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remote work

Countering 7 Return to the Physical Office Benefits Myths

Every few days, there seems to be a media frenzy around another large company’s CEO calling their workers back to their physical offices. The reasons they’ve cited include everything from productivity losses to remote work being unsuitable for inspiring creativity and innovation. 

But as someone who has worked fully remotely for the past six years—and worked from home weekly in my decade at a Fortune 500 company—something didn’t ring true. So I took a look at the data. And guess what? The data tells a different story about some of the most commonly cited reasons about the benefits of working in the physical office.

Read on for some of the most frequent reasons companies are recalling their workforce into the office and recent research that provides a different perspective.

Myth 1: Working in the office is necessary to enable collaboration and foster teamwork.

Scientific American’s review of research found that the larger the in-person group, the fewer novel ideas each person has—but the opposite is the case for electronic brainstorming. The more people included in your virtual brainstorming session, the larger number of novel ideas per person. Now that the majority of workers have access to digital collaboration tools, according to the Gartner, Inc. Digital Worker Experience Survey, there’s little reason to get the team together in person for many collaborative tasks. Still not convinced? Consider the sustained success of fully remote companies such as GitLab, Automattic, and InVision.

Myth 2: You can’t build a cohesive company culture without everyone in the office together.

SHRM’s Organizational Culture toolkit mentions numerous factors that go into creating a cohesive culture, but—spoiler alert—having your entire workforce in the same physical space isn’t one of them. Similarly, McKinsey’s research into the factors influencing last year’s Great Resignation found employees seek greater connection with leaders and aspire to be part of a cohesive team. But that didn’t mean they wanted to come into the office. To retain employees, organizations need to evolve their approach to building community, cohesion, and a sense of belonging at work. 

Myth 3: Workers are more productive in the physical office than working remotely.

Gallup research indicates that remote workers are more productive than on-site workers. That’s because workers with the opportunity to work from home are more engaged, which has been shown to improve productivity and lead to the best business outcomes. The WFH project’s ongoing research similarly found that nearly six out of 10 workers reported being more productive working from home than they expected to be, compared with 14 percent who said they got less done. On average, respondents’ productivity at home was 7 percent higher than they expected.

Myth 4: Remote workers have low morale and feel isolated.

A survey by the mental health research website Tracking Happiness found that the ability to work remotely is positively correlated with employee happiness. Those fully remote workers reported a happiness level about  20% higher than full-time office workers. A study from the ADP Research Institute — titled People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View — agreed with those findings, finding remote employees to be more optimistic (89%) than their on-premises coworkers (77%) and have more job satisfaction (90%) compared to those that commute to the office (82%). Additionally, a mid-2020 McKinsey study found a 55% increase in job satisfaction for remote workers. So while some employees may have felt isolated or had low morale in the early days of the pandemic when Covid restrictions replaced much of their daily routines with being stuck in their homes 24/7, that doesn’t appear to have persisted.

Myth 5: Workers need to be in the office to access specific resources and equipment that is only available in the office.

Not every job lends itself to working from home. For example, if you are a machinist, you need to be on the shop floor where the machine you’re employed to run is physically located.  But many jobs—even blue-collar jobs typically associated with being on-site only—have found ways to be remote-friendly. McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey found 58 percent of Americans who have the opportunity to work from home do so at least one day a week. Further, 35 percent of respondents report having the option to work from home five days a week. If you’re thinking they must have just surveyed coastal knowledge workers, think again. Their respondents work in a wide range of jobs across the country and include workers in jobs commonly thought of as “blue collar” positions requiring on-site work.

Myth 6: Digital work makes it harder to protect sensitive information and data.

A recent article in CPO magazine suggests that a home office might be as safe, if not more secure, than an office cubicle. Why? They hypothesized that perceived trust in physical office settings makes them less secure than many remote working environments. For example, unencrypted network protocols are extremely common on a corporate network, while most home networks have firewalls and password encryption. Then there’s the physical data theft aspect. While someone can easily tailgate employees into the company HQ and access computers or data on thumb drives, that’s pretty unlikely to happen at someone’s home office. And, if working from home was truly more of a security risk than being in the office, you’d expect to see at least one of the most significant data security incidents from 2022 in this report to have mentioned being caused by a remote worker.

Myth 7: It costs businesses more to subsidize workers working at home.

