"When the pandemic is over, everyone will have to line up at my office again," a good acquaintance told me last week during a walk. He completely ignored the fact that the world of work has changed rapidly in this pandemic year and the home office is no longer an exception, but a permanent condition, and even commuting across the city has been completely replaced by zoom and team conferences. "It's a shame", think some, "super efficient", think others. How much of that will remain after the pandemic remains to be seen, but I think a return to the working world as it was before Corona is out of the question.
Just working from home will not be enough
The possibility of spending a day in the home office was part of the way of working for many employees even before the pandemic and was often celebrated as a company advantage in the job advertisements of the HR departments. And rightly so: The possibility of doing your work in the home office offers many advantages over working exclusively in the company office - from no longer commuting to better concentration due to fewer interruptions by colleagues. However, these benefits should not be tied to a need to work from home. Because not everyone has an adequate working atmosphere at home; many work at the kitchen table or in the bedroom because they do not have a study. What is needed is a professional location close to the home, preferably within walking distance, where work can be concentrated on individual days without commuting times or commuting. For jobs with a high proportion of home offices, working in such a third place is also a welcome change, because social interaction and inspiration are possible there, which are often neglected in the home office. In many parts of the city, co-working spaces and shared offices already fulfill this function, but selective use is often not possible without a permanent membership, which limits flexibility accordingly.
Hybrid work protects the climate
Companies that are committed to climate protection should include their employees' commutes in their company's carbon footprint: Germans need an average of 44 minutes a day to commute to work. This not only clogs the streets and wastes life, but also emits an unnecessary amount of CO2. According to a study by Greenpeace, we could save more than 3.2 million tons of CO2 per year if we did not commute to work for just two days a week. Those who now insist on the right to work from home should be reminded once again of the differences in individual life situations. We need a right to hybrid work! The aim must be to avoid commuting, that is, to work hyperlocally. How this is achieved should be left up to each company. BASF provides an exciting example of contemporary, hybrid work with its coworking concept 1000 satellites . But medium-sized companies should also deal with solutions for hybrid work. What is important here is maximum flexibility and a variety of options for employees.
Our time needs flexibility
Not every company can open its own satellite locations. And that would also be maximally inefficient and counterproductive. It makes much more sense for companies to fall back on existing infrastructures. One solution can therefore be cooperation with local coworking spaces. However, it should always be ensured that the contract is flexible, ie no subscription has to be concluded and the employees can decide for themselves when they want to use the offer. Fixed coworking spaces have the disadvantage that they can only be found in one specific location or at least the number of their branches is limited. This means that company employees often have to accept commuting times to the coworking space. In order to allow companies maximum flexibility and not to make a strategy for hybrid working unnecessarily complicated, independesk offers a desk sharing platform on which employees can flexibly access desks in their vicinity. independesk works like a car sharing app and enables desks to be booked at short notice as required in coworking spaces, offices, hotels and cafes.
Meetings in the independent office
A strategy for meetings also belongs to a hybrid concept. Which meetings have to take place in the company office? Which are taking place digitally? And when can two employees simply use an independesk office halfway to meet? Meeting rooms can be booked separately on platforms such as independesk. In this way, employees can decide for themselves how they want to plan certain meeting formats. A monthly maximum budget can be set individually for each employee.
Hybrid working is the solution
Anyone who claims that hybrid working is a phase will experience a surprise in the next few years: employees have long since understood the enormous advantage that digitalization brings with it, namely independence and freedom. Maintaining this independence through good leadership will be a big task for companies. The freedoms gained also lead to an overall higher productivity, as initial studies show. Companies that are now developing a hybrid strategy lay the foundation for their future and build a knowledge advantage. Every company needs a strategy for hybrid working if it wants to be competitive and employee-friendly in the long term.
Independesk supports companies in developing a hybrid strategy. Call us or write us an e-mail for more information.