Millions of workers are now accustomed to the independence and flexibility that come with working from home. However, as companies renew calls for employees to return to the workplace, executives face a key decision: what do workers want.
Over the past two years, employees have learned to value flexibility and the ability to create their own experience in a remote setting. The hybrid work concept is also about navigating the current transition period, which means that leaders should first learn more about their employees’ preferences, needs, and expectations. This necessitates, at the very least, establishing guidelines and encouraging employees to provide regular feedback while companies test out new agile approaches.
This new reality motivates leaders to create better models. True flexibility must include evaluating the various preferences and needs of an increasingly diverse workforce, in addition to the importance of the location. According to research by McKinsey, employees favor hybrid work. In a survey with over 1,300 workers from three continents, 75% said they prefer a hybrid working model. More than two-thirds of those surveyed said they would likely look for work elsewhere if asked to return to the office full-time. Companies that do not provide opportunities for hybrid work, risk losing employees, including younger workers, who are nearly 60% more likely to resign than their older colleagues.
Lately, some employees have been prioritizing policies that support flexibility—including extended parental leave, sick leave, flexible hours, and work-from-home policies. Some even highlighted the value of paid time off for unexpected occurrences, such as COVID-19 sick days.
Many, if not most, companies are also experimenting with semi-permanent policies on flexible locations. For example, one tech company now allows employees to work up to four weeks annually on a remote basis from any location within their country of residence.
As hybrid work picks up steam in the COVID-19 era, companies are also rethinking their office interior design. Businesses hoping to appeal to flexible workers are setting up coffee shops, adding movable walls, and creating new social spaces. To foster collaboration, some companies have invested in rearranging their offices into “neighborhoods,” each having the casual feel of a living room.
A flex space such as Mindspace, allows employees to come and go at any hour, and this can help them better manage their time and give them more freedom to take breaks. Mindspace, the boutique flex office space provider, redefines the workplace experience for companies of all sizes, offering members beautifully designed spaces, a personalized level of service and carefully curated events. Flex spaces come with a series of benefits compared to traditional office spaces, which have become even more important in this period of uncertainty. Flexibility, both in relation to space, and time, as well as no long-term commitments, perks and benefits akin to those one might find in a boutique hotel, and a level of personalised service which only flex spaces can provide – these are just some of the reasons companies are switching to flex, and of course the preferences of employees, which should convince them to stick to this model.
It is now clearer than ever that the future of work implies a hybrid model, raising the level of employee engagement and creating a strong sense of community – the flex space industry is here to provide the structure for all that and create the perfect place for each and every type of business.