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Hybrid Work Environment
December 23, 2021
STOCKHOLM

Today, we will look at what the hybrid model of a work environment actually means, as well as the solutions and challenges to how the workplace of the future will most likely be shaped.

As we have previously stated in some of our articles, the vast majority of companies today are focused on and will be based on a hybrid model in which digital is central to how they operate, as the majority of work today takes place in the digital workspace. We can call it remote, virtual, smart, hybrid, or whatever we want. Regardless of what it is called, many organizations need to increase their digital capacity, and the following perspectives are taken into account, including in the work with the digital strategy. When assessing where you and your company stand today, you can use the following measuring points, with each one receiving a value ranging from 0 to 5.

  • The digital system and platforms
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity and innovative power
  • Culture and commitment
  • Communication
  • Ease of use
  • Security
  • Process support
  • Strategy and business model
  • Mobility/accessibility

By estimating the current working situation or enlisting the help of an external independent party, you can gain a better understanding of where your company stands and what needs to be done. This is a useful exercise that will demonstrate that digital does not always imply ease, but rather the opposite, as there are numerous challenges. For organizations with a digital workplace, the concept of 3C – communication, creativity, and cultural building – is critical. As a result, HR professionals are left scratching their heads when both digital and physical become like water and oil. Because it is not the same thing to sit at home and try to be creative in a meeting, it becomes artificial, and it is difficult for many people to relax and just be themselves. Because having the camera on at all the time is similar to being in a studio where things are constantly changing. Furthermore, the majority of people in a video conference are looking at their own image, which makes much of the digital feel convoluted and arranged – as if you are constantly on a stage, ready to start performing, which is not suitable for everyone.

Google and others are aware of this, not only because of the many employees that will want to work from home in the future but also because of the challenges that this entails. You can learn more about Google’s hybrid work environment model and what it entails by clicking here. But in short, they asked their 140,000 employees a lot of questions about homework and the offices of the future and got the following information.

Working from home was viewed positively by 70%, while it was negatively perceived by 15%.

When asked how many days they wanted to be in the office, the employees’ responses ranged between 0 to 5 days.

Based on the survey, research, and behavioral design, they created a new conceptual hybrid model in which they will test what works and what does not. This is a step in which Google will invest billions of dollars. It is obvious that a behemoth like Google can invest, but there are many examples where hybrid will mean the following for technology-driven companies.

  • 3 days a week in the office
  • 2 days a week where you feel best
  • 4 weeks a year to work from wherever you want (in addition to holidays)
  • Strive to think differently about the office and meetings

Google is attempting to create the workplace of the future in which each individual employee is most efficient and the modern organization can thrive in symbiosis. According to the results of the survey, the following aspects are extremely important for employees.

  • Flexibility (the ability to control one’s time)
  • It is critical to have uninterrupted work time (so even if there are fewer people in the office, the same amount of space is needed for distance)
  • The importance of health and hygiene cannot be understated.

Google will invest billions of dollars in designing a hybrid workplace in order to create an appealing environment that attracts top talent, allowing the company to remain a leader in its industry. It is then necessary to create environments in which people want to work and can be productive. It is necessary for the office to integrate physically and digitally in an uncomplicated manner, both indoors and outdoors.



Image from Google

However, the hybrid model will not only provide benefits but organizations and leaders will face challenges with, to put it mildly, the following issues.

  • How frequently should you come into the office?
  • How do you strike a good balance in this situation?
  • Which tasks are better completed in the office as opposed to at home or virtually?
  • How do we arrange meetings between those who work from home and those who work from the office?
  • Is it necessary to see the project team in person?
  • Will communication be as simple for those at home as it is for those at work?
  • How do you ensure that being in the office is not given more status than being at home?

The conclusion is that there are no predetermined answers regarding the hybrid work environment model, but this is something new that will take time to explore for both employers and employees.

Finally, a few words about the office of the future, which Facebook recently presented in a virtual VR environment. The announcement was made via a beta version of its program Horizon Workrooms, which is part of Zuckerberg’s new vision of a “Metaverse” world. Put on your VR glasses, create your avatar, and enter the meeting to talk, share, or draw on the board as you would in a regular meeting. The Metaverse is a world in which the physical and digital must be integrated in a very simple and flexible manner. This is a physical and digital space where you can come together as a group in a way that feels natural. Is it ok? – Yes, that is the big question, and our response is that we believe it is possible, but it might take some time.  Although much has happened in the world of virtual reality in recent years, the technology must become more flexible in both hardware and software, but one thing is certain: we at Advedro are excited to explore the new hybrid/in-office work environment model to provide our employees with flexibility while increasing our overall efficiency to meet the needs of our customers.