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In the first piece for our Office23 blog series, DeVono outlined the offer and the timeline of the journey towards Office23, React (2020-2021), Review (2021-2022), and Redefine (2022-2023). In this latest blog of the series, we outline the Review stage of the timeline and discuss elements of hybrid working that your organisation may benefit from in its future workplace strategy.

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Review (2021-2022)


The second stage on the timeline of the Office23 journey is the ‘Review’ period. In this stage, businesses need to assess the variety of workstyles across departments, to determine how hybrid working could play a part in their long-term return to the office strategy. Clients have reported that their current concerns include understanding how company culture has changed through the pandemic, apprehension around talent attraction and retention, and confusion on how to restructure the office space to suit the new way of working. Our team of consultants can advise on the most appropriate real estate approach for ‘now’ while helping you prepare for your Office23 strategy later down the line.

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What is hybrid working?

Hybrid working is really about finding the best balance for your business in terms of where work gets done - often between home and the office, but sometimes a ‘thirdspace’ as well. The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the adoption of hybrid working, and now many employees expect to have some level of flexibility in their current or future roles. How you adapt hybrid working to you will significantly impact your real estate strategy as it could mean you need to reduce your levels of office space or perhaps adopt a real estate strategy. Considering this, we have outlined three issues that you should factor in when contemplating how to make hybrid working work for you.

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Design solutions

If you plan to move to a more hybrid way of working, then it is worth considering how you realign your office space to complement this. For example, if your office is composed mostly of open plan desking geared towards solo working, you may wish to consider reducing the number of desks and utilising more of the space as meeting areas for employees to collaborate during the days they are in the office.  Conversely, for those people who wish to ‘escape’ the distractions of home and use the office as a place to focus, you should have some quiet spaces for individual work to take place.

The above are just a couple examples of what you might consider in your journey to Office23. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to hybrid working, but a well-considered office space will play a large part in ensuring your hybrid strategy is successful.

Our design and build business, Dthree Studio, are experts in office fit-out and design. You can find out more about Dthree Studio here.

Company Culture

Your culture is the embodiment of your organisation, and it exists whether you define it or not. In any hybrid working strategy, it is imperative to consult your people on how they and their teams will benefit from hybrid working. By conducting an online survey of your employees, DeVono can help you further understand what they require from your future workplace strategy. Aligning your people’s and business needs ensures that you have buy-in for your hybrid working plan later down the line.

Luke Philpott, Equity Partner at DeVono, has recently written about how to make your office enticing to workers and prospective employees, you can read his views on this topic here.

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Technology

As you develop your Office23 strategy, you must ensure to bridge the gap between office, home, and third space to create an equitable digital experience. DeVono can assist you in this process by identifying what works well, what needs improving, and what you likely need to bring in to make your strategy successful.  Also, as appropriate, we can enlist our technology partners to both conduct a digital audit and create a roadmap of solutions that might be needed to maintain and enhance levels of productivity and engagement in and out of the office.

DeVono can also advise on investing in various proptech solutions, such as environmental sensors, employee apps, or hands-free technology, to enhance workplace safety and security. We have discussed how technology can impact employee wellbeing in a recent blog.

Deciding if hybrid working is right for you

Hybrid working is set to become ever more prevalent across numerous sectors. However, we strongly advise that organisations carefully consider their unique requirements, and the challenges mentioned above. At DeVono, we consider a wide breadth of factors impacting your business as we help you create a workplace brief that is not only fit for purpose for you today, but that will support your business as it moves towards Office23.

To find out more about DeVono’s Office23 offer, contact Amanda Irwin, DeVono’s Head of Workplace Consultancy, on +44 (0) 7392 922690, or via email on
ai@devono.com

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