How to Make Corporate Real Estate Decisions for a Hybrid Workforce: Best Practices & More

Posted by ET Group on May 8, 2024


How to Make Corporate Real Estate Decisions for a Hybrid Workforce: Best Practices & More

Organizations of all kinds are quickly learning that hybrid work is the new normal—and that they need to adapt or risk being left behind. That doesn’t just mean investing in hybrid technology solutions like video conferencing systems; it also means reevaluating space requirements and usage to optimize efficiency and accommodate the changing needs of the workforce.

In other words—your business needs a corporate real estate plan that accounts for the new ways people work and the new tools they need. Below, our team at ET Group provides a guide for evaluating your needs and implementing effective solutions.

How Hybrid Work Is Changing Corporate Real Estate

Hybrid work is increasingly popular with employees—in fact, 87% of workers who are offered the option end up taking it. But it also creates challenges for organizations, not the least of which have to do with the way corporate real estate is used.

Here are some of the most pressing real estate problems businesses face in the hybrid era:

But take heart—these challenges can be overcome with the right strategy and technology. It all starts with considering the needs of the people in your organization and how to meet them with modern solutions.

Business space with different areas to support different kinds of work in hybrid era

3 Easy Steps for Assessing Your Business Spaces

Start by being honest about your workplace. Understanding the experiences that your spaces provide for team members provides valuable insights you can use to make them more appealing and efficient. Here are some steps you can take:

Collect Space Utilization Data

How often are people using your spaces? When? For how long? Answering questions like these can help you identify the types of spaces that are most useful for your business.

Learn More: Workplace Occupancy Metrics That Can Help You Better Optimize a Business Meeting Space

Do you need more focus spaces where employees can work by themselves or in small groups? Or is there a need for more conference rooms where whole teams can collaborate, either in-person or with remote members?

It’s better to make these decisions based on measurable data rather than trying to guess and risking the wrong investment. Workplace analytics provide a clear picture of the way people are using your spaces so that you can upgrade them to offer a more supportive and productive experience.

Start a Conversation with Your Team

The feelings and opinions of your team members lend valuable context to the data you’ve collected. This helps ensure that any new tools, space upgrades, or strategies you choose are aligned with the needs of your employees.

The best way to figure out what your team needs from their office space is to open up a dialogue. Hosting workshops for hybrid workplaces can give you an opportunity to unpack old ways of thinking about the workplace and come to a mutual agreement on new practices that support your personnel while meeting your organizational goals.

Analyze Costs vs. Benefits

Once you’ve looked at how your team members are using your spaces and spoken with them about their needs, you can start to plan upgrades. But investing in space upgrades or new technology always comes with a cost, so it’s vital to understand what you can expect to gain before making these commitments.

Professional guidance is essential here. Working with an audio visual consultant helps you create a harmonized technology stack that offers predictable ROI—instead of mixing and matching products or systems that may not be compatible or serve your goals.

Hybrid meeting taking place in workplace with modern audio visual technology

Must-Have Technology for Efficient Hybrid Workspaces

When you engage a consultant to help your corporate real estate plan align with the realities of hybrid work, you’ll receive recommendations for several technologies. Here are a few of the staples for modern office spaces.

Video Conferencing Systems

Reliable video conferencing is critical for teams that have remote and on-site team members working together regularly in real time—but it can also help you make better use of your meeting rooms.

Learn More: Calculate the ROI For Your New Video Conferencing System

Investing in high-quality audio video conferencing technology can reduce the need for large meeting rooms by allowing for effective virtual gatherings. This shift can lead to a significant reduction in required physical space—solving the space utilization problem while supporting communication and collaboration.

Hot Desking Software

The practice of “desk hoteling” has become central to the concept of the hybrid office. Using software that allows hybrid workers to schedule their own in-office hours can help you make the best use of available corporate real estate by eliminating the wastage associated with permanently assigned but often empty desks.

By implementing hot desking, companies can maintain smaller office footprints, which reduces real estate costs while still providing adequate workspace for employees when they choose to work onsite. This also helps reduce the risk of scheduling conflicts from variable occupancy.

Learn More: How to Make Hot-Desking Work for Your Hybrid Environment

Team members sitting in conference room with audio visual technology to support hybrid meetings

Best Practices for Optimizing Corporate Real Estate in the Hybrid Era

As you optimize your business spaces for hybrid, here are a few principles to help guide your decision-making:

Future-Proofing Corporate Real Estate with ET Group’s Hybrid Solutions

The mix you choose between remote and office-based work, the physical layout of your spaces, and the technology that supports your operations all play a critical role in setting up an efficient hybrid workplace. Changes to your corporate real estate plan should start by changing the way you and your team think about hybrid work—then follow through by augmenting your space and the technology in it accordingly.

At ET Group, we help organizations of all kinds transition effectively to hybrid workplace models. Our approach is based on in-depth consulting to provide space and technology solutions that support the individual goals of each business that partners with us. Reach out to book a discovery call with us today.

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