“The role of the office is changing.” This sentence from Sebastian Schmidt, founder and CEO of SleevesUp! Spaces GmbH, summarizes the topic and content of the 13th Feierabend:digital on May 19, 2022, quite well. As part of our event series on current topics of digitization, Schmidt gave a keynote speech on the topic “Hybrid work – opportunities between office, home office and third places”. As usual, Fabrik19 board member Mark Pralle and Mathias Koch from the J+P Gruppe moderated the evening.
The pandemic as a boost for the home office trend
In addition to many other areas of life, the pandemic had a major impact on our working world. Very suddenly, companies had to send their employees to work from home and many people had to deal with a new form of work. Today, we know that remote work does work. A home office regulation is now maintained in most companies.
However, after working in one’s own apartment for almost two years, people long for another option. This is where so-called third places come into play, explained Sebastian Schmidt. This could be coworking spaces like our event location, for instance. Users with a wide variety of professional backgrounds can use these professional spaces to work. Ever since the start of the pandemic, the question of when and where employees work has been discussed more intensely than ever before, Schmidt clarified. The possibilities of coworking spaces give people freedom and self-determination in choosing their workplace. In addition, hybrid working structures can save time and are more sustainable than perpetual visits to the office. Because if the car stays in the garage for several days a week, both the employees and the environment benefit.
The office as a decentralized, hybrid concept and the path to hybrid working
During the pandemic, the traditional office has undergone a paradigm shift. It used to be the obvious choice as a workplace. Today, it is developing to become a hybrid concept. In addition to the home office, third places are also becoming increasingly popular, said Schmidt. Of course, the office can still be used as a meeting and collaboration site, but its core purpose has changed fundamentally. At the same time, it is often difficult to meet the requirements of professional office workplaces in one’s own home, which is another argument in favor of coworking spaces.
According to the CEO, determining needs and setting rules are the first steps a company should take on the road to hybrid working. After the requirements for such a change have been checked, employers should be open to third places as an alternative to working from home. Plus, they should find out about the different access and billing models that are offered. Schmidt assures that there is a suitable solution for everyone. Obviously, there are many ways to design hybrid work. In addition to the office and the home office, coworking spaces are a welcome option that combines security and professionalism with the luxury of a workplace in the neighborhood. The fact that the concept arouses interest was also shown by the lively question and answer session that followed the short presentation.
Pizza and networking in an after-work atmosphere
As always, the presentation was followed by pizza and cold drinks, during which the topic was further discussed. The cozy after-work atmosphere offered a great opportunity for networking and overall represents an essential part of this event format. This is because participants can discuss and exchange the impulses picked up during the presentation and their own thoughts on them with others during this part of the evening. As always, the event took place with the friendly support of the J+P Gruppe and the Regionalmanagement Mittelhessen.
We would like to already invite you to our next Feierabend:digital on July 21, 2022. This time, the event will only take place on-site in the SleevesUp! Giessen City.