Some company leaders have said it’s costly to support allowing people to work remotely. But, in most cases, few employers are paying for much, if any, of the home office costs. So that argument may not hold much water. Also, starting in 2021, The WSJ reported companies expect to reap millions of dollars in savings in the years ahead as they scale back on office space. Global Workplace Analytics estimates companies could save over $500 billion a year in real estate, electricity, absenteeism, turnover, and productivity. And let’s not forget that those huge physical company HQs also required that companies pay for utilities, janitorial services, security, maintenance, office supplies, coffee and water service, parking spaces, transit subsidies, ADA compliance, and furniture, to name a few recurring expenses.

It doesn’t take a physical office to give your people a sense of being part of a cohesive team. But it is important to bring your remote workers together in a virtual space that inspires collaboration and interaction. See how Frameable Spaces can give your distributed teams all the benefits of working together, no matter where they are.

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remote work

How A Virtual Office Manager Can Support Your Remote or Hybrid Team

After three years of remote work, more than 80% of employees agree that their overall wellbeing has improved because of remote and hybrid working arrangements, and 64% would even look for a new job if their employer made it mandatory to return to the workplace full-time. 

But as many teams have learned the hard way, simply allowing employees to work remotely does not mean you are providing a great work experience. Just as with the physical office, your virtual workspace needs someone charged with making your company a great place to work. 

In this blog post, we explore a new essential company role: the virtual office manager. Read on to learn about which organizations may benefit from hiring this position, what a virtual office manager’s day-to-day job entails, and what to include in your job description to attract the right candidate to your remote team.

Who Needs A Virtual Office Manager

If you are a team of two or three, a virtual assistant may be a better role to add than a virtual office manager. But, if you have five or more remote workers using one or more digital technologies to collaborate, it’s worth evaluating if a virtual office manager makes sense. Ask yourself these questions to decide if a virtual office manager is a good fit for your team:

  • Do our executives spend significant portions of their day on administrative tasks? 
  • Is our company growing quickly? 
  • Are we disorganized in our processes and systems?
  • Do we make it a priority to address our employees’ needs quickly and effectively?
  • Is our general company email inbox overflowing?
  • Can we bring on a new team member, given our financial situation?

If you answered no to any of these, it might be beneficial to spend some time developing your remote work policy—we share five steps to get you started here. On the other hand, if you answered yes to all the above questions, read on to uncover your path to hiring the right virtual office manager. 

What Does a Virtual Office Manager Job Entail?

Virtual office managers can complete many tasks to free up your executive team’s time and support your remote employee needs.

A virtual office manager job will greatly vary company by company. But a few things a virtual office manager can do include:

  • Handle all internal communications
  • Plan and manage company events
  • Support finance teams with billing and payroll 
  • Onboard new employees
  • Assist with tech setup and support
  • Research new office software tools and solutions
  • Coordinate the use of software tools across teams
  • Arrange executive travel
  • Book appointments and meeting spaces
  • Field and manage any inbound emails from prospective clients
  • Create guides and how-to docs to improve the employee experience

An office manager was previously seen as a luxury for smaller offices. However, one of the many benefits of remote work is it allows companies to find the right full or part-time office manager, without any geographic restrictions, to fit their budget. This makes it significantly easier to justify adding this much-needed support to your team. 

Before you bring on a virtual office manager, you need to understand how they will help your team. Align your cross-departmental leadership to understand what you’re looking for in a virtual office manager. What is your goal for hiring a virtual office manager? Will they support your executive, HR, and finance teams? What specific tasks does the team need them to handle?

Document the various responsibilities you envision for your virtual office manager and identify who they will report to. This background will help you to prepare your job posting. 

Key Elements of a Virtual Office Manager Job Description

Most of the current virtual office manager job openings are positioned as an office manager that works remotely. That works, but there’s room for the job to evolve and reflect its unique role in the future of work.

We recommend you include these elements in your virtual office manager job description: 

  • Your company description: What does your brand do, and what do you seek to accomplish? A compelling company description can help candidates understand if they connect with your company’s mission and purpose. 
  • Time commitment: Is this position full-time or part-time? When will your office manager be expected to work, and in what time zone? Be specific in this section so candidates can decide whether the time requirements are right for them. 
  • Key responsibilities: What do you expect the office manager to do? Provide as many details as possible, including possible day-to-day and recurring duties. For example, if several departments will share your virtual office manager, it could help to disclose what portion of their job will be spent on specific needs (such as 25% on executive support, 25% on HR administrative tasks, and 50% on general office management). 
  • Soft and hard skills: What are the required skills for the job? Consider both hard and soft skills, such as prior experience in your field or familiarity with specific programs, as well as ideal behavioral traits like an eagerness to learn and being a problem solver. 
  • Virtual office tools: What tools power your remote office? List any platforms the virtual office manager will need to use or champion—but remember that an ideal candidate can quickly learn how to use your tools, regardless of prior experience. 
  • Expected salary or pay rate: Some states require you to post a salary range with any published job listing. Even if a state does not require this, your candidates will appreciate it, and it can help filter out candidates seeking higher compensation. 

