We’ve got a new office and we’re pretty proud of it; keep reading to see everything that went into the design of our hybrid office!
At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, our teams at CML, Nova, and Connect by Nova went fully remote and changed how our teams work. With government regulations requiring remote work, and a unique situation where we had given notice to our former landlord but were no longer going ahead with the move, meant that we were pushed into remote working whether we liked it or not.
Fast forward to 2022, after all the lessons the pandemic taught us, we revisited how our teams work best and have embraced a hybrid office and working model that allows for remote work and collaborative team time in a dedicated, purpose-built space when our staff need it.
“Do We Need an Office?”
For a while, we weren’t sure we needed an office – our staff loved working from home and benefiting from the work-life balance that comes with this, so couldn’t we just keep working remotely full time? In theory, yes, but we found that while it was working and we were adapting to this new work model, it became clear that our staff still felt something was missing, and they craved a space to come together.
We listened to our staff’s needs and started our journey towards the hybrid office and working model we have today that offers the best of both worlds. As a result of this approach, our team benefits from working at home when they choose, but they also have the choice to spend time together in our enhanced office, Workplace 3.0.
Introducing Workplace 3.0
Morgan Lovell, a workplace consulting firm operating out of the UK, coined the term “Workplace 3.0”, this concept is what our team kept front of mind when designing our new office. Morgan Lovell describes office spaces over time in three different stages; our stages are slightly different from their core concept but, in general, align quite closely.
The Three Workplace Stages of CML:
- Workplace 1.0 – The traditional office, where you work from a desk or briefly go to a meeting room when needing to collaborate. This was our office style pre-pandemic.
- Workplace 2.0 – Morgan Lovell attributes this stage as open plan desking with some more comfortable workspaces, but for our team, workplace 2.0 was our fully remote work environment during the pandemic.
- Workplace 3.0 – Our new office environment, where work becomes a destination, is built with the different working styles of the employees that make our organization unique.
Our Hybrid Office
Our new space is built on a hybrid office and working model that aims to empower our staff with spaces that fit their unique working styles and needs, giving them an environment to do their best work. We appreciate that how one team or individual works best may differ entirely from another, and that depending on the specific work being done this can also change from moment to moment, so we’ve created spaces that cater to introverts, extroverts, traditional desk lovers, couch potatoes and movie buffs alike.
Some of the spaces our team can work from are:
- Communal hot-desking spaces – while many choose to sit with their teams if all are in the office at the same time, this hot-desking arrangement also enables staff to sit with other departments and cross-collaborate, senior management to integrate with different teams and new starters to feel at home in the wider organization much quicker.
- Lounge-style workspaces – with high-top, bench, booth and bistro-style seating these spaces are perfect for staff that prefer a more casual or independent workspace.
- Focus spaces – with standing desks, second screens and more, these spaces have all the tech to work on a larger scale for focus work or when you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of the communal areas.
- Informal, private, living-room-style think tanks – these spaces are fitted with televisions for casual meetings, focus work or breakout sessions. In fact, I’m currently in one of these rooms watching the newest season of Stranger Things while I write this blog.
- Formal meeting rooms – fitted with technology to dial in remote workers, clients and candidates.
Some of the technology we’ve incorporated:
- Tech dispensary – laptop stands, wireless mice, keyboards and second screens to allow for more ergonomic conscious working.
- Portable large-screen televisions – these TVs fit seamlessly at the end of desks and booths to create enclosed spaces so staff can take meetings to the big screen whenever they need to work seamlessly with those away from the office.
- Full-room and wide-angle cameras – for remote staff, clients or candidates to feel like they’re there in person.
- Room/desk booking platforms – so that staff can ensure they have what they need ahead of time.
Other considerations for our hybrid office:
- Personal lockers – with implementing hot-desking, this means staff don’t have assigned seating or desks, and therefore no drawers to keep things in like you traditionally would. To combat this, we have a bank of lockers for our staff to keep anything they like while in the office.
- Coffee – our team are caffeine fiends, so we knew we needed something that delivered. We’ve got a fully stocked café with an espresso machine, milk frother, a range of flavoured syrups, and a bistro seating area to encourage some of the old “water cooler” chat in our new space.
- “The little things” – With staff having worked from home for the better part of 2 years, we knew the importance of integrating the comforts of home, so we have room & linen sprays, oil diffusers and throw blankets to name a few, ensuring it’s a welcoming space and not a sterile work environment from the past.
- Lots of natural light – when deciding on the right office for us, we knew that natural light, open space and an airy feel were paramount to making staff feel comfortable.
- Plants, plants and more plants! – I may be biased because I love plants, but this was something that I felt was non-negotiable for the office and faux wasn’t going to cut it. By having 25+ plants throughout the office, they quite literally breathe life into the space.
- General Health & Wellness – with the pandemic fresh in our minds, one of the largest considerations when choosing and building our dream office was the health and wellness of our staff. By having so many spaces for staff to choose to work from (as well as the continued ability to WFH) we can ensure that everyone feels comfortable in an environment conscious of their overall health.
We’re proud of our office and especially proud of the team that we built it for. We’d love for you to come and check it out, so feel free to reach out to a member of our team or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a catchup and let’s chat about your career or hiring needs as we make you a hot cuppa in our new hybrid office.
We couldn’t have made this office as special without the help of the different vendors on the island, so thank you to Workplace Environments, Hüis, Anna Hislop Home, Label C Designs, Creative Tech, Vigoro Nursery, Austin Building & Maintenance, and Design Cayman for working with our team to make our space so beautiful.