Poly says hybrid working is the new collaboration imperative
Poly, formerly Plantronics and Polycom, has issued a new report that highlights the granular shift in focus from ‘place’ to ‘purpose’ of work as businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, the way people work has changed and we’re seeing the rise of co-working spaces, ergonomic at-home work setups and virtual water cooler moments.
Drawing on experts in the future of work, workspace design and psychology, the Poly report, Hybrid Working: Creating the “next normal” in work practices, spaces and culture, sets out the path to the ‘next normal’ where employees enjoy flexibility and choice, and businesses thrive through motivated, collaborative and productive teams.
“The unfortunate circumstances experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for businesses to challenge current thinking and shape a new future of work,” Poly managing director, ANZ Andy Hurt explains.
“The next normal is all about hybrid working moving to the mainstream as we respond, redesign and reinvent — flexible working across multiple locations, with immersive, productive workspaces that accommodate the workstyle of every employee.”
Workplaces have the opportunity to challenge convention and redefine what “work” really means. Hybrid working aims to introduce:
- New working patterns – new working policies that bring employees flexibility on when and where they work;
- Outcome-based working – taking the focus off the hours and location, to being productive and delivering results; and
- Optimised investment – looking beyond the company office to create collaborative, technology-enabled personal workspaces anywhere.
Poly report applied futurist and contributor Tom Cheesewright says that even before the pandemic, the nature of work was changing as the nature of business is changing: “Today, few can claim that the technology is a barrier to changing practices, but the lockdown has highlighted the need for investment into the cultural and behavioural components of flexible work,” he says.
“The future is a flexible working environment that caters to the needs of all employees, giving them the most fulfilling work experience and in return allowing them to maximise the value they return to the organisation.”
In the report, Not So Big book series author and architect Sarah Susanka explores why creating the best environments for employees to be productive and collaborative will be vital to the new hybrid working era. Poly’s report sets out the following key global trends for hybrid working spaces that will emerge in 2020 and beyond:
- Home offices will be given as much attention as the kitchen – ergonomically organised and crafted into places that inspire;
- A prevalence of co-working – organisations will invest in co-working spaces in the outskirts of expensive cities to attract talent. Group collaboration and social connections with colleagues and others will lead to cross-fertilisation of ideas, with resulting innovation; and
- Cityscapes will change. Office towers as we know them will most likely become a thing of the past. However, the city as a vibrant social structure will remain, with the city’s amenities serving as extensions of the “not so big” individual apartment, for example; restaurants become an extension of their kitchen and dining room.