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These days, people don’t just want more from their office spaces – they want more out of life. That means more time to spend with their families and friends, better health, and more disposable income.

Hence, the rise of hybrid working, where employees can split their time between the home and office. This results in a better work-life-balance, improved wellbeing, and for many, extra money due to less outgoings on transport fares.

Indeed, with so many benefits, it’s little wonder we’ve seen more companies embracing the hybrid office working model, and the stats suggest it’s here to stay:

  • According to Total Jobs, the average UK employee spends £146 a month commuting, which equates to £135,871 over a lifetime. This is more for those commuting into London.
  • 78% of employees cited improved work-life balance as an advantage of working from home.
  • 52% of people who want to work remotely listed avoiding commuting as a top reason.
  • As of June 2023, 29% of employees now work from home at least some of the time. This is an 4% increase compared to 2022.

With more employees working from home, it’s clear that businesses are adapting to these shifting demands. This has inevitably meant changes to their workplace designs, with adjustments needed to accommodate a different style of working.

If you’re doing the same, then this is the article for you. Here, we look at three hybrid office layout examples to inspire your own transformation. We also provide expert tips from our design team and give a rundown of our favourite hybrid furniture solutions.

Read on to learn more…

Devising a Hybrid Office Layout – Where do You Start?

When configuring a layout, you first need to consider the style of hybrid working you want to adopt. Here are three common ways businesses approach hybrid working:

  1. Fully Flexible Hybrid – The flexible hybrid working approach gives employees the freedom to choose when they come into the office. Companies who use this model often create an “agile” layout that accommodates a variety of working styles and tasks.
  2. Office First Hybrid – This is where employees are expected to work in the office most of the time, while occasionally working from home. This option is the closest to the traditional in-office model.
  3. Scheduled Hybrid – With the scheduled approach, businesses assign specific days to teams and individual employees for in-office work. This promotes collaboration while still offering some flexibility for individuals.

Once you’ve decided on your approach, the next step is to devise a suitable layout. Usually, businesses seek the help of office interior designers, who bring space planning expertise to the table…

Space Planning for Hybrid Working Layouts

Office space planning involves arranging the layout in a way that complements a particular working style. During this process, office designers consider furniture arrangement, work zone integration, traffic patterns, and aesthetics.

When it comes to hybrid setups, collaboration is often at the heart of a good layout design. In fact, 46% of people say collaboration is easier to perform in the office, so it makes sense to optimise the space for team assignments.

Our designer, Aimee Beazleigh, elaborates:
“When devising a hybrid layout, it’s important to think about the benefits the office brings compared to the home. That’s why collaboration zones and casual meeting spaces are key.
“Being physically present enables a more natural flow of ideas and supports ad-hoc problem solving. It also helps to foster that sense of unity and maintain a strong team ethic.
“Additionally, furniture and technology play a key role in facilitating digital collaboration. This can impact the space plan if the business requires Zoom booths and well-connected meeting spaces.”

A Look at Successful Hybrid Layouts

Hybrid Office Layout – Example One

Here is a great example of a hybrid office layout that lends itself to the scheduled or fully flexible approach. It offers a variety of spaces for regular in-house collaboration and individual work.

Here are some key features:

  • Team anchor points – As you can see to the left of the design, the office includes a collaboration area where teams can congregate. The desks provide ideal touch points for project discussions, brainstorming sessions, and general problem solving.
  • Focused working area – For individuals who need to double down on a task, the space includes a focused working area. With bookable desk spaces, employees also have the flexibility to come into the office whenever they want.
  • Meetings pods – These are great for impromptu group meetings, whether it be one-to-one or small teams. They can also double up as spaces for individuals who prefer working in a more secluded environment.
  • Zoom zone – Facilities for Zoom chats are very important when it comes to hybrid working. With a choice of six acoustic Zoom booths, in-office employees can jump in with a laptop and easily connect with home workers or clients.

Like every efficient hybrid office layout, the key to this space is choice and versatility. In contrast to a more rigid design, employees can work in a way that best suits the task at hand.

See the Social Finance case study here.

Hybrid Office Layout – Example Two

Office zoom booths at London office fit out project. Office zoom booths at London office fit out project.
London office refurbishment with modern office furniture solutions. London office refurbishment with modern office furniture solutions.
Flexible office work space with booth seating. Flexible office work space with booth seating.

Sports data company Hudl offers its employees full flexibility, meaning they can choose between the office or home. That said, the space offers so many facilities and amenities that it’s something of a magnet for employees.

This is no accident of course. Hudl designed the space with employee experience and company culture in mind to boost in-office numbers. This meant creating a vibrant design scheme, investing in cutting edge technology, and offering multiple settings for different activities.

