There’s a growing amount of discussion around “Hybrid working”, “Remote Working” and “Hybrid Workplace” at the moment.
What does it mean, what actually is a hybrid workplace?
In a nutshell, it’s the provision of flexible shared working/meeting space alongside provision of digital support to home offices – for a flexible workforce. When your workers need to, they work in the office – perhaps as a team or with clients for a project or meeting. But when they don’t need to, they work from a supported home office.
Is your existing remote working strategy fit for a hybrid workforce?
In other words, for both when in the office and when working from a home office? Certainly it isn’t if you consider giving them a laptop and a mobile phone is a remote working strategy.
Perhaps it would be better if one of your firm’s goals was to achieve the “highest levels of productivity and engagement”, rather than “the highest levels of staff in the office between 9am and 5pm”.
Surely you can’t trust employees to do their jobs if you can’t see them?
Members of your firm may need to let go of such long-held beliefs and myths about where and how work gets done most effectively.
Managers must learn to trust employees to be effective and productive even when they cannot be seen – and, by the way, Gartner tells us that “there is no evidence that remote employees aren’t delivering against business outcomes”. Again, Gartner reports that “remote workers more often go above and beyond and report higher performance”.
Alongside this, employees must learn to be more comfortable and flexible in being part of a hybrid workforce, working wherever the highest levels of productivity and engagement dictate.
The question is no longer whether employees CAN be productive when working remotely but what – in order for your firm to be competitive and successful – do you need to provide for them in order to be productive?
Both at home and in the office.
So how do you manage the firm’s office-space, with people coming and going?
New Wave Workspace, from Legal Workflow, is a flexible workspace platform that enables the Hybrid Workplace | Digital Office.
Law firms can rely on One App, our integrationDNA and our completeWorkflow to help them to plan and execute their workplace and workforce strategies.
“Hybrid Workplace”, available from Legal Workflow, offers the chance for teams to work together in the same space and at the same times – when they want to. Meetings with clients will still happen face to face as will hearings and external colleague meetings. But do workspaces and meeting rooms need to be kept available for specific people or colleagues – at all times? Moving to smaller, more efficient office spaces will require better planning and management, be available 24/7 and offer better data to help manage and maximise office utilisation.
After all, the office is, at the end of the day, the biggest cost overhead, and one that needs to be managed more effectively. In a world where digital office utilisation is both complex and crowded, there are not many who focus exclusively on the hybrid workplace with a clarity of focus on office utilisation and workplace efficiency in the period post-pandemic. What is clear is that the pandemic highlighted the true value of lawyers is in the provision of the specialist knowledge and advice which is equal to if not greater than the location from where the services are delivered.