6 Tips for Designing a Hybrid-Working Office Space

Office interior design

Hybrid working has become somewhat commonplace in the modern workplace. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses than ever before were having to seek out alternative ways of getting the job done, but all without convening in the office. As such, hybrid working was undertaken and it shows no sign of being phased out any time soon.

However, hybrid working isn’t a new concept. It’s something that many companies were already practising, but we’ve never seen it before on this sort of scale. Therefore, if you’ve only recently embraced the hybrid working life, then the likelihood is that your office space isn’t equipped to cater for this new working lifestyle. If your office is looking tired and outdated, or if it seems to offer very few conveniences and amenities for your part-time-in-the-office workers, then it’s time for a change.

Office fit out services and office refurbishments might just be what your business needs to further embrace hybrid working. Not only will it help to boost morale and productivity, but it will also be an inviting, comfortable setting that will have your employees wishing to spend more time in the office. So how can you design a hybrid working office space?

1. Include a few social zones

Employees enjoy a shared ethos when they go to work. It’s something that was sought after even before the shake up in our working routines. However, there’s a balance to achieve when it comes to creating social spaces and zones. Firstly, you want your employees to enjoy one another’s company, but you don’t want them to spend hours on the sofa chatting when they should be working.

With this in mind, when resting social zones in the office, add tables and chairs as opposed to comfortable sofas and armchairs. Not only will this create a great place for people to sit and chat over a quick cup of tea, but you’re also providing them with yet another open space to gather together and share ideas. It’s less formal than a meeting room and it’s more convenient, as they won’t have to book it in advance in order to use it. Have these social zones dotted around the office so that more than one team has a chance to use them.

2. Make comfort a priority

We’ve just touched on the fact that you probably shouldn’t put comfort at the forefront of social zones and meeting places, instead placing an emphasis more so on functionality. However, comfort is essential when you look at other parts of the office. For example, your employees need to be sitting on the right office chairs in order to protect their backs, support their necks and rest their arms.

Comfort for those who are in waiting areas, such as visitors, is also important. However, comfort doesn’t always come in the form of office furniture. Worker comfort also includes having the right equipment at hand, such as laptop risers and mouse mats with wrist supports, for example. It’s all about going the extra mile to ensure your employees feel as comfortable as possible both while they work and while they enjoy some downtime.

3. Implement cloud-based booking systems

Moving away from the physical side of office design, making sure you have the right technology and equipment on hand to deal with your new hybrid way of working is also essential. Our example of a cloud-based booking system will make it far easier for employees to book desks before they come into work. This is something that most offices will find beneficial, especially if you’ve implemented hot desking.

In addition to no longer needing one desk for every employee – which saves both money and space – you won’t need someone to man the phones should someone wish to book a desk for the following day, which also saves time and money. You don’t just have to step at cloud-based booking systems. Plenty of services and functionalities are available on the cloud, so do some research and see how that could benefit you and your employees whilst still ensuring the smooth and efficient running of your business.

4. Add break-out spaces that don’t look like work

Break-out spaces are areas in the office that are used while workers are on their breaks, including at lunchtime. The thing to remember with hybrid workers is that they can enjoy their lunch in the comfort of their own home, perhaps sitting on the sofa in the living room whilst watching an episode of their favourite television programme.

These are creature comforts that can’t alway be experienced in the office. So how can you make your hybrid workers feel more at home? Make your break-out spaces warm and inviting. Add comfortable sofas and armchairs for people to sink into. Provide a television on a low volume or add a bookcase that’s full of short stories and quick reads. In addition, you should also make a table and chairs available for those who would prefer to eat their food at the table (this will also help to deter workers from eating their lunch at their desk).

Hang some artwork on the walls and paint the walls in warm and comforting colours to make employees feel more settled whilst they enjoy their downtime away from their desks. Essentially, these break-out spaces shouldn’t look like they’re located in a bustling office. Make your employees feel like they’re at home and they’ll be far more likely to actually enjoy coming to the office every now and again.

5. Create a hybrid working policy

Once again, moving away from the actual design of your hybrid office space, you need to think about the logistics of it all before embarking on an office overhaul. Something that some company owners will overlook is the use of a hybrid working policy. This should include a few things, such as:

  • Rules and regulations regarding attendance, such as the number of days they’re required to be in the office
  • Protocols surrounding communication
  • Expectations when it comes to remote working
  • Management guidelines
  • Security protocols
  • Remote access restrictions
  • Data-sharing restrictions

Where most of those things were likely covered off when you made the decision to work remotely, it’s always a good idea to reinforce those rules and protocols, just as a reminder for those who are coming back into the office. It’s also useful for new starters and anyone else who has been brought into the business recently, for whatever reason.

It’s also something you should have in place before you start to design your office space, but you’ll need to ensure that internet access is available and that you have electrical items in the right places, such as sockets, for instance. It’s all very important information and it may also be something that your office designers will ask you about when it comes to sitting down and formulating a plan for your new hybrid-working office.

6. Design the workplace before carrying out any physical work

It’s imperative that you have thoroughly planned your new office space, whether it’s an office fit out or a complete office renovation. From commercial floors and suspended ceilings to kitchen spaces and office partitioning, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to office design, and that’s where FIT Interiors come in. We have a team of experienced, dedicated office designers who work tirelessly to ensure your vision comes to life.

As well as making sure that your every need is catered for, we will also add some suggestions that you might find useful. Our office design services are paramount for ensuring that the project goes smoothly and that the desired results are achieved seamlessly. For unrivalled results that will instil awe, inspiration, and the willingness to come back to the office, into your employees, then choose FIT Interiors for office design, office fit outs and office renovations near you.

FIT Interiors are pleased to offer a wealth of office redesign and refurbishment services that can include anything from a fresh lick of paint to washroom installation. If you’re looking to bring your office dream to life, then get in touch with the friendly experts here at FIT Interiors for more information about how we can help you today – we’re always happy to hear from you.