Hybrid office – is it going to stay with us much longer?

Now it’s time to start analysing the revolutionary changes we’ve been part of.


The coronavirus pandemic, which in a few weeks in 2020 ultimately changed the lives of all people, even of those living in quite stable and wealthy countries, has become a daily routine. The next waves of the pandemic, even with their gloomy statistics, are no longer that scarry to us. Now it’s time to start analysing the revolutionary changes we’ve been part of. One of the most visible changes is the evolution of a traditional working model. Will the look of the workplace change, too?



Workplace organisation

 In the pre- pandemic period only a small group of privileged specialists could work remotely. The traditional model of a nine to five office job seemed to be firm. Back then supervisors of business organisations didn’t believe they could effectively supervise their workers who would be working from home, and in case of remote work supervisors were afraid there would be controversies about working time settlements and proper remuneration for their workers; furthermore, the actual image of the company was of great significance as it reflected the company potential. Employees, on the other hand, though dreamt of feel-good jobs in which they could be wearing comfortable home outfits, sit on a comfortable couch instead of wasting time commuting, doubted such a scenario was possible. It turned out it was possible. What’s more, there appeared a lot of benefits, whereas the negative impact of remote work on the productivity of the team was less significant than it had been feared.  



Hybrid work - an alternative to the new reality

However, in most cases transferring all of employees’ activities to remote work isn’t an optimal solution. No matter how much new technologies aid and support group work including online work, nothing beats face-to-face meetings, regular in-office meetings or personal interactions. This viewpoint gave rise to a hybrid working model which combines the comfort of working from home (or any place in the world) and effectiveness of working among people. Companies either impose that division and make alternate working arrangements on specific days or weeks to do the in-office work for some groups of employees (which is one of the ways to eliminate the risk of contracting the virus) or let their employees choose the remote and in-office work ratio themselves.




Realities and expectations of office users

The conditions have definitely changed and so have expectations of office workers. Last autumn at Property Forum Conference that topic was discussed by its participants such as real estate experts, office building managers, and representatives of industries that actually create offices like architects and office equipment manufacturers. Michał Balcerkiewicz, CEO of Balma SA, pointed out that the pandemic accelerated the evolution and revealed the phenomena known before. In his opinion, while discussing the office of the future one should focus on the analysis of revolutionary changes in corporate cultures.  



A universal office model doesn't exist

The very ”corporate cultures” expression in its plural form mentioned above is by no means coincidental since there isn’t just one universal corporate culture. Every enterprise has its own specifics, creates different atmosphere/environment, and helps to maintain a healthy work-life balance. As a result, according to the architects who participated in the discussion, it’s not possible to design one universal model of an office. However, one can see that the mentality is changing in the post-pandemic reality. A hybrid office is the only solution here, yet the word ”hybrid” indicates that it could be hard to arrive at a clear-cut definition.  



Remote work gives you a sense of comfort

Current employees may expect to be allowed to work remotely. That solution will give them a feeling of comfort, make their lives easier, eliminate tiresome commuting, and can make it possible for them to choose a place from which they would like to work. But transforming any office into a hybrid office while maintaining business productivity could be quite challenging to the management.



Small apartments and remote work

And there’s a question how a hybrid office should look. At Property Forum Conference an interesting idea concerning small-sized flats was widely discussed. High prices make people buy smaller properties, and it is that small size which may hinder remote work. Millennials simply want to return to their companies because at home they don’t have the right conditions to work comfortably. Another argument put forward by them is the fact that they need to work with other people because some tasks require teamwork or it’s simply important to them from the psychological point of view.



Office - a place for meetings and education

An ideal office should provide the adequate space and conditions to work with/among others. The conclusion of the discussion at the conference was that the office had already changed its function – it isn’t just a collection of workstations; instead, it has become the agora – a place of meeting and educating.



Furniture adapted to modern realities

Office furniture manufacturers fully understand that idea. So far, the solutions like Balma PLUS have been used to create “flexible” offices, but now these very solutions are perfect for hybrid offices where they can smoothly change the character, easily adapt to temporary requirements, serve as ideal meeting places and, if needed, protect from distracting factors.

Our needs have changed, attitudes towards workplaces have changed, relations between people have changed, and, in many cases, the way we work has changed. That can mean that our offices (i.e. organisations) have changed. They’ve already become hybrid.


Changing the way the office looks is only a matter of time … 





Information on cookies:

We use cookies to ensure the proper functioning of the website. We may also use our own and our partners’ cookies for analytical and marketing purposes, in particular to match the advertising content to your preferences. The use of analytical and marketing cookies requires your consent, which you can give by clicking “Accept.” If you do not want to give your consent to the use of cookies by us or our partners, click “Manage Cookies” and decide on your preferences. You can withdraw your consent at any time by changing your cookie preferences. For more information, visit the Privacy Policy.

The use of cookies for the purposes aforementioned is related to the processing of your personal data. Fabryka Mebli “BALMA” S.A. with the registered seat in Tarnowo Podgórne ul. Poznańska 167, 62-080 Tarnowo Podgórne is the administrator of your personal data. In some cases, our partners may also be administrators of personal data. For more information on the use of cookies by us and by our partners as well as processing your personal data, including your rights, visit Polityce prywatności.