Peter Miscovich, consulting managing director at JLL and co-author of The Workplace You Need Now: Shaping Spaces for the Future of Work, writes that today's companies are staying competitive by designing these innovative ecosystems to meet the expectations of today's demanding talent.
"In real-time, organizations have learned more about which roles can be performed productively in remote and hybrid workplace settings and which roles tend to require greater physical proximity to enable better collaboration and to enhance organizational culture," Miscovich says.
For some employees, flexibility to work remotely or in a hybrid manner will be a key determining factor for selecting a future job. For others, the possibility of dynamic and engaging "peak experiences" via physical workplaces will be the critical perk that leads to greater employee engagement and loyalty.
Organizations will need to determine where they fall within the remote/hybrid workplace continuum. Miscovich offers four key steps to help determine the optimal workplace model that is best for your company:
1. Determine which employees prefer the hybrid work option.
For many, hybrid working has become the new preferred way of working. Employees today want greater workplace flexibility and autonomy to choose where, when, and how they work each day. According to a recent study from Future Forum, which surveyed over 10,000 knowledge workers across the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and the U.K., 78 percent of respondents say they want location flexibility, while 95 percent want schedule flexibility, Additionally, workers want a choice of workspaces suited to their tasks.
2. Determine which employees prefer the office-centric work option.
Google announced plans to allow employees to work in a hybrid model and is considering other modes of workplace flexibility. Google has long understood the critical value of bringing its talent together physically within the corporate workplace. Many other companies, especially those blue-chip technology, finance, and banking companies that dominate office occupancy in many markets, are also increasingly still encouraging employees to work in the office most of the time.
3. Develop workplace strategies that align with your culture and brand.
Your strategies should help enable teams to better collaborate, innovate, and support their overall employee health, wellness, and well-being. Miscovich stresses that in the hybrid environment, an organization must be intentional about making employee well-being a top priority to support new and diverse ways of working.
4. Create workplace activities for greater employee attraction, retention, and engagement.
To support people choosing their in-office days, consider hosting learning events, entertainment events, or personal coaching sessions that will fully engage employees in the office. Include in the mix external community events, health and wellness activities, and other alternative uses that will further engage employees.
Informed and shaped by in-depth employee sensing and human-centric design, a hybrid workplace strategy begins by having a full understanding of who wants to work in the office with what frequency and with what level of intensity each workday and within each working week.
The CEO may want to see everyone in the office daily, but employees may have other workplace options that they may desire to explore and embrace. If other companies in the market offer better workplace options, either with more flexibility or better physical workplace experiences, then employees will vote with their feet.