Building Flexible Spaces: How Hybrid Work Impacts Commercial Office Construction

At Chriscan Construction, we’ve done numerous builds over the years and have seen how the trends of modern office design have grown and evolved to match business needs and employees’ working styles. Nothing has changed the thinking process on this more than the Covid-19 pandemic. As executives implement a return-to-work plan for their employees, we’ve seen a rise of office renovations to reflect this new working world.  

a man sitting in his home office on a zoom meeting with a coworker

How the COVID-19 pandemic has changed office work

When the pandemic began, offices became ghost towns as employees went fully remote. Concerns over people not being able to do their jobs remotely were washed away as the world continued to operate as close to normal as could be during these trying times. 

For many employees, productivity remained the same or in some cases, increased. Now, two years later, offices are starting to reopen for employees to return to in-office work. Employers are now trying to figure out what that looks like. Most employees are hoping for more flexibility and countless companies are attempting a hybrid work model. 

What is hybrid work? 

A workforce that combines remote and centralized work is known as a hybrid workforce. Depending on their preferences, employees can select the location where they are most productive (home or the office), or select a mix of the two.

It’s no surprise that after two years of working from home, many employees have come to want some ability to do some of their work remotely going forward. Some have even chosen to leave their jobs for companies with better work flexibility options. 

work meeting at a board room desk with a television and a hybrid worker online video calling in

Remote and hybrid work stats

  • McKinsey reported 58% of employees say that their productivity increased by hybrid work. Employee engagement has also increased by 45%. 
  • A survey of 9000 workers by Accenture reported that 83% of the employees prefer a hybrid working environment. 
  • Microsoft’s survey of more than 30,000 employees from over 31 countries shows that 65% of their employees would like more in-person time with team members, but 70% also would like flexible working options.
  • A Stanford study on around 2500 US residents found that 55% of workers want flexible office and home time.
  • An early Remote Work & Compensation Pulse Survey in May 2021 found that 44% of employees favored hybrid working arrangements. Among employers, 51% support the hybrid work model. 
  • PWC Pulse survey found that 36% of executives say the loss of corporate culture is the biggest challenge to hybrid work

A shift to productive and people-centric spaces

Does a company experience a loss of culture as a result of remote, or even a more hybrid approach? If people aren’t fully in an office together collaborating and interacting, is there a drastic drop in company culture? If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we can stay connected even if we don’t see each other face to face. We’re just connecting in different ways and have to make more of an effort to do so.

Employees are people too, not just a number. Companies need to recognize this when thinking about retention. During the pandemic we were invited into each other’s homes. We met children and pets during meetings. We saw what books and trinkets sat in the background of Zoom meetings. We’ve also seen productivity rise when people feel they have good work/life balance and have the time and space to focus on their work. 

Enter the hybrid office

Getting employees to abandon their fuzzy slippers and non-existent commute is hard enough. What about their ability to do work uninterrupted by a busy and distracting office? How do they deal with Chatty Charlies and nosy managers poking their heads in “for a quick chat” more often than wanted? In order to tempt your employees to make the commute in more often than not, you need to ensure your office space delivers the best of both worlds. 

If you’ve been considering an office renovation, maybe try to incorporate hybrid office best practices into your plan:

  1. Closed-off boardrooms are out and open spaces are in when it comes to encouraging collaboration. Build out common areas for people to naturally gather to review projects and brainstorm new ideas. 
  2. That being said, the previously popular large and loud open-office plans are over. Research has shown time and again that people moved into open offices report more stress, greater unhappiness, and less productivity. Instead, having private and distraction-free spaces for employees to take on focus work is on the rise. 
  3. Hot desks are an option many companies are considering where desks are used by different people at different times, on a scheduled basis. This is popular with people who don’t want to be in the office full-time and works great in smaller office footprints, especially for growing companies.
  4. Modern touches, such as sit-stand desks offer employees different working options.
The Nest in kelowna, a flexible office space for rent, with wooden barriers between open offices and wood flooring

Examples of hybrid offices with a modern design 

Creating coworking spaces that balance open collaborative environments and secure focus-work spaces is our speciality. Take a look at our work below for some examples. 

The Nest

Work: A collaborative workspace built for coworking options. 

Highlights: Note the combination of separated semi-private offices and open team-oriented spaces for coworkers to come together. 

Learn more about this project here


Spaces in kelowna, a flexible office space with monthly rentals and booths for working from

A shared, flexible office workspace in the Innovation Centre, downtown Kelowna.

Work: Spaces is an 18,000 square foot coworking office project that was spread out over three floors. This project consisted of individual leasehold office spaces as well as boardrooms, conference rooms, a lounge area and a commercial coffee shop. 

Highlights: Plenty of team co-working options as well as boardrooms for closed-door focus work. 

Learn more about this project here.

Planning your next office build

At Chriscan Construction, we have a proven track record of elevating offices, retail spaces and restaurants across the Okanagan. Whether you’re looking to customize your interior or start building your dream from scratch, Chriscan has the experience to create the ideal space for your business.

Get in touch with us to start planning your build today.

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