4 questions to help your government agency tackle hybrid work

Do you have the data and tools you need to manage the hybrid workplace for the next generation of public sector talent?

Workplace strategy has an important role to play in recruiting and retaining the next generation of public sector talent. Many government organizations are exploring hybrid work to appeal to workers who demand more flexibility in their working experience—introducing new challenges for workplace planning.

If your government organization is embracing the hybrid workplace for office workers, you’ve already learned that the constant ebbs and flows of workers make it difficult to determine how much and what type of space is needed. New ways of working require greater use of workplace data and new approaches to managing office space. What’s needed is a dynamic approach that can flex in response to the “musical chairs” of hot-desking, hoteling and other concepts inherent in the hybrid workplace.

Start with the fact that pre-pandemic, the average office only utilized 88% of its space, but as of early 2023, this percentage is only at 40% on average, according to JLL research. However, with employees keeping increasingly unpredictable work patterns, utilization may range far above and below the average on any given day.

To provide a positive work experience in a dynamic work environment that is free of chronically empty spaces, you need reliable data on how and when your employees are using the office. Have you adjusted your approach to occupancy management to fit changing workstyles, with an eye to creating a more efficient and effective work environment, and attracting and retaining talent?

Here are four key questions to consider for meeting the new supply and demand needs of the hybrid workplace:
1. What are your goals and objectives for your hybrid office?

Are you looking to create a more effective office that enhances the workplace experience? Cut operational costs in your current spaces? Reduce carbon emissions? Attract and retain new talent? Prior to embarking on a new workplace strategy, you should sit down with leaders in Real Estate, IT, HR and other key departments to establish goals for your hybrid workplace and determine what resources you need to make those goals a reality.

2. Do you have the people, processes and technology for managing the hybrid workplace?

Are you equipped to manage your office’s fluctuations in space demand? If you’re still using spreadsheets and counting heads manually, the data you’re using could result in space solutions that are outdated by the time you implement them.

Technology is now available that captures and analyzes real-time workplace data to help you make quick decisions about your space. Today’s workplace sensors and data and analytics tools are becoming more affordable, making it easier to uncover workplace trends.

Some occupancy management solutions incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) to learn how people use your space and make recommendations on how to better adapt and assign work areas. Other technologies are available to help you manage assigned seats or open seating and provide the right mix of workspaces.

3. Do employees have access to the right kinds of workspaces at the right time?

Do your current workspaces provide tools and flexible layouts to ensure collaboration among your employees in a hybrid environment? Offices are more vibrant if employees know which of their colleagues were planning to come in on any given day or week. Providing employees with tools that make it easy to book the type of space they need near their colleagues creates a workplace where employees can connect and be most productive.

A dynamic approach to occupancy management can provide a wealth of valuable data. With today’s technologies, you can capture this real-time data and generate insights about how your workspaces are being used, which will help you manage space demands, and track attendance and utilization trends. Data and analytics will equip you to manage office resources and make better short- and long-term adjustments across your portfolio as preferences evolve.

4. Do you know your employees’ preferences and how to best support them in your workplace?

How do you know whether employees are getting what they need out of their office space? Without the ability to measure employee activities and experience, you can’t effectively plan for your future needs.

If you have the right space management technology, you will be able to see which spaces in your office are the most in-demand and which spaces may be either redundant or ineffective. Through data analytics, employee surveys, and user focus groups, you can gain insight on how effectively your space is used and what changes would improve it.

Is your organization ready for hybrid work? Learn more about how JLL consultants and technologies can help you implement hybrid work successfully in your workplace or reach out to us.