Although Berlin is an inspiring city – providing all the creative impulse we designers need – there is a price to pay. The burden of the winter takes its toll on us; the absence of sun and rainy days creates a gray shadow that negatively impacts on our morale. Which is why we have been looking at ways to keep everyone in a happy state of mind. One such is to find alternative ways of working, in other words, to redefine the concept of work.
At ENNOstudio, we define work in a rapidly changing environment, driven by new technologies, changing customer demands and evolving business models as “New Work”. The concept of “New Work” describes a shift away from the more traditional and hierarchical organizational employment structures towards a more flexible, collaborative and agile way of working. This can include changes in how work is organized, managed and evaluated, but also how teams are formed.
Due to advancements in technology and changing attitudes towards traditional office work, remote work has become increasingly popular in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift to home office for many businesses – including our agency – and this is a trend that looks likely to continue.
One pro of remote work is that there is a certain flexibility, since it allows employees to have more control over their work schedule, which can be especially beneficial for those with family or other personal obligations. This obviously has a positive impact on work-life balance, which is fast becoming a must-have feature of employment in this modern era. Remote work can, therefore, provide employees with more time to focus on hobbies, personal interests and self-care, which can ultimately lead to improved mental health and job satisfaction.
However, when it comes to 100% remote work there are some issues – let’s call them inherent dangers – and they include:
It is why we at ENNOstudio have settled on a happy alternative: hybrid work with regular planned workations.
Hybrid work, which combines in-person and remote work, offers several advantages over remote work. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of hybrid work and why it may be a better fit for some companies and employees. We can start by examining how it leads to the following:
Hybrid work allows employees to have the best of both worlds; the flexibility of remote work and the benefits of in-person collaboration. By spending some days in the office and some days working remotely, employees can collaborate with their team members, attend meetings and build relationships with colleagues, while still enjoying the benefits of working from home, such as no commute time and a more comfortable working environment.
Communication is a key aspect of any successful business and hybrid work can help to improve it. However, it is not only about volume but the actual quality of communication. When employees only have short time stints in the office they have to make their communication more focused and meaningful. And in doing so, they avoid the misunderstandings and miscommunications that often come with digital communication. Not to mention the fact that a great deal of communication is non-verbal, which can be a hindrance when engagement is not in person.
Hybrid work provides employees with the flexibility to choose when and where they work. This can be especially beneficial for employees with personal obligations or practical family considerations, like a sick relative, as their work schedule can be tailored to suit their needs. Additionally, hybrid work can provide employees with a better work-life balance by allowing them to spend leisure time with their families or engage in other personal activities during breaks in their remote work days.
Hybrid work can help companies reduce their real estate costs and other overhead expenses associated with traditional office work. By having a smaller office space and allowing employees to work remotely, companies can save on rent, utilities and other bricks and mortar expenses. Additionally, hybrid work can help employees save money on commuting costs and other expenses associated with daily office work.
Hybrid work can lead to increased productivity, as employees are able to work in an environment that suits their individual needs. For example, some employees may work more effectively in the office, while others may prefer the quiet and comfort of their home office. By giving employees the flexibility to choose where they work, companies can help them be more productive and achieve better results.
At ENNOstudio, we have implemented a regular workation, which is a combination of remote work and vacation, where the whole team heads off to a completely new working location. This obviously necessitates that the team enter into it with a similar mindset and that there is willing cohesion within the team. Workation definitely has some perks, including:
Boosted Employee Morale
It can give employees a much-needed break from the stress and pressure of their daily routine. At ENNOstudio we are involved in many projects with interesting customers that expect high standards, a little workation can make it easier to deal with that demand. When employees feel more refreshed and motivated, it boosts morale and increases job satisfaction, leading to a more productive and engaged workforce.
Workation can help employees achieve a better work-life balance by allowing them to take time off without having to completely disconnect from work. This can lead to lower levels of burnout and higher levels of job satisfaction.
Workation can provide opportunities for team building activities, such as virtual happy hours, group games and other activities that can help to strengthen bonds between colleagues. When employees have space but still feel more connected to their team members, they are likely to work more effectively and collaboratively.
Our team is seeking talented product designers and strategic consultants who are willing to challenge the status quo and create inclusive, engaging digital experiences. If you’re interested, please email, call, or visit us at our central Berlin office. Let’s innovate together!
Here are just some of the ways you can make sure this more modern aspect of working life is beneficial to your company and its employees:
The primary challenge with workation is balancing private and professional life. Living with colleagues requires embracing a new group dynamic. Tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking and organizing activities should be divided fairly to avoid frustration.
Reliance on technology for remote work can lead to technical challenges. Poor internet connectivity, software glitches or incompatible systems can disrupt workflows and cause delays. It is crucial for team members to have access to reliable technology and that backup plans are in place to address potential issues. Basically, it’s important to ensure that the infrastructure is rock solid.
Before finalizing any travel arrangements gather information from group members to determine their interests, preferences and expectations of the trip. Consider everyone’s choices with regard to destination, activities, budget and accommodation.
Plan activities that promote team building and bonding among group members. This could include group games, shared meals or organized excursions or experiences that encourage interaction and connection.
From our own ENNOstudio experience, if you get workation right, it carries back to the office and brings the team closer together in that space. Let’s face it, while workation is about improved productivity, it can also be a blast, a real fun and memorable time.
So go on, give it a try!
We are a design and innovation studio creating engaging, accessible digital experiences for everyone. Our team of product designers and strategic consultants combine beautiful design and creative strategies to build and promote user interfaces that make a real difference to people’s lives.
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