Over the last few years, the very idea of a “workplace” or an “office” has been completely transformed. Remote and hybrid work is more popular than ever, and many employees never go into an office at all.
In this new landscape, one innovation is attempting to balance the best of both remote and in-person work: the pop-up office. These pop-ups offer a way for employees in and around a particular area to meet, collaborate, and experience the benefits of an in-person office, but without the limitations of a permanent work-from-office arrangement.
As you can imagine, pop-up offices work much like pop-up retailers, restaurants, and other forms of businesses with no permanent physical presence. A company selects a location, usually a hub region with a significant number of employees nearby, and rents space somewhere. This could be meeting rooms at a hotel, a conference hall or convention center, a co-working space, or anywhere else that is conducive to a few days of in-person work.
These pop-ups can bring together local employees with colleagues and management from other locations who might otherwise never meet in person. It’s an opportunity for different groups of employees to collaborate face-to-face by altering the usual dynamic or way they interact. A pop-up “agenda” can vary in format: some might have employees performing their usual tasks with a few group activities and meetings added in, while others might turn the pop-up into a mini conference, with specialized meetings, talks, and other structured activities.
Pop-up offices are also a way for companies with remote and hybrid setups to combat feelings of disconnection and isolation among employees. Recent research by the ADP Research Institute report significant gaps between on-site and remote workers. These observations include:
- 70% of on-site workers say they have a strong feeling of connection with their teammates, compared to just 64% of remote workers.
- On-site workers say they spend an average of 15% of the typical workday on communications and meetings, while remote workers spend an average of 25% of the typical workday doing the same.
- 57% of employees think their managers prefer on-site employees over remote workers – and 59% of managers themselves report they actually do prefer on-site employees.
- Hybrid workers, who experience both in-person and remote work, seem to fare the best of all: 79% of hybrid workers report strong connections with their teammates and colleagues, as opposed to 70% of on-site workers.
The bottom line is that bringing people together helps build culture, especially for organizations struggling to keep their teams feeling connected and included in a work-anywhere world. Pop-up offices can help bridge the gap between the advantages of a traditional workspace and respecting employees’ choice to shift away from rigid, 9-to-5, on-site expectations.
By Joshua Jones
About the Author
Joshua Jones is the Managing Director of Executive Recruiting at Blue Rock Search for the Human Resources Practice. He works with multi-billion dollar organizations and emerging innovators transforming their industry. Joshua is strategically focused on helping his clients acquire key talent in Human Resources talent with a focus on the HR Technology space. Earlier in his career at Tech USA, Joshua serviced government and commercial clients with staffing solutions within the Construction, Engineering, Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense, Information Technology, Telecommunications, Scientific, and Intelligence sectors.
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