The future of work looks to be shifting to a hybrid approach. Many companies have already made the switch to a mixed model of remote working and office days. Employers have sought bigger office spaces to make work environments safer, as well as alternating office and work-from-home days.
So, as the new hybrid worker emerges – or rather has emerged – what can you do as an employer to better provide for them?
Make sure technology and communication is consistent
One of the most important things to maintain with hybrid working is effective communication. In this day and age, we’re lucky to have so much technology at our fingertips to help with meetings, instant message colleagues, and share and edit documents at the same time. Messaging apps like Slack are made specifically for work communication and for companies with remote workers, allowing employees to chat, share documents easily and to call through the app. Whatever app you use, just make sure you stick to one. For virtual meetings, stick to one platform for this too, at least for your own business. Be adaptable when it comes to clients and customers as they may use other platforms.
Are you ensuring home workers are safely set up?
Did you know that employers have the same health and safety responsibilities for their homeworkers as they do for their office workers? The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has more guidance on this, but it’s all about taking into consideration your workers’ home environments and how suitable they are for the job. You also should be including home workers the same way you include onsite workers, meaning keeping them in the loop on social events (whether virtual or not) and general work communication to keep them motivated, feeling valued and to be able to do their job effectively.
With desk jobs and a poor office set-up, prolonged sitting is a significant health issue, so homeworkers need to have healthy and productive work stations at home. It all starts with a certified office chair. Make sure work-from-home seating is height-adjustable, with good lumbar support and ergonomic features that will allow workers to get the right positioning for good posture and to avoid eye strain. For homeworkers who may have limited space or unproductive home environments, work-from-home desks can give them a very productive and motivating space to get into work mode, whilst also providing a very good and healthy work set-up.
Opt for larger office spaces and make them safer
Depending on your company size and how many you have in the office on certain days, you may need to upscale your office space to provide efficient social distancing. Air ventilation is also important. Natural lighting and windows are already features that workers very much appreciate, but now more than ever they are crucial to allow for better air circulation and comfortable work settings. Having your workers come into the office to be compacted in dark and musty environments is not only off-putting, but could get you reported for not following COVID-secure guidelines. If space is difficult or limited, social distancing protective screens can help, but if you do have the space, why not change and adapt to an open-plan layout or reorganise the work space to give more room for staff.
Keep mental health and wellbeing at the forefront
This pandemic has hit hard in many areas, from the tragic loss of lives to financial instability and isolation, driving a mental health pandemic in tandem. That’s why it’s so vital to consider your employees’ wellbeing and stress levels. The hybrid work approach allows for more flexibility, but the inconsistency can be an issue for some. When staff are working from home, make sure communication never becomes subpar, and when there are office days, that they are positive environments that help brighten up the working week. Social interactions are not to be undervalued or underestimated, so it’s worthwhile remembering that when moving to the hybrid work model. Make office days fun and maybe organise weekly or monthly online work quizzes or ‘memes of the week’ challenges – whatever can keep morale up.
Make the office irresistible
One thing employers have to contend with is the fact that many of their employees have gotten used to working from home and enjoying the flexibility that comes with it, including being surrounded by home comforts. The office now needs to entice workers back, so you need to make them as irresistible as can be; remind your staff of what they get in the office that they can’t at home. It may be the time for a fresh update. Whether it’s better office equipment, brighter walls, comfy office sofas, office pods, relaxation rooms, green office ideas, or hygge office design – the office can be the most productive and fun place. Just make sure you follow the guide to social distancing in the workplace.
Need to kit out your office with better seating, desking and equipment? Take a browse through our site right here at DBI Furniture Solutions, or contact our friendly, experienced team today!
Those of us confined to our office desks can end up spending a lot of time there; upwards of eight hours a day! Yet, we often don’t think to put our personal touches on them. Considering it’s almost a home away from home, it’s a good idea to personalise them and make them truly our own. Let’s talk about how we can do that.
