Five things you need to consider when adopting sensible working

Workplace expert and Chapman Taylor director Gavin King says that hybrid working is just lazy speech that isn’t helping the debate. Working from home and working in the office are polarising concepts. It’s not about having some ‘work from home’ days – it is about choosing the correct place to undertake the task you have in hand.

I am flexible working’s greatest advocate but feel that Hybrid Working is dodging the real question about how to work effectively. I work flexibly across numerous settings, at home and in the studio - it’s not ‘hybrid’ or ‘smart’…it’s just sensible.

5 things you need to consider when adopting sensible working:

1. Which is the best environment to support me in what I’m about to do?

Have a think about where you are when you undertake tasks and question whether the place you are doing it in is suitable. Is it supporting you in what you are doing – don’t shoehorn all your activities into one space. There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ in the workplace.

2. Remain ‘visible’ at all times even when working from home – cameras on/participating in chats

When you are not in the office it is very important to still communicate with your team, participating in Teams calls and chats. Don’t be tempted to turn cameras off or catch up on emails whilst ‘listening in’ – that is disrespectful to the other participants.

3. Think - is my agile working having a negative impact on my team?

Being empowered to choose when and where to work is great to enable you to do your job but you need to be aware that people around you need to see and hear how you do it so they can learn from you. This is a subtle but vital aspect of nurturing emerging talents and is easy to overlook when you are focused on your own work.

4. Plan ahead – make sure you have the right resources where you need them

What, Where and When - when considering your to-do list, identify which are best suited to the various work settings you have available to you. Make sure you have all the equipment you need - laptops need chargers, Zoom calls need headphones, phones need a decent connection. Which brings us on to…

5. Don’t be the person that freezes on a Zoom or MS Teams call…if you’ve not got decent connections don’t do important calls from home

Online meetings are bad enough without participants freezing or screen sharing lagging behind – working from home is a useful privilege but be aware that poor connectivity impacts on others and technology can not always be trusted.

Chapman Taylor’s approach to workplace design involves helping our client to realise the full potential of their space rather than answering what they think is the brief. We need to challenge clients to ensure they maximise the opportunity of transformational change, maybe giving them something different than they’d originally imagined they needed. This process begins at Work Stage 1 but needs to remain constant throughout the design stages as a process of continual user engagement. The most successful workplace designs are a collaboration between all stakeholders.

We work with numerous organisations to explore how sensible working can unlock the potential of their people and property. If you think we can help, get in touch.

About the Author

Gavin King

Director, UK

Gavin joined Chapman Taylor in 2021 to help reinforce and expand our capability in the workplace sector, in which he has more than 25 years of award-winning experience working as an Interior Designer with global clients, government agencies, academia and professional services organisations.

Having worked on projects with a diverse range of well-known clients, Gavin has extensive experience in leading multidisciplinary teams and is frequently invited to contribute to roundtable discussions and networking events. He is able to quickly build strong relationships with clients and end-users and excels at briefing and engagement.

Gavin passionately believes in working with clients and collaboratively including them in the design process, and he has a keen interest in how design can support business change, believing there is a need to focus on delivering economically successful projects that support clients in their business objectives.

Areas of expertise:

Interiors / Workplace / Mixed-Use / Project Leadership / Client Liaison / Delivery

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