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    The hybrid office: How companies are equipping their workplaces for the future

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    Espresso machines and ping pong tables were once considered exciting draws in the workplace, but that was before the pandemic upended traditional office life. The focus, today, for progressive companies, is leveraging new and emerging technologies to develop hybrid work strategies.

    With a variety of available options, employers are taking different approaches in their efforts to strike a balance between in-office and remote work.

    A Shared Reliance on Technology

    While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the ideal workplace, there are several predominant hybrid models that are preferable to others, depending on the sector. While some businesses tend to favour on-site work, others are more willing to let employees work remotely. All models, however, share the same need to provide employees with the tools they require to work from any device, at a location of their choosing.

    The Top Five Hybrid Work Arrangements

    1. The renovated office

    If a business relies on the physical presence of employees for a significant amount of time, having one dedicated desk per person may still be the best approach. In this case, many businesses have opted to remain in an existing office and adapt it to accommodate new working conditions. Sometimes, this requires renovations to create collaborative workspaces. Other times, standing desks and phone booth-sized work pods are all that is needed to replace the typical office amenities.

    Read: “The Technology-powered Pivot: Digital Game-changers in the New Mobile Workplace”

    For Mary Peterson, Vice President, IT & Enterprise Solutions at Samsung Canada, one of the selling points of this arrangement is being able to fit the space with equipment and technology that increase productivity and boost the bottom line. By investing in high-quality desktop monitors and interactive displays, businesses can attract workers looking for an efficient setup to complete their work.

    Benefits of the Renovated Office:

    • Tailored to the specific business
    • Employees have already bought into the location
    • Familiarity with the surroundings and services

    2. The purpose-built office

    For companies wanting to rent or lease full-time office space, there are several options available. These include serviced offices, in which business costs are included in a monthly bill; managed offices, which incorporate tenant improvements and running costs in one monthly fee; and leased offices, which have lower monthly costs because businesses handle their own upfront renovations.

    Whether they are short-term flex spaces or bespoke, leased suites, office environments rely on technology to create equitable collaborations that make employees feel engaged and connected.

    “This requires Samsung systems to be flexible, innovative, and ready to integrate into existing setups,” says Peterson. “In order to make that happen, our enterprise ecosystem involves strong alliances with customers and global technology partners.”

    Benefits of the purpose-built office:

    • Tailored in size and technology to the specific business
    • Enables the establishment of an office culture and brand
    • Promotes collaboration and trust

    3. The timeshare office

    This model brings all employees together at predetermined times with the advantage of not having to pay for office space 24/7. Much like resorts that are organized as timeshares, this arrangement requires the different users – in this case companies – to agree in advance on which days, weeks, or months will be spent in the office and which ones will be worked remotely.

    When employees are in the office, they have an opportunity to collaborate in person and leverage interactive whiteboards to capture and share notes digitally. For example, the Samsung Interactive Display Flip 3.0 enables users to share presentations, brainstorm, and connect with their colleagues. The display can even email the user’s work to their co-workers.

    Benefits of the timeshare office:

    • Eliminates lengthy commutes for part of the time
    • Fosters in-person collaboration and creativity
    • Reduces operating costs

    4. The on-demand office

    The on-demand workspace, sometimes called hoteling, is an ideal alternative for companies that don’t require their employees to be onsite at the same time. Spaces are available to rent by the day, week, or month, with steeper prices for high-rent urban areas. Businesses offering workspace reservations should consider digital signage to display seating maps and information for employees visiting the office. These screens can help guide employees and inform them of workspace options and availability, as well as new services and special events.

    Benefits of the on-demand office:

    • Eliminates lengthy commutes
    • Offers flexibility in scheduling
    • Reduces operating costs

    5. The hot desk office

    Hot desks are flexible workspaces in a room or suite shared by others. An agile alternative to traditional office environments, this model makes workstations – including desks, comfortable sofas and other work seating – available on a first-come, first-serve basis, enabling both company employees and freelancers to choose their space for the day according to the type of work they intend to do. Work can be enhanced by having access to the right technologies, such as high-quality desktop monitors and interactive displays. By having equal access to leading equipment, workers can all contribute to meetings regardless of where they may be located.

    Benefits of hot desking:

    • Reduces the amount of real estate required for businesses that purchase space for employees
    • Lends itself to a range of business sizes and configurations
    • Provides greater flexibility in scheduling and exposure to like-minded individuals

    Learn more about the many business applications of digital signage solutions from Samsung Canada.

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    Suzanne Robicheau
    Suzanne Robicheau is a communications specialist based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where working remotely continues to fuel her passion for new mobile technologies -- especially on snowy days.