4 Office Trends and Types of Modern Workers
Let’s go back. Back to January 2020. A new year began, and we were ready to make it OUR YEAR. Most of us were regularly using the office for individual work, meetings, huddles, and team bonding. It was what we were used to, and we didn’t think it was changing. Remember?
If not, let’s review. Companies were working with one of these 4 office trends, which one were you?
[Looking for information on your return to the workplace, head here.]
4 Office Trends
1. Traditional Office/Office-first
The traditional office means working in-office, 5 days a week, from 9 to 5. In 2019, only offices offered flexibility while the others followed a traditional workplace strategy.
The biggest benefit of a traditional office is the ease of collaboration. Your coworker could walk right over to your desk to get a quick answer or easily schedule an impromptu meeting. But it can also lead to more distractions, i.e. that coworker that just walked to your desk to ask you that quick question has now totally thrown you off what you were just focused on.
This workplace trend took a hit in 2020 when COVID-19 came into play and won’t recover back to what it was, according to several workplace surveys.
- Less than 1 in 5 executives want to go back to the traditional office approach post-pandemic.
- Only 6% of employees want to work fully in the office.
A remote-friendly workplace means employees have the option to work remotely but they are more than likely working in-office 4+ days a week.
A remote-friendly organization may offer remote options but puts an emphasis on in-office employees so important decisions happen at the water-cooler or while passing each other in the hallway and if an employee isn’t there, they miss it. Impromptu meetings might go on without even considering adding a video-conference option. Employees can feel left out and isolated from their teammates if working from home while others are in the office.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen more often companies embracing a remote-first approach vs. a fully remote strategy. Remote-first means employees have the option of working remotely or in the office, but the office is used more for collaboration space and meetings. In a remote-first company, it is assumed you are working remotely each day unless otherwise stated.
When you hear remote-first you might also hear the term digital-first. A remote-first organization puts high priority on digital, so tools are available for virtual communication and documentation, decisions are made online, team members can meet in a conference room, but all meetings are online and easily recorded to share with those who may have missed, and productivity is measured by work done not hours spent in the office.
4. Fully Remote
Not many companies were 100% remote. The ones that were pre-Covid are on top of the office trends and leading the future of work. Remote work is a flexible workplace practice that eliminates the office and has employees working from anywhere (home, coffee shop, co-working site, etc.) 100% of the time.
100% remote work can benefit a company by reducing or even eliminating real estate costs, plus since the pandemic forced people to work from home, many companies and employees have started seeing the same or higher productivity. But it isn’t always right for everyone. Some employees aren’t motivated enough to work from home, don’t have the right setup, or experience too many distractions.
- Only 28% of employees want a fully remote workplace.
- 13% of executives are prepared to let go of the office for good.
4 Types of Modern Workers
As the workplace changed and different office trends were created, modified, and optimized, four types of modern workers formed.
1. Workplace Warrior
The Workplace Warrior excels in the office. They love the socialization of it, the accessibility of collaboration space, equipment, and heads-down space when necessary. They prefer to make every day an in-office day and benefit from a variety of office workspaces like huddle rooms, closed-door offices, break-out areas, etc.
- 6% of Workplace Warriors would prefer to work fully at the office, 10% of warriors may need a day for remote work but prefer to be mostly in the office (3+ days)
Workplace Warriors are used to the traditional office and excel in the hustle and bustle of the workplace atmosphere with the ability to reach the people they need to talk in just a few steps. They might do better in secluded, closed-door spaces or right in the middle of everything. Access to Hoteling and Free Address space works for all warriors by giving them the choice to reserve the right workspace for their work and personality needs. A platform that shows where their coworkers are sitting can help make their workspace decision each day and one that integrates with calendars, like Outlook or Google, makes it easy to quickly schedule rooms for upcoming meetings.
2. Dynamic Nomad
The Dynamic Nomad goes where the opportunity is. If they’re looking for a coworker that is in the office, they’ll work in the office that day too. If there is a spot that provides a creative outlet and is closer to home, they’ll be there. They prefer an equal mix of in-office and remote days and benefit from company-provided locations with less of a commute.
- 29% of Dynamic Nomad workers would prefer to work 2-3 days a week in-office and remote
If these workers wanted to stick to a workweek that consisted of 3 in-office days and 2 remote days, a remote-friendly workplace could be successful. With a set schedule like that, it’s less likely they’d miss in-person meetings because they could be planned in advance. But what we are seeing more and more is the necessity of digital-first companies.
The Dynamic Nomad’s productivity is influenced by the opportunities presented to them and the ability to build relationships. Workspaces that allow them to switch up their scenery and work close to people with whom they are collaborating are ideal. They need a booking platform that gives them available workspaces inside and outside the organization, shows where their coworkers are working, and allows them to update their status to inform teammates and managers where they are set up for the day.
3. Mobile Maven
The Mobile Maven is often on the road. They need access to easily reservable coworking sites or company-provided locations and to feel confident that they could secure a workspace in the office for an impromptu visit. They prefer 1-2 days in the office and benefit from easy access to necessary documents and platforms from their phone.
- 28% of Mobile Maven workers would prefer to work 3+ days remotely
A remote-first company is a must for the Mobile Maven because they want a place to touchdown when in the area and don’t want to be left out of important meetings or conversations. If the Mobile Maven has access to Hoteling and Free Address space, they can be productive anywhere. Employers can support this worker by providing access to a platform that allows them to find space both inside and outside the organization, and lets the organization know where they are working.
4. Master of the House
The Master of the House has been perfecting their home office setup since they got their first job offer. They prefer zero office days and excel in their own space with a remote/remote-first company and managers that trust them to get their work done.
- 17% of employees worked from home full-time before the pandemic.
- 28% of Master of the House workers would prefer to work fully remote when the COVID crisis is over
Since these workers seldom go to the office, they need access to reliable shared tools that allow them to easily and quickly connect with coworkers. On the rare occasion the Master of the House goes into the office, they will search for a quiet space to work. Platforms that support Hoteling and Desk Sharing ensure that the Master of the House can be successful in a flexible work program that allows them to do their best work in whatever quiet corner they find.
Up Next: The Workplace Approach that Combines these 4 Office Trends and Works for Each Modern Worker
If we’ve learned anything since the COVID-19 disruption, it’s that everything needs to be digital. With a digital-first company, employees can work wherever and whenever they work best. All four of the office trends can and should work together under a new model: The Hybrid Workplace.
Creating a workplace that blends remote and in-office days, works for both Workplace Warriors and Masters of the House, and offers touchdown space and remote options for Dynamic Nomads and Mobile Mavens is ideal and possible with a Hybrid Workplace strategy.
And so, we roll on to Creating a Hybrid Workplace – The What, The How, & Companies That Are Doing It Today.
If you’re in charge of the safe return, check out our back to the workplace page.