Give Your Team a More Engaging Virtual Workspace

The virtual and hybrid remote experience will increasingly become a competitive differentiator for brands, but there’s one team hire that could give you a serious advantage—a virtual office manager.

Virtual office managers play an integral role in orchestrating your remote work experience and ensuring your employees can thrive. The job varies across companies, and a virtual office manager can help with everything from administrative work to key culture activities that strengthen your team morale.

Having the right team for remote work is essential for protecting your business, but you can’t forget about the tools you use to connect.

We’ve built Frameable Spaces to provide online spaces for modern remote work, empowering teams to self-organize and interact just as they would in the physical office. Learn more about what your team can do in Frameable Spaces and try it for free today: https://frameable.com/spaces

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remote work

Cutting Through the Metaverse Hype to Find the Real Future of Work

Over the past few months, I’ve watched the business press come full circle on the Metaverse. First, there was the hype about how virtual reality and augmented reality were the future of everything. Now, it’s a ballad of disappointment about how lackluster Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the Metaverse is turning out to be so far.

It’s important to note, however, these articles aren’t saying that workers don’t want to work remotely and don’t need a virtual environment — just that Meta’s version of the Metaverse isn’t the virtual workspace anyone’s looking for. So let’s take a look at the most shared and commented-on articles to gain insight into what people actually want in a virtual workspace.

The Metaverse in 2040 (Pew Research)

As with the rest of Pew’s research portfolio, this research provides a balanced view of the Metaverse and its pros and cons. The 624 technology experts they interviewed expect to see ‘extended’ reality become part of our daily lives by 2040. But they also foresee augmented-reality and mixed-reality tools gaining traction, vs. the more-fully-immersive virtual reality worlds currently synonymous for many with the Metaverse.

This article also has some pretty on-the-nose criticisms, including this one, which delves into the motivations behind some of our biggest ad-tech companies being the pioneers of the Metaverse:

“The term metaverse was coined to describe a corporate, dystopian hellscape where a completely financialized world is stripped of any culture and value. Advocates of the metaverse are currently trying to bring that vision into reality in the hopes of creating new digital surfaces that can be covered in new advertising and made as addictive as possible. As the physical world encounters saturation of existing advertising surfaces and data collection, augmented reality is the new frontier of surveillance capitalism. If it does come to fruition, it will be as terrible as social media is today.”
— Justin Reich, associate professor of digital media at MIT and director of the Teaching Systems Lab.

Reich has a good point, even if you aren’t a social media naysayer. We’ve seen the unintended negative consequences of how platforms like Facebook have monetized their users’ data for the benefit of advertisers. Imagine what could happen if those companies who couldn’t handle your personal data already had access to your workplace’s intellectual property and private information.

Meta Quest Pro: A $1,500 Virtual-Reality Headset for Working in the Metaverse (WSJ)

While Google Cardboard is an affordable way of accessing the Metaverse’s VR worlds, no one wants to strap cardboard against their face for hours of meetings. It’s designed for occasional use for a leisure activity—not for wearing all day in a work environment.

While Facebook already had a $400 headset in the market, it wasn’t meant for prolonged use at the office. So they introduced a $1,500 virtual reality headset that’s more comfortable, has improved controls, and can track your eye and facial movements and sync them with your Metaverse avatar. Presumably, the buyers of this state-of-the-art headset are, as the WSJ surmises, architects, engineers, and designers, plus tech early adopters.

Unfortunately, the article notes, the new headset’s charge only lasts for 1-2 hours, depending on what you’re doing while wearing it. It then needs to recharge for two hours before you’re ready for your next meeting. I guess that could work for those who have chosen the 4-hour workday. But for busy professionals who can have days of back-to-back meetings and collaboration sessions, it’s problematic on many levels.

As the author quips in closing, “I just think we’re going to need something a little cooler than avatars gathered around three-dimensional Excel sheets for this whole metaverse thing to take off.”

The Metaverse Doesn’t have a Leg to Stand on (Literally)

While there were dozens—if not hundreds—of articles making fun of the floating bottomless avatars populating the Metaverse, these two stood out for their approach to covering the announcement from the Meta team that legs were in the works for their floating avatars.

Presumably, the developers who are surprised by the general public’s lack of enthusiasm for this news may also be unaware that MMORPGs like the World of Warcraft have had 3-D avatars with legs for almost two decades. And to be fair—we’re not controlling those avatars with our body movements. But the fact is—no one cares if it’s going to be hard to do. The current offering just doesn’t meet modern consumers’ expectations.

