Redefining the Office: Why Remote Teams Thrive When the Focus is on People, Not Places

Charlie Bastier
Charlie Bastier|

“Returning to the office” was a big theme of 2023.

At Hubble, we saw loads of businesses start to seriously think about how they can get their teams to work together in person. In fact, our Workspace Satisfaction Report said 44% of fully remote companies believe that in-person working is important for maintaining company culture.

But for remote teams, having an office might seem out of place with their usual way of working. How would it even work? And how do we get our remote-loving employees to go to an office?

If you’re part of a remote team, these might be the very questions echoing in your mind. In this blog, I want to challenge the idea that “the office” doesn’t make sense for remote teams.

When you think of “the office”, what springs to mind?

Before deciding on a new workspace strategy, you should ask what your company’s relationship to “the office” is.

For example, is the office “building-centered”, meaning it’s a full-time HQ with your company branding on the walls and employees assigned to fixed desks?

Or does it lean towards being “person-centered”, functioning as a flexible workspace where employees gather and collaborate on specific tasks, projects, and days?

A notable trend we’re seeing, and one that I believe will gain even more traction in 2024, is more companies falling into the second category.

Just like “home is where the heart is”, the office will be a hub where your people come together.

“Building-centered” vs “People-centered” offices

So, what are the differences between “building-centered” and “people-centered” offices? Below, we’ve outlined key differences for your ease:

The office as a “building”The office is where your team are
The office is in a fixed location, like London or Manchester.The office is located wherever is convenient on any given day.
Your office has a certain number of desks, usually for the whole team.There are no fixed workstations or desks for the whole team.
You’ve committed to the space for a certain amount of time, usually months or even years.You’ve committed to the space on a monthly-rolling contract or simply by the day or hour.
You’re paying for the space every day, even when it’s nearly empty.You typically only pay for the space you use.

But the key distinction lies in the flexibility of people-centered offices. The workspace can be wherever it makes sense on any given day.

For example, teams could book a coworking space in a location close to a well-connected station. Or, your sales crew might choose a private day office — perfect for crushing phone calls and later hitting up a pub for some after-work brews.

It may even be a regional team deciding to get together somewhere that isn’t your main hub.

But bottom line, the choice of workspace depends on what you’re bringing your people together for. It’s not about having an office every day; it’s about having it when you really need it.

Managing the transition as a remote team

Of course, seeing “the office” in terms of people rather than people can be tricky to get your head around. This challenges everything we’ve been brought up to think, especially pre-pandemic.

But that’s not to say businesses won’t need dedicated space. For some companies, it’s necessary to have their own HQ. This could be due to special requirements or the need to brand the space.

But for remote and hybrid companies, challenging these assumptions can help you find more efficient and employee-centric solutions. For example, you can start to optimise your office time depending on what outcome you want to achieve and the activities you want to do.

This could be creative brainstorming, creating opportunities for team-building, or simply working on projects that are better done in person. In this case, your teams can tap into workspaces in convenient locations rather than forcing them to spend time and money on commutes.

And as a business, you can stop spending money on an office space that sits empty and re-invest those savings in keeping your team happy and productive.

Bring remote teams together with Hubble On-Demand

 So, while “the office” and “remote teams” may seem at odds with each other, it starts to make sense when we see the office as a place where teams work together in convenient locations.

This is why we built Hubble On-Demand: to make it easy for remote teams to meet and work together to enjoy all the benefits of working in person — whenever and wherever makes the most sense.

With 1000 workspaces around the UK and beyond, such as day offices and hourly meeting rooms, Hubble On-Demand allows teams to work from anywhere, anytime — whether remote, hybrid, or fully office-based.

For example, Taskrabbit’s 400+ person team uses Hubble On-Demand to allow employees to take a break from WFH. In doing so, they’ve saved *87% compared to the cost of having a full-time office for all its staff!

Learn more here.

Introducing: Part-time Offices

Your very own office 1-3 days per week. Save up to 75% compared to a full-time office.

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Prefer to chat? Get in touch with our team of expert advisors:

Hubble Advisor
Hubble Advisor
Hubble Advisor
+44 20 3966 6804