"Help Me Think" Episode 6
July 31, 2023

Building a Hybrid Work Oasis and Deciding When to Bring Employees into the Office

Episode Description

In this episode of "Help Me Think," Mary Beth Oakes, CEO and co-owner of Business Furniture + CO, discusses the significance of a hybrid work environment for employees. She shares insights into Business Furniture's successful transition to hybrid work and how they redesigned their office spaces to support it. Mary Beth also reflects on her career journey, the importance of staying open to opportunities, and her co-founding of Choreo in 2008, a spinoff of Business Furniture. 

The episode highlights the key takeaways of creating a hybrid work environment, focusing on strengths-based leadership, understanding work modes, and implementing technology to enhance collaboration for remote participants.

Key Takeaways
  • Importance of a Hybrid Work Environment: Hybrid work balances flexibility and collaboration, creating dynamic workplaces that maximize employee potential.
  • Strengths-Based Leadership: Understanding and leveraging individual strengths can lead to personal growth and improved performance in the workplace.
  • Work Modes: Designing office spaces around different work modes (focus, collaboration, rejuvenation, learning, and socialization) enhances employee productivity, connection, and well-being.
  • Democratizing Private Space: Providing diverse private and collaboration spaces can optimize office real estate and accommodate individual preferences.
  • Onboarding and Training: In-person interactions during onboarding and training help foster relationships, mentorship, and development opportunities.
  • Equitable Work Environment: Ensuring all employees have equal opportunities and access to resources is crucial for success in a hybrid work model.
  • Hybrid Work's Future: Hybrid work is likely to continue, with companies opting for a mix of remote and in-office work to meet employee preferences and achieve company objectives.

Overall, the episode emphasizes the importance of embracing hybrid work and tailoring office spaces and practices to support employee well-being, productivity, and growth.

Please tune in now to reflect on when your organization should be asking employees to come into the office and how to build a work oasis that creates a gravitational pull that makes them want to!

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Episode Links

Steelcase Article - The Hybrid Office:

The New Hybrid Neighborhood - Designing Neighborhoods at Work:

Ocular™ by Steelcase:

CEO Perspectives Podcast: The Future of the Office:

CEO Perspectives Podcast: What Should We Do About Burnout:

Business Furniture Website: 

Business Furniture on Facebook:

Business Furniture on Instagram: 

Business Furniture on LinkedIn: 

Mary Beth Oakes on Facebook:

Mary Beth Oakes on Instagram: 

Mary Beth Oakes on LinkedIn: 

Starla's Website and Newsletter Sign-Up:

Starla's YouTube Channel:

Podcast Sponsor, Business Furniture:

Special Thanks To Our Title Sponsor

I want to thank our title sponsor, Business Furniture, an organization celebrating its 100th anniversary and revolutionizing the way we work since 1922. With hybrid work becoming mainstream, Business Furniture offers solutions that balance the flexibility employees crave with the need for fostering collaboration and innovation. Check them out at businessfurniture.net.

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Special Thanks to My Podcast Coach

I want to thank Chris Spangle of podcastingandplatforms.com. Without his help, I would have never gotten this podcast up and running. Thank you, Chris!

Leave A Reply

What was your favorite lesson from this episode? Please let me know, and after you apply what you learned, make sure you share your breakthrough moments and successes with me. And, of course, I welcome your feedback, questions, insight, experience, and suggestions. You can share them here, as well! Critical comments are fine, but we'll delete your comments if you're rude. Please do not put your URL in the comment text, and use your real name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun, and thanks for adding to the conversation.

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