Here are some key features:

  • Hotdesking hubs – The unrestricted layout style supports hotdesking, where employees can book a desk space for in-office work. The hubs include height adjustable desks and large monitors – both of which may not be available at home.
  • Catch up kitchen – The problem with fully flexible working is that businesses may lose a sense of community. That’s why Hudl’s catch up kitchen is so important. Combined with an enticing lounge area (which includes a ping pong table), it helps employees to reconnect and build new relationships.
  • Private meeting areas – Hudl offers a range of meeting rooms for in-person and digital collaboration. The larger meeting rooms include high-quality audio-visual equipment for group video calls, while the smaller spaces are suitable for individuals with laptops. Each space includes digital booking system to avoid appointment clashes.
  • Open meeting areas – For more casual collaboration, Hudl’s office includes a range of open settings. Employees can choose from brainstorming zones with whiteboards, coffeeshop-style booths, and a laptop lounge.

Like the abovementioned space, choice is at the heart of this stunning London interior design. And with so much on offer, it begs the question, who would employees want to work from home?

See the Hudl case study here.

Hybrid Office Layout – Example Three

Our final example best lends itself to the office first hybrid model, where employees spend only a few days each month at home. While it essentially has a traditional layout, the overall design has community and collaboration at its core.

Indeed, with employees spending more time in the office, you could argue the benefit of this approach is a stronger sense of togetherness. This is reflected with a more departmental and team-oriented setup.

Key features:

  • Team departments – While the other layouts we’ve looked at offer hotdesking, the office first layout is naturally more suited to departments. The traditional setup places teams in fixed locations for easy communication and efficient workflow.
  • Auditorium – The strong sense of community is supplemented by the inclusion of an auditorium (also known as bleacher seating). Here, teams gather for companywide meetings, employee recognition events, and training and development sessions.
  • Multifunctional breakout space – With a range of furniture, the breakout area doubles up as a casual or team workspace. This offers a place where employees can get away from their desks and enjoy an alternative working environment.
  • Meeting facilities – The space includes numerous meeting rooms for in-office collaborative tasks. If some employees are scheduled to work from home, the meeting spaces are also great for urgent video calls.

What’s the Best Furniture for Agile Office Layouts?

Office breakout area with modular sofas and a bespoke storage unit Office breakout area with modular sofas and a bespoke storage unit
Modern office refurbishment with meeting booths. Modern office refurbishment with meeting booths.
Bespoke digital locker wall with integrated seating solution. Bespoke digital locker wall with integrated seating solution.
Modern boardroom refurbishment with feature LED lighting Modern boardroom refurbishment with feature LED lighting

When designing a hybrid office layout, it’s important to get the furniture selection right. The helps to define the different work zones and ensure employees have everything they need to work effectively.

Here are some hybrid furniture essentials:

  • Locker systems – In many hybrid environments, employees don’t have an assigned workstation (especially those with hotdesking). Therefore, lockers ensure they can safely store their belongings and work with peace of mind.
  • Furniture with power – These days, it’s easy to adapt furniture products so they include power points. This is great for both individual working and team meetings where employees need to use their laptops.
  • Acoustic pods – Acoustic pods are great for video calls, which is why our first example included six of them! Slightly larger models can also provide a place for deep work tasks.
  • Residential-style soft seating – Spaces that have been adapted for reduced employee numbers may include some areas of dead space. One way to fill this space is to introduce sofas and armchairs. These can serve as additional spots for casual laptop working and replicate the comfort of the home.

Creating a Hybrid Office Layout – Our Final Takeaway

While there is no one-size-fits-all layout for hybrid working, there are a few key pillars to consider. Based on our examples, here are three things to prioritise when developing your design:

  • Choice – Hybrid working is all about flexibility. So, in addition to giving employees the choice to work at home, give them the choice to work in a way that suits them during office hours. This means offering a range of works zones and office furniture solutions.
  • Collaboration – As many employees find in-office collaboration easier, ensure your space is geared for group tasks (e.g. with spaces like team anchor points). Likewise, introduce well-connected rooms that facilitate video calls between office and home workers.
  • Community – Despite physical separation, you can still nurture a sense of team unity through your layout design. To do so, include an area where employees can socialise, such as an auditorium, catch-up kitchen, or breakout lounge.

Whatever style of hybrid working you adopt, prioritising choice, collaboration, and community can help to inform your design decisions. This will undoubtedly create a commute-worthy space that will contribute to the success of your business.

Offering choice is particularly important – both in terms of workplace elements and the freedom to work from home. They say variety is the spice of life, so employees will thank you for giving them what they need to be happier, healthier, and wealthier.

Written by Chris Sparham

Are You Making Changes to Your Office?

Rap Interiors is an office refurbishment company covering London and the home counties. With a team of experienced in-house designers, we specialise in creating hybrid office layouts that bring the best out of employees and elevate businesses.

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