Return to Work: Hybrid Setups Will Reign Supreme
How to Navigate a Safe Return to Work
Our latest whitepaper, The Technology You Need for a Safe Return to the Office, delves into the reasons hot desks, VDI, and online communications tools may just be your ticket back to the work environment your employees need.
As restrictions relax and companies start to figure out what work environments look like in a post-COVID world, it’s clear that a return to traditional office setups will not be embraced across the board. While the entire workforce is far from remaining remote long-term, it’s anticipated that many employees seek to telecommute at least part of the time.
With office space standing empty, many companies had to reevaluate their real estate needs. Some relocated to smaller footprints, either giving up square footage (or entire floors in some cases) or shifting buildings completely. A large contingent chose to let leases lapse, or sublet space currently not in use, to defer final decision-making to a later time.
Some smaller organizations with a staff suddenly fully remote divested their commercial real estate completely, fulfilling any lingering needs with shared or cooperative workspaces. As employees negotiate their preferences and some begin to trickle back into the workplace, what “office” means is being redefined.
What does an office really need?
During the early months of the COVID-related shutdown, it’s estimated that digitization projected to span five years took place in just eight weeks. Being able to access work materials, communicate and collaborate from anywhere at any time were top priorities as the workforce became abruptly distributed. This changed perceptions of what an office looked like, and as the dust settles, many of these new priorities remain in focus.
Offices used to be built around a physical space geared to facilitate work from a single location, providing a static desk and a computer connected to a main network. Today’s offices are built around tools geared to facilitate work from anywhere, providing:
Access - via hot desking and VDI
Security - via the cloud
Communication - via voice and video solutions
Collaboration - via online applications
Many companies are now looking for hybrid solutions that allow them to combine the benefits of both remote and on-site workforces. The key to successfully returning workers to an in-office environment is to leverage the tools they have become accustomed to and that have now been proven to work remotely.
The future is blended.
The office as we knew it is not dead. Many teams were pleasantly surprised to find that they could still work together while staying apart, but not all employees prefer to work from home. Some find it easier to focus on their work in a dedicated space, and many prefer some measure of distinction between their work life and their home life to make it easier to balance the two.