Workplace design specialist ThirdWay has launched Hybrid Working: a new programme to help businesses navigate their return to the workplace, in three distinct phases: from an immediate response to get businesses’ workplace ready, through to a stable workplace solution for the future.

Hybrid Working is a new approach to working life that balances the office and remote settings, to support individuals to work safely and productively from the office, home, or other remote locations, in a way that maximises life satisfaction:

• The first, ‘Fit For Now’ phase, involves a raft of practical measures including social distancing marking, technology assessments, on-site adaptations, furniture removal, temporary signage for one-way systems and lift protocols, spatial evaluations and plans, worked up over an intensive two-week period, to deliver the fast-track modification of existing spaces, policies and procedures.

The second, ‘Fit For Tomorrow’ phase, over six months, addresses more permanent adjustments and on-site refurbishments, including new furniture, technology, AV and telecommunications upgrades, the instalment of touchless technology for contactless entry, and working from home assessments and solutions, to increase numbers within the workplace, and support and align remote and office-based working.
• The third, ‘Fit For Future’ phase of the journey, over the course of 12 to 36 months, involves a full building and cost evaluation based on an evaluation of the first two phases of Hybrid Working, with the potential for wholesale refurbishments, relocations, and the introduction of satellite workspaces, helping businesses to reduce property costs and increase productivity for the long-term.

The holistic programme, which reviews and recreates space with people and businesses at the centre of the design, draws on all areas of design thinking and expertise offered by ThirdWay, including architecture, interior design, furniture and workplace consultancy. Hybrid Working is a defined approach, but begins with introductory, one-to-one analyses, to ensure time and cost- efficient solutions are delivered to target businesses’ individual priorities and needs. It is designed to flex with government alert systems and the levels of ambiguity we will face.
The programme identifies four tiers of business to come out of the crisis: The Business As Usual, The Temporary Pivoter, The Shape Shifter, and The Re- Inventor, each requiring varying degrees of intervention. It is modelled on the basis that most businesses are currently operating on a 90:10 remote working ratio, as opposed to pre lockdown 10:90, and will require two recalibrations over the next 12-36 months, as social distancing measures, and human sentiment towards them change.

The dependent factors for a business’ new ideal ratio for productivity will range from leadership styles, to individual personalities and commuter distances, leading to a bespoke ratio for each business, whether that be 25:75, 50:50, 75:25 or anywhere in between. At the heart of the programme is a raft of measures to aid and support this journey, including employee assessments and surveys that allow for the social, physical and emotional reasons people will want to change their working practice, and tools to maintain culture, engagement, productivity and growth.

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