2 in 5 London businesses are considering adopting this way of working. But what is ‘fixed hybrid’, and is it right for you?
The pandemic changed everything for work. We know from our own research that office workers now want a combination of office work and working from home. 57% want between 2-3 days a week in an office. And less than 5% want to be in the office full time.
Traditional offices are mainly empty, with just an average of 28% desk utilisation expected in 2023 according to Space32 and British Council for Offices research. That leaves a painful shortfall in returns for commercial rental costs. Especially when savings would be better put into salaries to support the rising cost of living.
All the while, most businesses are still scratching their heads to find the right answer for their teams. And getting it wrong in a talent-short market could have dire consequences.
A handful of businesses are already embracing a best-of-both-worlds way of working, coined the ‘fixed hybrid’ model. It involves pre-agreed fixed days in the office for entire teams to collaborate, with the remaining days used to work remotely. 2 in 5 London businesses are considering adopting this way of working.
What we love about this model is its natural problem solving, a ‘win-win’ scenario for businesses and staff. It’s the kitchen office jokes mixed with the morning lie-ins. The buzzy in-person team meetings alongside the creative thinking that happens during a mid-morning shower. Fundamentally human, it recognises the balance we all must strike to make everything work - in our careers, and in our personal lives. In short, it’s the whole reason Space32 exists (read on to find out more).
So, is ‘fixed-hybrid’ the game-changing office strategy you’re looking for? Here’s the fundamentals of this new working model.
It offers team members AND business leaders what they want. Pre-agreed facetime in the office for collaboration and bonding. As well as time at home, or elsewhere, to work in whatever way best suits an individual.
Consistent working patterns you can build a personal life around. Employees get greater flexibility, without having to miss out on the buzz of a full office - and the opportunities for growth and progression that provides. This is about merging real-life connection to others with all the benefits of working remotely.
Even in a digitally driven world, human connection and emotional skills remain the most important factors for our wellbeing, future employability, and decision making. Having entire teams together on set days means leaders get to lead in person, deliver training, nurture wellbeing at work, host in person team meetings and immerse people in cultures that drive business strategies. Not to mention knowing how a colleague takes their tea, and that advice over the desk that will make all the difference to a career.
There’s a real problem with vague flexible working arrangements, say when staff are told they can “come and go whenever they want”. It puts people out when they’re asked to come in at a specific time or day that doesn’t fit in with the routine they had planned for that week. Having set team days in the office that you can designate for collaboration and management takes out the stress, worry, and need for last-minute changes. Meaning you and your teams can get the most out of each week.