How to marry design and technology at a workplace to maximise employees’ engagement and organisational resilience

The Steelcase Global Report highlighted a strong correlation between employee engagement and their control over workplace choices, with 88% of employees citing ability to choose where and how to work as the main reason for high engagement and satisfaction levels. The pandemic has necessitated countless workplace safety restrictions, and as employees start seeking greater working flexibility, companies have been incentivised to adopt ‘hybrid working’ permanently. Today, companies like Microsoft have transited into hybrid work arrangements, allowing employees to work from home or work from anywhere as it best supports individual work styles, while achieving business goals and performance.

With this shift to hybrid working, many companies are turning to flexible workspace providers to support the work-from-anywhere or decentralised workforce policies. As Asia Pacific’s leading flexible workspace provider, JustCo believes that the future of offices belongs to tech-enabled workspaces what successfully enable employees to work remotely across any physical offices, and the ability to connect and collaborate from anywhere on any platform or device.

How can companies successfully transit into hybrid work and ensure employees are happy?

A conducive and safe environment for all

Having a hybrid workforce does not equate to having employees WFH permanently. In fact, people still desire to come together physically to achieve what is difficult to achieve remotely, such as building relationships, creativity, and collaboration. Studies have also shown that prolonged WFH arrangement will impact productivity, employee engagement, mental health and more. To best support the changing needs of both internal and external stakeholders, businesses will need to actively review their core and flex requirements in order to provide a conducive work environment while balancing business needs, one increasingly popular method is promoting a work-from-anywhere workforce.

With the changing nature of work, businesses can explore partnering with providers like Switch, the world’s first workspace on-demand platform that offers a super flexible, non-committal and pay-as-you-use solution to complement their hybrid workforce deployment plans. Switch partners with different real estate players in Singapore such as shopping malls, commercial buildings, and flexible workspace providers like JustCo, to offer multiple workspaces in the form of hot-desks, meeting rooms or even private suites. Users can search and book spaces depending on their needs, check in and out with its QR code, and be billed digitally via the Switch App.

This phenomenon is also witnessed in the travel industry, with players such as AirBnB and various hotel chains tapping into the growing trend of work-from-anywhere. Workers today are exploring hotels and AirBnB spaces to better support their remote work and temporary relocations in the new normal, as it provides a conducive and refreshing alternative to WFH.

Mindset shift and positive support system

As the saying goes, having the right mindset is vital to success. To give employees the confidence, business leaders will need to walk the talk by actively practicing this new way of working – that is the very first step for hybrid work transition to be successful.

report by Accenture has shown that employees work better when they are equipped with the right technology and tools, which will help them work productively from anywhere.

For example, businesses can capitalise on innovative technologies such as spatial analytics tool, SixSense, where users can easily view density levels of different workspace locations via a mobile app and know how to plan their day ahead or when to avoid crowded spaces. Amid the pandemic, it is also a useful tool to ensure safe distancing measures are strictly adhered to, whilst promoting a positive environment to work in.

Enable collaboration and team camaraderie wherever, whenever

The availability of unified communications and collaboration tools has risen since the pandemic. In response to the shift towards hybrid work arrangements, businesses have also pivoted towards virtual communication platforms to facilitate seamless discussions, collaborations, team bonding activities and more.

Instead of fully returning to their ‘core’ offices, collaborations and team bonding can always take place at a ‘flex’ workspace, with the help of platforms like Switch. This allows team members to collaborate in a fresh environment to stimulate creativity and boost engagement levels for employees.

At the end of the day, when employees are empowered with the flexibility to decide where and how they can work for that day or week, it improves productivity and reduces anxiety or burn-out, resulting in a happier workforce.