3 Essential Steps for a Designer Transitioning to the Hybrid Workplace

July 15, 2021

After over a year of working remotely, the day where we all return back to the physical office is quickly approaching. However, one thing’s for sure - the workplace cannot and should not be the same after this period of remote work. 

 

"The world of work cannot and should not look the same after this crisis"

- Antonio Guterres, Ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations

 

Businesses have started exploring and implementing elements of the hybrid workplace in an effort to reintroduce their employees. We even recently wrote a post that goes further in-depth addressing some of the biggest barriers this new work model posed for remote client collaboration and ways to combat these challenges. But many professionals are questioning and feeling apprehensive as to what the workplace will look like and what they will need to do in order to get ready for this working environment. 

Let’s take a look into what you could be expecting in the coming months and how you can best set yourself up for success in navigating the hybrid workplace. 

 

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The Hybrid Workplace Imagined

A team of architects and workplace designers at Gensler came together to sketch out a few versions of what they envision the post-pandemic workplace will be and how it will function. Here are just a few of their designs - 

 

John Harrison, design director, Gensler Houston

“A radical change in flexibility” Sketch by John Harrison, design director, Gensler Houston

 

Flexibility and accommodation is a common theme among all of the sketches. And as Design Director from Gensler Houston, John Harrison observes, “People’s behavioral habits are going to be different, and the physical office must accommodate that in a forward-thinking, creative way”. For over a year, professionals have had to create their own work routines and practices to help them stay productive while accommodating their new remote work environment. With many having gotten used to a level of flexibility, workplaces will shift and create solutions that incorporate and encourage a radically adaptive space. 

 

Lucas Roberts, studio director, Gensler Atlanta

“Employee choice at the core” Sketch by Lucas Roberts, studio director, Gensler Atlanta

 

It’s been a while since we have seen our colleagues and perhaps we have only just reconnected with family and friends. The sketch from Gensler Atlanta features a space that will give full agency to the employee to head into spaces from a variety of entry points. Studio Director Lucas Roberts describes the importance of multiple entry points to “enable employees to define their purpose for visiting the office and then choose to enter where they will interact with others, or head straight for their assigned desk or meeting space”. By giving the power to the employee to choose and splitting up spaces by zones, the individual can control how much or how little interaction they would prefer.

 

Bonan Sun, designer, Gensler New York

“The workplace as an intimate social hub” Sketch by Bonan Sun, designer, Gensler New York

 

Like in our recent post, Bonan Sun, designer at Gensler New York, foresees the blended workforce as the new normal. While their sketch centers around a communal social-hub-like space, at its core, technology will continue to be an irreplaceable platform that will connect both teams together and firms with their clients. Plus, as we start to slowly inch away from the everyday Zoom meetings, “digital tools will allow for human interaction in a way that video conference calls and Zoom fatigue could not”. 

We’re excited to see how advanced digital tools such as virtual reality can continue to support firms in collaborating remotely internally and with clients.

 

3 Essential Steps to Navigate the Hybrid Workplace

 

Take the Time to Organize

Beyond wrapping up cables and loading up your monitors, take the time to organize your files. Especially those you have created and accumulated during this remote work period. Take this opportunity to do some spring cleaning and organization. Getting everything prepped and ready to go before heading into this brand new work environment will be helpful in staying productive and making sure you’re ready to tackle the back and forth of heading to the office and working from home. 

One tool that would be really useful for hybrid workspaces is to utilize cloud storage platforms like Google Drive or our Yulio platform if you have any VR projects. This gives you greater flexibility in accessing your files from any device and ensures you will always have what you need regardless of location. 

 

Keep Using your Remote Platforms

This will be key especially in a time where everyone is transitioning into this new business model. Many of your clients will be in the same boat as you, juggling a brand new work schedule that has them in the office some of the days and working from home the other. So make the most out of the remote platforms you already have grown familiar with and accustomed to staying connected with your clients at any time. 

 

I believe we will emerge with a blended workforce where some people will work from home, some will work in the office on certain days, and then many will transition back and forth between the two. As a result, technology will continue to be a huge pillar in our post-COVID-19 workplaces and even further impact how we work and learn.”

- John Harrison, Design Director, Gensler Houston

 

If you’re already a Yulio user, you’re set for any remote presentation or meeting with your clients. We have always designed our platform to empower our users to pitch to clients in person or to showcase their VR projects remotely. Plus, it wasn’t too long ago that we released a number of features like our Yulio LiveChat integration that ensures you will never miss out on connecting and interacting with your clients. Utilize our remote mobile platform to impress and collaborate with clients in front of you or on your Zoom call. 

 

Get Ready to Communicate

Being able to experience and collaborate equally will continue to be a challenge when half of your team may be scheduled to work from home while the other half is in the office. And while booking a conference room makes collaborating exceptionally easier, it is crucial to start strong by staying connected with the whole team. 

Start off with having a conversation with your team on how to stay connected. This may look like continuing with avenues you’re already using, weekly 1-on-1 check-ups or exploring brand new platforms that can encourage greater understanding and transparency. And, especially if you’re on our Yulio platform, you can simply include a note in your project as to any updates or details that came up from a team meeting by using a Text Hotspot to include a note. 

 

It’s Time to Get Ready

While working remotely was famously coined as the “new normal”, the hybrid workplace may be a strong contender to steal its throne. A plethora of business giants like Twitter, Quora, and Shopify have created the option for employees to permanently work from home, influencing the historic shift in the world of work. And when it's safe to gather in person, some businesses like Dropbox which currently offer fully remote positions are looking to launch collaborative spaces to give teams a place to come together and collaborate in person.

So perhaps you may still be asking, is the hybrid workplace here to stay? In short, yes. And it’s time to get ready. 


Looking for a platform that can help you share your visual story in person and remotely? Get full access to our Yulio platform for 30 days with our free trial - sign up and start presenting better with the power of VR. For more information on how to get started, head over to our Yulio 101 page to see what you can achieve with Yulio.

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Author


Rachel Chan

Rachel Chan

Rachel is a writer for Yulio, covering all things VR. With a keen interest in creativity and innovation, Rachel enjoys seeing how businesses use VR in their workflow, and how they have been transformed by it.