What are the solutions?
After months of working at home or hybrid, millions of people will have to find their way back to the office, which has changed.
Thus, shared spaces offer an interesting solution for both large companies and SMEs.
From an organizational perspective, this is also a cost-saving measure, as individual office space is removed and employees are encouraged to work from home on a regular basis.
But what exactly is it?
Like most aspects of working during the COVID-19 crisis, the concept of shared office space has changed. The flexible workspace is always meant to provide the right environment for employees, but there is more control over how and when they use it.
Hot desking is a flexible work strategy in which employees do not have allocated seats and choose their seats on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no formal reservation system in the hot desking.
Hot desking offers several advantages, including:
• Greater flexibility for employees
• Better space use
• Lower real estate costs immobiliers
• Easier cleaning as they are not cluttered with personal effects.
In other words, the hot desking offers flexibility and efficiency.
One of the biggest challenges with the hot desking is the difficulty of finding space available each day especially for employees arriving later in the day.
Instead of making each office available to everyone, you can set up a seat reservation system.
Hoteling is an office management method in which workers dynamically plan their use of workspaces such as offices, meeting rooms and meeting rooms. Employees book a workspace before coming to work in an office. It’s actually an optimized hot desking!
Management software is available to allow employees to easily book workspaces when they need them. Ideally, the software you use should include a mobile app that allows employees to easily find a space, book it, and request that it be disinfected after using it.
Challenges and solutions
Since employees will constantly change desks, you will need storage space for their belongings. You’ll also want your office furniture to be as standard as possible – with the same ergonomic chairs, monitors, plugs and cable connectors – so everyone can sit down and plug in their laptop.
What about ergonomics?
The sharing of work places is inseparable from an optimized ergonomics. To avoid injury and make every employee comfortable, regardless of the assigned workspace, we recommend providing adjustable office furniture and accessories (see What about ergonomics blog).
We share the chair, what about the disinfection?
Porous materials and cleanable textiles can be replaced by smooth, waterproof surfaces and fabrics that are resistant to disinfection products. The goal remains to create warm and inspiring workplaces where performance and hygiene must now be prioritized.
The flexibility of workspaces is also the flexibility of space types. A meeting booth created with the Downtown screen will offer the privacy required to foster creativity and concentration. By covering the screen and the bench with a coating resistant to disinfection products, we have here a comfortable space for teamwork that can be easily disinfected.
While hybrid work is becoming a must, so will flexible space.
Before the pandemic, the flexible space market was booming. Estimates place the market share of office layouts in flexible spaces at 25% before coronavirus – and industry experts (Jones, LaSalle and Lang-JLL) expect it to return to these levels. Without human contact, we reduce creativity the agility and innovation necessary for productivity and business evolution.
New shared spaces will need to evolve to provide an ergonomic environment that encourages collaboration and chance encounters. In addition to improving productivity, they should allow everyone to appreciate their workspace.
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