Right size, Right fit
According to research by McKinsey Global Institute, the real estate market worldwide is shrinking. This trend suggests the shifts towards hybrid working since the pandemic is permanent. With less corporate space available, organisations will need to become even more savvy when it comes to making the most of the space they have.
As we discussed in parts 1-3 of this blog series, the secret to success in hybrid working is finding the right balance between what works in the office and at home, and supporting employees in both environments depending on what they need and when they need it. The fact is, remote working can sometimes be isolating, and video calls can’t always replicate the dynamics of face-to-face relationship building. The longer we worked from home and away from our colleagues, the more being together mattered.
Hybrid working carries notable benefits in terms of flexibility and freedom for employees to achieve a better work-life balance and overall wellbeing. Free from the constraints of a traditional 9-5, everyone will have their own approach and priorities for their weekly schedule.
The challenge is finding ways to build and maintain the relationships between employees that will help an organisation thrive, be more productive and therefore improve its bottom line. In fact, new research from water filter solutions brand BRITA VIVREAU has found that 75% of office workers are more likely to stay in a job if they’ve built connections with colleagues.
In the years mid-pandemic when most corporate buildings stood empty, strategic workplace thinking shut the door on the office of the past. The spaces we returned to after the pandemic, although outdated, held the potential to become ideal places for employees to build workplace relationships and help them flourish.
At Anabas, we collaborate with our clients to transform workplace experiences and cultivate more inclusive and welcoming spaces. We’ve introduced new roles within our FM contracts, such as workplace community managers and workplace experience managers, who are pivotal in coordinating opportunities for employees to connect and socialise when they come into the office.
These roles have directly transformed the employee and guest experience for several of our clients in their workplaces, creating vibrant hubs of activity, with spaces being used for everything from company-wide town hall gatherings, public senior leadership meetings to pop-up retail sessions and charity fundraising events. We’ve even seen some clients implement more creative, out of the box social events such as ‘Ice Lolly Wednesdays’ during the summer months, which encourage employees to relax and chat together regularly.
However, building connections at work is not all about large, informal social groups. Some dynamics require more formal meetings that are better suited to more intimate settings. Having a strategic view of how the office needs to function can inform how and where these interactions take place, and your FM provision can be best suited to support this.
Our recent Anabas employee engagement score was recorded at 86%, over 40% above the national average. We focus on the finer details to create fantastic, engaging workplace experiences, where connections among employees are made, and where lasting relationships are built. Our huddles, day trips, birthday celebrations, meals out and wellbeing activities are a hit with our own employees across the UK and are just a few ways that we try and forge meaningful relationships within our teams.
Ultimately, in the era of hybrid work, there is greater potential to create a thriving community than ever before as more employees return to the office. It’s an opportunity to rethink the physical office to create workspaces where employees want to be. As corporate workplace experts, it’s our job to create an environment where people are supported to do their best work and build strong and lasting relationships, which will enhance the workplace experience for all who attend.