Will your office be suitable for hybrid work?

The coronavirus pandemic began in 2019 and turned many aspects of our lives upside down. In concern for the health and working comfort of their employees, many companies opted to take advantage of the possibilities offered by remote work and hybrid work. Today, the storm related to COVID-19 has somewhat subsided.

However, we can explore what a modern office looks like in 2023. It is time to abandon old habits and embrace a modern work style.
"Nowadays, we value the safety and health of the people we care about and love more than ever. Feeling good at the workplace has become one of the main criteria when choosing a job"
Looking at our everyday lives over the past few years, much has changed. We have also witnessed shifting societal moods - from widespread panic to anger and outrage. When we were reluctant to leave our homes, fearing contact with others, many companies responded to the expectations of their employees. In numerous industries, hybrid work, alongside remote work, became the norm. Both businesses and employees experienced the benefits of this flexible approach to the workplace. Health was a priority back then, but even after the epidemic subsided, some people preferred to work from home. For them, the possibility of hybrid work has become a significant factor in choosing a place of employment.
As the TENGO Group, we are both an employer, employing people in several European countries, and a designer of modern offices. We are an interior design studio specializing in commercial spaces, and we quickly adapted to the new reality.
Three types of workspaces according to TENGO designers.

Changes in work organization and the flexible approach of many companies to the location of work are a fact. They have had a significant impact on the interior design projects we create for office and commercial spaces. This is confirmed not only by our observations but also by numerous conversations with partners. Today, companies for which we arrange workspace often have completely different requirements than before 2019. In our opinion, we can categorize types of offices and work environments into three groups:
  • "The Post Office" is a commercial space that requires stationary work.
  • "Home office," or the popular term for working from home, is a more or less dedicated workspace within the living area.
  • Hybrid work, which combines remote and in-person work, requires a modern, hybrid office space.
New standards for in-person work

Not all industries and companies can afford a flexible approach to the workplace. Examples include the aforementioned Post Office, retail stores, and banks. Some offices also require physical presence of employees. When designing commercial interiors or planning their renovation, we adhere to new standards. Ensuring safety for employees and visitors is often crucial. This sometimes requires proper space arrangement, while other times it involves implementing modern interior furnishing solutions.
For this reason, in office design today, we take into account, among others:
  • increased distance between workstations
  • creation of dedicated zones for work, meetings, and client reception
  • protective partitions and their appropriate distance from the desk
  • presence of disinfecting agents
  • proper floor signage
Implementing such additional safety measures does not affect business processes. We also ensure that additional safeguards, such as partitions and distancing markers, are easy to dismantle. This will allow for the restoration of the workspace to its original state when needed. However, in our opinion, the future of office design will be hybrid offices. It will also become increasingly important to create a comfortable workspace at home or in an apartment.
How to design a home office?

Working remotely while sitting on the couch with a laptop on your lap is not a good practice. It is rather a temporary solution. The interiors of our apartments and houses rarely had suitable workspace. However, people working in a home office for a longer period of time are trying to change this situation. Some employees have decided to permanently purchase a comfortable office chair and desk. Sometimes it was provided by the employer or the cost of purchasing the equipment was shared. The lack of a separate workspace is one of the biggest inconveniences of remote work. TENGO designers help provide a comfortable and ergonomic working environment.
"The problem with concentration at work is one of the reasons why we want to return to the office"
It is difficult for us to solve the problem of too many household members (especially children) in a small space. However, we can make the designated space within the living area a true home office for you. If you can allocate even a small room, we will create a comfortable study there. Not everyone has this possibility though. Even without a separate room, you can still enjoy an ergonomic workspace.
"Achieving a balance between personal life and work is one of the goals of a home office. We will assist you in designing it!
Hybrid office

During the pandemic, many companies allowed employees to work from home or mandated such necessity. However, since spring 2022, we have been witnessing a gradual shift in approach, at least for some enterprises. However, this often does not entail a return to stationary office work. More and more businesses are opting for hybrid work, which combines the benefits of both home office and office work.
"According to various studies, even 60% of managers claim that managing a team is more challenging when collaboration relies solely on online meetings"
Hybrid work was known even before the pandemic. Back then, the possibility of remote work on certain days was often a form of employee benefit. It was difficult to talk about any adaptation of offices and commercial spaces for hybrid work. However, today we can certainly say that we know what a hybrid office should look like.
"TENGO designers create ergonomic workspaces, dedicated areas for meetings and brainstorming, conference rooms, and spaces for online communication. When workstations are not permanently assigned to specific individuals, we implement suitable solutions, including technological ones"
This includes features such as "hot desk" workstations and lockable cabinets for personal belongings of employees. By opting for an intuitive workstation and conference room reservation system, we can avoid many issues. In the era of frequent phone calls and video chats, soundproof booths also come in handy. They provide proper acoustic insulation, ensuring that even loud conversations do not disturb coworkers.
An example of office space arrangement - it is functional and well-thought-out
The growth of a company often involves the need to increase the number of workstations. In extreme cases, this can lead to overcrowding. Certainly, this does not bode well for comfort, safety, and work efficiency. Increasing employment can therefore result in the opposite effect than expected.

For this reason as well, the hybrid office designed by TENGO can be an ideal solution. Working partially in a home office setting also allows for a more spacious and comfortable traditional office. Some companies, thanks to this approach, may even downsize their office space, which can bring significant benefits.

Increasingly, informal spaces are appearing in offices at the expense of some workstations. Rooms like playrooms or chillout rooms allow employees to take a breather during the day. Sometimes, towards the end of the day, colleagues gather in such spaces and spend time together. It's needless to say how many creative ideas have emerged from such situations!
"Hybrid offices bring benefits not only to companies and employees but also to others"
Fewer people commuting to work every day means less crowded public spaces and public transportation. Some individuals, while working remotely, choose to work from places other than their homes. This benefits cafes, libraries, and other venues. Employees themselves no longer have to commute to the office every day, saving them a significant amount of time. They can spend this time with their families, friends, or pursuing their hobbies. Hybrid work should not have a negative impact on work productivity. On the contrary, it can be quite the opposite!
"TENGO has already adapted to the new conditions. We design hybrid offices for our clients. Are you ready to embrace a more hybrid approach as well?"