How to Create Hybrid Office Neighborhoods With Skedda

June 14, 2023
Hybrid Work
How to Create Hybrid Office Neighborhoods With Skedda

TL;DR Article Summary

The shift to hybrid work models has led to innovative strategies to encourage office attendance, with a focus on making offices a destination for social connection and well-being.

  • Office neighborhoods, akin to residential ones, are defined areas in a workplace with their own identity, fostering community, belonging, and trust among employees.
  • Space management platforms can aid in creating and managing these neighborhoods through features like custom interactive floor maps, tag-based segmentation, and booking conditions.
  • Various types of neighborhoods, such as The Meeting Room and The Library, cater to different work and social needs, supporting both collaboration and individual work.

RTO (return to office) news is headlining everyday. Workplace dynamics are shifting toward hybrid work—with employees on-site at least three times a week—but the transition hasn’t been easy. Companies are trying various methods to get their employees back in the office – from gentle coaxing to strict directives. 

Google warned employees that in-office attendance would be tracked via their badges and part of their performance reviews, while Amazon seemed unfazed by the recent employee walkout in protest. 

Some organizations like The Predictive Index are taking a different approach by rethinking the purpose of an office. Instead of “forcing” employees to return, they make the commute worthwhile by becoming a “destination” that fosters social connections, creates a sense of belonging, and promotes well-being.

“How do we make it not an office, but more an experience and a communal place for people to want to come to everyday not because they have to, but because they want to?” - Sarah Hamilton, VP of global human experience at Workhuman

Designing office neighborhoods with Skedda is a great way to get started! 

What Is an Office Neighborhood?

Typical neighborhoods have their own identity based on the people who live there and can include various interconnected spaces such as restaurants, bookstores, and parks. 

An office neighborhood is similar to the neighborhood where you live in that it’s a specific area with its own identity based on who “lives” there. Office neighborhoods can be dedicated to particular departments, job functions, project needs, or equipment requirements. They can have various interconnected spaces that support different types of work. Neighborhoods are a way of organizing your workplace so that different groups of employees sit next to each other based on similar work or shared needs.

“A better vision for a workplace is a community—a place where people bond around shared values, feel valued as human beings, and have a voice in decisions that affect them.” - Adam Grant, Organizational Psychologist and Professor

Office neighborhoods not only ensure that employees gain access to the resources they need to work most effectively in the office, they can also act as communities where people bond around shared values and foster deeper relationships, all of which help to create a stronger sense of belonging and trust

Organizations can create and manage office neighborhood seating by leveraging either hot desking or hoteling along with desk booking software, which is an excellent way for employees to reserve desks or rooms in their desired neighborhood.

How To Set Up Office Neighborhoods With Skedda

Skedda is a hybrid work platform that allows organizations to define and customize office neighborhoods based on various criteria. Whether it’s grouping employees by function, department, project, or activity-based needs, Skedda offers the flexibility to tailor seating arrangements that align with your team’s needs.

Here’s how Skedda enables organizations to create and manage office neighborhoods:

Custom interactive floor maps

Skedda’s custom interactive floor maps let your employees see your office space from an aerial view so they can easily find desks they’d like to book. If you enable certain functionality, they can also see where their teammates are sitting so they can book a desk near them. Giving employees access to a floor-plan representation of the office and team members’ locations allows them to easily find their office neighborhood. 

Tag-based Segmentation

Skedda allows organizations to assign user tags to individuals based on specific criteria such as functions, departments, projects, or activity-based needs. Organizations can add user tags to differentiate and group employees once an individual is invited into their Skedda venue. This segmentation is the foundation for creating office neighborhoods, as organizations can use tags to manage access, visibility, and booking conditions.

Booking Conditions

Skedda’s robust booking conditions enable organizations to establish specific restrictions and limits for each office neighborhood. That includes setting restrictions on who can book within a neighborhood, the booking time frame, and any additional requirements or limitations. For instance, organizations can decide that only users with the “Legal” tag can book desks within the legal department’s neighborhood. 

Customizable Quotas

Skedda’s quota rules allow organizations to set limits on the overall usage of individuals or groups within a given time period, allowing for effective management and allocation of resources within office neighborhoods. For instance, organizations can define that users with the “Sales” tag have a maximum of 20 hours per week within an office neighborhood so that other teams can also use them. 

Advanced Booking Window Control

Skedda gives organizations control over the booking window for each space within an office neighborhood. They can decide how far in advance users can make bookings, ensuring fair access and optimal planning. Different neighborhoods may have varying booking windows based on their specific requirements. 

This feature can be customized based on user tags, providing preferential or early booking access to certain user types. For instance, organizations may stagger booking time to ensure that spaces don’t get overcrowded, or restrict last-minute bookings so that only approved members are allowed in specific neighborhoods at certain times.

Space Allocation and Views

‘Space views’ allow employees to quickly arrange spaces into groups by location, area, building, or floor. For instance, if your office has multiple floors or enclosed spaces, you can assign particular sections or desks as quiet zones. ‘Space view’ then allows employees to filter by floors or rooms in a building to easily find their desired office neighborhood.

Resource and Amenity Configuration

In addition to desk allocation, Skedda enables organizations to configure and assign specific resources and amenities to each office neighborhood. Whether it’s breakout rooms, printers, or specialized equipment, organizations can ensure that the necessary facilities are conveniently available within the designated neighborhoods. You can even name your neighborhood and include pictures of the space and equipment.

Types of Effective Office Neighborhoods 

Office neighborhoods help employees form relationships and feel a sense of belonging. To truly build a community of interconnected spaces that meet employees’ work and social needs, organizations can establish varied and diverse neighborhoods that include:

  • The Meeting Room: This is a dynamic neighborhood for teamwork. Organizations can configure this space for group settings and include flexible furniture and technology to make collaborating easy.
  • The Library: This is a spot for quiet, focused work away from noises and distractions. This neighborhood helps facilitate research and creative work and encourages deep thinking and reflecting. 
  • The Coffee Shop: This open and social working environment is perfect for catching up with colleagues and casual collaboration. Organizations can create a comfortable and lively atmosphere to help employees feel at ease connecting with colleagues as humans.
  • The Blended Office: This neighborhood supports individual work with impromptu conversations. Organizations can provide ergonomic furniture, open and enclosed spaces, and collaboration tools to help employees do their best work.

“Personally, I am a big fan of in-person quiet working. Being in the room with people quietly working can influence my engagement with the task at hand. It’s the reason I went to the library in undergrad.” - Leah Rapperport, Skedda Product Marketing Manager

Managing Safe and Efficient Neighborhoods With Skedda

The workplace has the potential to generate the same level of camaraderie and comfort that individuals experience living in a typical neighborhood. Office neighborhoods serve as a means for people to foster interpersonal connections that might get lost working remotely. They can also be a sought-after destination for individuals, teams, or departments to see their teammates and get the tools they need. 

Hot desking along with desk booking software revolutionize the way organizations can optimize their workplace environments by providing the tools to create and manage office neighborhoods effectively. By implementing Skedda’s powerful features, businesses can unlock the full potential of their office neighborhoods to create a thriving and collaborative work environment.

If you’re ready to unlock the full potential of your office neighborhoods to create a thriving and collaborative work environment, create your free Skedda account today.

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