1. Keepsakes and photos
When working, we always aim for the highest level of productivity, as we all want to get the jobs done to the best of our ability and with as much efficiency as possible. With that, it’s all about staying motivated. What better way to motivate us than to remind ourselves why we do what we do day in, day out?
At times, when our motivation dips, or if things get stressful and difficult, having a keepsake or photo of our loved ones nearby can get us smiling again. In fact, a photo could be of anything, not just of people, as in a funny memory, a place, a view or even your favourite TV show character. Looking over at something that’s cherished once in a while can keep us going at work.
2. Unique and fun stationery
Stationery doesn’t have to be dull. A great way to personalise your office desk is to surround yourself with quirky stationery and office essentials that reflect your personality. So, you’re 30 and you love unicorns, so what? As they say, you’re only as young as you feel. If you want to get a mouse mat, sharpener and pencil collection that all show vibrant colours, unicorns and glittery designs, then go for it. This is where you spend so much of your time to do all your hard work, why not personalise things and make yourself happier. Whether it be bright colours, quirky prints, niche brands or colour-coordinated, your stationery’s style can reflect you, brighten your day and even motivate you with improved organisation.
3. Stickers and skins
To really put your stamp on your desk and even your laptop or computer, you can decorate them with stickers and skins. Laptop skins are a brilliant way to show off your personality and style. There are skins you can get for your headphones, phone, tablet, speakers, and even drones. It’s about time we got more funky office desks, and with stickers and skins, you can add your personal touch to all sorts of office accessories.
4. Desk planners and diaries
Desk planners, calendars and diaries can be life-savers, especially when your schedule’s getting hectic. With your own desk planner, you can be on top of all that life has to throw at you. Errands, reminders, to-do lists, shopping lists and task notes can all be in one place. Sometimes work and life can be hard to separate; so a personal diary, calendar and planner can do wonders for your organisation and productivity.
5. Adding a touch of nature
Bringing the outdoors in can lift our moods. The positive benefits of plants indoors are endless. From helping alleviate stress and increasing productivity, to helping clean the air and improve people’s wellbeing, plants – whether on our desk or near to us – keep us in touch with nature. It’s also another way to personalise our work spaces. Having something we can nurture from our desks, something we can keep an eye on, helps us with our motivation and overall sense of satisfaction. Plants in the office also form part of a more eco-friendly workplace – and there’s a range of green office ideas to help inspire you.
6. Having a chair that’s comfortable for you
Spending lots of time in a sedentary position doesn’t do our health any good. In fact it can do serious damage and even increase our chances of premature mortality. Alongside taking regular breaks and increasing movement, it’s crucial you get the correct office seating in place. Ergonomic chairs are perfect for helping with our posture, for lumbar support and for correcting positions to our screens. Make sure you can adjust the height to work for your desk set-up; you don’t want to be causing eye strain.
7. Whiteboards, notice boards and sticky notes
You can get cute little noticeboards and whiteboards these days; another great way to personalise your office space. Sticky notes on your walls, in books and documents can remind you of goals, tasks and important information. Find some that fit your style. You may even give yourself tasks that are fun for the day on your whiteboard with a little picture to make your working days more exciting.
8. Desk puzzles and games
For those times when we get stressed or brain fog sets in, a break with a puzzle or game to stimulate our brains can work wonders. Not only can they take us away from a problem-focused task for a while, they can get our cogs working again, and when we come back to a problem, we may have a different approach or even a eureka moment.
9. Snack station
A great, motivating fuel for us is snacks! Your desk could be the envy of all desks with a goody tray or snack station. A sugar hit could be just what you need in an afternoon slump (all in moderation, of course). You can also use them as rewards for getting things ticked off on your to-do list.
Personalising your office desks can be a fun task; you can be as creative and imaginative as you want, whatever makes your working days more enjoyable and productive for you. You just need the perfect office desk for you, that’s where we’ve got you covered. Contact our friendly team today for help with choosing the right one.