Legs are finally coming to Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse, Vox

“The fact that now Zuckerberg is prioritizing legs in the metaverse shows how much public perception of the metaverse matters, and that the toughest challenge to Meta succeeding may be solving the technology’s seemingly simple (although technically complex) visual problems. Meta needs to show that it’s in touch with reality, even as it builds an alternate universe.”

(Vox)

Legs are coming to the Metaverse and everyone is…underwhelmed, Mashable

This Mashable article rounds up Tweeted reactions to the addition of legs to the Metaverse, including these:

“Unsurprisingly, people are underwhelmed by the update, just as they seem to be about the metaverse. The same can be said for Meta’s employees, apparently.”

(Mashable)

So What Do People Want From a Virtual Office?

One recurring theme across these pieces, and other metaverse coverage, is people want a reason to log in to these virtual spaces to work. Not a mandate from the C-suite that they have to use these tools. They want these spaces to have unique persistent tools, resources, and frameworks that help them work better together.  Novelty is not enough!

While remote work has freed many people from the office, it hasn’t changed their desire or need to collaborate and have face-to-face time with their colleagues and managers—even if it is virtual. It’s our job to do our best work, and that means working together in many cases.  As one of the companies committed to making these virtual worlds of work inclusive and accessible to all, we know that in the end, the work is only as good as the people who can and do put their shoulders into it. VR headsets should not be required.

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remote work

Frameable Launches ‘Spaces’ Virtual Office Platform, Commits to Accessibility and Sustainability Initiatives

Frameable launched our virtual office platform Spaces to the public yesterday at the conference Engaged @Work: Employee Experience & Talent Acquisition in New York City. As part of the launch, we have committed to an enhanced focus on accessibility and environmental sustainability throughout our product offerings.

It was exciting to share our platform with the conference attendees and hear first-hand the struggles they’ve had in creating a virtual work environment that meets the same standards as the physical workplaces they spent so much time honing to meet their employees’ unique needs. 

These conversations reinforced the decision we made to ensure WCAG 2.1 AA compliance throughout our software products, creating an inclusive user-experience for both administrators and guests. In addition to this accessibility commitment, we have also pledged to offset our annual carbon emissions on behalf of users.

We understand decision makers’ current apprehensions about committing to remote or hybrid work for the long term. Our ways of working have evolved, but the tools we are using have primarily stayed the same. At Frameable, we provide teams with a new way to effectively work remotely, while ensuring your virtual office is professional, reflects your culture, and is on-brand. Our focus on beautiful and intuitive graphic design and interaction design creates an experience that is easy to understand for the people using our platforms and easy to set up for the workspace manager.

Communication in the workplace is essential, but overreliance on legacy tools like email, text chat, and video meeting software can actually hinder productivity due to a constant state of filtering, interruptions, and stimulation. The average user sends and receives hundreds of business emails per day, killing focus and productivity. By uniquely supporting both impactful scheduled and unscheduled collaborations as well as individual ‘deep’ work, Spaces helps employees produce their highest-quality work by making it easy to ask for and receive help.

Learn more about how Frameable Spaces is an ideal remote and hybrid work platform and try it free for 14 days to see for yourself!

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Why Hybrid Work Is STILL The Best Way To Keep Your Employees Happy (2022 Data)

The U.S. Labor Day holiday, or the first Monday in September, has long been seen as the imaginary line in the sand for when employers would require employees to return to the office—and brands like Apple, Prudential Financial, and BMO Financial all plan a return to office-based work this month.

But if you’re contemplating an entirely in-person work environment, you clearly haven’t been paying attention to what your employees want.

Data from recent months reinforces that employees demand workplace flexibility, and employers that mandate a full return to the office could destroy their workforce morale, likely causing a wave of departures in search of remote- and hybrid-friendly cultures.

Let’s look at data from the past few months to understand what employees want in terms of workplace flexibility and where employers may be misguided in their future of work strategies. 

The Current State of Remote and Hybrid Work — Summer 2022

The majority of U.S. employers currently offer remote or hybrid work settings, in part given rising COVID infections from new variants. Here is the most recent data available:

  • The majority of U.S. workers have hybrid work flexibility, with 35% being able to work from home full-time, and 23% working from home part-time—that reflects 92 million people (McKinsey). 
  • When employers offer some degree of remote work, 87% of employees work remotely at least one day a week, meaning just 13% reject the flexibility. The majority (58%) work from home at least three days a week (McKinsey). This data is supported by the Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes (SWAA). 

