Let’s discover the hybrid workplace: a new concept of work that combines the different dimensions of the place (physical and virtual) in which you find yourself working today.
Those who have the courage to say that remote working will not remain an integral and substantial part of our way of working in post-Covid, cast the first stone. Just look at a letter written a few days ago by Apple employees directly to the CEO Tim Cook in which they invoked a greater protection of diversity and inclusion, at the expense of the policy back in the office (for at least three days per week starting from autumn), announced just a few days earlier by the tech-giant himself.
In fact, companies are now evaluating the implementation of so-called “hybrid” work solutions , characterized by alternating and integrating work from the office and remote work, precisely to ensure an offer of work experience that is attractive to the today’s job market.
Hybrid workplace: what are we talking about?
The notorious hybrid workplace is not only the trend that is gaining momentum on the table of policies reserved for workspaces, but it is also a phenomenon that has already evolved in less than a year.
Today the expression ” hybrid workplace ” refers to two main concepts of hybrid space (different, but not alternatives to each other):
- a concept of alternation , characterized by the alternation between work from the office and remote work , which indicates how in the hybrid workplace the place of work is no longer simply characterized by a single dimension of place (the office ), but alternating between different dimensions (office, home, train, etc.);
- a concept of integration , given by the fact that if people take turns and take turns in working from the office and remotely, those in the office must be able to work together with those who work from home and vice versa. In order to guarantee this, the only solution is to implement a structural contamination between the different realities of places (be they physical or virtual) in which people can find themselves working today, in order to be able – literally – to connect people to each other independently. from where they are, so that everyone can have the best experience regardless of the environment in which they perform their work
- The concept of integration, in order to be applicable, must therefore be supported by a double and mutual contamination:
- contamination of the physical space with the remote (and, therefore, digital) space: the office will have to reinterpret its spaces to be able to guarantee not only the presence and work in person, but also an effective team work experience if a part of this is remotely (and the same applies, for example, also to creative spaces for collaboration or the development of ideas which must, therefore, be rethought for the remote experience with special tools).
- contamination of digital space with physical space : the maximum expression of this concept (which at first glance can be frightening), is constituted by what is now establishing itself as a ” virtual office “, that is, an office to be experienced directly on the screen of the pc, where you can meet with collaborators and colleagues both to work and to interact socially (through the integration of video call systems, chat, organization of trade fairs and corporate events, etc.). This is the so-called phygital reality , born not so much to replace human contact, but rather to make social contact possible on all those occasions in which this could not otherwise be conceivable.
Why is it talked about so much?
The hybrid workplace is now on everyone’s lips. And if we ask ourselves why, the reason is very simple: the multiple advantages that this approach offers (not only to people, but also to companies) are in fact very attractive. Let’s find out together:
- possibility of choice : moving towards the hybrid workplace means adopting an approach capable of making the company perceive as being in step with the times and, therefore, as an attraction for talents on the market. The hybrid workplace, in fact, thanks to the alternation of the places where the work activity is carried out, offers people the possibility to choose the size of the place from which to work each time;
- productivity : if people can choose the place to work from, they can also choose to work each time from the place where they perform best in relation to the specific activity they have to carry out. The hybrid workplace, therefore, offers the advantage of putting people in the effective possibility of performing at their best and, therefore, in a more productive and effective way, every activity that characterizes their working day;
- sociality and creativity : before living the experience of working remotely, the social value of the office was generally taken for granted, intended, therefore, as a place of social meeting and exchange of ideas and opinions. Yet, today, it is perhaps the element that is most difficult to recover.
- A great advantage of hybrid spaces (intended as phygital spaces and, therefore, as virtual offices), lies precisely in the possibility of recovering that moment of the “coffee break” which everyone misses with the advent of remote work. This, in fact, represented an important moment of socializing with colleagues : a social occasion that was previously generated randomly within companies and that now, on the other hand, remotely, must necessarily be scheduled as one of the many meetings on the calendar. But the waning of sociability, on closer inspection, has not only gone to the detriment of people, but also of companies: the famous conversations in front of the coffee machine, in fact, are random and non-programmable moments of immense value for the corporate knowledge sharing , understood as that phenomenon of sharing ideas and knowledge between colleagues that is the basis of every process of creation, conception and business innovation;
- engagement : the concept of “out of sight, out of mind” is looming over companies that have focused heavily on working remotely. Many people, in fact, no longer living in the office every day and, therefore, the physical business context, have begun to feel less connected to the company itself. This risks significantly increasing the turnover rate and the risk of loss of talent , more easily susceptible to offers from external companies that may also offer a hybrid space management solution. The hybrid workplace, therefore, also allows companies to increase people’s engagement and brand attachment.
Given that it is now established that the remote working approach will remain with us even after the emergency parenthesis, why not implement a real hybrid workplace policy, starting to benefit from the advantages this offers ?