How To Build A Flexible Workplace That Makes People Feel Right At Home (Even When They’re Not)

Early in my career, when I worked for HP Europe, I adopted a working practice that was perhaps a bit unconventional at the time. Instead of having a fixed workspace, I spent almost all my time working remotely — mostly at home — squeezing in a monthly visit to the Danish office and multiple visits to offices and customers across Europe. Colleagues used to worry about me. They asked, “Aren’t you bored sitting at home and never interacting with people?” I told them, “I interact with people every day. Just in their offices, not my own.” I had no trouble connecting with co-workers through technology and travel, and my productivity was just as high, if not more, as when I worked in the office.

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The Future Of Work Calls For Evolution, Not Just Another Change

 

Many people are familiar with the story “Who moved my cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson and the lessons of dealing with change in business and in life. In March of 2020, not only did the cheese move abruptly for most of the world, but knowledge workers experienced arguably the biggest disruption to their work lives. Workers across the globe packed their belongings to work remotely essentially overnight. We accepted this change because there wasn’t much choice. We managed the change and adapted…for better or worse.

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How Employees Are Adjusting Office Expectations In 2022

How Employees Are Adjusting Office Expectations In 2022

 

Most of us are operating in a hybrid working model, sharing time between the home and the office. We are used to “working from home” and, as a result, are beginning to change our expectations about what we want from the office.

 

There is an increased expectancy that the office will safeguard people’s health and welfare and provide optimized and comfortable working conditions.

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Flexible Workspaces: Changing the Rules For Work In 2022

Much has been spoken about the tremendous changes our work life saw in the last two years, steered by a paramount concern for health and safety. As we step into the New Year, the pandemic continues to remain a part of our life; but it’s safe to say that most of us have learnt or adapted to behaviors that our work or jobs now demand from us. There is a certain amount of flexibility now, in terms of choosing when and where to work, and this has allowed each one of us an opportunity to balance between work and home.

 

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Future Of Work: The 5 Biggest Workplace Trends In 2022

Much has been written about the huge changes in our working lives during the past two years – driven of course by necessity and concerns for safety. In 2022, the pandemic is very much still a fact of life for many of us. However, it’s fair to say that we’ve learned to adapt to new behavioral patterns and expectations as we do our jobs. If we are among the millions of “knowledge workers” who find ourselves with more freedom to choose when and where we work, then hopefully, we are making the most of the opportunity to strike a better balance between home and working life.

 

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1 in 3 people say return-to-office negatively impacted their mental health

Studies have shown that return-to-office is creating tremendous mental stress on workers. What is causing this stress and what concerns should companies address in their return-to-office policy?

 

Businesswoman wearing mask in the office during COVID-19 pandemic
martin-dm | E+ | Getty Images

 

Roughly 1 in 3 workers back in the workplace said the return-to-office shift negatively impacted their mental health, according to a June McKinsey survey of 1,602 employed people.

 

Workers who experienced declines in their mental health were five times more likely to report taking on reduced responsibility at work. Meanwhile, another 1 in 3 workers said going back to an office had a positive impact on their mental health, with the primary benefit being they feel more engaged upon their return.

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What is a ‘third space’ venue – and could it be the future of hybrid working?

What is a ‘third space’ venue? Can this further accelerate remote working and work from anywhere? How can companies embrace ‘third space’ as part of hybrid working?

 

People work as they sit in a cafe at Zabeel House - The Greens, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates February 1, 2021. Picture taken February 1, 2021. REUTERS/Rula Rouhana - RC2UKL9PEICV
A different place for a team meeting? Image: REUTERS/Rula Rouhana
  • ‘Third space’ working offers a creative alternative to the home or office environment.
  • Restaurants, hotels and private clubs have found new revenue streams by hosting remote working sessions.
  • 90% of companies anticipate a hybrid working approach, post-pandemic.

 

As many companies move towards a hybrid operating model where employees are split between office and home, a third way of working is growing increasingly popular.

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