Making the New Hybrid Workforce Work

Making the New Hybrid Workforce Work

A year of Covid has taught us that we like working from home

But we also like collaborating with our colleagues. This is the future of the workplace. It’s a hybrid solution.

What Guideway learned about hybrid workplaces

At Guideway, we initiated a hybrid model within the first week of the Covid lockdown. We knew that we had to provide a safe way for our clients to create Living Trusts, Divorce and Probate and other legal documents. Like so many other businesses, we masked up, wiped down and began Zooming. Some of our team worked from their home offices. We found that the intake process was very efficient via Zoom, and we created socially distanced office spaces for our clients to sign and notarize their Trusts and other legal documents. We learned from each other and our clients and continued to evolve.

The need to establish relationships is stronger than we might think

In June, when California became mask-free, we promoted both our virtual and in-person services. We fully expected that our clients would prefer Zoom meetings for their convenience and efficiency. Surprisingly, we’re finding that most of our clients are scheduling in-person appointments.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at all. When creating important life-affecting legal documents, people want a one-one relationship. Guideway’s own experience is a testament to the importance of collaboration and need for creating connections.

Getting hybrid right

Creating a hybrid work model requires careful strategizing. Who gets to work in the office and who stays home? Who decides? If it works well, it can create a collaborative, creative environment where teams can thrive.

Gensler Principal Todd Heiser and Steelcase CEO Jim Keane, both workspace experts, published an article in Harvard Business Review. They found that:

  • 52% of U.S. workers would prefer a mix of working from home and the office; it has a positive impact on their ability to be creative, solve problems and build relationships.
  • 72% of corporate leaders plan to offer hybrid models.
  • Only 13% say they expect to decrease their real estate footprint in the next year.

The hybrid workforce transcends people to include technology and space

Designing for employee engagement means thinking like a movie director – lights, camera, audio and content.

  • One company is turning a café into a high-energy social and collaboration space that they hope will support new hybrid work patterns.
  • Rethinking the conference room. Instead of a long table with a monitor at the end, give all participants their own screens, placing monitors on rolling carts that can easily be moved around.
  • Deploy angled or mobile tables, additional lighting, extra speakers, in-room microphones and mobile markerboards and displays.

Meetings will happen more often in open spaces with movable boundaries

  • Individual focus work will happen in enclosed spaces like pods or small enclaves.
  • Open collaboration spaces are more flexible because they don’t require fixed design features
  • Quick stand-up meetings which require visible, persistent content can be hosted in open spaces, defined by flexible furniture, easy-to-access technology.
  • Software systems now let us split people and content onto separate displays.

Companies are also rethinking their real estate

There’s a demand for less space and shorter lease terms. A fluid space that can meet changing needs becomes the ideal. One company designed an open area that supports hybrid meetings in the morning, becomes the café at lunch, hosts a town hall in the afternoon, and can be rented for an evening event.

Collaboration and solitude need to coexist

Gensler’s Research Institute conducted a survey during the pandemic that shows full-time work-from-home employees saw a drop of 37% in average collaboration time. But collaboration is not just about group work, it requires solitude too. Employees report higher levels of productivity when they can work without interruption.

About Guideway

At Guideway, we are Legal Document Assistants who assist our clients in the preparation of legal documents for uncontested legal matters–those in which parties are in agreement about the division of property. Our fees are significantly lower than those of attorneys. We like to think we’re making the justice system accessible to everyone. Why work with Guideway? One flat fee. There are never annoying add-on charges for copying, phone calls and other miscellany. Where appropriate, we also notarize documents and file them with the County Recorders’ Office.

We’re a single point of contact. You’ll work with a dedicated specialist who is available for questions and support throughout the process. We’ve been in business since 2003 and have expanded to three Bay Area offices–Dublin, Oakland and Walnut Creek. More than 60% of our business comes from referrals and repeat business.

We’re proud of our comprehensive Living Trust package that includes a Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive. We provide a hard copy as well as a soft copy of your documents. More questions? Contact us today.

Guideway services the entire Bay Area

Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Pinole, Alameda, San Leandro, Castro Valley Newark, San Lorenzo, Concord, Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Discovery Bay, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Tracy and Fremont. Our clients also live in the Napa Valley, Benicia, Vallejo, Martinez, Fairfield.