Home Office VS Hybrid Office

One Year Later, What We’ve Learned

We’ve been in the office furniture game for decades and like so many other industries we’ve never seen changes like we saw in 2020. The big question going forward is how can our working environments best support working remotely and social distancing without compromising people’s productivity and sense of safety? Working from home and the home office is not going anywhere soon. We can be certain of that. We expect to see some sort of a hybrid system remain for the foreseeable future. So the importance of home office furniture as well as reworked office space to comply with current and/or future guidelines will continue to drive decisions for office space and office furniture.

1. Home Office Mix

One trend that will continue to evolve, driven by Millennials and Gen Z is the mix of home and traditional office features. This blended style is designed to make employees feel at home in the workspace. So bringing home office and styles into the traditional office place is likely to continue. This includes breakout spaces, individual work stations, as well as decorative trends that focus on comfort and ease of use.

The trend emerged when Millennials and Gen Z — the people who grew up with technology and are familiar with the notion of working any time, any place — started to form the majority of the workforce.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Post-pandemic, the office will only secondarily be a place to carry out tasks or engage in routine meetings, especially for knowledge workers. They will be able to do much of that from home, thanks to the growing functionality of information and communication technologies. As a result, employees will increasingly be working in what we call the hybrid office—moving between a home work space and a traditional office building. The latter will become primarily a culture space, providing workers with a social anchor, facilitating connections, enabling learning, and fostering unscripted, innovative collaboration.”

Video Conferencing

Zoom is calling it “The Everywhere Workforce” and as the world starts returning to normal after an unprecedented year, not everything will go back to business as usual. Organizations that were once all-in on the in-office experience are recognizing the inherent value of a hybrid workforce.

Further, Linkedin is reporting similar trends that will continue.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in demand for remote work on our platform, one that will have a significant long-term impact on the labor market. Globally, we’re seeing four times the number of jobs that offer remote work since March. We also see that trend reflected from jobseekers: the volume of job searches using the ‘Remote’ filter on LinkedIn has increased ~60% since the beginning of March, and the share of Remote Job Applications has increased nearly 2.5 times globally from March.”

Karin Kimbrough: Chief Economist, LinkedIn

Employees will need equally competent equipment and furnishings for their home office as well as in the office. Flexibility of space and technology will allow the worker to split time between the office at home and with colleagues in the corporate office.

3. Workstation neighborhoods

Large, open plan workstations have proven popular in recent years. With the massive shift in 2020 to widespread remote working, commercial space designers are having to re-think how this fits going forward. The open concept makes it challenging to blend the demand for privacy to conduct videoconferencing because of acoustical issues.

One creative solution that’s growing in popularity is grouping desks into ‘neighborhoods’ for when teams need to co-locate. This is flexible space that can be rearranged easily to accommodate a variety of uses. They include features such as

  • Touchdown stations
  • Digital whiteboards
  • Dedicated videoconferencing rooms
  • Work pods for individual work

As things change, RJ Furniture will continue to adjust and adapt to support its current and future customer needs. So whether it’s reconfiguring a hybrid office space or supporting home office installations and upgrades we are evolving with the times. To learn more about RJ’s home office solutions or traditional office furniture resources please contact use at info@rjfurniture.com or call (847) 473-2563.