When looking to the future, 31.7% of U.S. employees want to work from home five days per week, and 16% want full-time office work. However, 27% of employers plan to not offer workplace flexibility post-COVID, and 22% plan to offer just one or two days per week to work from home (SWAA). 

This disconnect will continue to fuel the ‘Great Resignation’ and newly discussed trend of ‘quiet quitting,’ in which workers meet bare-minimum productivity levels. A Gallup poll found that at least 50% of U.S. workers are quiet quitters, which is caused by employers failing to provide clear job expectations and learning and growth opportunities for their team, as well as failing to prove they care about their employees.  

How To Future-Proof Your Workplace Culture

As shown by recent work-from-home data, most employees want at least a 50/50 split between time spent working from home and working from an office. Employers that fail to meet their employee needs will face waves of turbulence, including decreased employee satisfaction and productivity, and increased turnover.

So what is the best way to plan for the future of work? Ask your employees. 

It is vital to actively poll your team and understand what level of flexibility they need from their work arrangement. Managers play a key role in facilitating these conversations and reducing their team’s disengagement and burnout. 

Forcing everyone to return to the office is a radical shift from the freedom that employees have now come to accept, but you can find a middle ground that makes everyone happy—but it will also require you to redefine how you measure success. 

Building Connections in Remote Work

When looking at the commonly cited benefits of in-person work, employees value face-to-face collaboration and socializing the most. Both of these concerns can be addressed in a remote-work world—but a combination of Slack channels and Zoom rooms will hardly help your employees thrive.

We’ve built Frameable Spaces to give your hybrid and remote teams the same collaborative work experience the most productive in-office teams enjoy, enabling them to meet and collaborate in a natural and fully integrated way. Learn more about how Frameable Spaces is an ideal remote and hybrid work platform and book a demo today.

Transform your virtual office with Frameable Spaces.

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remote work

5 Ways to Support Your Employees with A Flexible Hybrid Work Plan

Is your team ready to transition to the hybrid future of work? If you haven’t documented and shared your hybrid work plan yet, it’s not.

The latest employee and employer survey data shows that most teams will introduce a hybrid working model once COVID restrictions are lifted, with a smaller percentage of companies planning for a primarily in-person workforce.

Despite the enthusiasm of many U.S. companies to return to the office this fall, growing concerns around the COVID-19 Delta variant (and any future variants) may postpone many team’s plans, as is the case for Apple.

Although it’s not clear when most teams will be able to resume office-based work safely, now is the ideal time to explore your team’s concerns about the future of work and partner with them to develop your hybrid work plan. We share five ways to get started.

5 Steps to Draft a Hybrid Work Plan for Your Flexible Workforce

Charting your team’s return to the office may feel like an impossible task, given the ever-evolving set of challenges and considerations your teams face. But if you solicit executive and employee insights to guide your planning, your team will be more forgiving of any missteps or hurdles along the way. 

These five steps will get your team started in building its hybrid work culture, including how to address your team’s needs throughout this process.  

1. Survey Your Team

Kickstart your hybrid work planning by surveying your team members to understand their expectations for the future of work. Use a mix of qualitative and quantitative questions in your survey, and supplement these findings with one-on-one conversations to drill further into specifics.

Preface all surveys and conversations with an explanation of how your team will use the information. Reinforce that you welcome all ideas as you will need your team’s honest feedback to best structure your team’s future work policy. 

You need as complete a picture as possible of your employees’ current challenges with remote work. Your surveys and conversations should explore all of the following areas for your team members:

  • Preferences for how many days a week they work in-office, if any
  • What type of work or activities do they feel is best conducted in the office 
  • Personal circumstances that may affect their ability to work during certain business hours
  • Whether they need more or different tools or resources to complete their work
  • If the team’s current success metrics align to support a healthy and productive work culture

2. Adapt Your Physical Space for Virtual and Distanced In-Person Collaboration

A recent PwC report found that only 13% of executives are prepared to permanently let go of their company’s physical workspace. But that doesn’t mean the office should stay exactly as it was.

Use your team survey feedback to assess what activities will be most common in your physical office. For example, do team members want an open layout for easy mixing and mingling? An array of small, private meeting rooms for someone to take a quick call? Socially distanced personal workspaces?

Once you have a sense of how many team members may be in your office at any given time, create new solo work and collaboration spaces that can accommodate the average number of employees. Consider implementing a desk hoteling strategy to optimize your layout further. It’s also essential to optimize your physical office space for hybrid work, not just for those who return to the office. And don’t forget to give shared spaces the technology they need to integrate into your virtual team spaces.

