Hybrid reinvention: the companies getting modern work right

A new report from JLL explores how four different firms have found exciting opportunities within hybrid working to reinvent their offices and even their culture, suiting employees and saving money

The single consensus around hybrid working appears to be that that everyone is managing it differently. This means that there is room for massive reinvention, but it can also mean that companies can get stuck between different priorities. So how are companies doing hybrid well?

A new report by JLL takes a look at four companies which have taken different approaches to transforming their workplace in order to better suit the needs of hybrid workers. Spanning from the creative industries to healthcare, these different models show that the pathway to successful hybrid working lies with understanding your aims and utilising your space better.

How did these four companies alter their space?

1: Tech firm cuts costs

Facing a struggle to draw people back to the office, a major technology firm saw an opportunity rather than a challenge and right-sized its real estate portfolio – thereby cutting costs on real estate by 40 per cent. By getting rid of its one-person one-desk mindset, this company was able to move around 7,500 employees to different offices across six US cities, thereby cutting costs by almost half and creating millions of dollars in savings while still offering all staff an appropriate workspace.

2: Making assets work

For a non-profit health company, reinvesting money into the company from an emptying real-estate portfolio was high on the agenda. But this approach required an in-depth assessment of the real-estate assets, the needs of the company and the ways in which the company wanted to work in the future. Once this had been decided, real estate could be sold or let; ultimately more than US $250m was generated for the company to reinvest.

3: Creating shared vision

A fast-growing non-profit with more than 200 employees was concerned about attracting and retaining talent, with many of its recently onboarded staff having never attended one of its offices. Through interviews and focus groups, the company was able to ascertain what its hybrid working strategy should be. A shared vision was identified for what the office would be used for and the role of WFH within the company. Understanding the role of the office was crucial in the restructuring of the space available, making sure that the workplace meets the needs and expectations of employees.

4: A time for change

When a large gaming company recognised how much it had grown in the pandemic, it knew that its current offices wouldn’t work in the ways they had before and decided to embrace a fully hybrid model of working. As leases expired, this prompted a full office overhaul to suit new requirements and the addition of reconfigurable furniture to make the space adaptable and amenities such as a barista bar. These changes have built resilience into the company by increasing flexibility and ensuring that it has the space and tools to work however it needs and continues to grow.

These companies found different solutions to their respective challenges but all reflect the importance of understanding your employees and coming up with a strategy that benefits the financial wellbeing of the company as well as the individual wellbeing of employees.

Read the full JLL report, ‘What’s Working for the Workplace Now: How four organisations put their office space to work in the hybrid era’, here.

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