Why architects are now designing for the hybrid worker

Why architects are now designing for the hybrid worker

The world of work has changed, and office design is changing with it. As workspace architects increasingly plan spaces with hybrid workers in mind, landlords and building owners can take advantage of the hybrid movement by partnering with IWG.

Office design has always evolved as new ways of working come along. The cubicles that characterised offices in the 1960s and 70s gave way to open plan offices, which have dominated workspace design ever since. Now, we’re seeing the needs of the increasingly common hybrid worker shape how architects and planners set out our workspaces, with diverse, technologically-advanced and multi-functional spaces becoming the norm. 

Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reports that “Leading architects and real-estate developers are pioneering concepts aimed at workers who are splitting their time between home and office, and they predict these innovations will become mainstream in the years to come.”. These concepts, the Wall Street Journal predicts, feature “workplaces that look like your living room”, with architects designing flexible, multi-use spaces that even include features like outdoor terraces. 

In other words, offices will become destinations, designed to work in conjunction with remote working. Partnering with IWG is an effective way for landlords and building owners to deliver return on investment in office design. We take empty office space and design it with beauty and practicality in mind, providing plans that maximise and monetise the area and ensure success for landlords and businesses alike. 

 As specialists in the area, IWG knows how to maximise and monetise working spaces, Collaboration and quiet time

One of the many benefits of hybrid working is that it mixes collaboration with quiet time when workers can get their heads down and work productively alone. Architects are now designing spaces that reflect these differing needs. In addition to livelier collaboration areas, they’re striking the balance by delivering more private working zones, such as the innovative new noise-cancelling cubicles in Meta’s hybrid offices.

These features have arisen out of the different ways in which people are now working. For example, with so many meetings now conducted on Zoom, Teams and other video conferencing platforms, workers need quiet spaces where they can log into meetings. An open-plan office simply isn’t conducive to this. It’s no coincidence that this kind of workplace balance is now at the forefront of office designers’ minds as the practice of ‘experience design’ continues to grow alongside the boom of hybrid work.

What workers want

These new design trends are a response to the desires of the workers themselves, with plentiful research to back up what they’re looking for. Research by IWG found that 90% of employees want​ flexibility in where and​ when they work. As a result, 88% of companies are ​planning a full shift to flexible working. The research also makes it clear that hybrid is crucial to businesses being able to attract and retain talent, showing that if hybrid working isn’t on offer, employee satisfaction and engagement dips. 

 Crucially for landlords and building owners, evidence suggests that neither 100% on-site nor 100% remote working provides the best solution for businesses. Indeed, in its annual employee engagement survey, Gallup found that the largest decline in employee engagement was among those in remote-ready jobs who are currently working fully on-site. This group saw a decline of five points in engagement and an increase of seven points in active disengagement. Meanwhile, those working exclusively remotely saw an increase of four points in “quiet quitting”, meaning they’re not engaged in their work and workplace.

Clearly, a balance is what’s needed, and that’s exactly what hybrid offers. Gallup has called for businesses to “Embrace hybrid work for remote-ready employees”, finding that “the right mix of in-person time can result in the highest levels of employee engagement.” 

For maximum return on investment, landlords and building owners need to take advantage of the hybrid movement and deliver flexible workspace that can address this balance. IWG is looking for partners with properties in towns, cities and suburbs across the country. Whether you have a whole building or a single floor, we are interested in partnering with you to capitalise on this surge in demand. Start generating returns today and partner with the leader in flexible workspace.

IWG continues to sign record-breaking numbers of partnership agreements with building owners around the world to turn empty building space into profitable income-generating flexible workspaces. Find out how to partner with IWG here.