3. Reset Your Workplace KPIs to Reflect New Hybrid Work Norms

The shift to remote-based work forced teams to assess how to support a healthy and productive working culture. For most teams, this meant a thorough look at the team’s workflow and collaboration tools, common communications practices, and other traditionally unquestioned aspects of the team’s work.

Now, teams should review whether their markers of success align with what actually drives business value. According to a Citrix survey, 86% of employees said they would prefer to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output, meaning they want to be measured by the impact they can deliver to the entire business, not just their direct work output.

In your employee surveys and conversations, ask your team if they feel the key performance indicators (KPIs) they are measured against accurately reflect the value of their work, and assess if a different KPI is more appropriate. Review your list of new proposed KPIs, and ensure that your team can accurately track each KPI, or if you’ll need to adopt a new practice or tool to do so. 

4. Support Your Hybrid Work Plan with Digital Communications Guidelines

Communications guidelines are a vital aspect of a healthy hybrid working culture that most teams often overlook. Many teams adopted new virtual collaboration tools during the pandemic, but it’s essential to take this one step further and document what team members should use each tool to accomplish.

Some team members may overuse their virtual communications channels, possibly because they are used to getting quick face-to-face feedback in an office environment. Create guidelines that discuss which channels should be used for workplace communications, do’s and don’ts for using these channels, and general guidelines that explain how your team can preserve a healthy working culture online. 

You can start building your workplace communication policy guidelines based on these samples from Cutting Edge and JotForm.

5. Over-Communicate About Your Hybrid Work Policy

It is understandable for leadership teams to wait until their hybrid work planning is underway or the hybrid work policy is close to final before communicating these plans with the team. However, this may not be the right approach for today’s environment.

A McKinsey survey found that nearly half of workers feel that a lack of clear vision about the future of work from their employer is causing them concern or anxiety. To address this, create a regular communications cadence to keep your team updated on your team’s planning, and regularly invite questions or create open space to discuss these plans.

Start with your employee surveys. After the initial fielding and analysis, share high-level findings in a team email, and host an optional meeting to further drill into the feedback. Update your team at least once a month on any progress your team has made and upcoming opportunities to learn more. Finally, host an optional meeting each month for employees to ask questions about the future of work and for the leadership team to gauge the early sentiment towards their plans.

If appropriate, your team can create a hybrid work planning committee composed of cross-department team members of various levels. This committee will partner with your executive and HR team to assist in various planning discussions and represent each department or team. 

Remember, it’s better to keep your team in the loop on your plans and invite their feedback earlier on. Otherwise, you may unveil a hybrid work policy that fails to meet your team’s needs and amplifies their feelings of stress or anxiety.

Help Your Hybrid Culture Thrive With Intuitive Collaboration Tools

Once your initial hybrid work policy is created, and you inform the team of your plans, continue reviewing and adjusting your policy as new concerns emerge. 

To further support your hybrid work future, learn how Frameable’s suite of team collaboration and social connection tools can help increase your team’s productivity and provide data that can help you get ahead of potential workplace culture issues. 

Give your team the Class-A virtual office they deserve with Frameable Spaces.

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What Hybrid Work Will Look Like For 5 Leading Companies

No one knows when our world will fully embrace face-to-face work again, but the latest employee and employer data suggest that hybrid work arrangements will be the primary working model of the future. So naturally, every business should want to understand: what will the future of hybrid work look like?

Over the past 18 months, companies have been placing their bets on what the ideal working arrangement will be. Some plan to offer near-complete freedom for employees, and others will cling to their pre-pandemic policies with only light adjustments to keep their teams working in-office for as much time a week as possible. 

To help your team develop its hybrid work plan, let’s review some recent hybrid work policy announcements.

Five Leading Company Hybrid Work Policies

There will be no one-size-fits-all approach for teams to adapt to the new realities of work. For example, some industries will innately require in-person work, but many other teams can efficiently work from anywhere.

These five company hybrid work policies—some better received than others—can serve as a guide for what your team can consider:

