As companies are becoming more and more hybrid, many of them are based on a collaborative workspace model. Shifting from the traditional framework, where everybody comes to the office every day and has its own desk, to thisconcept is not easy. It requires some structure, a good management plan as well as the right tools. Are you wondering how to set up a shared workspace? Do you know how to manage a flexible office layout? deskbird’s team answers your questions and give you 7 extra useful tips to make this new working landscape a success.
What is a shared workspace? Definition
Meaning of a shared workspace
A shared workspace is an area where employees are using the same equipment and facilities. It can be a physical or an online space depending on the context and needs of the workers. The use of this new working model is increasing as many companies offer fully remote working opportunities or hybrid work options. Employees can book a desk in a public or a private shared workspace, but also within their company’s facilities if they provide a collaborative workspace. In this case, businesses can offer a hot-desking framework for instance.
💡 Good to know: the concept of "shared workspace" differs from "office sharing," which refers to renting different office spaces within an office building to different companies.
Examples of shared working spaces
There are 4 main types of shared workspaces:
Physical and collaborative;
physical and shared;
Virtual and collaborative;
Virtual and shared.
Physical and collaborative spaces allow employees to have a space to work together, with all the necessary equipment and facilities to operate in the best conditions. For example, a meeting room is a co-working space. However, it can also be a place rented by companies for team members to work outside of home or to have a place to meet.
Physical and shared spaces are more based on individual use. A single desk is shared by different people throughout the day or the week. Companies based on a shared desk concept often choose a hot-desking model which allows employees to book a dedicated desk according to their needs.
Virtual and collaborative spaces are used by team members to work together in real-time. It can be an onscreen meeting room or an online whiteboard for instance. A virtual and shared space is more a place to be used individually and to share information. A shared Google Drive is a good example of this kind of virtual collaborative workspace.
How to set up a collaborative workspace? 7 useful tips
1. Inform your employees about this new working model
It takes more time for some people to adapt to new situations. Therefore, it is very important that you talk to your employees about the incoming changes in the office working model. They will have time to think about it and be prepared for this new way of working.
2. Focus on your employees’ requirements
Such a shift in a company is the best occasion for you to give the chance to your team members to communicate about their needs in terms of office space. Take notes and, if possible, try to implement their suggestions. Focusing on employees’ satisfaction is crucial for the success of a company. Taking their feedback into consideration shows that you are caring about your employees’ well-being, an important area to focus on in today’s work environment.
3. Determine the equipment and facilities needed
Becoming a hybrid company can mean that you end up with too many desks according to the number of people that are actually in the office every day. It is important to know how much space, the number of desks as well as other equipment you really need.
💡 To remember: we recommend planning some extra space in case an unplanned event happens. For example, imagine that important clients are coming to your office, and all the meeting rooms are fully booked, what do you do?
4. Create and communicate clear guidelines
Like with anything new, your employees may be a bit confused at the beginning. Where am I supposed to sit? How can I see which desks are still available? What do I do if there is no availability in the office? To help them with this new set-up and to avoid a mountain of questions, it is best to create a clear shared workspace guideline.
5. Plan a variety of different workstations
All your collaborators do not have the same needs, therefore, it is important to define them and take them into consideration. Julius from the customer service team might be totally comfortable in an open space, while Michelle from data, performs better in a quiet area where she can focus. You can also try to build a creative working environment to make the ideas of your team members flourish!
6. Ask your employees for feedback
From the beginning, but also later, it’s important to collect feedback from the people who actually use this space. Is this model matching their requirements? Can they come to the office whenever they want? Do they feel safe when coming to the workplace? According to their answers, you can then analyse and bring some improvements. Never forget, the future of work is employee-focused!
➡️ Do you know about our covid-19 screening tool? Another great feature integrated into our app is to help you ensure a safe and healthy workplace!
7. Work with the right tools for hybrid businesses
Managing a collaborative workspace takes some good organisation skills and the right equipment. Online tools like Slack or Zoom for example have revolutionised the work environment over the last years. In terms of office management, the deskbird’s shared desk booking software makes your life easier.
Why is the deskbird’s collaborative workspace app a great support tool? Interactive floor plan
deskbird hot-desking software is providing real support for businesses that switch to a hybrid working model, and more precisely, to a shared workspace. Thanks to the deskbird app, companies can provide to their workforce an intuitive and useful tool to manage their working schedule. Within a few clicks, they are able to have an overview of their office space and book a dedicated desk.
However, as our focus is employee’s satisfaction, we wanted to go further by creating a new feature: the interactive floor plan. How does it work? In our new feature release: Interactive Floor Plan, we'll tell you how the new feature works in just 3 steps.
Your team members are planning a meeting at the office, but Mathew got caught in a traffic jam and arrives late. He knows the meeting started without him and doesn’t want to interrupt his colleagues to know in which meeting room they are. Mathew opens the deskbird’s app and clicks on the interactive floor plan feature. He can see in real-time who is at the office and where. His team is in meeting room number 4, he’s discreetly joining them without disturbing the current meeting.
Switching from a traditional office layout to a shared workspace requires some organisation. The collaborative workspace should match your needs but also your employees’. Our 7 recommendations should help you achieve this important goal. To help them embrace this working model and provide them with an easy tool to plan their schedule, deskbird’s shared desk reservation system is a must-have!
Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.