An employee on a hybrid schedule walks into a conference room on an in-office day with her laptop in tow. The display and speaker in the room connect to her computer automatically, greet her by name, and the lights dim to her preference. There’s no fumbling with equipment or IT pro on hand. The call starts with the click of a button or simple voice command.
The screen fills with faces of attendees in the room and joining remotely — everyone appears in the same sized box on screen. Afterwards, the employee finds a hot desk for quiet work. As she approaches, the desk lifts to the exact position for her height. It’s the new era of hybrid work, one where employees want a customized experience in the office and an environment that feels as convenient and comfortable as whatever setup they have at home.
“During the pandemic, people figured out how to have optimal work settings at home,” says Beau Wilder, global head of future customer experiences, hybrid work solutions at HP. “Now, we’re bringing these optimal setups back to the office. The onus is on companies to adapt to their workers versus the other way around.”
Research shows a majority of employees (72%) want a consistent, uniform experience between their remote and in-office work setups. Companies are finding that staying competitive in a job market where workers still have ample choice requires adapting the office to employee preferences, with work experiences that feel seamless, inclusive, and engaging for those on-site and off.
“In this workforce revolution, the workplace you create is now a defining differentiator,” says Joe Galvin, chief research officer at executive coaching organization Vistage International.
From generic to bespoke
Until recently, hybrid has been mostly about scheduling — working at home on some days and in the office on others. Now, it’s evolving into a more cohesive experience, customized to employees’ preferences and designed to create the best of both worlds. New and emerging technology is critical to this transformation and to helping organizations “earn the commute.”