  • Adobe: The future of work at Adobe will be hybrid, according to a company blog post in June. Adobe employees will have a 50/50 split between time spent in the office and remotely. Additionally, Adobe will double down on its digital tools and workflows to improve the employee experience, acknowledging that it’s critical to be digital-first in its strategy. 
  • Apple: Apple’s hybrid work plan asks most employees to work in office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with remote work potential on Wednesdays and Fridays. Team members can also work remotely for up to two weeks per year. Apple employees raised concerns about this hybrid work policy, which could start as early as October 1. Some academics question if Apple’s return-to-office plan reflects the new realities of work. The company says that it will reassess its hybrid work plan in 2022. 
  • Google: CEO Sundar Pichai detailed Google’s hybrid work plan in a May blog post. He envisioned a future where 60% of Googlers work from the office a few days a week, 20% work in new office locations, and 20% work from home. Most Googlers will spend three days in the office a week, with two days to work from anywhere. Employees’ product area and function will determine the exact days. Team members can also submit interest in moving to another office, although this could impact their pay rate or salary. 
  • Salesforce: Salesforce’s future of work plans have remained essentially unchanged since it revealed its plan in February. Employees are grouped into three categories: Flex workers who come into the office one to three days per week, fully remote workers, and office-based workers who will work from an office four to five days per week. The company says that most employees will be flex or remote only, and all employees will keep working from home until the end of 2021. 
  • Uber: Uber keeps its team and community updated on its hybrid workforce plans through its Return To The Office blog post. As of its June 29 update, Uber employees will spend at least 50% of their time in the office. However, they can spend this time however they prefer, such as one week in the office and one week remote, or three days in the office one week and two days the following week. On remote workdays, team members can work from anywhere. Additionally, Uber is accepting applications for team members to work 100% remotely. 

How To Prepare Your Company For The Future of Work 

As seen with the above hybrid work plans, companies will begin to fill the spectrum of hybrid work—some granting their teams unlimited freedom to fulfill their work requirements, others offering limited remote work, and countless more to fill the gaps in between. 

What will set brands apart in their strategy is how actively they involve their team in the planning discussions. We recommend surveying your team as the first step to build an employee-first hybrid work policy.

To help your team support a healthy hybrid work culture, learn how Frameable’s suite of remote and hybrid team tools can keep your team connected, productive, and happy no matter where they’re based. 

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Data Roundup: Employers Want People Back In The Office, But Workers Say ‘Pass’

After more than 15 months of almost exclusively remote-based work, many companies intend to bring their workers back to the office this September. However, the stakes are high for brands if they cannot appropriately meet their worker’s needs given a growing movement in the U.S.: The Great Resignation

As we saw from employee surveys nearly a year into the pandemic, more than half of workers wanted remote-based work to be their primary way of working moving forward. We even questioned if it was time to say goodbye to the corporate office forever

Now, as companies finally prepare their return to the office, employees are standing their ground and may even quit their job to preserve their work-life balance. But not all employers are willing to adopt a hybrid-first workplace model. 

Let’s explore the latest data around employer and employee expectations for the future of work to understand where the disconnect is.

Employees View Workplace Flexibility As Essential

It should be no surprise that workers are hesitant to return to the “old way” of work. However, given the right tools, employees are just as productive at home and can more effectively balance their work and personal needs.

Studies up through July 2021 reinforce the employee demand to maintain flexible work policies:

These surveys show that employees enjoy a range of benefits from workplace flexibility, including the freedom to set their preferred office hours, the ability to create a personal, distraction-free workspace, and relaxed workplace attire requirements. 

To further increase their workplace satisfaction, workers hope to re-imagine how productivity is measured, with 86% of professionals surveyed by Citrix preferring to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output.

Employers Split On Hybrid And In-Person Models

Despite the clear enthusiasm from workers for remote-friendly working policies, a portion of companies would prefer to return to predominately in-person work:

Already, this data suggests that employer and employee desires are misaligned. But perhaps the most alarming of the data is that only 8% of C-suite and HR leaders expect their employees to quit once COVID restrictions are fully lifted. 25% believe that no one will quit. 

Bridging the Future of Work Divide

As seen by these recent studies, a company’s hybrid working arrangements (or lack thereof) will be a significant factor for employees as they decide whether to join in The Great Resignation. 

Companies simply cannot afford to neglect their employee needs when planning a return to the office. Employees are not bluffing, and they will leave your company in search of more flexible work if it is a priority for them.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for teams to plan a hybrid work arrangement, but it starts with a simple conversation. Talk with each of your team members. Seek to understand their preferences for the future of work. And use your actual team feedback to build your plan, instead of relying on executive orders and trusting unfounded assumptions.

The Role Of Technology in Hybrid Work

Regardless of the exact breakdown between in-person and remote-based work at a company, one thing is clear: employees need robust, standardized, and integrated virtual tools that help them collaborate with their colleagues, no matter where they’re based. 

Learn more about how the Frameable suite of collaboration tools was built to support a healthy remote and hybrid working team culture, with intuitive features that can increase productivity and enhance collaboration no matter where employees are located.

Give your team the Class-A virtual office they deserve with Frameable Spaces.

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Why Virtual Space is More Important in the New World of Hybrid Work


Remote work is certainly not going anywhere soon. But neither is the office.

