spots for better customized efficiency.
What Does Office booking solutions Look Like?
Similar to Hot Desking, but with a focus on employee integration, Office booking solutions allows employees to reserve spaces in an office that best suit their needs at any given time. One example of this is an employee that needs collaboration time with their team to complete a big project. This team member can reserve meeting rooms and group work stations while the project is happening. Once completed, the employee then has the flexibility to reserve a quiet, solitary space to work independently on their next assignment.
How Do These Options Benefit Companies?
Remote work has given companies the flexibility of not having to provide enough space for every possible office need for every individual employee at the same time. Instead, with a portion of their employees working remotely, businesses can design smaller, more cost-efficient workspaces that provide a variety of workstations for the on-site employees.
How Can Technology Help Companies Stay Agile?
While hot desking and office hoteling can be the most efficient solution for many companies, without technology to assist in implementing these space juggling acts, the concept would be logistically impossible to pull off.
It’s no surprise that these options would catch on at a time when technology can provide real time tracking and updating of space use. Without such technology, companies would be forced to create their own systems, relying on spreadsheets and pulling staff away from other tasks to track and manage space allocation.
SaaS solutions like the POC Booking by POC Systems allow for on-the-go real-time use-per-need bookings, giving companies a more efficient way to utilize their workspaces. POC Booking creates a dynamic, ever-changing floor-plan that provides cost-reduction and added agility.
Using a mobile app, POC Booking eliminates one of the major headaches of hot desking: searching for a seat. Instead, employees, with a few swipes, can select and book a workstation. It takes the task off of HR departments and facility managers, who are often called upon for help with desk allocation. Automating and streamlining the process, POC Booking gives employees calendar reminders, maps, and get a confirmation message. With this type of SaaS booking, businesses are not only able to allocate workspace effectively, but also track and analyze workstation use over time.
The future trends of the workplace will be led by a leaner, more agile model. Remote work has firmly established itself as a part of most companies long-term strategies, allowing them to scale-down offices and make them more efficient work hubs rather than the default catchall of an employee’s tenure. SaaS technology enables for this fluidity to become a present-day capability and not a work-place of the future prediction.