According to a recent PwC report, only 13% of executives are prepared to let go of their physical office for good. However, just because the office will continue to play a role doesn’t mean that role will be the same. In fact, 87% of executives expect to make changes to their real estate strategy over the next 12 months. Many will consolidate and reduce, while others will open small satellite locations.

What does this mean for facilities management? It’s time to optimize for hybrid work. Here are three strategies to consider:

1. Collect Data and Get Smart with Digital Twins

The digital world bypassed physical office space during the pandemic, but now it’s time to transform office buildings with data. Connected devices are making buildings more intelligent and can attract tenants who now expect more from their offices. For instance, they can offer both facilities managers and employees the ability to track and adjust lighting and temperature in real time.

As these sensors become more sophisticated and connect more of your building’s systems, you can literally begin to piece together a digital copy of your office space, often called a digital twin. This twin encompasses all the dynamic data of your operations, digitally visualizing how people interact with your building. This allows you to optimize and fine-tune your operational strategies. How many people visited the kitchen in the old days? How many now? Even if you don’t have pre-shutdown benchmarks, the data going forward can help you, and your managers, optimize usage and layouts.

Smarter floor plans and more dynamic usage data can create a dialogue with real-time communication and collaboration between buildings, facilities management, individual team managers, and the technology that holds the system together.

2. Redesign Hybrid Offices with Remote Work in Mind

Most of your employees will incorporate at least some degree of remote work into their schedules. In that case, your workspace can stand out dramatically by simply optimizing around a few simple physical design elements that can make a hybrid office more remote-friendly.

For example, many facilities managers are considering how to most efficiently use space when hybrid workers are not in the office. Some of the emerging trends include:

  • Implement a desk ‘hoteling’ strategy, where employees can sign up for a flexible desking pool. This frees up significant space that would otherwise sit unused.
  • Optimize your office’s layout with many small 1-on-1 spaces or call booths. These allow in-person employees to sync with remote employees quickly without distracting other office colleagues. 
  • Increase the number of small, bookable conference rooms. These private spaces are now centrally important to hybrid collaboration, and will likely see a dramatic increase in use.

Think about how to merge physical and virtual spaces to make them work for everyone, and watch your building become a frictionless environment that enables the hybrid work of the future.

3. Virtual Space and Remote Collaboration Shouldn’t Be a Workplace Afterthought

Optimizing for hybrid work doesn’t just flow one way. Just as you optimize the physical for the virtual, you need to offer quality virtual spaces as an extension of your workplace. As hybrid work becomes more popular, facilities managers should now request vetted remote collaboration tools as part of their lease agreements. These remote working packages help potential employees stay connected with their remote teams and help facilities managers succeed.

Consider a meeting platform designed to inspire increased engagement in meetings and empower organizations to measure and improve their hybrid culture’s health. 

Furthermore, we all know that while planned meetings are key, teams interact in critical ways outside the meeting room.  Video tools shouldn’t only facilitate meetings. They need to support natural and unplanned interactions and community as well. Remote collaboration tools must also recreate an office environment when structured meetings are not taking place. Virtual offices allow employees to “sit” in virtual rooms where their colleagues can informally bounce around to sync on topics quickly as necessary. 

Virtual networking platforms can also support small rooms organized around fun topics so employees can engage personally after work in a virtual water cooler. These offerings can be a huge value-add for a company that is on the fence about physical office space.

Hybrid Offices Designed for the New World of Hybrid Work

According to PwC’s report, 75% of executives expect at least half of their employees to be back in the office by July 2021. Only 61% of employees feel the same way. It will be up to building managers to convince them of the benefits of in-person work and safety.

While 55% of employees surveyed said they prefer working remotely at least three days a week, 87% still think the office is essential for key team collaboration and building the most productive relationships. Building managers need to focus their efforts there. The office designs of the past simply will not win skeptical tenets back if they are unchanged. The winners will design smarter, more tenant-friendly offices that integrate remote collaboration and communication, creating a seamless working experience that easily transitions from the physical to the virtual and back again.

Give your team the Class-A virtual office they deserve with Frameable Spaces.

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remote work

Data Roundup: Employee Surveys Show Increased Support for Remote Work

The early months of the COVID-19 pandemic were overwhelmingly uncertain for businesses forced to test remote work arrangements. Now, nearly a year into the pandemic, employers are still making significant changes to their remote work arrangements, suggesting that hybrid working models are here to stay.

But how are employees coping with working from home? Is there still enthusiasm for workplace flexibility, or do employees want to return to the office when this is all over? 

We’ve gathered recent data suggesting that workers are increasingly comfortable with—and in favor of—remote work. 

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